Defence Team Engagement Priorities

 

2017/2018

Each year the Defence Engagement Program (DEP) aligns its priorities with the key defence and security issues facing DND/CAF. These areas of interest are then further subdivided into questions to provide guidance to external experts so that their research may inform, confirm, or challenge defence policy thinking in targeted areas that are of importance to the Defence Team. Explicitly stated or not, it is important that each priority directly relate to Canada and/or Canadian defence and security interests.

  • Canada-US defence relations
  • What are the impacts, challenges and ways forward on CAN-US defence and security relations following the change in US administration?
  • What could be the evolving role and posture of Canada within the North American security and defence context?
  • How should NORAD evolve to meet future challenges?
  • What are the limits to ‘pooling’ of Canadian and American resources for continental defence?

 

  • NATO
  • How can Canada participate in NATO’s strengthened defence and deterrence posture and how does it align with Canadian interests?
  •  How should NATO balance its defence and deterrence activities with the need to project stability and combat terrorism?
  •  How can NATO address emerging challenges in the sphere of strategic communications and how can Canada better coordinate with the Alliance on this issue?
  •  How can Canada prioritise its capabilities to best serve Canadian and NATO interests?
  • What are the main challenges threatening NATO’s future?

 

  • Asia-Pacific
  • What are the implications for Canada and its allies of China’s military activities and objectives in the South China Sea?
  • What are the main factors that will affect the stability of the Korean Peninsula? How could Canada and its allies address them?
  • What are the main regional dynamics and threats that will affect Asia-Pacific’s stability and security in the future? How should Canada address them?

 

  • Russia
  • How is Russia projecting its hard and soft power around the globe, and how is it impacting Canada?
  • How is Russia using hybrid techniques and strategic communications to achieve its foreign policy and domestic interests? What are the challenges for Canada?
  • What will be the main factors affecting Russia’s future strategic position?

 

  •  Middle East and North Africa
  •  How will the return of foreign fighters to their home country impact the security and stability of North Africa?
  • What realistic long-term role could Canada play in addressing regional challenges that include civil-war, violent extremism, civil discontent, and interstate conflict?

 

  •  Emerging technologies
  • What types of capabilities and/or skills will defence planners require in order to maintain a strategic advantage in this domain and what would be the impact of not adapting to this new environment for CAF operations?
  • What role should emerging technologies play in Canada’s defence posture and what are the potential contributions DND/CAF could make in this area to support its partners?
  • How should foreign cyber-attacks and intrusions be addressed by Canadian and allied partners?
  • What are the different applications and implications – including ethical considerations – of the use autonomous systems in the domestic and international sphere?
  •  How could the global security environment change in the long-term as a result of technological development, and what types of new operations and activities could defence planners be expected to undertake ?

 

  • Diversity and well-being
  • How can Canada improve the support given to CAF members as they transition from military to civilian life?
  • How can the CAF best address mental health issues?
  • How can the CAF better prevent and address inappropriate sexual behaviour?
  • What strategies have proved successful for other large organizations in tackling systemic, long-term challenges to establish and maintain a workplace free from harassment and discrimination? How could they be applied to the CAF?

 

  • Capabilities
  • How can Canada mitigate tensions arising amongst economic, security and sovereignty concerns in the defence acquisitions processes?
  • How should Canada better balance the CAF level of ambition and the available resources?
  • In terms of force planning, what demands could the Government place on the CAF to insure they remain prepared for tomorrow’s operations?
  • What are the key factors for Canada to consider when supporting the efforts of allies to build and improve their military capacity?
  • How may the role of the Reserves evolve in the future?

 

  • Territorial defence and Arctic
  • How can the CAF work with partners to address long-term challenges in the Canadian Arctic, including those posed by climate change?
  • How should Canada prepare itself to address geostrategic shifts including military developments and increased international interest in the broader Arctic region?
  • How could the CAF optimize its role in protecting and defending Canada in realms such as force projection, domain awareness, sovereignty sustainment, and operational readiness?

 

  • Peace Operations and the United Nations
  • How do we reconcile or coordinate multi-faceted peace support operations that may also require counter-radicalization and counter-terrorism efforts to ensure their success?
  • How can the mandates and scope of peace operations be expanded to address conflicts that often extend beyond national boundaries and/or are heavily influenced by regional dynamics?
  • What can be done to improve exit and transition strategies for peace operations?
  • How can the CAF contribute to early warning and conflict prevention?
  • What could Canada do to help ensure the UN is advancing peacekeeping reform?