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Editor’s Corner

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As I pen these words, summer has returned yet again (for the most part) to the Great White North, and I sincerely believe we have amassed an interesting and diverse collection of issues to pique the interest of our readership.

At the point this time, retired infantry officer and military ethics specialist Michel Reid offers a very evocative counterpoint to Peter Bradley’s extensive analysis of the morality of battlefield mercy killing, as published in our winter issue. Ultimately, Michel concludes: “[That] legalism is sometimes of poor counsel in matters of ethical conduct,” but that infractions against regulations, or against the Law, should not be ignored. He also contends that there should exist, “… in the military profession, a formal mechanism to examine cases where an ethical dilemma forces a choice between the moral and the obedient courses of action.”

Next, long-time Defence Scientist Jack Landolt continues the ethics theme with a penetrating examination of human research ethical considerations. Specifically, he is concerned that, while the insertion of advanced human performance enhancement technologies into NATO military operations may offer significant cognitive, physical, psychological, and mental advantages to military personnel, “… there is the legitimate concern that applying these technologies may exceed the limits of human capability and/or infringe upon the rights of individuals.”

Landolt is followed by PhD candidate Eric Jardine’s compelling study of NATO’s most recent Strategic Concept and its concomitant force posture. After charting the evolution of various iterations of NATO Strategic Concepts and their respective effectiveness, Jardine concludes that, based upon NATO’s two major post-Cold War expeditionary operations, Kosovo and Afghanistan, the Alliance should have incorporated a decentralization of command and control, an emphasis upon actual employment of forces, and “… a prescription emphasizing greater burden sharing across the Alliance” into the most recent Strategic Concept.

In furtherance of the international theme, University of Manitoba Adjunct Professor Lasha Tchantouridzé takes a fresh look at Russia’s interests in the Black Sea region, and how that nation’s relatively recent invasion of Georgia has affected its relationship with the NATO Alliance. Tchantouridzé concludes: “… [that] although Western leaders have consistently rejected the idea of ‘new dividing lines’ in Europe ever since NATO enlargement became a reality, what the Europeans will likely get in the end will be a continent divided between NATO and Russian spheres of influence.” Further, he contends: “…[that] Moscow’s hegemonic influence over its Black Sea basin remains crucial for its plans…”

Transitioning from international to Canadian service-specific considerations, Brigadier-General Mike Hood, an air force navigator by way of background, suggests that a certain balance in service representation at the most senior levels is presently lacking in Canada’s military. Specifically, he contends that there are relatively few airmen in strategically relevant positions, and that the Canadian Forces (CF) needs to obtain the best possible balance of knowledge and experience from across the services in a CF joint force in order to ensure “… the best outcomes in decisions that will have very long-lasting effects upon the military pillar of national power.” He then goes on to make some very specific recommendations as to what the air force needs to do to correct this perceived shortfall.

Within our historical section, soldier and scholar Howard Coombs charts the evolution of staff education in Canada’s military, with a particular emphasis upon the conceptual shift that is now occurring in this area, as the CF attempts to come to grips with conflict in a post-Cold War world. He further contends that Western military approaches are generally outmoded, because they are primarily applicable to conflict between nation states. “In order to devise feasible and suitable solutions to security problems today, Canada’s armed forces are obliged to deal with complex and chaotic dilemmas in a fashion suitable to myriad participants.”

In our Views and Opinions section, Lieutenant-General (ret’d) Lloyd Campbell, a former fighter pilot, Commander Air Command, and Chief of the Air Staff, “… highlights why manned fighters remain important for Canada, and why the F-35, as programmed, is a prudent investment.” This viewpoint has special relevance at this particular point in time, as Canada continues to fly deployed combat operations over Libya as part of NATO’s Operation Mobile, the multinational response to the continuing crisis in the region. General Campbell is followed by US Army Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell, the current commanding general of the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan, who keynotes the ongoing Canadian contribution to this very important and relevant initiative. General Caldwell contends: “… [that] the development of professional and self-sustaining soldiers and police is critical to set the conditions for irreversible transition to full Afghan security responsibility and leadership by the end of 2014.”

Martin Shadwick then takes a fresh look at Search and Rescue in this expansive land of ours, and we close with a clutch of book reviews for your summer reading.

Finally, and on a sombre note, by the time this issue appears in print, I will have been required to bid a fond farewell to Kelli Mullally-Guerette, my absolutely outstanding Publication Manager here at the Canadian Military Journal for the past three years. Innovative, efficient, and highly pragmatic, Kelli has brought administrative order and structure to what could previously have been best described as administrative chaos. She has been a delight to work with these past years, and the CMJ is a far better place for her having served as such a vital part of our publishing team. We wish Kelli and her family all the best life has to offer as they continue life’s odyssey in Ottawa, the nation’s capital. As the sailors would say, Bravo Zulu, kid.

Until the next time.

David L. Bashow
Canadian Military Journal

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