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Why Canada is Watching the U.S. Destructive Future?

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In recent years, concerns about the political and social stability of the United States have not only gripped American citizens but also drawn the attention of neighboring countries. Canada, under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is particularly vigilant about the potential ramifications of escalating U.S. ideological divisions. A think tank within Trudeau’s government, Policy Horizons Canada, has even gone so far as to contemplate the possibility of an American civil war, highlighting the seriousness with which Canada views its southern neighbor’s turmoil. This article delves into why Canada is watching the U.S. closely, the scenarios that have raised alarm, and the potential impacts on Canadian policy and society.

Policy Horizons Canada: Anticipating Disruptions

Policy Horizons Canada, a governmental think tank, released a spring report titled “Disruptions on the Horizon.” This 37-page document, while primarily focused on various disruptive events that Canada might need to prepare for, included a striking hypothetical: the outbreak of a civil war in the United States. This scenario was described succinctly in just 15 words, but its inclusion indicates significant concern within Canadian policy circles about the stability of the U.S.

A Troubling Hypothetical

The notion of an American civil war may seem far-fetched to some, but Policy Horizons Canada ranked it as an improbable yet ultra-high-impact event. The report categorized it alongside other severe disruptions such as the proliferation of homemade biological weapons, antibiotic-resistant pathogens, and the outbreak of World War 3. This suggests that while a civil war in the U.S. is seen as unlikely, its potential consequences are severe enough to warrant serious consideration.

Canadian Anxiety and Historical Context

John McArthur, a Brookings Institution scholar and member of the Policy Horizons steering committee, noted that this scenario likely reflects Canadian anxiety about U.S. politics rather than a literal expectation of conflict. The Trump administration’s policies and isolationist tendencies, which strained the Canada-U.S. relationship, left a lasting impact on the Canadian psyche. Donald Trump’s personal attacks on Justin Trudeau, particularly following a G7 meeting in Quebec, exacerbated these tensions.

Historical Parallels and Contemporary Concerns

To understand the potential impact of U.S. instability, one can look at Canada’s own history. The Quebec separatism crisis of the 1960s and 1970s, while not a full-blown civil war, involved significant internal conflict and violence. This period of civil strife in Canada, marked by bombings, kidnappings, and the murder of a provincial deputy premier, Pierre Laporte, provides a poignant reminder of the potential for domestic unrest to spiral out of control.

Practical Implications for Canada

Catherine Beaudry, a professor at Polytechnique Montréal who analyzed the Policy Horizons report, emphasized the importance of preparing for various hypothetical events to ensure readiness and resilience. However, the practical application of preparing for a U.S. civil war is less clear-cut. The interconnected nature of modern threats, such as cyberattacks and the rise of new technologies, means that Canadian policies must be flexible and forward-thinking.

Rooted in historical experiences

Canada’s vigilance towards the potential for U.S. instability is rooted in historical experiences and contemporary geopolitical concerns. The Policy Horizons report underscores the need for Canada to anticipate and prepare for a range of disruptive scenarios, including the unlikely but highly impactful possibility of an American civil war. As ideological divisions and domestic unrest continue to challenge U.S. democracy, Canada remains a watchful neighbor, ready to adapt and respond to the evolving landscape of North American stability.

Saeed Minhas
Saeed Minhas
Saeed Minhas is an accomplished journalist with extensive experience in the field. He has held prominent positions such as Editor at Daily Times and Daily Duniya. Currently, he serves as the Chief Editor (National) at The Think Tank Journal

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