Canada's Defence Policies, 1987-1993: NATO, Operational Viability, and the Good Ally

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Weatherall, Ian Leonard




This thesis uses documents from the Department of Defence and the Department of External Affairs to analyze the 1987 White Paper on Defence and the changes in defence priorities in the period 1987-1993. The purpose of the White Paper was to improve the functionality of Canada’s military, offer a full commitment to NATO, and portray Canada as a good ally. The end of the Cold War in 1989-1991 and a deep recession from 1989-1992 forced the government to reduce the military budget, and the White Paper policies never reached fruition. Canada’s NATO allies valued Canada’s forces in Europe, and the government was initially willing to fund a Task Force in Europe. The decision in 1992 to cancel the Task Force and focus on the core capabilities of the military damaged Canada-NATO relations, but Canada continued to be a contributing member of the alliance and a player in European security.


Canadian History




Carleton University

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