Canada First Defence Strategy
Indeed, Canadians expect and deserve no less than a highly capable military that can keep them safe and secure while effectively supporting foreign policy and national security objectives. To this end, the Government is giving the Canadian Forces clear direction concerning their three roles - defending Canada, defending North America and contributing to international peace and security.
First and foremost, the Canadian Forces must ensure the security of our citizens and help exercise Canada's sovereignty. Canadians rightly expect their military to be there for them in domestic crises. Furthermore, excellence at home requires the Forces not only to identify threats - such as over-fishing, organized crime, drug- and people-smuggling and environmental degradation - but also to possess the capacity to address them quickly and effectively.
Defending North America
Delivering excellence at home also helps us contribute to the defence of North America in cooperation with the United States, Canada's closest ally. Given our common defence and security requirements, it is in Canada's strategic interest to remain a reliable partner in the defence of the continent by supporting such programs as the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD).
Contributing to International Peace and Security
As a trading nation in a highly globalized world, Canada's prosperity and security rely on stability abroad. As the international community grapples with numerous security threats, Canada must do its part to address such challenges as they arise. This will require the Canadian Forces to have the necessary capabilities to make a meaningful contribution across the full spectrum of international operations, from humanitarian assistance to stabilization operations to combat.