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Welcome to yet another frosty winter edition of the Canadian Military Journal, the first of our second decade of service as the professional and intellectual forum of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces.

Again, a rather eclectic selection of topics for our readership to ponder this time out. Taking the point in our major articles section, Lieutenant-Colonel (ret’d) Peter Bradley offers a very timely and structured analysis of a question that will undoubtedly generate considerable debate quite aside from its legal ramifications, namely: “Is battlefield mercy killing morally justifiable?”  Next, the Royal Military College’s Professor Emily Spencer takes a fresh look at cultural intelligence (CQ), “…the ability to recognize the shared beliefs, values, attitudes, and behaviours of a group of people,” and what she believes is the critical importance of being able to apply this knowledge as a ‘tool of choice’ in our military’s contemporary operating environment (COE).

Professor Spencer is followed by a ‘techie’ analysis of situational awareness and its impact upon operational clarity. Commander Wayne Renaud and Defence Scientist Anthony Isenor join forces to posit that the “…crippling inadequacy of current information management and processing methodologies, and the CF’s abject refusal to thoroughly pre-process information and data streams, has strengthened the overwhelming information vortex within which operator and decision-makers must function.” As a result of their analysis, they reach some interesting conclusions, and also leave us with some firm and thought provoking recommendations for dealing with this product of our technological times.

Next, security specialists Shaye Friesen and Andrew Gale  argue that, given the complexities of today’s “…chaotic and unpredictable security environment,” defence planners need to replace the old linear planning and traditional protection techniques of the industrial age as a panacea solution to the multi-directional challenges of today and the future, with a new, ‘network age’ approach. They conclude “[that] traditional security practices will need to be supplemented by a more holistic understanding of the nature of future risks, and the adoption of increasingly agile, adaptive, and anticipatory protective measures.”

In our historical section, historian and lecturer in defence management and policy Peter Kasurak reviews the Canadian Army’s attempt to develop nuclear warfare doctrine in the 1950s, and how the advent of nuclear weapons created a major rethinking of the fundamentals of combat. However, while the Canadian Army would make major advances in professionalism via improved processes in developing high-level plans, the combat development process “…recognized the need for ‘netcentric’ operations and deep battle, but [the army] lacked the technical means and institutional support from the air force to make significant progress on either concept.” While Kasurak argues this conclusion should have led to a strategic re-evaluation of the army’s role, instead, the army unrealistically remained “…chained to the central front of NATO.”

As we go to press, the Canadian Army has begun preparations for the post-Afghanistan period. As promised in the last issue, the new Chief of the Land Staff (CLS), Lieutenant-General Peter Devlin, has provided our readership with an overview of what will indeed be a challenging period of consolidation and renewal for the nation’s land forces. General Devlin is followed by the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Lieutenant-General André Deschamps, who elaborates upon the recent governmental decision to acquire the F-35 Lightning II as Canada’s next generation fighter.

Next up, Major (ret’d) Roy Thomas offers a short opinion piece on the value of the art of persuasion as a key element to successful leadership, and opines that General Rick Hillier, during his tenure as Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, embodied an excellent example of this element of leadership in practice. Finally in our “Views and Opinions” section, Chief Warrant Officer Stéphane Guy explains what constitutes the Command Team (a commander and his most senior non-commissioned member), and then elaborates upon the benefits accrued by this unique and closely-knit relationship, and how a better comprehension of the Command Team concept can assist any organization within the Canadian Forces.

Never one to shy away from a controversial subject or issue, our own Martin Shadwick explores the origins and development of the recently announced Joint Support Ship (JSS) initiative, and offers some food for thought for those who will ultimately be involved in the final decision process for procurement. We then close with our usual pot-pourri of book reviews for consideration by our readership.

Until the next time.

David L. Bashow
Canadian Military Journal  

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