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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: Ina Kraft
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: This article sets out to catalogue narration strategies used in the professional discourse about Effects-Based Operations (EBO). EBO was at the heart of the US military transformation (2001-2008) and is one of few concepts officially discontinued instead of being simply replaced by a successor concept making it a crucial case for analysing its rise and fall. An analytical framework for classifying the rhetoric of military innovations is presented in this article. Based on this framework the debate about EBO in the U.S. military journal Joint Force Quarterly between 1996 and 2015 is assessed with a view to three questions: How was EBO framed by military experts? Was the shift of institutional support for EBO reflected in the discourse? And, is there evidence to suggest that the EBO discourse had an influence on the adoption and later discontinuation of EBO? The analysis shows that in the case of EBO a particularly homogenous discourse pattern existed, which might have contributed to the concept’s quick and ultimate demise.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Military Strategy, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: United States, 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: Eric B. Setzekorn
  • Publication Date: 10-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: In the decade between U.S. diplomatic recognition of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1979 and the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) pursued a military engagement policy with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The 1979-1989 U.S.-PRC defense relationship was driven by a mutually shared fear of the USSR, but U.S. policymakers also sought to encourage the PRC to become a more deeply involved in the world community as a responsible power. Beginning in the late 1970s, the U.S. defense department conducted high level exchanges, allowed for the transfer of defense technology, promoted military to military cooperation and brokered foreign military sales (FMS). On the U.S. side, this program was strongly supported by National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and Secretary of State Alexander Haig, who worked to push skeptical elements in the U.S. defense bureaucracy. By the mid-1980s, this hesitancy had been overcome and the defense relationship reached a high point in the 1984-1986 period, but structural problems arising from the division of authority within the PRC’s party-state-military structure ultimately proved insurmountable to long-term cooperation. The 1979-1989 U.S.-PRC defense relationship highlights the long-term challenges of pursuing military engagement with fundamentally dissimilar structures of political authority.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Diplomacy, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Asia, Soviet Union, 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: Anton Minkov, Peter Tikuisis
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: The 2007 surge in Iraq is considered one of the most significant military events in recent history given that it coincided with a marked decrease in violent attacks. However, revisiting “significant activity” (SIGACT) data reveals that violence had generally peaked before the surge. This study presents also an examination of other factors that might explain the earlier decline in violence, before the surge was even announced. It is difficult to pinpoint the trends that were most prominent, but they all likely contributed to a shift in the momentum of the security situation in the fall of 2006, before the surge was even announced. Thus, our analysis suggests that the surge was an unnecessary gambit. This paper aims to caution strategic policy decision-makers against misinterpreting the efficacy of surge capability in a complex and dynamically changing security situation.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Terrorism, Military Strategy, Violence
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, North America