Facing a tumultuous international security environment, Canada needs a national security strategy

OTTAWA, Feb. 21, 2012 /CNW/ - In a major study released today, Canada's leading think tank on defence and security says the time has come for the development of a national security strategy which reflects recent shifts in the global security landscape and in maturing perceptions of what constitutes Canadian national interests; help Canada be more effective diplomatically in promoting international peace and security; and ensure the Canadian Forces can help Canada realize its national security objectives in the years ahead.

The Strategic Outlook for Canada, the title of this year's edition of the Conference of Defence Associations Institute Vimy Papers, flags four conflicts which could lead to hostilities in 2012. In the absence of a national security strategy, the study notes, the government's response will necessarily be ad hoc and improvised.

"For too long there has been too little public discussion of the emerging international security environment and of Canada's defence and security needs in the years ahead," said Alain Pellerin, the Executive Director of the CDA Institute. "Our paper looks both to start the discussion, and to inform it."

Vimy Paper 2012, The Strategic Outlook for Canada, makes 16 recommendations related to foreign and defence policy and planning. It comes two days ahead of the annual Ottawa Conference on Defence and Security, and just weeks before a federal budget is expected to target Defence for major reductions. In it, the CDA Institute recommends that the Government of Canada:

  • commission the preparation of a comprehensive National Security Strategy (NSS);
  • update the Canada First Defence Strategy (CFDS) which would flow from the NSS; and
  • produce a comprehensive review of Canada's strategic interests in Asia-Pacific; explore with allies the parameters of a new collective security arrangement in the region; and re-assess the balance of CF commitments between East and West.

"It's time for a comprehensive review of the strategic landscape, what the dangers are out there for Canadians, and what to do about them," said Paul Chapin, a former senior Foreign Affairs official and co-author of the study. "Our intent is to tie the need for a made-at-home national security strategy that matches what we see going on in the world," said George Petrolekas, the study's other co-author.

Note to Editors:
The full report is available on the CDA Institute website at http://cda-cdai.ca/cdai/vimy-papers/vimypaper2012

SOURCE Conference of Defence Associations Institute

For further information:

The CDA Institute can facilitate media interviews with the study contributors.
Please contact Paul Chapin at 613 799 5497 or Meghan Spilka O'Keefe at 613 889 9166.

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