Title

The "Lessons" of Vietnam for Canada: Complicity, Irrelevance, Earnestness, or Realism?

Publication Date

2014

Document Type

Article

Abstract

This essay looks back on three classic texts depicting Canadian foreign policy during the Vietnam era in pursuit of lessons for policymakers in Ottawa today. It concludes that Canadians should not be so self-critical of their country’s inability to exercise influence on complex and difficult global problems. While Canada continues to be able to make a helpful contribution to world affairs, Canada’s international engagements should focus less on the often unrealistic desire to enhance the country’s image and standing abroad and at home and more on immediate tactical and operational impacts.

Original Citation

Sokolsky, J. (2014). The "Lessons" of Vietnam for Canada: Complicity, Irrelevance, Earnestness, or Realism? International Journal: Canada’s Journal of Global Policy Analysis. Published online 9 July, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020702014540095