Policy Papers


2014 Papers


A New Way to Fly: Major challenges facing Air Force planners over the next 20 years

by George Macdonald
George Macdonald examines the new challenges facing air force planners over the next 20 years. Planners need to actively expand their thinking to identify capabilities and gain the flexibility necessary to respond to unexpected events. Balance will be key in dealing with future challenges, made more difficult by a finite defence budget, but adaptability will be essential.  


A Primer to the Wales NATO Summit: NATO, summit agenda, results, Canadian interests

by Colin Robertson  

The 26th NATO summit will be held Sept 4-5 near Cardiff in Wales and will bring together Presidents, Prime Ministers, and ministers responsible for foreign affairs and defence. CDFAI Vice President, Colin Robertson examines the importance of NATO, what will be on the agenda and why the results will matter to Canada.


Canada, the Arctic Council, Greenpeace,and Arctic Oil Drilling: Complicating an Already Complicated Picture

by Rob Huebert

Canada and the Arctic Council find themselves facing one of their greatest challenges - supporting economic development for people of the north while protecting the fragile environment of the Arctic. 2014 will bring the possibility of exploratory drilling for oil off the northern coasts of Russia, the United States, Canada and Greenland. Opposition to development is strongest in non-northern locations, and is increasingly represented by environmental NGOs such as Greenpeace. This issue, to develop or not to develop, is poised to become the most divisive issue facing the Arctic states in coming years.


Canada, Fragile States and the New Deal: Looking Beyond 2015

by David Carment and Yiagadeesen Samy

Negotiations continue to determine what the post-2015 development agenda will look like. This, argues Carment and Samy in a new Policy Paper, gives Canada, along with other donors, the opportunity to reassert their long-term commitments to fragile and conflict affected states. The paper tackles how donor countries deal with the idea of aid effectiveness in fragile states, including endorsing the New Deal of Engagement in fragile states.


Letter from Constantinople
by Barry Cooper
Barry Cooper reflects on Turkey's politics, economy and culture in a new policy update. He concludes that Turkey has a lively civil society along with increasing prosperity, and that the courage of members of the Hizmet/Güllen movement have opened a public space for greater discussion and critical analysis, which is one reason why contemporary Turkey has so far avoided dictatorship.


Humanity's Best Hope: Increasing Diplomatic Capacity in Ten (uneasy) Steps
by Daryl Copeland
In a new Policy Update, Daryl Copeland investigates the current crisis diplomacy is facing in both image and substance. He concludes that if diplomatic capacity is to be increased, radical change will be required. He identifies ten priority areas that foreign ministries should address to implement effective reforms.


Jihad versus R2P: The Future of Atrocity Prevention

by Kyle Matthews

ISIS has attracted the worlds attention over the past months, and with the international community banding together to some extent in order to combat this threat, one issue is getting lost in the debate: our international legal obligation to stop genocide and atrocities. A new policy paper argues that ISIS represents the intersection between counter-terrorism and the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), and asks, does countering ISIS and jihadist online propaganda and incitement to commit violence remain strictly a counter-terrorism issue, an R2P issues, or both?


L’Indonésie, ce géant aux pieds d’argile

by Ferry de Kerckhove

A new report from Ferry de Kerckhove investigates Indonesia's ability to find unity in its diversity, but the country is threatened by lack of political leadership, economic disparity and weakening law enforcement. The country is eager to reform, though and is making changes to its raw mineral export process and prioritizing transportation infrastructure. Their commitment to reform has also given Indonesia the ability to play a larger role on the international scene with the G-20 and ASEAN.


On Uncertain Ice: The Future of Arctic Shipping and the Northwest Passage

by Whitney Lackenbauer and Adam Lajeunesse

New research demonstrates that in spite of a general trend toward reduced ice coverage in the Arctic Basin, environmental variability, scarce infrastructure and other navigational aids, and uncertain economics make it unlikely that the Northwest Passage will emerge as a viable trans-shipping route in the foreseeable future. Instead the Canadian government should focus on building capacity in the region to address a steady increase in resource, resupply and tourist destinational shipping.


Personal Privacy and Communications Security from the Telegraph to the Internet

by John Ferris
A new paper from John Ferris, Professor of history at the University of Calgary, investigates the global history of communications security. He concludes that the digital age and the introduction of the internet have opened up both countries and individual persons to attack on the cyber commons, leaving liberal democracies the choice of where to define the boundaries of secrecy, privacy and intelligence.

Putting the Cart before the Horse: Why Canada Should not purchase the Mistral-Class Ships, for now
by Keshav Kelkar Research Fellow and Grégoire-François Legault
A new Policy Paper assesses the current state of the Royal Canadian Navy, and the need to find replacement ships for its aging fleet. The Navy, the authors argue, is facing a plethora of problems that are hindering the navy’s ability to complete core missions. 

Prioritizing Defence Industry Capabilities: Lessons for Canada from Australia

by Craig Stone

A new Policy Update, produced in partnership with the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, argues that Canada has much to learn from the Australian's on how to reform both its defence procurement process and relationship with defence industry. Craig Stone, Director of Academics with the Canadian Forces College, examines Australia's approach to establishing a defence industry policy with a set of Priority Industry Capabilities and how that policy connects with military procurement in order to identify those lessons that might be useful for Canada.


Reflections on Re-Balancing the Attacker's Asymmetric Advantage
by Michael Locasto
The computer security community is doomed to play a loosing game defending against constant cyber attacks according to a new policy paper from Michael Locasto, a professor with the computer science department at the University of Calgary. Defenders against cyber attack must work to predict and combat all potential assailants while an attacker only has to successfully exploit a weakness once. This problem is further compounded by the language barrier between the computer security community and policy experts.


Russia and Ukraine: The Zero-Sum Fallacy

by Gary Soroka

A new policy paper by CDFAI Fellow Gary Soroka investigates the current situation in Ukraine. It is commonplace to describe political crises as complex, but the situation in Ukraine is more complicated than most. He tackles the questions of what to do about the Russian annexation of Crimea and aggressive interference in eastern Ukraine, the challenge of how to best support Ukraine`s political and economic development and how to develop a coherent medium-to-long term strategy toward Russia.


The Elephant Lumbers Forward: India and its Economy on the Eve of Elections
by Eric Miller
A new report from Eric Miller, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, Vice President of Policy, Innovation, and Competitiveness, surveys  India's economic and political trajectory on the eve of its parliamentary elections. The next Indian government will face some difficult challenges in terms of economic reforms, but if it can revive growth, Canadian firms will benefit. Strong relationships and engagement between Indian and Canadian leaders will serve Canada well as India navigates this challenging period.


What Makes the Middle East Such a Difficult Place?
by Barry Cooper
A new Policy Paper from University of Calgary Political Science Professor, Barry Cooper, examines the particular configuration of pride and interest that prevents political confrontation from being resolved in the Middle East. The best example of this is the relationship between Israel and Palestine. Historical, demographic, religious and geopolitical reasons account for the political intractability of a multi-decade conflict that has been punctuated from time to time with insurgency and war. He concludes that  there is nothing in the current relationship that would indicate a resolution in the foreseeable future.





2013 Papers


Canada and International Organizations: Time for a Review

by Ferry de Kerckhove

Ferry de Kerckhove, Distinguished Fellow of CDFAI and Canada's former Ambassador to Indonesia and Egypt, reviews Canada's approach to engaging in multilateral organizations. He concludes that there is a need for a broad review of the international organizations Canada belongs to, starting with their objectives and mandates and then running through the way they perform their roles and deliver their contributions.


Diplomacy, Globalization and Heteropolarity: The Challenge of Adaptation

by Daryl Copeland

Daryl Copeland argues that Canada will never achieve its international policy objectives via armed force and must refocus on its diplomatic capacity to live up to its potential and have a much greater impact on the global community.


Exigences of Future Deployments: What Canada Must Exact from its Military Partners

by Hugh Segal and Jessica McLean

A new report from Senator Hugh Segal, chair of the Senate Special Committee on Anit-Terrorism and Jessica McLean, a former political staffer of the Canadian Embassy in Ankara, argues that not only must Canada have a clear set of purposes and areas of responsibilities when involved in military deployments, it must ask "why us" before committing to putting boots on the ground.  


Homegrown Jihadists and the Evolution of al-Qaeda

by Barry Cooper

A new paper from Barry Cooper, CDFAI Senior Fellow and a professor of political science at the University of Calgary shows that an accurate assessment of the threat posed by al-Qaeda to Western interests and governments has been hampered by imprecise language and an absence of historical memory; however, we need to maintain a realistic understanding of the reduced nature of the threat that al-Qaeda can make to our interests.  


How Should Canada's Parliament Decide Military Deployments? Lessons from the United Kingdom

by Philippe Lagassé

Philippe Lagassé, CDFAI Fellow and associate professor of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa examines whether Canada should follow the British example, granting members of Parliament control over the executive's power to deploy the armed forces by means of a constitutional convention. He concludes that Canada's existing practice has many advantages, and that Canadian parliamentarians should be mindful of the risks and costs involved in adopting a constitutional convention to control the executive's military deployment prerogative.    

Is NATO Still Necessary for Canada?
by J.L. Granatstein
A new report from Distinguished Research Fellow J.L. Granatstein says that it is necessary to take a hard look at NATO and ask whether or not it continues to serve our political or military needs?


North Korea, Ballistic Missile Defence and Canada-US Defence Cooperation

by Frank Harvey
Frank Harvey examines Canada's policy towards ballistic missile defence, especially in light of NATO's introduction of its new Strategic Concept which requires all NATO members to develop the technologies to defend against missile attack. He concludes that Canada's commitments in this area has been to set back and let Canadian allies defend Canadian territory and populations and that this strategy is on the verge of taking free-riding to a dangerous new level.

The Case for RAIPON: Implications for Canada and the Arctic Council

by Ron Wallace

Ron Wallace, Senior Fellow of the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute, investigates the concerns that should be top-of-mind for Canada as it takes over the chairmanship of the Arctic Council this year - including Russia's treatment of their indigenous peoples' interests.


The Digital Diplomacy Revolution: Why is Canada Lagging Behind?

by Roland Paris

A new report from Roland Paris, CDFAI Senior Fellow and Director of the Centre for International Policy Studies with the University of Ottawa, concludes that as Canada continues to lag behind in the digital revolution of diplomacy its voice will also progressively fade in international affairs, along with its influence.


The Salafist Winter: Aiding Post-Conflict Statebuilding in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya

by Hrach Gregorian

A new paper from CDFAI Senior Fellow and President of the Institute of World Affairs, Hrach Gregorian, investigates the aftermath of the Arab Spring and the major structural adjustment challenges that Egypt, Tunisia and Libya are faced with. He concludes that international actors must be supportive of locally generated solutions, as well as sensitive to foreign intervention, but most importantly engagements need to be over a long enough

period of time to decrease the likelihood of political and economic backsliding.  


The United States in the Early 21st Century: Decline or Renewal?
by Abraham F. Lowenthal

In a new Policy Paper, Abraham Lowenthal, Professor emeritus of International Relations at the University of Southern California, examines the bitter impasse in Washington that resulted in the 16-day shutdown of the government. This shut down demonstrated that the United States faces serious problems. These issues are not only political, but also economic and social, and have been left to fester for years with no signs of a resolution.






2012 Papers


A Short Primer to Canada and the UN

by Colin Roberson


Asia-Pacific: Let’s Get Back in the Ring

by Hugh Stephens

In answer to the question, is it time for Canada to reorient itself from a predominately Euro-centric nation to a nation with a more significant Asia Pacific presence? Hugh Stephens, Principal of Trans-Pacific Connections, says yes - and the time to act is now.  


Defence After the Recession
by David Perry

This Policy Paper, from David Perry, concludes that cuts to defence spending in the 2012 Federal Budget will target operations and maintenance and it will be necessary to restore the balance between personnel, equipment, infrastructure and readiness sooner, rather than later as preserving "hollow" forces lacking the requisite operations and maintenance funding to conduct operations will make little sense over time.   


Should Brazil be "Special" for Canada?

by Jean Daudelin

In this new paper policy paper, Jean Daudelin, Assistant Professor with the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, examines Brazil's place in the world. As Brazil emerges as a relatively powerful and influential global player, shouldn't Canada try to build that increasingly fluid relationship into a strategic partnership? Daudelin concludes that such an option has little appeal and in fact few chances of success.







2011 Papers


Budget 2011: Restraining Growth in Defence Spending

by Brian MacDonald

In this Policy Paper Brian Macdonald, President of Strategic Insight Planning and Communications, contends that the deep seated fear of massive cuts to defence spending being felt within the defence community may be exaggerated. Instead the 2011 budget will seek to prioritize defence spending without slashing the budget.


Farewell to the GWOT: What we Learned from the Global War on Terror

by Brian Flemming

In a new Policy Paper, Brian Flemming, Founding CEO and Chair of CATSA and founding member of the Federal Government’s Advisory Council on National Security, as well as Research Fellow with the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute, examines the repercussions of the Global War on Terror.


Foreign Policy in the Election
by Derek Burney

This new Policy Paper, from CDFAI Senior Research Fellow Derek Burney, contends that foreign policy rarely plays a major role in Canadian elections and 2011 will be no exception. He stipulates that the major differentiation between the Liberals and the Conservatives will be on the purchase of new fighter aircraft, but regardless of the election "the main lines of Canadian foreign policy – the primacy of Canada-US relations, the need for greater attention to the Emerging Power and the perennial pursuit for balance between promoting values and defending interests – are unlikely to change significantly"


Getting Past the Bilateral-Trilateral Debate: A Pragmatic Functionalist Approach to North America by Brian Bow

Brian Bow, Associate Professor of Political Science at Dalhousie University, reviews and rejects some of the most common arguments for greater engagement with Mexico and trilateral diplomacy.  


Marshall Plan Needed for Middle East
by Michael Bell

A new Policy Paper from Michael Bell, the Paul Martin Senior Scholar on International Diplomacy with the University of Windsor, investigates the profound change that is taking place in the Middle East at this time. He reminds the West that it will be essential to our own interests, and theirs, to provide aid and assistance as the region faces a gamut of challenges.    


The New Terrorism: Understanding Yemen
by David Carment

In this new Policy Paper, David Carment, CDFAI  Research Fellow, reviews the situation in Yemen. Carment offers an explanation for the current turmoil within the region and suggests that if something is not done to bring stability to the region soon, the state will soon fail


The Panda Bear Readies to Meet the Polar Bear: China Debates and Formulates Foreign Policy Towards Arctic Affairs and Canada’s Arctic Sovereignty 
by David Curtis Wright  

A new Policy Paper from Dr. David Curtis Wright, CDFAI Research Fellow and Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Calgary, shows that China is now the latest major country to be annoyed with Canada over the Northwest Passage. With China's meteoric rise in the back of the minds of most world leaders, Canada must be aware of the impact China's Arctic policy will have on our country.   







Monthly Column


December 2014
What’s the Saudi Game?

by J. L. Granatstein

New from Colin Robertson

  Now Available
The top task for Canadian politicians: Get to know the new U.S. legislators

by Colin Robertson

The Dispatch


Now Available
Winter 2014
Edition of
The Dispatch

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