Mark Collins – Canadian Defence Review: Early Meetings

Two pieces from the Conference of Defence Associations Insitute:

1) Tweet on meeting organized by CDA/CDAI:

2) Report on official Vancouver defence review Vancouver roundtable:

Defence Policy Review: Broad Overhaul or Strategic Investment?
by Oxana Drozdova

CDA Institute Analysts Geoff Tasker and Oksana Drozdova explore what was discussed at the Defence Policy Review (DPR) Roundtable in Vancouver and its relation to the larger debate on Canadian defence policy.

The new Trudeau government’s promise to exercise informed policy-making was put into action recently as a diverse range of stakeholders and defence specialists met in Vancouver for the first of six roundtable discussions to assist in the Defence Policy Review (DPR).

Contributors, ranging from academics to retired military, raised issues of concern about Canada’s security and defence policy, in hopes of generating informed debate on the future role of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). Naturally, the post-election declaration that “Canada is back” was raised by more than one presenter. As one might expect, however, ideas as to how Canada should go about “being back” were varied to say the least.

Nearly all participants seemed to agree that the changing global political landscape presented new challenges for Canadian defence policy. Along with the expected issues of global terrorism and continued military operations in the Middle East, issues such as cyber-terrorism, China’s behavior in the South China Sea [more here], and the protection of Arctic sovereignty [more here] were raised by participants as concerns Canada needs to either act on or prepare for.

A common concern raised was that the government’s lackluster defence spending (and perhaps its inability to spend budgeted funds in a timely manner) has not only weakened the image of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) here at home, but has also resulted in a loss of the country’s voice and influence abroad. Many participants hoped that increased spending on the CAF along with a more assertive foreign and security policy could rectify this situation. With limited funds and a largely skeptical public, however, a major challenge for the DPR team is to highlight the areas in which this spending will be best served, thus determining what form this revised Canadian image is to take.

It is here where the roundtable participants do not exactly see eye to eye…

Surprise, surprise. Earlier:

Canadian Defence Review: CDA Institute Analyses

Canadian “Defence Policy Review” and Consultations Go Online

Canadian Defence Review: What’s the There There?

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

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