Canada First Defence Strategy
Defending Canadians from threats to their safety and well-being is a critical role for government. To deliver on this core responsibility, the Government is committed to rebuilding the Canadian Forces into a first-class, modern military. Starting in 2006, the Government began laying the foundation for a more integrated, adaptive and capable force by recognizing that the military is a vital national institution essential to the security and prosperity of Canada and by making initial but significant investments to address critical gaps in personnel and equipment. The Canada First Defence Strategy translates this vision of a first-class, modern military into a comprehensive 20-year investment plan.
Building an effective military is an ongoing process and requires clear strategic goals. As part of the Canada First Defence Strategy, the Government established explicit objectives for the Canadian Forces. These objectives were derived from a thorough assessment of the Government's expectations for the Forces at home and abroad, the capabilities needed to achieve the desired operational outcomes, and the resources required to generate the required capabilities over a 20-year planning period.
Over the last two years, the Government has been engaged in a rigorous planning exercise that has taken into account Canada's defence and security challenges, recent operational experience and current and future demands on the military, including scenarios of possible missions that the Canadian Forces might be asked to undertake. This allowed the Government to generate a detailed level of ambition for the Forces and determine the military capabilities needed to carry out essential missions. This exercise, in turn, helped identify where investments were most needed in order to fill gaps across the four pillars upon which military capabilities are built - personnel, equipment, readiness and infrastructure.
This analysis informed the development of the Government's 20-year plan aimed at strengthening key military capabilities through focused investments in each of the pillars. Supported by increased, predictable long-term funding, the Strategy will deliver a balanced, multi-role, combat-capable force that will give the Government the necessary flexibility to respond to a full range of challenges in the years ahead.