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  • Author: Mike Fejes
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Over the past twenty years, domestic military operations in Canada have seen a dramatic increase in the employment of the Primary Reserve (PRes) alongside the Regular Force. This raises an important question regarding how, in an evolving environment, the PRes can be successfully employed in future aid to the civil power roles? This paper argues that the current organization and terms of service for the PRes are not properly structured and mandated to support any large-scale and sustained aid to the civil power operation - and that this forces Canadians to accept risk when it comes to domestic national security. Theoretically, Canadians have relied for decades on what Sokolsky and Leuprecht have defined as an easy rider approach; where the government contributes just enough resources to ensure that the Canadian public respects and values the military effort. As demands increase, future domestic operations may now have to adapt to a new approach where the criteria for success becomes crisis resolution rather than crisis contribution. By examining the current roles and framework under which the PRes operates, the legal obligations that are currently in force, and the proposal that the PRes assume primary responsibility for domestic response operations, this paper concludes that assigning new roles and responsibilities to the PRes without additional legal obligations will not set the conditions for success should a large scale or lengthy call out be required.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Armed Forces, Military Affairs, Conflict, Risk
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: P. Whitney Lackenbauer
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Any conceptual framework for Canadian policy had to recognize the interdependent nature of North American security, whereby the United States’ safety was dependent on Canadian territory and airspace. In its classic incarnation, the concept of defence against help thus represents a trilateral equation, consisting of an external threat (or threatening context), a smaller state (the security of which is inextricably linked to the perceived security of a larger neighbour), and the neighbouring larger power itself. The equation incorporates how the threat relates to the larger state, and how the smaller state plays (or does not play) an intermediary role in the threat relationship between the threatening context and the larger state. Canada’s alignment to the United States did not detract from the value of the concept to its decision-making; it bolstered it. A smaller state can invoke the strategy of defence against help in two ways: unilaterally (with or without coordination with the larger state), or conjointly with the larger state. Does defence against help continue to represent a workable, basic decision-making strategy for Canada to ensure continental defence in the 21st century? Building upon observations that I initially drew in a 2000 working paper, I maintain that the concept no longer represents an attractive or viable justification for core Canadian strategic decision-making. Rather than conceptualizing United States continental defence priorities as a threat to Canada’s sovereignty (as it is conventionally defined in military and diplomatic circles) owing to potential territorial encroachment to protect the American heartland, cost-benefit analysis of Canadian options should focus on the benefits that Canada derives from its bilateral and binational defence partnership. Instead (and in contrast to some recent commentators), I suggest that the driving strategic consideration since the late 1980s has been less about defence against help than about the need for Canada to contribute meaningfully to bilateral defence in order to stay in the game and secure a piece of the action.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Regionalism
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Tim Clarke
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: During the First World War Indigenous peoples in Canada contributed to the war effort through enlistment in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), the Patriotic Fund, and agricultural and industrial production. Their contributions, however, were not universally accepted in Indigenous communities. For many aging, non-military eligible, individuals, enlistment and off-reserve work deprived families of care-givers, bread-winners, and youth, essential to household and community well-being. Their petitions to the Canadian government, filtered through the Department of Indian Affairs (DIA), reveal the breadth of opinion and sources of frustration from across Indigenous communities in Canada. For the DIA, however, the years from 1914-1918 provided a crucial opportunity to solidify its power over Indigenous communities. Through a three-pillared archetype of communication control, the DIA increased its unilateral dominion over Indigenous affairs, largely at the expense of the eldest members of Indigenous communities, remaining traditional governance structures, and especially women. While the DIA rightly lauded Indigenous contributions to Canada’s war effort in post-war declarations, it conveniently ignored the costs associated with such contributions, thus denying a crucial aspect of Indigenous First World War history; an omission historians have too often indulged.
  • Topic: Communications, Military Strategy, World War I, Indigenous, Indian Affairs
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Nicole Jackson
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: This paper examines controversies over responses to hybrid warfare ranging from defensive societal and institutional resilience to more aggressive measures, and considers some of the strengths and limits of classic deterrence theory. How Canada and NATO interpret major transformations, and the language of ‘hybrid war’ that they adopt, matter because they influence responses. Reflecting NATO’s rhetoric and policies, Canada has become more internally focused, adopting a ‘whole of government’ and increasingly ‘whole of society’ approach, while at the same time taking more offensive actions and developing new partnerships and capabilities. Canada and NATO are taking significant steps towards ‘comprehensive deterrence’, yet more clarity is needed in how responses are combined to avoid the dangers of hybrid wars with no end.
  • Topic: NATO, Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Regional Cooperation, Military Strategy, Deterrence
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Canada, North America
  • Author: Ryan Dean, P. Whitney Lackenbauer
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Geostrategy can be nebulous in meaning, leading to “concept creep” when applied by theorists. “The concept of geography is perilously all-embracing and, like other factors that purportedly explain everything, has the potential to end up explaining nothing in particular,” Gray warns. “One can speak of physical geography, human geography, economic geography, political geography, cultural geography, military geography, strategic geography, and many more. Unfortunately for neatness of analysis, the geographical setting for international power must embrace all of these.”10Canadian historian C.P. Stacey’s11 approach lends a methodological rigour to avoid conceptual overstretch, while remaining sufficiently expansive in its breadth of interpretation to consider the state actions needed to maintain a constructive world role writ large(clustered around issues such as strategic doctrine, global geopolitical imperatives producing the foci of regional involvement internationally, and global roles shaping how a country should yield its worldwide influence).12Stacey is an original Canadian defence thinker who teaches us that geography matters in strategic analyses and offers a starting point to develop a set of measures with which to appreciate Canada’s position in the international system. Accordingly, we begin this article by outlining how Stacey conceptualized geostrategy in his important, if often overlooked, The Military Problems of Canada.13 Although shifting great power polarity and advances in technology such as the emergence of new and more acute asymmetric threats and new strategic domains (such as space and cyber), require a modest revision of Stacey’s core methodology of military geography, his methodical approach continues to offer relevant insights to the identification and assessment of threats to Canadian defence. Having modernized Stacey’s geostrategic analytics, we then apply them to the Canadian Arctic as a case study. The region is undergoing a massive transformation, with climate change and geopolitical developments ending the region’s “isolation.” Nonetheless, the complex array of variables at play makes it difficult to anticipate what activities are going to happen – and, equally important, whereand when. Our analysis suggests that Stacey’s approach supports official military statements anticipating no near-term conventional military threats to Canada’s Arctic by encouraging a more deliberate parsing and analysis of geographical variables often conflated or overlooked in strategic assessments.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Geography
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, Arctic
  • Author: Elinor Sloan
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: This article looks at key strategic trends, the sorts of missions in which the Canadian army is likely to take part over the next few years, and the implications for the army at the tactical/operational level.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Andrew Rickter
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The Liberal government of Justin Trudeau has been in office for almost three years, and thus enough time has passed to reach some early observations on its defence record. This paper looks at 3 critical issues – the government’s approach to defence spending, its recent defence White Paper, and its actions regarding the CF-18 replacement project – and concludes that while there have been some positive developments, defence is clearly not a priority of the government. Moreover, its tendency to politicize the defence file and to issue misleading policy pronouncements on matters related to it do not inspire much confidence. Thus, barring an unexpected increase in spending, Canada’s defence prognosis is poor and the Canadian Armed Forces will likely see their capabilities erode further over the near-to-medium term.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Budget, Liberalism
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Adam Lajeunesse, P. Whitney Lackenbauer
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The Arctic has emerged as a topic of tremendous hype over the last decade, spawning persistent debates about whether the region’s future is likely to follow a cooperative trend or spiral into conflict. Official Canadian military statements, all of which anticipate no near-term conventional military threats to the region, predict an increase in security and safety challenges and point to the need for capabilities suited to a supporting role in an integrated, whole-of-government (WoG) framework. This entails focused efforts to enhance the government's all-domain situational awareness over the Arctic, to prepare responses to a range of unconventional security situations or incidents in the region, and to assist other government departments (OGD) in their efforts to enforce Canadian laws and regulations within national jurisdiction. Despite popular commentaries suggesting that military deficiencies in the North make Canada vulnerable, we argue that the Canadian Armed Forces are generally capable of meeting its current and short-term requirements and is responsibly preparing to meet the threats to Canadian security and safety that are likely emerge over the next decade.
  • Topic: Security, Diplomacy, Nationalism, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America, Arctic
  • Author: Christopher Roberts, Tim Stapleton
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: During the Second World War, Canadian expeditionary forces played a proportionally significant role in the war in Europe, but, just like the First World War, Canada avoided or was not asked to consider deployment of land forces in any significant way to African theatres of operations. Not since the South African War (also known as the Second Anglo-Boer War) of 1899-1902 had Canadian-raised combat arms units been sent to the continent. Between 1956 and 1969, however, Africa became an active theatre of operations for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), but in substantially new roles: peacekeeping (Suez, Congo) and military training and assistance outside the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) (Ghana, Tanzania and Nigeria). Africa was the experimental lab for both of these new taskings, and the first time Canadians served alongside, under, or trained soldiers from newly independent African states. Canada’s early engagement with post-colonial Africa was led by security, commercial, and world order considerations, with the CAF and not official humanitarian and/or development assistance at the forefront. Where commercial and security concerns characterized Canada’s initial activity (1955-1965), between 1965 and 1975 development, “facilitated by, rather than caused by, the public’s increasing responsiveness to the humane internationalism of the era,” came to dominate Canada-Africa relations.1 From one of the lowest contributors to foreign aid on a proportional Gross National Product basis in the early 1960s, Canada had surpassed many other major and minor Western donors by the middle of the 1970s.2 Not unrelatedly, the 1970s also marked a nadir of Canadian defence spending, with the CAF shrinking in personnel, its presence in Europe halved, and its ships, aircraft, vehicles, and even small arms aging without replacement. Under Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, from 1968 to 1979, the government’s international fiscal envelope skewed spending heavily towards development at the expense of defence. Peacekeeping – or at least support for “Collective Measures for maintenance of peace and security embodied in the Charter of the United Nations”3 – that rated first mention in the 1964 White Paper on Defence – dropped to last in the foreign policy priorities articulated in the 1970 foreign policy overhaul, Foreign Policy for Canadians,4 and the subsequent 1971 White Paper on Defence. Military training assistance efforts shrank to a care and maintenance basis in the 1970s, totalling less than 0.25% of Canada’s growing annual foreign aid budget.5 Kilford concludes his chapter on the winding down of military assistance in the early 1970s with the observation that it took thirty years (until the early 2000s) “before the funds allocated for military assistance even came close to the amount spent in the 1960s.”6 These periodic shifts that privileged defence/security over development, or development over defence/security (to use two of the “3Ds” of diplomacy, defence, and development now in regular use), have represented a somewhat regular thematic influence in Canadian relations with Africa. At times, especially during the “human security” era of the late 1990s, development and security were seen as complementary. In the mid-2010s, however, there is wide consensus that security, development, and governance are the three crucial interlocking pillars required to underpin Africa’s economic prosperity, human empowerment, and regional stability. In other words, one cannot be prioritized at the expense of the others if any kind of long-term stability is the goal of local and international stakeholders. Over fifty years of pursuing development and conflict-management in Africa and fifteen years of doing the same in Afghanistan have produced agreement on the three pillars but no consensus about how to go about cultivating them concurrently. Many good intentions around state-building, poverty alleviation, humanitarian intervention, and conflict amelioration have foundered on the shoals of the hard reality of political and economic complexity and vested interests, both local and international. This is the conundrum which lies behind this “African security” themed issue of the Journal of Military and Strategic Studies. It follows a workshop the editors co-chaired, in June 2016 at the University of Calgary, on the precise theme of “Revisiting Africa in Canadian security planning and assessment,” an initiative which grew out of that conundrum.7 As Canada signals it will again increase its involvement in addressing African security and development challenges,8 the workshop examined the difficulties in mobilizing consensus around what Canada and other external actors can and should do, as well as some of the multifaceted security challenges facing contemporary Africa, from terrorism and transnational criminal networks to political elites who are not that interested in deepening constitutionalism. This collection of essays showcases the research and insights of a handful of the over thirty participants at the June workshop.9
  • Topic: Security, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Africa, Canada, North America