Beyond Canada’s horizon, the world is becoming increasingly volatile as a wide array of irregular challenges that transcend national boundaries involving non-state actors and even non-human factors are rapidly metastasizing. If there is but one lesson to be learned from events in the past year alone, it is that irregular challenges have a remarkable propensity for encroaching upon and intersecting with our lives suddenly and unexpectedly – Canada is not immune to such challenges. While maintaining a respectable defensive capability is a practical imperative for the protection of Canadians and for maintaining an influential position in the world, updating Canada’s defence policy will require policymakers, in a broad sense, to reconcile military posture with the threats Canada faces in the context of fiscal constraint.
In order to develop policy recommendations for how Canada may engage in a dynamic and modern threatscape, The Mackenzie Institute, with the invaluable support of the Department of National Defence, hosted Canada’s Defence Perspectives 2020-2050: Recapitalization and the Canadian Forces. Our conference provided a forum to examine a range of issues that pertain to the Defence Team’s Engagement Priorities including: conventional and irregular threats to Canada’s national security (Defence Team Engagement Priority 1: Global Security Environment); Canada’s role in the world and proposals for a Canadian defence policy review (Defence Team Engagement Priority 4: Canada’s Global Defence Engagement); emerging technologies with significant military application (Defence Team Engagement Priority 2: Advanced Technology, New Domains and the Future of Warfare); and proposals to redesign and streamline Canada’s defence procurement process (Defence Team Engagement Priority 3: Defence Planning in the Twenty-first Century).
Many attendees, including our esteemed friends and colleagues from Canada’s political, diplomatic, military, and academic communities, regard our conference as a great success and commend our efforts in generating discourse on policies and strategies to enable those charged with the safety and security of our nation to execute their mandate more effectively.
The conference took place on March 29-30, 2016. To read the full report, click here.