Missing: Justin Trudeau’s Mojo

Michael Den Tandt wrote an excellent piece on Justin Trudeau’s lost mojo yesterday, and I highly encourage everyone to read it. This is actually something I’ve been thinking about for the past several months so it’s good to see that I’m not alone on it: something has happened to Trudeau.

When Trudeau first became leader of the Liberal Party, he promised a new type of politics – a different type of politics. This message was complemented by the fact that he spoke a little differently and acted a little differently than your typical politician. He even looked different – he looked energetic, committed and confident when compared to Stephen Harper and Thomas Mulcair, burnishing his credentials even further.

Thus, I was never really concerned about Trudeau’s comments on the budget balancing itself or the apparent nimbleness of the Chinese government – this was simply the cost of “Trudeau being Trudeau” to borrow an expression from Den Tandt. The Conservatives would certainly exploit these comments, but the threat was minimal because the comments spoke directly to the sense of spontaneity and authenticity that attracted people to Trudeau in the first place. These were his key attributes and the Tories were simply highlighting them for the Liberals.

Continue reading

Intelligence Models in Practice: The Case of the Cuban Missile Crisis

The Canadian Military Journal (vol. 15, n 1) recently published an article of mine (“Intelligence Models in Practice: The Case of the Cuban Missile Crisis”) that applies different intelligence models to the Cuban Missile Crisis. This topic isn’t really a reflection of my primary academic interests, but it does represent one of my major interests outside of the Ivory Tower: spies!

You see, I’m a huge James Bond fan and the world of intelligence work has always struck me as a place of great importance and excitement. Expensive cars, high-tech gadgets and last-minute luck – what more could you possibly want?

The article actually began as a presentation (and later a course paper) for Kurt Jensen, who teaches intelligence studies at Carleton University. It’s here that my initial, admittedly naïve view of the intelligence world quickly fell to the wayside. To my surprise, it turns out that the expensive cars, high-tech gadgets and last-minute luck are mostly figments of the imagination – the real world of intelligence work is comparatively dull and process-orientated.

Continue reading