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Members of HMCS Regina

Canadian Forces Combat Camera photo IS2003-2327a
by Sergeant Frank Hudec

Members of HMCS Regina’s port bridge lookout silhouetted against the warship’s searchlight as it illuminates a suspect vessel in the Gulf of Oman.

A Transformation Agenda for the Canadian Forces: Full Spectrum influence

by Paul T. Mitchell

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A soldier in peacetime is like a sailor navigating by dead reckoning .... You have to sail on in a fog of peace until the last moment. Then probably when it is too late, the clouds lift and there is land immediately ahead; breakers, probably, and rocks. Then you find out rather late in the day whether your calculations have been right or not.1

While Sir Michael Howard wrote this passage 30 years ago, his words still ring true for the armed forces of today, confronted as they are by the challenge of ‘Transformation’. Thus far, the Canadian Forces (CF) has approached both the Revolution in Military Affairs and now Transformation somewhat cautiously, but this is no longer a wise course. Developments have reached a sufficiently mature state that the absence of Canadian operational and strategic direction on Transformation will mean the acceleration of Canadian military irrelevance. To avert this situation, this paper proposes organizing Canadian efforts around a concept that can be termed ‘Full Spectrum Influence’.

Kitchener’s Dilemma: The Challenge of the RMA

On the domestic scene, the 1990s proved to be a decade of budget cuts and internal crises for the Canadian Forces. In this same period, the disappearance of the certainty of the Cold War threw military planning for international commitments into turmoil. On top of this disruptive mix, which confronted the CF with more than enough problems, the appearance of the ‘Revolution in Military Affairs’ (RMA) must have seemed more of a curse than a blessing. In 1916, Lord Kitchener said: “We have to fight the war as we must, not as we would like to,” and the RMA would appear to present much the same dilemma to the CF. The costs associated with maintaining the CF of today put at risk the investment needed to ensure its very future.

In his book Soft Power, Hard Choices, Joseph Jockel has amply catalogued the ills now affecting Canada’s ability to project force abroad.2 Based on this and other studies, it is very apparent that the CF must modernize if they are to remain relevant to our coalition and alliance partners, and be welcome in their operations3. But, like Alice, the Canadian military is having to run faster and faster just to remain in the same spot. Facing the current budgetary pressures, the threat of operational irrelevance looms large, and, as might be expected, there has been considerable debate as to the nature of the future.4

The CF is having to plan for this uncertain future in exceedingly difficult circumstances. It operates in an indifferent and sometimes hostile social environment inimical to budget increases. It faces vague threats that seem to follow unexpected paths. All the while, the CF is seeking to maintain its operational relevance in an age of rapid technological change that is certain to be very costly. But, as Colin Gray reminded us at the time of the last serious defence review, Canada must get it right, for there is no room for error.5

Given these challenges, it is interesting to note that Canadian interest in the RMA appears to have been relatively low key. To date, there have been only a few articles by Canadians discussing the many issues surrounding this subject in mainstream journals,6 and most of those have dealt with the technological side of the RMA rather than the doctrinal and organizational implications. There has been a similar lack of attention at the official level, which has led some to conclude that Canada does not have a strategy for the RMA.7

Since 1997, a number of Canadian official documents have addressed the issue of the RMA,8 but what is remarkable is the generalized approach they have adopted. Most make a series of recommendations that require further exploration.9 It is interesting, then, to compare the Canadian documents with their American counterparts. As Joint Vision 2010 makes clear, it is to be the “conceptual template” for how the US will operate its military in the future.10 Joint Vision 2010 develops the concepts of dominant manoeuvre, precision engagement, full dimensional protection, and focused logistics. The “interdependent application” of these concepts is to result in the operational end-state of “Full Spectrum Dominance”, which will allow the US military to conduct the full range of military tasks, from peace support operations through to high intensity warfare.

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By contrast, the Canadian Strategy 2020 develops guidance in the areas of “innovative path, decisive leaders, modernization, globally deployable, interoperability, career of choice, strategic partnerships, and resource stewardship”. The comparisons are stark. Indeed, one commentator has noted the similarity of many of these concepts to those found in a business mission statement as opposed to principles of warfare.11 In some respects, the Canadian military has reversed the approach taken by the Americans in its future planning documents. Whereas the US military first identified the implications of the RMA and then went on to discuss how these would be dealt with within their armed services, the Canadian military has discussed first how to respond to changes before examining what they are likely to be.

Unquestionably, this betrays a certain timidity,12 but the CF has good reason to respond cautiously to RMA developments. First, the CF must get the application correct, for the consequences of failure are potentially disastrous. Second, Canadian caution amounts to an acknowledgement that RMA developments are largely beyond its control. The US military will set the international standard for technology, organization, and to some degree, doctrine. Smaller nations, in order to remain interoperable with the ‘corporate standard’, will have to react to these developments rather than attempt to define the standard themselves, much in the same way that computer software has been largely shaped by the dominance of the Windows operating system.

The Canadian approach, then, has been to allow these developments to mature and then determine where Canada might be able to fit into them. As Vice-Admiral Garnett has noted, “The RMA is neither doctrine nor dogma but an evolving fact of life that the Canadian Forces simply cannot afford to ignore.”13 In the meantime, rather than pursuing a Revolution in Military Affairs, the Department of National Defence has been pursuing a ‘Revolution in Bureaucratic Affairs’. The capability-based joint force structure-planning model the CF has adopted has allowed it to get the fundamentals established before launching into the revolutions implicit in the RMA.

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What is missing at the moment is a vision of how Canadians will conduct war in the future. Will it be the high tech vision implicit in the American Joint Vision 2010 paper, or will it be the “violent, unconventional, complex, and asymmetric” vision of Ralph Peters and others? (See Note 4.) Further, if Canada is following in the wake of US developments, where will it plug into a force organized around the concept of Full Spectrum Dominance? As one study argues, “Because Canada plays a sig nificantly different role in the international security environment than the main proponent of the RMA paradigm, the USA, it is essential to place the current RMA into a Canadian context.”14 However, this has yet to be done.

From RMA To Transformation

As pointed out, the United States is already far down this path. While Full Spectrum Dominance was little more than a buzzword for US military superiority, lately, the US Department of Defense — principally through Joint Forces Command and its associated Joint Battle Lab (or J9) — have begun to add flesh to the bones of the concept. It is being formalized through a series of operational concepts that have begun to emerge from each of the services, and from J9 itself. While each of these operational concepts is distinct, there are many similarities in the assumptions on which each is based.15

While sparked by the RMA, these developments have become part of what is referred to by the term ‘Transformation’. Although the RMA has been typically associated with technological developments and progress, Transformation is a more all-encompassing term. In a recent article in Proceedings, General Richard B. Meyers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, laid out the parameters of Transformation. He noted that the changes in the environment, illustrated by the events of 11 September 2001, indicate the real need to transform the US military from an orientation of massed battles, to something far more flexible and nimble, capable of moving rapidly around the world and beginning operations with relatively little lead time. Transformation is thus characterized not only by changed strategic circumstances, but also by three other factors: jointness, new operational concepts, and new technology.

Force structure can no longer be dominated by service-level concerns, but must be ‘born joint’. As Meyers remarks:

Transformation is a process and a mind-set. Adopting a transformational mind-set means applying current fielded capabilities — in the current environment — to accomplish any assigned mission. In today’s dynamic world, no armed service’s core competencies can accomplish the mission alone. Transformation unites unique service capabilities into a seamless joint framework to accomplish the joint force commander’s objectives.16

Second, Transformation implies wholly new operating concepts, organizations, and a willingness to try different ways of approaching problems. A one- size-fits-all doctrine is no longer appropriate in this novel environment.

Transforming the US military means operating in new ways and sometimes with untested procedures. ... The new idea may not work, but it should never be dismissed because it has not been considered before.17

Finally, Transformation inevitably implies that new technology will dramatically change the way in which armed forces have traditionally operated. In particular, new technology will enhance the role that shared information will have on every aspect of the battlefield. Thus, networks of sensors, shooters, and war fighters will have a dramatic impact on battlefield efficiency.

In the past, joint warfare was segregated warfare. ... In the future, joint war fighters must meld component capabilities into a seamless joint framework. The key to this effort will be shared information among the components.18

Transformed Operational Concepts

Transformation has resulted so far in five distinct operational approaches (See Table 1). Although each concept naturally focuses on the concerns of its sponsor, they are largely organized around four interlinked elements: Effects, Knowledge, Networks, and Coherent Jointness. Under the premise that the enemy can be modelled as a ‘system of systems’, the synergy between these four elements will produce ‘Decision Dominance’. This in turn satisfies the requirements of Full Spectrum Dominance demanded by Joint Vision 2010. These interrelationships are currently the research focus of American military experimentation being led by JFCOM’s J9.

Operating Concept


Joint Operational Concept


Co-operative Pressure


Decisive Coercive Operations


Air Ground Concept

USAF / US Army

Naval Operating Concept / Sea Power 21


DOD Draft Operational Concepts

Table 1

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The model of the enemy as a complex system of interrelated elements in the political, economic, informational, historical, and cultural arenas,19 permits more precise analysis of the mechanisms through which pressure can be applied until the enemy concedes. In turn, this permits the establishment of Decision Dominance, which will “deprive the enemy of the ability to make battlefield decisions by stripping away enemy leadership options for employing their forces effectively....” Rapid, precise and correct decisions are the hallmark of a transformed force and, it is asserted, will be the antecedent to success on the battlefield.20 In effect, US operational thinking seemingly seeks to realize the dreams of 20th century air power theorists in their quest for victory without having to pursue costly attritional battles with central armed forces.21

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Figure 1

Figure 1

In order to realize Decision Dominance, however, several factors need to be in place. First, forces will need to be ‘coherently joint’. Coherence is defined as the ability:

...to leverage the wide array of expertise and knowledge available in a wide variety of organizations to build an unprecedented level of knowledge. ... All combined, this aggregate knowledge can be used to support the integrated application of national power to achieve decisive effect.22

This involves not only greater ‘jointness’ amongst the armed services, but also greater coordination with, and use of, the tal ents of other government departments as well.

Second, in order to exploit the advantages shared by coherent forces, they will have to be networked together in a “Common Information Environment” (CIE). This is a “comprehensive communications approach that helps create a collaborative environment of fused intelligence and information sharing simultaneously across the battlespace.”23

Underlying the network of coherent forces is the operational construct known as Operational Net Assessment (ONA). ONA seeks “actionable knowledge” in order to carry out operations. It permits an in-depth understanding of the opponent in a vari ety of areas, summarized by the acronym PMESII, or Political, Military, Economic, Social, Infrastructure, and Information. Each of these elements is examined to determine its inter-relationship with the others, enabling the identification of ‘leverage points’ against which national resources may be applied. Thus, ONA permits the networked forces ‘predictive battlespace awareness’. ONA is an activity that is conducted continuously before, during and after operations, permitting immediate exe cution as well as the ability to anticipate events rather than simply reacting to them. Given its system orientation, ONA mon itors the enemy ‘system’ relative to the action being performed, thus allowing for the enemy to adapt and yet still preserving decision superiority.

Coherence, CIE, and ONA taken together will permit US forces to pursue ‘Effects Based Operations’ or EBO. An ‘effect’ is defined as “the physical/behavioural change in the state of a system that results from an action or set of actions.” EBOs are “A set of actions planned, executed, and assessed with a systems perspective that considers the effects needed to achieve pol icy aims via the integrated application of various instruments of national power.”24 The lynch pin in the entire enterprise is the quality of the information available rather than sophisticated weapons systems.

CC-130 Hercules unloading

DND Photo APD03-0659-36 by Corporal Henry Wall

A Canadian Forces CC-130 Hercules unloading cargo at Baghdad airport on 2 June 2003. This was the first CF flight in support of Operation “Iris”, the reconstruction of Iraq.

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Are There Roles For Allies In Transformation?

The question for Canada is, where does the CF fit into these expansive concepts? Canadian foreign and military policy is certainly couched in terms of coalition operations. But, now that the likely principal partner in future coalition operations has embraced Full Spectrum Dominance, is there room for smaller partners lacking the full spectrum of military capabilities enjoyed by US forces? Indeed, will Canada’s capability to take part in international operations in the future, even in peace support operations, be limited by our ability to plug into this new military ‘operating system’?

There is good reason for concern that the new American military doctrine will have serious ramifications for Canadian assumptions about the continuing utility of a coalition-based defence policy. For example, the sharing of information is at the core of the new concept, and the timeliness of information becomes a crucial factor affecting combat power. However, coalition partners add considerable complexity to this relationship. The problem is not simply the ‘joint’ issue of enabling all the systems on the net to talk to each other and share their vital information rapidly, but the problem also involves sending information across national borders. Information release policies, which protect intelligence, are not oriented around the concept of efficiency, but rather that of security. “Information release and control must be conducted in a manner that prevents damaging foreign disclosure. This capability must be demonstrated to information owners” before any transfer can be effected.25

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In the absence of a coalition ‘clearing house’ for intelligence, information disclosure between nations is a tedious and cumbersome process.26 Further, because the long-term effect of individual disclosures can be difficult to ascertain, and because the career impact of improper disclosure is so serious, “commanders often choose stringent release rules to avoid problems.”27 In this way, ‘releaseability’ concerns have dictated separated military networks operating at different tempos. As Brigadier General Gary Salisbury, director of command, control, and communications systems for US European Command, characterized the situation in September 2001, “We run our networks at a coalition releaseability level that’s basically unclassified.”28

General Dwight D. Eisenhower once remarked, “Allied Commands depend on mutual confidence.”29 The release of sensitive information is an act of trust between states surpassed only, perhaps, by placing troops under even the limited control of an ally. The release of closely-held knowledge places technology, operations, and even personnel at risk. Thus, just as nations have always been unwilling to give complete control of their troops to foreign nations, we can expect that they will be unwilling to share completely all information they have. In the past, this reluctance did not typically jeopardize operations. But, information is now the cornerstone of all action, and the existence of separate networks operating at different speeds will have an undeniable impact on every partner’s battle rhythms.

The United States is obviously willing to share most of its information with certain partners. For forces of nations not in this privileged club, integration into US networks will be increasingly difficult, depending on how often they operate with the US and the degree of trust extended to them. Forces not permitted to take part in planning will ultimately be restricted simply to taking orders—possibly to assume high-casualty or politically distasteful roles. The added risk is that multinational operations will become more and more circumscribed, and that allied participation will be accepted only under the most restrictive of circumstances. The US is unlikely to hamstring its own military forces or to slow its implementation of transformation given its apparent benefits. It may decide simply to forgo alliance participation. Information releaseability policy may ultimately decide not only the shape and nature of coalitions, but perhaps even their very existence.

CF soldiers marching

Canadian Forces Combat Camera photo by Sergeant Frank Hudec

Canadian soldiers marching off parade after a change of command ceremony in which Brigadier-General Peter Devlin assumed command of the Kabul Multinational Brigade, part of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

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Towards A Canadian Approach To Transformation: Full Spectrum Influence

What, then, is a medium power like Canada to do in such a situation? It would seem that our strategic doctrine will have to be oriented around the need to provide valuable services to our US partners so that our contributions to coalitions will be seen as desirable, even necessary. Only in such circumstances can Canada hope to retain anything near the level of influence it enjoyed throughout the Cold War. What would such a strategic doctrine look like?

In an almost throwaway fashion, Canadian Defence Beyond 2010 introduces the concepts of relevance and saliency:

At its most basic level, the problem is really one of understanding the relationship between the theory of the Revolution in Military Affairs, and the reality of a doctrine that gives power to the theory. If the Canadian Forces are to remain relevant and salient, they need to keep pace with developments in the science of war.30

Saliency has been discussed extensively by Sean Maloney, noting that influence in an operation must be bought: “Showing up is not enough”.31 Elinor Sloan also stresses the importance of relevance: “making a meaningful contribution involves ... [maintaining] a sufficient number of forces to form a combat relevant force and ... ensuring that these forces are sustainable.”32 Maloney also notes the importance of interoperability: “If Canadian Forces cannot exchange and process information in a timely and efficient fashion with other members of a coalition/alliance, they will be ineffective and thus unable to contribute meaningfully to the effort.”33 Certainly, interoperability is a strong thread that runs throughout most of the Department’s documentation on future planning and the RMA.

A Canadian approach to Transformation, then, might be conceived as ‘Full Spectrum Influence’. This would be achieved through the interdependent application of the preceding three concepts to the force structure decisions that will be made in the coming years. Graphically, they can be portrayed as shown in Figure 2.

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Figure 2

Figure 2

Salience is distinguished from relevance in its concern with operational performance and effect. Thus, salient contributions are those that distinguish a formation for a particular effect they have had on operations. One might note the impact that Canadian Coyotes had in Bosnia and Kosovo, or the role that Canadian snipers played in Afghanistan. In these instances, Canadian units brought capabilities that were sought after due to their operational impact and relative scarcity.

Relevance concerns itself with operational pertinence, with the fact that Canadian contributions should have a significant and demonstrable bearing on the requirements of the coalition’s operations. Relevance, as Sloan suggests above, is associated largely with numbers of troops, but it can also be correlated with the specialization of the troops provided. In Kosovo, for example, the 18 CF-18s had a greater impact on operations than numerically larger contributions made by some other allied air forces because of the inherent flexibility of the CF-18s in switching between air-to-ground and air superiority operations. Canadian fighters were more relevant to the operation than other fighters because of their capabilities.

Finally, interoperability is defined as the ability of systems, units, or forces to provide services and/or accept services from others forces to enable them to operate effectively together.

The Venn diagram (Figure 3) illustrates several cases. Cases A, B, and C involve operations with the application of only one of the concept’s three attributes, whereas Cases 1 through 4 involve combinations of the three. In six of these cases, influence is circumscribed by an imperfect combination of forces. Military contributions might consist of politically salient troops, but operating in non-strategic sectors and with limited interoperability, as the Syrians did during the Gulf War (Case A). A coalition package may be made up of highly capable troops that have a high degree of interoperability, but the relatively small size of the contribution will limit the ability to influence the situation. This seemed evident in the deployment of a company of the Royal 22e Régiment to East Timor in 1999 (Case 3). Case 4, though, is the perfect conjunction: a ‘sweet spot’, permitting Canada to take advantage of maximum political influence within a coalition operation.

Figure 3

Figure 3

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What needs to be done to realize this conjunction? In effect, three issues need to be addressed: Jointness, Concepts and Interagency Cooperation.

While Canada may have led the way in jointness, when compared to the present state of the US military much more needs to be done to enhance this capability. Too often, the attitude within the Canadian Forces is “in international operations, we will always operate as single services with the Americans, not as a joint operational task force”. This may be perfectly true. If one examines the operations in which the CF was engaged in the 1990s, the majority of them were conducted in just this way, except for those carried out within Canada itself. It would thus seem that the three services would be better to go their separate ways, and that investment in joint doctrine and capability is a waste of scarce resources.

RCR officer in Kabul

DND Photo KA2003-A292D by Master Corporal Brian Walsh

An RCR officer watches intently from a Bison armoured vehicle as it passes through Kabul, Afghanistan, October 2003.

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But, the operations in which Canada will participate will be dominated by the joint nature of our principal partners. Even if the Army deploys by itself into an operational theatre, it will need to be capable of operating ‘jointly’ with American or British naval and air forces. If only for this reason, the CF must aggressively continue to pursue joint developments.

Second, Canada must begin seriously to address the operational concepts under which it will deploy its troops. While a Canadian Joint Operational Concept is now being developed, work on it began before there was any consideration of a strategic operating concept. The development of both is still underway, but there would seem to be little coordination between the two efforts. To refer back to the American experience, all the joint operational concepts hinge on the direction provided in Joint Vision 2010 and on ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’. The Canadian Forces lacks the equivalent direction.

Third, as the US developments all stress, future operations will not only be joint, but will employ the full range of national capabilities in a united fashion. This may be difficult to achieve in Canada, where the Department of National Defence and the Department of Foreign Affairs would seem to operate more as opponents than as allies. This is most apparent at the highest levels of policy, rather than at lower, more ‘tactical’ levels. The manner in which initial discussions proceeded with the US over missile defence and military co-ordination through Northern Command revealed departments with deeply divided positions on the scope of collaboration sought. This is indicative of overall governmental neglect of its own security obligations, and its failure to provide more than vague direction to these departments. Both DND and DFA will have to improve their relations if Canada is to be capable of projecting any form of meaningful power.

What then would a ‘transformed’ Canadian military look like? One would no doubt get a wide range of vague and unhelpful answers from the officer corps today. More technical, more lethal, more agile — but beyond that, Transformation would seem to be anybody’s guess. The trouble is that without some clear idea of what the CF must transform into, there can be no planning for the process of Transformation itself.

A ‘coherently joint’ CF organized around the principles of ‘Full Spectrum Influence’ — relevance, salience and interoperability — could take several different but still valuable forms. One might conceive of a ‘Marine Corps-like’ organization, such as has been suggested by James Fergusson.34 Such a formation would be extremely flexible in its deployment options. Then too, a small armoured land force could operate in the manner of American armoured cavalry units, exploiting the capabilities of the Coyote surveillance vehicle. Such units might have operational impact out of all proportion to their size. Indeed, in a battle organized around the fight for information, Canadian recce troops might become a highly sought after asset in both high-intensity and peace support operations. Certainly, they would have a level of visibility far greater than the typical rear area security role that we are currently evolving towards.

Naval Reserve officer on HMCS Yellowknife

DND Photo ET02-0115-08a
by Corporal Colin Kelley

A Naval Reserve officer charting a course for HMCS Yellowknife through the Strait of Georgia during a joint CF/RCMP hostage-taking exercise, May 2002.

Should the Canadian Forces be required to adopt single element specialization, as one of the more technologically advanced services, the Navy would be well positioned to make extremely effective contributions to coalition operations. The number of frigates in the US Navy is falling rapidly, and the role of at-sea support is becoming increasingly important (as acknowledged by the USN’s adoption of the concept of Sea Basing). An expeditionary sea-support capability, centred around a naval task group and accompanied by one or more ALSC ships, would make for effective operational influence in many contingencies. Similarly, by being able to contribute to theatre missile defence, Canadian task groups would bring with them important defensive capabilities that would be highly sought after by our partners.

Finally, an Air Force concentrating on expeditionary Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance capabilities might reap greater dividends than if it tried to maintain a force with all the traditional capabilities. Accepting the elementary operational fact of life that in international operations we will rely on our allies for many military capabilities, Canada could choose to exploit its strategic isolation, as has New Zealand. The Air Force might decide not to replace the CF-18s, concentrating instead on contributing to the need for information in the modern battlespace. Much greater emphasis could be placed on space-based sensors, UAVs, and battle coordination centres (either land- or air-based), and this might prove to be a more effective contribution to a coalition than a mere six CF18s (or whatever follows on from them). Indeed, few allies are able to contribute more than fighters, transport aircraft and tankers to an air battle. By being able to contribute to the actual fight for information, Canada would be making a distinctive contribution to future operations.

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To paraphrase Trotsky, you may not be interested in Transformation, but Transformation will certainly be interested in you. The end of the Cold War and bipolarity have transformed the environment in which armed forces function, as have the technologies and developments associated with communications and information. Our government’s reliance on an international security policy centred on coalition operations means that the CF cannot but respond to developments abroad if it is to make any meaningful contribution to international operations. The 1990s turned out to be a challenging decade for the CF, and the coming years are expected to be every bit as contentious. The CF must begin to address essential changes now rather than waiting for absolute clarity about what confronts them.


CMJ Logo

Dr. Don Munton is Professor of International Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia.


The research herein was supported by grants from the Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and by a sabbatical leave from the University of Northern British Columbia. Useful comments were provided by Brian Job and Suzanne LeBlanc.

  1. Michael Howard, “Military Science in an Age of Peace”, RUSI Journal, March 1974, p. 4.
  2. Joseph T. Jockel, Soft Power, Hard Choices, (Toronto: Canadian Institute for Strategic Studies, 1999).
  3. Libiki, Gompert & Kugler, Mind the Gap, (Washington DC: National Defense University Press, 1999).
  4. See, Andrew Bacevich, “Preserving the Well Bred Horse”, The National Interest, Vol. 37, Fall 1994; Ralph Peters, “After the Revolution”, Parameters, Summer, 1995; Capt. (N) John Dewar, “Preparing for the Most Dangerous Rather than the Most Likely”, Student paper, Advanced Military Studies Course 1, 1998, Canadian Forces College.
  5. Colin Gray, Canadians in a Dangerous World (Toronto: Atlantic Council of Canada, 1994), p. 10.
  6. Andrew Richter, “The American Revolution? The Response of Advanced Western States to the Revolution in Military Affairs”, National Security Studies Quarterly, Autumn 1999; Scot Robertson, “Experimentation and Innovation in the Canadian Armed Forces”, Canadian Military Journal, Vol. 1, No. 2, Summer 2000; Elinor Sloan, “Canada and the Revolution in Military Affairs: Current Response and Future Opportunities”, Canadian Military Journal, Vol. 1 No. 3, Autumn 2000; LCdr. Mark Tunnicliffe, “The Revolution in Military Affairs and the Canadian Navy in the 21st Century”, Maritime Affairs, Spring/Summer 2000.
  7. Richter, Op Cit.
  8. Beginning in 1997, with the publication of the navy planning document, Adjusting Course, the Canadian Forces began to devote more and more attention to the issue of the RMA. The most important of these documents are undoubtedly Canadian Defence Beyond 2010, The Way Ahead: An RMA Concept Paper, Shaping the Future of the Canadian Forces: A Strategy for 2020, and Strategic Capability Planning for the Canadian Forces, published in 1998, 1999, and 2000 respectively. More recently, the Army published Advancing with Purpose, which is still focussed on the Army’s ethos rather than a warfighting doctrine.
  9. This is true of even the most recent article, Scot Robertson, Michael Hennessy, “The Canadian Forces of Tomorrow: Maintaining Strategic Effectiveness and Relevance in the 21st Century”, Canadian Military Journal, Spring 2003.
  10. Department of Defense, Joint Vision 2010, America’s Military: Preparing for Tomorrow, 1995, p. 1 .
  11. Denis Stairs, “Thinking Outside the Box : The Consultative Process and Canadian Defence Policy”, unpublished remarks delivered to DND Policy Consultation on “The Future of Canadian Defence Policy”, Centre for Foreign Policy Studies, Dalhousie University, Feb. 8, 2001, p. 11.
  12. To be sure, Canadian Defence Beyond 2010 states explicitly in its forward “this document does not, and was never mandated to, provide new warfighting doctrine.” Department of National Defence, Canadian Defence Beyond 2010, The Way Ahead : An RMA Concept Paper, p. v.
  13. VAdm. Gary Garnett. “Shaping the Future Force: A Better Understanding of Defence Policy and Strategy”, Vanguard, no. 4, 2000, p. 9.
  14. Directorate of Research and Development, “Canada and the Revolution in Military Affairs”, Issues in Defence Science and Technology, #5, June 1998, p. 3.
  15. Each portray the strategic environment as one of frequent crises with little warning; the peril of weapons of mass destruction hangs ominously; terrorism is assumed to be a common tactic of America’s enemies; and her opponents will engage in both attacks against the US homeland as well as “anti-access” strategies to prevent America’s ability to project force abroad. Opponents will be “adaptive” and creative in their approach to problem solving and may strike in ways that make it difficult to use traditional sources of national power to counter. Clearly, opponents will seek to blur lines between military and civilian, secular and sectarian, and will seek as a goal to inflame cultural and ethnic sensitivities. Finally, each concept looks to military operations as being global in nature, rather than being restricted to regional trouble areas. In particular, see Adm. Vern Clark, (USN), “Sea Power 21”, Proceedings, October 2002, p. 33, Naval Operating Concept for Joint Operations, 2002, pp. 4-6, and the Joint Operations Concept, 7 March 2003, pp. 6-8.
  16. Gen. Richard B. Meyers (USAF), “Understanding Transformation”, Proceedings, Feb. 2003, p. 38.
  17. Ibid, p. 39.
  18. Ibid, p. 40.
  19. Graham Kessler, “Effects Based Operations”, Presentation to J9 Academy, 16 January 2003.
  20. Merrick E. Krause, “Decision Dominance: Exploiting Transformational Asymmetries”, Defense Horizons #23, Center for Technology and National Security Policy, Feb. 2003, pp. 1-2.
  21. As Krause remarks, decision dominance aims “to deprive the enemy of the ability to make battlefield decisions by stripping away enemy leadership options for employing their forces effectively, dominating their decision process, not just destroying their assets.” This is reminiscent of air power’s quest to terminate wars through the elimination of industrial and civil support to the state’s war making ability. Ibid, p. 2.
  22. Gary Atkinson, “Operational Net Assessment”, Presentation to J9 Academy, 16 January, 2003.
  23. David Fautua, “Will Millennium Challenge Transform the Joint Force?”, unpublished article, 2002, p. 3.
  24. Atkinson Op Cit.
  25. S.C. Spring, Dennis M. Gormley, K. Scott McMahon, Kenneth Smith, and Daniel Hobbs, “Information Sharing for Dynamic Coalitions,” VPSR Report 2836 (Arlington Va.: Pacific Sierra Research, December 2000), p. 7.
  26. See Gary McKerow, “Multilevel Security Networks: An Explanation of the Problem,” SANS Information Security Reading Room, rr.sans.org/standards/ multilevel.php, February 5, 2001, p. 2; Spring et al., pp. 29–34; Robert Chekan [Col., CF], “The Future Of Warfare: Clueless Coalitions?” unpublished paper (Toronto: Canadian Forces College, October 2001), pp. 9–23.
  27. Chekan, Op Cit, p. 11.
  28. Henry S. Kenyon, “Alliance Forces Move Toward Unified Data Infrastructure,” Signal, September 2001.
  29. Quoted in Thomas Spierto [Lt. Cdr., USN], “Compromising the Principles of War: Technological Advancements Impact Multinational Military Operations” (course paper, Naval War College, Newport, R.I., 5 February 1999), p. 3.
  30. Canadian Defence Beyond 2010, Op Cit., p. 6/42.
  31. Sean Maloney, “The Revolution in Military Affairs: Possible Implications for Canada”, International Journal, Vol. LIV, No. 3, Summer 1999, p. 458.
  32. Elinor Sloan, Op Cit., p. 12.
  33. Maloney, Op Cit., pp. 458, 460.
  34. James Fergusson, “Thoughts from the Outside: Rethinking maritime Strategy and Force Requirements for 2020”, Maritime Security in the 21st Century, Edward L. Tummers, (ed.), (Halifax: Centre for Foreign Policy Studies, 2000).