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Editor's Corner

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Another autumn is upon us. The leaves are falling and the days here in the Great White North are getting noticeably shorter, a portent of winter. This at the end of a tempestuous summer in North America, and, indeed, around the world.

Our hearts go out to our good neighbours to the south in sympathy and understanding for the dreadful losses associated with Hurricane Katrina. Canada has moved quickly to stand by our American friends, and to provide support wherever and whenever possible. As part of that commitment, as of the second week of September, over 1000 army, navy and air force personnel from Joint Task Force Atlantic had deployed in support of Operation Unison 2005, the vital relief effort mounted in the wake of this ferocious storm. The Canadian military contribution includes Search and Rescue helicopters, warships and transport aircraft loaded with relief supplies, as well as navy divers. We are very proud of each and every one of these committed young men and women, and we send our sincere condolences to all our good American friends who have forfeited so much.

Perhaps appropriately, there is lots of joint, combined and common services interest stuff in this issue, which, before anyone asks, is the reason for the purple accents. Besides, I’m still experimenting with layout issues...

While we have elected to place somewhat of an emphasis upon information warfare this time out, we lead off with some strategic planning considerations in a co-authored piece by Queen’s University doctoral candidate Howard Coombs and our Chief of the Defence Staff, General Rick Hillier. They tackle the timely challenge of applying operational art in a reasonable and effective manner, using such applications as practised by the International and Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan as an example. Next up is naval scholar Peter Haydon, who explores some of the key issues within the ongoing naval policy debate, particularly with respect to Canada’s use of submarines, spawned in the wake of the HMCS Chicoutimi accident a year ago.

Major David Wu, currently deployed to Afghanistan as a member of Operation Archer, argues compellingly that any future Canadian contributions to a United Nations rapid reaction force should emphasize specialized activities. He is followed by Second Lieutenant Jessica Davis, an intelligence officer, who, in keeping with our mini-theme, discusses how the Canadian Forces are adjusting to the fusion of the world’s databases and communications networks, and how we are conducting Information Operations. Major Patrick Cormier, signals officer turned lawyer, effectively melds the two disciplines in a look at the way ahead for information management. Major Ron Smith and Dr. Scott Knight from the Royal Military College of Canada then tackle another timely subject, the application of Electronic Warfare solutions to computer network security.

In this issue, we continue to acknowledge the profound debt of gratitude we owe our veterans of foreign wars. Colonel Bernd Horn, no stranger to CMJ’s pages, leads this section with the birth and development of the British Commandos during the darkest days of the Second World War, becoming as they did an effective way of maintaining an offensive fighting spirit against a numerically far superior enemy. War art is a long-established and compellingly effective manner of recording the exploits of our servicepersons in combat. In this issue, we celebrate the accomplishments of our Second World War artists from two distinct vantage points. Lieutenant (N) Pat Jessup discusses the service and career of C. Anthony Law, a serving officer of the line in the Royal Canadian Navy as well as a very accomplished painter. Raina-Clair Gillis, a recent honours graduate in History and Art History from Queen’s University, chronicles the accomplishments of our first Canadian female war artists. In an interesting parallel between our cover artist this time out and Anthony Law’s combat service, Miller Brittain painted his evocative tribute to the bombing campaign, Night Target, Germany, after he completed a full Bomber Command tour of operations as a bomb aimer, winning a Distinguished Flying Cross for gallantry in the process. Law received even more recognition for his combat exploits as a Motor Torpedo Boat skipper, being Mentioned-in-Dispatches twice and awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his bravery. What better representatives to visually chronicle the exploits of warrior native sons than two distinguished warriors in their own right?

We then offer you several interesting and varied opinion pieces, closing with a touching recollection of the 60th anniversary of VE-Day remembrance ceremonies in The Netherlands earlier this spring. And, as always, Martin Shadwick provides food for thought with his high-spirited commentary on transforming search and rescue operations in Canada. Finally, we have our usual spate of book reviews for your leisure reading consideration.

This is the part where we hang our heads in shame and confess to two recent unintentional errors... In the Summer 2005 issue, Volume 6, Number 2, we incorrectly listed The Red Man’s on the Warpath’s retail prices as C$103.93 in hard cover and C$36.62 in paperback. The correct prices are C$85.00 in hard cover and C$29.95 in paperback. Sincerest apologies to the publisher, University of British Columbia Press, and to the author, R. Scott Sheffield. Secondly, in our Summer issue, in a classic example of Murphy’s Law, what are the odds there would be two historians named John English living in southern Ontario? You guessed it... Lane Anker’s Peacekeeping and Public Opinion incorrectly attributed references to John English, an historian at the University of Waterloo, when they should have been rightfully credited to Lieutenant-Colonel (retired) John A. English of Kingston. Again, our sincerest apologies to both gentlemen, and we shall try to mend our evil ways in future.

Until the next time.

David L. Bashow

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