defence policy


New Capabilities Must Be Thoughtfully Developed

It has just recently come to my attention that Ken Hansen recycled here in 2011 much of his 2007 criticism in the Canadian Military Journal (CMJ) (see Link 1 below) of my 2006 CMJ article on building a Canadian amphibious capability (see Link 2 below).  In his critique, Hansen did […]


Federal Defence spending versus Federal Health and Education spending

Tim Dunne’s article on government expenditures shows that provincial spending on health and education are huge in comparison to what the federal government spends on defence. The province of Quebec spent 30.4 percent more and the province of Ontario spent 108 percent more on health care alone than the estimated […]


Pacific Pivot

The editorial piece by Eric Lerhe in the Canadian Naval Review [“Time for a Canadian Pacific Pivot?”] raises a real dichotomy between what is no doubt desirable and what is possible, or, in today’s financial climate, remotely likely. True, our Canadian export and marketing strategy is becoming very much altered […]


Canadian Submarine Capabilities: A Reply to Ken Hansen

Ken Hansen’s excellent post on the subject of submarines raises important issues concerning the future of submarines in the RCN. For those of us who ‘get it’, the post hits all the right buttons, especially his comment “what if the first time our surface ships encounter a sub is when […]


Leveraging Defence Procurement Through Key Industrial Capabilities

The Government of Canada received the report of Mr. Tom Jenkins, the Special Adviser to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services on 12 February 2013.  The report is entitled Canada First: Leveraging Defence Procurement Through Key Industrial Capabilities. The ‘Jenkins Report’ recommends identifying and supporting ‘Key Industrial Capabilities’ […]


Problems with Naval Ship Procurement?

Radio Canada’s le téléjournal ran an investigative report Tuesday and Wednesday on naval ship procurement.  The opposition parties are claiming that government incompetence could lead to massive overspending under the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.  The Radio Canada report uses the Joint Support Ship (JSS) project as an example to assert […]


Lawson not a guarantee for F-35 selection

After the initial flurry of comments following the appointment of Lieutenant-General Thomas Lawson as Chief of Defence Staff, some more measured observations about the duties and responsibilities of the position and the nature of the man are coming out. Professor Philippe Lagassé, a well-respected and balanced commentator, has written an […]


“Canadian Drones” by Denis Stairs*

*Moderator’s Note: This article appeared originally under the same title in The Ottawa Citizen on 17 May 2012. It is reprinted here with the kind permission of both the author, The Ottawa Citizen and CDFAI. Watch for an expanded version of this article in a future issue of CDFAI’s quarterly journal, “The […]


Naval Transformation Announcement*

* Moderator’s Note: This message was sent out last week by email to all naval addresses in conjunction with the announcement of major changes to the national-level CF headquarters structure. “Many of you may have heard that important changes were coming for the RCN. Today these changes are being officially […]


A ‘Clarion Call’ for change from the Governor General

Dr. David Johnston, Governor General of Canada and Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces, published a fascinating vision statement in the form of an opinion article in the Globe and Mail on Friday, 17 February. He asserts that finding ways to coherently and effectively deal with the complex challenges of the […]