Is Canada out-of-step with the United Kingdom and United States?

The launching of a new maritime studies centre (The Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies) within the Joint Services Command and Staff College, at Shrivenham in Wiltshire, is a fascinating development.  Just at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto is deleting the Maritime Component Programme (as well as the Land and Air Programmes) and adopting a fully integrated joint staff (which means disbanding the naval staff), the UK Joint College is creating a naval studies centre within itself. How utterly out-of-step with the rest of the world is the Canadian military educational system now?

Admiral Mike Mullen's first missive as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs (CJCS Guidance for 2007 – 2008) contained this statement: "The demands of current operation - however great, should not dominate our training exercises, education curricula, and readiness programs. The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will one day end.  We must be ready for who - and what - comes after” (emphasis in original text).  Can there be any doubt that the curriculum at American war colleges will remain broadly-based with such clear direction from their new Chairman?

General David Petraeus’ article “Beyond the Cloister” advises that a graduate school education is valuable for our officers because it helps to make them flexible, adaptive and creative thinkers.  Without proper exposure to a fundamentally different (maritime) approach to problem solving how can the students at our only war college claim to have had a broadening educational experience?

It seems Canada’s Afghanistan-centric operational focus is causing us to do exactly what our two principal allies have decided not to do.