naval doctrine


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 […]


Canada’s Submarines: An argument for their retention*

*Moderator’s Note: This article originally appears in Marine Matters. It is reprinted here with the permission of the publisher. Dr. Michael Byers and Mr. Stewart Webb released a report called That Sinking Feeling: Canada’s Submarine Program Spring a Leak. As I read it, I couldn’t help but think back to […]


Child Pirates an increasing threat to maritime security

In an article published by Fairplay Magazine, entitled “Target: Child Pirates,” author Girjia Shettar explores the work being done by the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative and the Dalhousie Marine Piracy Project (DMPP) on the phenomenon of child maritime piracy. It is likely no coincidence that the countries which are […]


More criticism ‘surfaces’ of Byers-Webb report on submarines

Readers of this forum will know my critical position on the report “That Sinking Feeling” by Prof. Michael Byers and Mr. Stewart Webb. After serving as the lead writer for the MSPP Research Team report, published in this forum on 15 June, I wrote a fuller analysis of the Byers-Webb […]


The dire threat of the Leslie Report to the navy

Retired Lieutenant-General Andrew Leslie was on CBC radio’s The House on Saturday to speak about his view of problems with increased spending on ‘corporate services’ and ‘institutional overhead’.  You can hear the interview on-line here. Leslie continues to argue that the tactical units of the army must be maintained and […]


Army theory and naval practice seldom meet in amphibious operations*

*Moderators Note: This post is extracted from an article published in the ‘Views and Opinions’ section of Canadian Military Journal (Summer 2007): 79-80.  You can read the original article here. The idea of acquiring large amphibious ships for the Canadian military is based on the assumption that only a ship […]


Lord Nelson and amateur tacticians*

* Moderator’s Note: This post appeared originally in the Letters to the Editor section of The Washington Times on 30 March 2007. It is no longer available on-line. A large part of Canadian naval history is traced back to that of the Royal Navy. The history of that organization is […]


To group or not to group?*

*Moderator’s Note: Portions of this article appeared originally as “The History and Theory of Naval Effects-Based Operations” in Effects-Based Approaches to Operations: Canadian Perspectives, Alan English and Howard Coombs, eds., Canadian Forces Aerospace Warfare Centre, 2008, pp. 95-102. Placing warships into groups for the accomplishment of tasks is indeed a […]


What is doctrine and why is it so important?

Most official definitions talk about doctrine as though it is the bedrock of all things naval. This one comes from the USN’s Naval Doctrine Publication 1 (NDP1) Naval Warfare: “Naval doctrine is the foundation upon which our tactics, techniques, and procedures are built.” This definition gives the impression that doctrine […]


The ‘Royal’ name change: significant or merely symbolic?

A quick internal polling of the CFPS fellowship on the question posed in this article’s title resulted in a general consensus that the navy’s name change is appropriate but not especially significant.  The Canadian naval connection to the crown was not removed by dropping the ‘RCN’ name for the navy […]