Combatting culture, the silent debate over the Canadian military tradition

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Keeler, Carolyn J.
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Foreign policy and defence policy should be complementary. Recent reports suggest not only that foreign and defence policy are not always complementary but also that there is a lack of understanding between the foreign and defence policy communities. Different foreign and defence policy cultures could account for the inconsistencies in policy. As a result, this thesis examines the extent that culture plays a role in the apparent gap between foreign and defence policy. Authorial interpretations present in published works on foreign and defence policy will be used to examine culture. Within these writings there are identifiable differences within the beliefs and assumptions surrounding the notion of a Canadian military tradition. Because tradition is a key element for an understanding of culture, the differences in recognition of a military tradition will be used to examine the differences in culture. Through this examination it is apparent that writers who predominantly focus on foreign policy believe that Canada has a non-military tradition while writers who focus on defence adhere to a belief in a Canadian military tradition. Although these writers hold differing beliefs and assumptions which lead to different cultural emphasis, there is room for reconciliation due to the consistent value of peace and stability. Recognition of the different notions surrounding tradition can help lead to greater cultural coherency and therefore more complementary policy formation.