Fall 2004 (Volume II, Issue III)

Promoting new understanding and improvement of Canadian foreign and defence policy.

In this issue:

Message from the President - Robert S. Millar

 Just before the festive season in 2004 CDFAI is issuing another Dispatch newsletter. As 2004 draws to a close, the Institute can look back on a year of progress in working toward our vision of a Canada that has a respected, influential voice in the international arena, one that is based on a comprehensive foreign policy, which expresses our national interests, political and social values, military capabilities, economic strength and willingness to be engaged with action that is timely and credible. For the first time in decades, the 2004 Federal election had politicians discussing foreign affairs and defence policy issues. Should those of us interested in this field be satisfied? Of course not. At CDFAI’s Annual Conference in Ottawa in November in association with Carleton, Laval, Queen’s, the Dominion Institute and the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center of Scholars, there was lively discussion on Canadian interests and values, something that has not been discussed in years.

In this issue of The Dispatch readers will find three interesting and different perspectives on peacebuilding, modern terrorism and asymmetrical warfare from three of CDFAI’s Fellows. I congratulate each of the authors for their thoughts and commend the articles to you. There is also an update on activities that CDFAI has been involved in over the past few months and a brief look into the future. If you have any comments on what CDFAI is doing, please contact us.

All of us at CDFAI wish each of you and your families a wonderful holiday season and a successful new year.


CDFAI Fellows

Since this past July, 18 Fellows have become involved with CDFAI.  The two newest Fellows to join CDFAI are Dr. Anne Irwin and Mr. George Haynal.  Their bios are listed below:

Anne Irwin holds a PhD in social anthropology from the University of Manchester and has taught courses in military anthropology both at the University of Calgary and at the University of Victoria. She served in the Canadian Forces Reserve from 1972 to 1987, retiring as a Military Police Officer with the rank of Major. She is a graduate of the Canadian Land Forces Command and Staff College’s Militia Command and Staff Course.

George Haynal was Assistant Deputy Minister for the Americas in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade prior to his retirement from the Canadian Foreign Services. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Norman Patterson School of International Affairs at Carleton, he is Alumnus Fellow of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, as well as an Associate member and past President of the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers.

Three short essays of about 1000 words are included in this newsletter.  Essays featured are: 

  1. Gordon Smith, “Peacebuilding:  Do We Know How?”

  2. Jean-Sebastien Rioux, “Canadian Contributions to Regime Change and Peacebuilding in Afghanistan.”

  3. Tami Amanda Jacoby, “Some Thoughts on the Nature of Modern Terrorism and Asymmetrical Warfare.”

The following short research papers will be published in 2005 on our website (and a limited number of hard copies will also be distributed) on subjects of the Fellows’ choosing.

  1. Jean-Sebastien Rioux, “French Canada and Canadian Foreign and Defence Policy” to be published in March 2005.

  2. David Carment, "Peace Support Operations, Failed States & Canadian Defence Policy" to be published in June 2005.

  3. J.L. Granatstein and Charles Belzile.  “:The Special Commission on the Restructure of the Reserves after Ten Years”, to be published in September 2005.  Plans are underway for a conference to be held in the Fall of 2005 in conjunction with the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies of the University of Calgary upon publication of this report.

  4. Elinor Sloan, “The Origin and Evolution of the Canadian Forces’ Strategic Capability Investment Plan” to be published in December 2005.

The Fellows Program is intended to achieve two primary goals:  to give our Fellows a greater opportunity to reach a wider public audience and to add the talent of our Fellows to CDFAI’s other expert resources.  Persons interested in being considered for CDFAI Fellowship should contact Dr. David J. Bercuson at [email protected]


Editorial Board

A CDFAI Editorial Board has also been established to review research submissions. The Editorial Board Members include:

  1. John Ferris, University of Calgary

  2. James Fergusson, University of Manitoba

  3. Jim Keeley, University of Calgary

  4. Elinor Sloan, Carleton University

  5. Frank Harvey, Dalhousie University



Join us in congratulating:

davidbercuson.jpg Dr. David J. Bercuson - Officer of the Order of Canada
On December 10, 2004. David Bercuson was awarded the Officer of the Order of Canada. Dr. Bercuson is one of Canada's most respected historians. Professor of history and director of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary, he has provided insightful commentary on many facets of contemporary Canadian history. He has written numerous books and has been active within several professional organizations, including the Canadian Historical Association and the Organization for the Study of the National History of Canada. He has also served as a consultant to the Minister of National Defence and to filmmakers. In 2002, he was awarded the J.B. Tyrrell Historical Medal from the Royal Society of Canada. Dr. Bercuson was the recipient of the 2004 Vimy Award which was sponsored by the Conference of Defence Association Institute (CDAI).


jackgranatstein.jpg Dr. Jack Granatstein –10th Annual Pierre Berton Award
Dr. Jack Granatstein was named the winner of the 10th Annual Pierre Berton Award for popularizing Canadian history. The gala award ceremony took place on November 25 at Historic Fort York. The Toronto-based historian said he was honoured to be the 2004 winner, adding that “Canada has changed greatly as a nation in the last half-century. Now more than ever it is vital for Canadians to know their history and to recognize their role in shaping the future.” Dr. Granatstein is a Distinguished Research Professor of History Emeritus at York University, Toronto. He is also an Officer of the Order of Canada.


Changes at CDFAI

Congratulations to Ms. Jo-Anne Ring, who joined the CDFAI staff as Executive Assistant in November. Jo-Anne has a BA in Communications and Management Studies from the University of Waterloo, ON.



Annual Conference 

Defining the National Interest

Thank you to the attendees who participated in the ”Defining the National Interest” conference held on November 4-5, 2004 at the Lord Elgin Hotel in Ottawa.

“Defining the National Interest” focused on Canada’s international interests. The conference format included panel discussions on Canada’s economic, security and political interests led by academics, representatives from NGOs, policy makers and business elites as well as working group sessions. The focus of the conference was the result of the national public opinion poll “Visions of Canadian Foreign Policy” conducted by Dominion Institute and CDFAI in conjunction with the conference.

The Conference was sponsored by: The Centre for Security and Defence Studies at Carleton University; the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute; the Department of Political Studies and the Centre for International Relations at Queen’s University; and l’Institut québécois des hautes études internationales at Université Laval; Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars: Canada Institute; and the Dominion Institute.

CDFAI gratefully acknowledges the contributions of everyone who helped make the Defining the National Interest conference a success!




Graduate Student Symposium 



CDAI-CDFAI Graduate Student Symposium, held in collaboration with the Centre for International Relations and Defence Management Program at Queen’s University, the Institute for Research and Public Policy (IRPP), and the War Studies Programme at the Royal Military College was the most successful symposium to date.

The two-day symposium held at the Royal Military College, October 29-30, 2004 featured  two days of presentations on security and defence issues. This year’s symposium featured 35 presenters (more than 55 abstracts submitted) from nine Security and Defence Studies Forum (SDF) centres represented: Dalhousie University, Université Laval, Université de Montréal, McGill University, Université du Québec à Montréal, Queen’s University, University of Manitoba, University of Calgary (Centre for Military of Strategic Studies (CMSS)), and the Royal Military College. There were more than 100 people in attendance.

The symposium also featured two keynote speakers: Major General Lewis MacKenzie (Ret’d) and Dr. David Bercuson who spoke of the future direction of Canadian defence policy.

CDFAI believes it provided a forum for PhD and MA students to share their thoughts on broad security and defence issues with colleagues, academia, and policy makers from government, while having the opportunity to listen to experts in the field.


Student Run Conferences

Congratulations to the recipients of three (3) grants each of $5,000 awarded to a student run conference with a focus on Canada’s foreign and defence policy. CDFAI  seeks to encourage such conferences by offering an annual grant to be used for the publication and dissemination of the proceedings of the conference.

Proceedings will be posted when they become available following the conferences.

Centre for Military and Strategic Studies
University of Calgary

SMSS 7th Annual Conference:
"War & Security"
4th-5th, 2005

Centre for International & Security Studies
York University
"The Ethics of Building Peace in International Relations"
3rd-4th, 2005

Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic & Disarmament Studies
Wilfrid Laurier University
"Guest Speakers on Darfur"
January 31, 2005


Security and Defence Forum Conference

The Security and Defence Forum (SDF) of the Department of National Defence is mandated to develop a domestic competence and national interest in defence issues of current and future relevance to Canadian security. The Centre for Military and Strategic Studies (CMSS) at the University of Calgary (U of C) is one of twelve university-based Centres of Expertise supported by the Security and Defence Forum (SDF) program of the Department of National Defence (DND).

To further the mandate of the SDF program, and building on the strengths drawn from the annual SDF conferences of the past, the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies hosted a conference on November 25-27, 2004 to bring the 12 Centres together at the University of Calgary for a two day intensive conference to share relevant ideas and research, educating and strengthening our understanding of Canadian security and defence issues.

Entitled “Defence and Security Studies In Canada” this conference provided a forum for debate and discussion of Canadian security and defence issues. CMSS believes that bringing together experts and students from SDF Centres across Canada has significant impact upon both the academic community and the nation in raising awareness on Canadian defence and security issues.

The Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute (CDFAI) was pleased to support the event. The institute believes it will significantly increase communication among the SDF institutions, an aim they strongly support.



Ross Munro Award

On November 19, 2004 the Conference of Defence Associations (CDA), in concert with the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute awarded Sharon Hobson the 2004 Ross Munro Media Award.

Ms Hobson has consistently demonstrated the finest qualities of a journalist who specializes in defence issues. The quality of her reporting, her knowledge of the subject matter and fairness of her accounts set a standard by which her colleagues may be measured.

Sharon Hobson has been the Canadian correspondent for Jane’s Defence Weekly for the past 18 years, and seven years ago became the Canadian correspondent for Jane’s Navy International, and Jane’s Defence Upgrades. In 1996, she began writing for Jane’s International Defence Review. She has written a monthly column on the navy for Canadian Sailings, and has written features for the Financial Post and Canadian Defence Quarterly. Ms Hobson co-authored, with Rear-Admiral Dusty Miller, The Persian Excursion, a book on the Canadian navy in the Persian Gulf War.



Ross Laird Ellis Memorial Lecture in Military and Strategic Studies

On May 10, 2005 the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute will co-sponsor the Ross Laird Ellis Lecture in conjunction with the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies. The lecture series is named after Ross Laird Ellis, a militiaman who rose through the ranks to become the Commanding Officer of the Calgary Highlanders in the course of the Battle of the Scheldt Estuary in World War II. Open to the general public and University of Calgary faculty and students, the purpose of the Ross Laird Ellis Lecture is to provide Canadians with access to relevant and reliable information on Canadian defence and foreign policy.

Steven Silver, Writer/Director of The Last Just Man will be this year’s lecturer. This feature documentary tells the story of General Romeo Dallaire, the UN Force Commander during the Rwandan genocide of 1994. The film has won three Geminis and over 12 international awards including Audience Awards at The Double Take, Hot Docs and Hampton’s film festivals and the Gold Plaque at the Chicago International Television Competition.

The Ellis Lecture will be held in the Burlington Theatre at the Glenbow Museum.




Peacebuilding: Do We Know How?

by Gordon Smith

Weak states, failing states, failed states, post-conflict reconstruction of states – have you noticed how much more frequently such fundamental problems of governance in other parts of the world are cited? There has always been a problem with governments that were unable to deal with humanitarian or environmental crises. Haiti is a recurring example. There is nothing new about governments that cannot protect their citizens’ human security. The breakdown in Somalia goes on. It is not clear that we are having more of these cases, but there is an increasing sense in public opinion that something has to be done.

Then there are the crises that are actually caused by governments’ actions or deliberate inaction (e.g. Darfur). A distinguished commission, with Canadian sponsorship, produced a report entitled The Responsibility to Protect. Their argument rather neatly turned around the question of the “right to intervene” into a responsibility of governments to protect their citizens. The Secretary-General of the United Nations has commended the report and urged that further work be done on the outstanding questions the Commission was unable to resolve – above all on the international authority required for intervention when states are unwilling or unable to protect their citizens.

What has changed in the last few years are other reasons why those of us living in comfort and security in countries such as Canada must take an interest in these cases of impending or actual state breakdown. In the past, many Canadians were moved by images and stories of despair to argue we should do something to help. This has commendably motivated a large number of NGOs to act and led to CIDA providing substantial resources for relief. Now, however, these states are seen as fertile ground for terrorists to train, recruit or just hide. The prospect, indeed likelihood, that terrorists will lay their hands on or fabricate nuclear, but also biological, weapons, and then use them, makes these states a source of real threat.

While the threat is perceived as being primarily directed at the United States, it is significantly broader. The threat is not only to the developed West but also to developing countries (e.g. Indonesia).

Commentators on the US National Security Strategy President Bush produced in 2002 focused on the case for pre-emptive and preventive war, and the authority the US declared it had to launch either without any form of international consent. Actually this doctrine is nothing new, although it was stated in a particularly unequivocal manner. Much more surprising was the statement that the biggest threat to our southern neighbour came not from other states seeking to challenge the US military, but from terrorists operating from failed states.

It makes sense that more should be done, including by Canada, to improve governance including building democracy around the world. The United Nations Development Program has been reoriented to give governance a much higher priority. It is widely accepted that without good governance, there will be no development. The Nobel prize winning Amartya Sen makes a direct link between democracy and development. Farid Zakaria argues that rules based liberal systems are essential for democracy and development. It seems that Prime Minister Martin would like to emphasize these themes with a transformation of Canadian development assistance.

But what should actually be done? Is there one model or a number of models? Or is every case different? What can we learn from experience? What is most important in reversing the process of failure, and where does one start after a state has already failed? Wanting to do good, to make a difference, is laudable but will not assuredly lead to the desired results. There is only just starting to be a literature of research to build on. Frank Fukuyama has just published a very sobering analysis of how difficult peacebuilding is; he emphasizes institutions cannot be exported and that political culture is critical. Jim Dobbins of RAND has edited an excellent book on the US experience from Germany and Japan in the post WWII era to the current day. More needs to be done. First, it would be constructive to pull together the Canadian experience.

Second, we do know some things. Security is a sine qua non. Without security there will not be democracy or development. There are a number of dimensions to security, including military and police. The demand for police training is huge; the numbers of policemen willing to serve abroad is high. Yet most international missions have difficulty achieving their numerical goals because of a lack of money. A major part of the reason for the lack of money is that it is difficult to count police training and assistance as development assistance under OECD rules. This needs to be changed.

Third, police are only one part of the criminal justice system, the effective functioning of which is of critical importance. This means an early priority must go in to judicial training and corrections training. Here too there are problems with the rules about what can be counted as development. Everybody, of course, wants to be able to maximize what they report they are doing for development.

Fourth, there are also important lessons to be learned as to when elections should be called. It is clear elections can be too early, and they can be too late. Criteria can be developed to guide this decision. It seems clear that it is generally better to call local elections – which can be fought on issues –before general elections – which can underline splits on ethnic or other divisive grounds. The point is, we need more research, more drawing on past experience.

Finally there is the issue of values. We are quick to condemn American exceptionalism, with its belief that God has given the US a unique role in the world to spread democracy, freedom and the benefits of the market economy. But we sometimes fall into a similar trap by saying the world needs more Canadas, that we should project our distinct values abroad. There are, of course, universal rights (as agreed in the UN context) and most would argue values which flow from them. Ensuring these are upheld is one thing. Persuading others that we have unique virtues they should adopt is quite another.



Canadian Contributions to Regime Change and Peacebuilding in Afghanistan

by Jean-Sebastien Rioux

Canada has been involved in military operations in Afghanistan and the Arabian Sea since the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the United States and the invocation of Article V collective defence stipulation of the North Atlantic Charter (stating that an attack on one member is an attack on all members), and the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1368 on 12 September 2001 condemning the attacks. Moreover, the Chrétien government sent the greatest contingent of troops and materiel overseas since the Korean War (1950-53) during a one-year period when Canada commanded the Kabul-based International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) from July 2003 to July 2004. Finally, Afghanistan was, until the Iraq war in 2003, Canada’s greatest single-country foreign aid commitment in history – a commitment of almost $400 million to date.

Canada’s commitment to regime change in Afghanistan began as a contribution to the “War on Terror” that began after September 11th 2001. While the Chrétien government was often criticised for having been slow to aid the United States, some elements of the Canadian government did respond swiftly to the 9-11 attacks: for example, the Commander of HMCS Iroquois immediately took his ship to a blocking position off the coast of Halifax should other hostile aircraft attempt to penetrate North American airspace, and Canadian commanders at NORAD were the first to order fighter aircraft into positions over US airspace. After President G.W. Bush launched Operation Enduring Freedom on October 7th, 2001, Canada sent the HMCS Halifax to the Arabian Sea; she was soon joined by the Iroquois, the Charlottetown and its support ship and helicopters. While Canada did not officially send any ground forces during combat operations inside Afghanistan, that naval task force supported and protected American sea and amphibious forces during the short war to overthrow the Taliban regime, which fell in late November 2001.

In December 2001, Canada was one of 61 donor nations to participate in the Bohn Conference for the reconstruction of Afghanistan. The conference’s main goals were to decide on actions to be taken to secure and rebuild Afghanistan. The participating nations agreed to several important steps: first, to invite Hamid Karzai and others to establish an interim administration for six months, until a Loya Girga – or traditional gathering – could name a transitional administration. Next, a timetable for the adoption of a Constitution was set – to be written by a second Loya Girga gathering. Third, donor states were encouraged to participate in the Afghan Reconstruction Fund – which Canada did, pledging an astonishing amount of over $300 million dollars, making Afghanistan our largest aid recipient by far at the time. Finally, it was agreed that an International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF), under British command, would impose a security umbrella in and around Kabul so the Afghan interim administration could begin functioning. It is important to note that the United Nations Security Council adopted resolutions supporting all these decisions and tasks.

The ground operations in Afghanistan, however, were not finished as American troops, stationed mostly in the South and East, “hunted down” remaining Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters. The first Canadian ground combat troops arrived in Afghanistan following the Bohn Conference, not to participate in the multinational assistance force in Kabul, but rather to take part in the US’ Enduring Freedom actions around Kandahar and in the mountains near Tora Bora. The elite JTF2 commandos reportedly joined the American forces in Kandahar by December 2001 ; they were later pictured bringing back prisoners in January 2002. A few months later, soldiers from the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) suffered four deaths resulting from a gross error by an American pilot; Canadian snipers also helped Americans during the vast Operation Anaconda in the spring of 2002. Canadians were not used to seeing their troops in combat like this, and once the six month deployment was up, the soldiers returned home and were not replaced.

After the return of the 3PPCLI in August 2002, Canada retained a presence in Afghanistan via its foreign aid and the opening of its first Embassy in Kabul. This interlude, as it happens, was just that, because in early 2003 several events conspire to bring Canadian troops back to Afghanistan. First, the United States was on the verge of invading Iraq and Prime Minister Chrétien had resolved to stay out of that conflict; moreover, as our European allies had always been in the lead and in command of ISAF, Canada was asked to participate. The Prime Minister decided – apparently against the advice of his military staff – to commit over 4000 troops and a mission commander for a twelve month period, provided that the responsibility for ISAF be transferred from the current multinational structure to a full-fledged NATO-led mission. This decision, however, did not come without some political costs for the Chrétien government; for example, Major-General Cameron Ross, who was the director of the International Security Policy branch at National Defence Headquarters, resigned in protest.

Nevertheless, the first Canadian contingent to return to Afghanistan in the summer of 2003 consisted of 1,900 troops from the Royal Canadian Regiment, making Canada the largest single contributor to ISAF, with Canadian Major-General Andrew Leslie coming in as second in command of the NATO force. After their six month tour, the soldiers from the RCR were replaced, in late January 2004, by a battle group from Valcartier, Québec, organized around the 3rd battalion of the “Vandoos” (3R22R) and with Canadian Lieutenant-General Rick Hiller in command of ISAF. Canada’s one-year tour as mission leader went very well, as this author would note on a field visit during June 2004, as the international community was busy securing and rebuilding Afghanistan, but also concerned with running Afghanistan’s first democratic elections.

What are the prospects for peace and security in Afghanistan? For the first time, the Canadian government initiated a “3-D” policy for Afghanistan, where “Defence” (Canadian soldiers); “Diplomacy” (Foreign Affairs Canada) and “Development” (the Canadian International Development Agency – CIDA) attempt an integrated approach on the ground in Afghanistan – and now, elsewhere. This author has observed a strong willingness for these actors to work together in Afghanistan, but Canada had the upper-hand at that time as it commanded ISAF and thus had the “muscle” to work with the other departments. As far as the Afghan people are concerned, the overwhelming consensus of the officers and soldiers I spoke with was that the feeling was very positive compared to other places they had served. The fact that the presidential elections were held last October without a single violent incident may augur well for the future of this war-torn and war-weary country.


Photo Caption: The author, in green on the right, at a chance meeting with Laval University studentCpl. Jérémy Boivin who is  serving in Afghanistan as a reservist.
Photo credit: Paul Turcotte of CIDA.




Some Thoughts on the Nature of Modern Terrorism and Asymmetrical Warfare Funding

by Tami Amanda Jacoby

In the latter half of the Twentieth Century, terrorism has proliferated throughout the world in such diverse locations as Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Northern Ireland, Israel/Palestine, Argentina, Colombia and Germany. Terrorists have increasingly adopted religious and/or scriptural sources to legitimize suicide operations, the ultimate sacrifice directed against infidels, which by their very nature involves the death of the perpetrator-turned-martyr. Modern terrorist networks such as Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda, the Tamil Tigers, the Hizbollah (Party of God) and the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in Palestine, have developed strategies that penetrate social formations and prevent the target audience from sheltering itself from their devastating embrace. What are the implications of this type of terrorism for protection systems and future fault lines for conflict in the contemporary era?

In an era of global telecommunications, mass movement of peoples, religious revivalism, growth of non-state actors and a growing abyss between the haves and have-nots, the Westphalian state system is in crisis. This crisis is particularly acute in the area of national security. “No longer are there definable battlefields or fronts. Indeed, the distinction between civilian and military ceases to exist” The deterioration and reorganization of traditional fault lines for conflict breaks with centuries of European war fighting dominated by the Napoleonic tradition, i.e., offensive combat and a decisive battle against the enemy’s professional standing army (the blitzkrieg attack) with weapons designed to project force from a distance.

By contrast, modern warfare no longer squares off conventional field forces on the battlefield. Instead, states are pitted in opposition to anonymous belligerents, out of uniform, who merge into urban masses and use unconventional tactics and weapons to target innocent civilians in homes, coffee shops, centers of religious worship, on public transportation and on the street.

Not only are the parameters for conflict more ambiguous, the actors waging war have changed. Guerilla movements, rival clans, oppressed ethnic groups, traffickers, computer hackers, terrorists and other extremist groups, some with rather nebulous goals, have exported their conflicts to western regions while retaining ties with their home country through networks and communications. In the shelter of expatriate communities, belligerents are indiscernible as they conduct their routine lives in the host country while using democratic rights and freedoms as a cover for accommodation, planning, fundraising, and recruitment for their activities. Western industrialized democracies have neither the wherewithal nor the intelligence to defeat these sophisticated networks permanently no matter how heavily stocked the state’s military industrial complex may be. Air and naval power using high precision munitions are useless in highly populated urban areas where combatants and non-combatants occupy the same space.

In fact, asymmetrical warfare proves that power can serve as a liability rather than an asset as it magnifies the glaring inequities of the global system and illuminates sites for retribution. “If power implies victory, then weak actors should almost never win against stronger opponents, especially when the gap in relative power is very large”. Yet asymmetrical warfare has demonstrated that the weak win wars.

Vital interests such as weapons storage facilities, banks, stock markets, information systems, computer hardware, transportation systems, water and food supplies and so on, are sites of concentrated power and serve as easily identifiable targets. The World Trade Center represented the epitome of modern industrial society and the immense riches of the western world. The psychological impact of the vulnerability of such a commanding structure to attack has led to major angst and trepidations in otherwise tranquil societies.

Counterterrorist campaigns have been instituted in the world’s leading industrial democracies. Canada responded to 9/11 with military measures (Operation Apollo) and a comprehensive antiterrorism plan, the Anti-terrorism Act (Bill C-36) of October 15, 2001. The Anti-terrorism Act broadened the definition of terrorist activity to include subsidiary and supportive activities that have traditionally occurred in Canada such as fundraising/money-laundering, providing safe haven, procuring weapons, and educating for the purposes of recruitment to carry out terrorist activity. Bill C-36 offered a package of sweeping legislative measures, which “takes aim at terrorist organizations and strengthens investigation, prosecution and prevention of terrorist activities at home and abroad”. Special measures have been given to the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) such as preventative arrest, which authorizes the apprehension of suspects under the category of a “security certificate”.

The dilemma for counterterrorism in liberal democracies is the need to simultaneously protect society from terrorism while guarding the democratic process and rule of law. Terrorists seek to destabilize their targets and provoke them to overreact. To combat terrorism, liberal democracies have vacillated between hard-line approaches using emergency powers and armed force, versus more moderate approaches involving diplomacy, intelligence, and the legal system.

During counter-terrorism campaigns, states impinge more heavily on citizens and require them to surrender a degree of their freedoms in order to provide leverage in surveying and apprehending suspects using a range of secretive methods. This involves a greater role for punitive agencies outside the military-industrial complex such as law enforcement, the criminal justice system, and intelligence services. The deliberate suspension or limitation of civil liberty on the grounds of expediency may result in the long-term erosion of civil liberties. Critics have pointed out that the use of “security certificates” has undermined access of suspected terrorists to a fair hearing if they cannot challenge the evidence against them or face their accusers. Ultimately, modern terrorism and asymmetrical warfare necessitate fundamental rethinking of the constraints and opportunities of global security. Perhaps more importantly, it requires a new understanding of the relationship between terrorism and democracy, as liberal democratic countries teeter on the precarious path between the punitive and democratic elements of counterterrorist policy.



CDFAI participated in National Philanthropy Day on November 15.

CDFAI has been awarded up to a $20,000 grant from the John Holmes Fund towards the Ejournal and research papers.


CDFAI Donors






About Our Organization

CDFAI provides Canadians with factual and comprehensive policy analysis to promote their understanding of Canada’s foreign policy and the state of our military preparedness and national security by developing and sponsoring authoritative research and education programs.

Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Calgary, CDFAI is a non-profit, charitable research and education institute.



If you would like to be included on our regular mailing regarding conferences, lectures and newsletters, please send your particulars to [email protected] or sign up for our mailing list at All email addresses gathered by CDFAI are kept confidential as we do not release or sell any information collected from the public to any third party without explicit permission to do so. 

CDFAI also adheres to a strict no-SPAM policy and as such, does not forward emails containing information provided by third parties and/or organizations and businesses with which it has no official interest, relevancy and/or affiliation.


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.

Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Suite 2720, 700–9th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 3V4


Calgary Office Phone: (587) 574-4757


Canadian Global Affairs Institute
8 York Street, 2nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 5S6


Ottawa Office Phone: (613) 288-2529
Email: [email protected]


Making sense of our complex world.
Déchiffrer la complexité de notre monde.


©2002-2024 Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Charitable Registration No. 87982 7913 RR0001


Sign in with Facebook | Sign in with Twitter | Sign in with Email