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Editor’s Corner

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Welcome to the Autumn 2010 edition of the Canadian Military Journal, the last in our year-long tribute to Canada’s navy in its proud centennial year. Further, the navy recently was given significant additional cause for celebration, when, on 14 July, the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, in company with the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada and Minister for Status of Women, and the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, announced that our Government is proceeding with procurement of new Joint Support Ships (JSS).

These vessels are to be built in Canada, and they will become an important component of the Canadian Navy’s capabilities both at home and abroad, as part of the Canada First Defence Strategy. In the words of the relevant DND/CF News Release (NR – 10.074), dated 14 July 2010:

‘This government is providing our men and women in uniform the tools and equipment they need to do the jobs asked of them,’ said Minister MacKay. ‘The Joint Support Ship will be a new vessel for our Navy that better enables our sailors to protect Canadian coastlines and sovereignty, and support international operations.’ The Government will acquire two support ships, with the option to procure a third. The JSS project represents a total investment by the Government of Canada of approximately $2.6 billion. The presence of a JSS increases the range and endurance of the Canadian Navy, permitting it to remain at sea for significant periods of time without going to shore. The primary role of the JSS will include supply of fuel, ammunition, spare parts, food, and water. The JSS will also provide a home base for the maintenance and operation of helicopters, a limited sealift capability, and logistics support to forces deployed ashore. ‘As part of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS), this announcement will lead to the creation of long-term, skilled jobs for Canadians and will reinvigorate Canada’s marine industry, allowing it to compete on the world stage,’ added Minister Ambrose. ‘Today’s announcement will mean jobs for Canadian workers, as shipyards across the country produce elements of this fleet,’ said Minister Clement. ‘When all is said and done – we are beginning the process to build these ships, and that is great news for our navy, for our shipbuilding industry, and for Canada.’

Furthermore, the good news was not limited to Canada’s navy. Just two days later, on 16 July, Minister MacKay announced that the Government of Canada intends to acquire 65 of the fifth generation Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) F-35 Lightning II to replace its fourth generation fleet of CF-18 Hornets, which are expected to reach the end of their operational life between 2017 and 2020. The first of the new jets is expected to arrive in 2016.Speaking as a crusty old fighter pilot, I have to say that this announcement of intent to purchase has made my heart soar, particularly given the formidable lead times required for such endeavours to come to fruition in this day and age. Again, citing the relevant DND/CF Backgrounder (BG – 10.018), 16 July 2010:

“The Canada First Defence Strategy states that the Canadian Forces will acquire a next-generation fighter capability that will help them carry out their core missions of defending the sovereignty of Canadian and North American airspace through the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD), and providing Canada with an effective and modern capability for international operations. Canada will acquire an aircraft fully interoperable with our key allies to effectively conduct joint operations through the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), or a coalition. At home, the Canadian Forces will acquire a robust aircraft, capable of operating across Canada’s vast geography and under harsh and varying weather conditions. A next-generation fighter with stealth technology is an extremely effective deterrent against challenges to Canadian sovereignty…. The F-35 is the only available fifth generation aircraft that meets the Canadian Forces’ need for a next-generation fighter. The acquisition of the F-35 will help the Canadian Forces operate effectively to defend against the threats of the 21st Century at home and abroad. The F-35 is less visible to radar, providing very low observable stealth, has integrated sensor fusion that provides the pilot with all available information at a glance, and high-capacity, secure net-enabled operations that allows all F-35 aircraft to communicate with each other and share data in a secure environment.” Expect to see much more dialogue with respect to both the JSS and the F-35 Lightning II planned purchases gracing the pages of this publication in future editions.

Well, moving on with the business at hand, with respect to the content of this issue, we have quite an eclectic selection of offerings to hopefully pique the interest of our readership. Leading off the major articles, Roy van den Berg examines, through the use of historical examples, how technological inequality between combatants will shape the potential battlespaces of the 21st Century. Then, Colonel Peter Williams looks at Effects Based Operations (EBO), its application in contemporary Canadian military experiences, and at what lessons can be gleaned from these contemporary experiences and applied to the ‘Canadian Way of War’ in the future. He is followed by Canadian military academics Adam Chapnick and Barbara Falk, who, given that our uniformed members are spending an ever-increasing amount of time engaged in academic pursuits, herein attempt “…to provide the Canadian Forces and its supporters with a basic sketch of Canadian academics and [their] roles in society.” Next, the Canadian Defence Academy’s own Doctor Grazia Scoppio, no stranger to appearing in this journal, takes a comparative look at the experiences of New Zealand’s and Canada’s armed forces, and their respective attraction/employment of demographic minorities,  “…in order to identify similarities, differences, potential lessons, and best practices in the area of organizational diversity.” Doctor Jeff Lewis, a former military engineering officer, then closes the section with a study of the environmental contamination that is embodied in unexploded ordnance, and the military’s responsibility to clean up this contamination.

The ‘Views and Opinions’ section of this issue is rather unique, in that it offers our readership the vision of the respective service chiefs of the navy and the air force on ‘the way ahead’ for their particular uniformed services. With respect to the army, Lieutenant-General Peter Devlin succeeded Lieutenant-General Andrew Leslie as Chief of the Land Staff in June 2010. In deference to this relatively recent appointment at press time, readers of the Canadian Military Journal will be afforded an opportunity to peruse General Devlin’s vision with respect to the army and related matters in a future edition of this periodical. However, in the interim, Paul Mooney, the official strategic writer for the army, has graciously submitted a ‘snapshot’ summation of the Canadian Army’s eventual plan to bring the army home from Afghanistan, to reconstitute its vehicle fleets, and to posture it for future operations. Then, Brigadier-General Mike Day and Colonel Bernd Horn extol the virtues of Canada’s Special Operations Forces, and how such forces provide a very wide spectrum of possible options to deter, disrupt, and combat the wide and varied array of threats faced by Canadians at home and abroad in today’s uncertain global environment.

We close the opinion section with an interesting analysis of the whole of government approach as it has been applied in Afghanistan, and whether it can be applied as a template for future and more modest whole of government operations by Canada downstream. The author, Gavin Buchan, is a senior Canadian Foreign Service officer with extensive and varied field experience, including a tour in Afghanistan as Political Director for the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team.

Finally, our own Martin Shadwick offers some thoughts on the recent navy and air force intended purchases, and we finish with a number of book reviews for your consideration.

One small editorial error of omission from a previous issue… With respect to the Walter Dorn and Michael Varey article, “The Rise and Demise of the ‘Three Block War,’ in Vol. 10, No. 1, the authors have requested that I acknowledge that the CMJ end-product was a revised version of an article originally published in the International Journal, Volume 63, Issue 2, pp. 967-978 under the title, “Fatally Flawed: The Rise and Demise of the ‘Three Block War’ Concept in Canada,” by A. Walter Dorn and Mike Varey.

Until the next time.

David L. Bashow
Canadian Military Journal

Minister of National Defence the Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay

Reuters/Paul Darrow/ RTR2GFOS

Minister of National Defence the Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay announces the governments intent to build Joint Support Ships, Halifax, 14 July 2010.

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