India’s decision to boycott China’s Belt and Road Forum has reinvigorated the much-needed debate on the strategic relationship between the two Asian giants. This debate comes on the heels of the February 23, 2017 India-China Strategic Dialogue in Beijing, where the two states found, among their divergences, a convergence on Afghanistan that contradicts some of Delhi’s received wisdom.
Whether launching a few missiles at a Syrian air base, sailing an aircraft carrier toward North Korea (or not), dropping MOAB, or sending more troops to Afghanistan, tactical demonstrations of U.S. strength not tied to strategic objectives sooner rather than later deteriorate into bloody demonstrations of futility.
Although Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged in a splashy way right after his 2015 election to “renew Canada’s commitment to United Nations peace operations,” the country’s contribution to peacekeeping remains at an all-time low. Since Trudeau’s seemingly impetuous campaign promise a year and a half ago, allies and UN member states have anticipated a Canadian deployment of troops, to no effect.