Date of Award

Spring 1989

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International studies

Committee Director

Patrick J. Rollins

Committee Member

Philip S. Gillette

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.I45C35


In 1987 the Canadian government recognized that in order to be a major player in collective security with the United States and NATO, it would have to make a significant contribution to the common defense. However. since Canada could not hope to outspend the larger powers, its contribution would have to be leveraged by control of a strategic piece of real estate -- the Canadian Arctic. The major program to enhance Canadian control of the Arctic would be the acquisition of ten-to-twelve nuclear attack submarines. That submarine force was sold to the public and Parliament as a means to enhance Canadian sovereignty which was perceived to be threatened by United States activities in the Arctic. Historically, Canadian sovereignty has been promoted, not threatened, when Arctic terr·itory has been perceived as strategically critical to North American defense. Canadian control of the Northwest Passage is meant to magnify Canada's voice in collective security well beyond its relative contribution.


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