Editor’s Corner

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Welcome to yet another winter edition of the Canadian Military Journal. Here in the Great White North, we are still enjoying mild autumn weather as I pen these words. However, while various juries are still out as to how severe the winter will be in this neck of the woods, my old quarter horse, Major, is growing his winter coat like there is no tomorrow, and he is never wrong…

Leading off this time, independent academic/journalist and former sailor Adam MacDonald reviews China’s relatively-recent interest in and orientation towards the maritime arctic, and focuses on some broad concerns in terms of their potential impact upon regional stability and Canadian sovereignty. Next, in our continuing efforts to encourage young and gifted scholars, Second Lieutenant Mitchell Binding, ‘helicopter pilot in waiting,’ examines the social construction of wars in general, how they are socially constructed, and the extent to which this is accomplished.

Then, Major James Pierotti, an Air Combat Systems Officer with extensive experience in the Search and Rescue (SAR) community, reiterates the pressing need for a robust and effective federal SAR policy for Canada. “Specific examples will highlight the types of operational concerns that were hidden in the policy gap until recently, and it will be clarified [as to] how policy can resolve each concern.”

The study of military strategy and its great contributors has been an extensively-recurring theme in the pages of this journal. This time out, Brigadier-General Greg Smith, a recent graduate of the National Security Program at Canadian Forces College Toronto, examines British strategic culture and its influence upon the Second World War, particularly through the lens of one of its most distinguished practitioners, General Sir Alan Brooke. Then, in the last of our major articles this time out, Major Mathias Joost of the Directorate of History and Heritage touts the participation of visible minorities as combatants for Canada during the Great War. Specifically, he examines the means “…by which Black-and Japanese-Canadians were accepted into the [Canadian Expeditionary Force] CEF, how this affected their presence at Vimy Ridge, and the nature of their participation.”

Brigadier-General Virginia Tattersall, a highly experienced logistics officer, current Commander of Military Personnel Generation, and Deputy-Commander of the Canadian Defence Academy in Kingston then presents a status report on the recent Special Staff Assistance Visit to the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario. While much work remains to be done, General Tattersall concludes “…the work undertaken to date is already making a difference in the climate of the two Colleges [Royal Military College of Canada and Royal Military College Saint-Jean] for both students and staff.” Next, Royal Military College graduate and long-time serving member of Canada’s military Darryl Cathcart, now pursuing a Master of Education degree at Queen’s University, reviews the impact upon newly-released service members into civilian life, and offers thoughts on what can be done to possibly ease this often-difficult transition.

Our own Martin Shadwick then cites some of the complicated and demanding military tasking needs for Canada’s armed forces in today’s “unsettled and troubling international geo-strategic environment,” and further posits that, “…issues of this gravity and cost demand thorough, thoughtful and informed debate,” and that these compelling issues are deserving of the attention of Canadians from a very diversified and knowledgeable spectrum.

We then close with a book review essay from our recently-departed dear friend and colleague, Dr. Bill Bentley, on Geopolitics, and in lockstep with the major historical article in this issue, two very different book reviews dealing with the significance of Canada’s victory at Vimy Ridge in April 1917.

Until the next time.

David L. Bashow
Canadian Military Journal

DND photo IS08- 2017-0058-009 by Leading Seaman Zachariah Stopa

The sun sets behind the Cross of Sacrifice at the Tyne Cot Cemetery during the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele, 10 November 2017.