Editor’s Corner

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A hearty welcome, one and all, to yet another autumn edition of the Canadian Military Journal. Quite a variety of offerings in this issue…Taking the point, Major Enno Kerckhoff, an armour officer, explores Russia’s recent ‘near-abroad’ interventions, and posits: “These are not the actions of a reckless government or even a megalomaniacal leader, but are well-considered strategic moves to prevent further erosion of its sphere of influence.” Next, Major David Johnston, an infantry officer serving with Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM), clarifies the need for Special Operations Forces Airpower, explores six related technological trends, and then presents implications for CANSOFCOM “…in order to advocate for future SOF Airpower.” Commander Corey Bursey then makes a compelling argument that there can be a role for navies during United Nations peacekeeping operations, “…either as discrete military effectors, or as a support element to land and air forces.” Bursey is followed by Colonel Howard Coombs, who, given the current government’s renewed commitment to UN peacekeeping operations, takes a fresh look at the notorious ‘Somalia affair’ of 1993, when a Somalian teenager was tortured and murdered by members of the Canadian Airborne Regiment. While the perpetrators were tried and punished, the event also led to the still-debated disbandment of the Airborne Regiment. Coombs then goes on to examine the changes wrought by the affair, “…to better understand the lessons of the last 25 years that enable the CAF to conduct more effective peace and other operations.” In the last of the major articles this time out, Dr. Jean Martin of the Directorate of History and Heritage contends that contrary to popular assumption, based upon a misleading post-Great War assessment by American author and historian Elizabeth H. Armstrong in 1937, the enlistment of French Canadians into the Canadian Expeditionary Force might have far exceeded the maximum of 35,000 arrived at by Armstrong. Martin makes a compelling argument that the true number of French Canadian enlistments was at least 74,795, and may be as high as 79,000 enlistees.

We then offer three very different opinion pieces for our readership’s consideration. In the first, Colonel (Ret’d) R. Geoffrey St. John, formally of the Canadian Armed Forces Intelligence Branch, asks: “Should Canada have a foreign Intelligence service”? Read on and see if you agree. Next, Major Daniel Doran examines the Auditor General’s recent report on the Army Reserves. In Doran’s words: “The hope is to offer insight into areas where the report overlooked certain key components that are paramount to the successful implementation of any plan whose intent would be to improve the overall functioning of the Militia.” In the last opinion piece, Chief Warrant Officers Neil and Gillis discuss the core obligations of Chief Warrant Officers/ Chief Petty Officers 1st Class in the Canadian Armed Forces. In their words: “It transcends environment and occupation, going to the very essence of what every CWO/CPO1 must emulate, regardless of employment.”

Then, our own Martin Shadwick takes a close look at the current government’s Defence Policy Statement of 2017. And finally, we close with a “hat trick’ of book reviews for our readership’s autumn reading consideration.

However, we at the Journal, along with the entire Canadian Defence Academy and the Royal Military College of Canada extended communities were deeply saddened recently due to the sudden passing of a dear friend and colleague, Lieutenant-Colonel (Retired) Bill Bentley, MSM, CD, Ph.D., after 48 years of distinguished service to Canada, first as a long-serving soldier, and then as a military academic and a true champion of professional development. Bill will be sorely missed, and to him, this Autumn issue of the Journal, our flagship professional forum to which he made so many excellent contributions over the years, is respectfully dedicated. Rest in peace, old friend…

Until the next time.

David L. Bashow
Canadian Military Journal

Courtesy of DND colleague

Lieutenant-Colonel (Retired) Bill Bentley with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Photo of Bill Bentley.

Courtesy of DND colleague