Image credit: Corporal Braden Trudeau/ Canadian Armed Forces photo
by Ross Fetterly
Table of Contents
- Renewed Great-Power Competition
- Changing the Dynamics of Defence in Canada
- Stability is Not Good for Military Organizations
- Improving Defence Resource Management
- Conclusion – The Status Quo is Inadequate
- End Notes
- About the Author
- Canadian Global Affairs Institute
“When the surrounding environment changes and new challenges arise, there is often a disjunction between existing institutions and present needs. Those institutions are supported by legions of entrenched stakeholders who oppose any fundamental change.”1 – Francis Fukuyama
In 1993, the management theorist Peter Drucker wrote about the societal changes that were occurring at the time. He said that once every several hundred years in Western civilization an abrupt transformation occurs. We cross a divide from one era to the next, although it is not necessarily evident at the time. We are in this time now. In a short period of time, the world view of society has rearranged itself, including: “Its worldview; its basic values, its social and political structure, its arts; and its key institutions.”2 In 1902, during a turbulent time, the Marxist Vladimir Ilyich Lenin wrote a political pamphlet whose title asked: What is To Be Done?3
The Canadian defence establishment needs to prepare for a turbulent future by building up its capacity. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine highlights the need for Canada and the United States to co-operate against common threats to North America.4 The global implication of this Russian attack is that “the aggressive use of military force is back in style.”5 This has implications for Canada as a partner with the United States in the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and in Europe as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The international strategic environment is changing rapidly and defence must adapt to remain effective. This means internally examining the operating levels of major equipment fleets to prioritize those needed as part of a NATO response to Russian military operations outside their national borders, such as in Ukraine.
Canada has traditionally maintained a modest defence establishment outside of times of major conflict. While this strategy may have been adequate during the Cold War, and up to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rapidly deteriorating international strategic environment has left the country with an enduring suboptimal approach to defence and security. The security that Canada enjoys being surrounded by the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to the east and west, the Arctic Ocean to the north and the United States to the south, is negatively affected by the reality that in defence the impact of distance from opponents has lessened. The loss of strength gradient (LSG) principle, established by the economist Kenneth E. Boulding, articulated in terms of military operations that the further the “target for attack is from its home country, the weaker its military strength becomes.”6 Now, however, the distance from potential international opponents is becoming increasingly irrelevant due to more effective long-distance missiles and the ability to disrupt domestic electrical and communication systems. The circumstances of the international strategic environment are being consistently rewritten. This is causing Canadian and Western national military organizations to start shifting from a known location intellectually towards an undetermined future.
The recent collapse of the Afghanistan government and its impact on Canada highlights global interconnectedness and the fact that “what happens not only in far-off failing states”7 also affects other countries. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the doorstep of Eastern Europe further demonstrates that what was once unthinkable can quickly become reality. This emphasizes the need to relentlessly innovate and evolve with changes in threats, technology and strategies in defence. During the Afghanistan mission, the Canadian military moved past the “colonial tradition”8 in which modest-sized Canadian military units were largely embedded with allied military forces. Canada is now necessarily transitioning from a more benign period of increasing globalization to one that is shifting towards greater global polarization. The U.S. is suffering increasing political polarization around domestic issues, which means the country is paying “less attention to international affairs,”9 and Canada will have to adapt “to a world with less America.”10 This trend will escalate Canadian insecurity and drive the country towards a no-analog11 future, determined by governments responding to a declining, and increasingly unstable, international security environment. This is particularly true in an “age of America first”12 and where the combination of constitutional crises and the threat of political violence in the United States could be the norm in coming years.13 Unfortunately, great-power competition is back.
“The past few years have been a reminder that stability is not the natural state of the international environment, that peace is not self-perpetuating, and that whole regions can descend suddenly into anarchy.”14 – RAND Corporation report
The post-Cold War era that began in the 1990s started to wane around 2006 and by 2014 had dramatically shifted to “great power competition with China and Russia.”15 The existing liberal world order assembled over several decades is “breaking down,”16 in particular due to a paradigm shift in the “United States’ approach to the world”17 and its focus on domestic divisions. China may be prepared to “deploy the widest range of economic tools in response to a geopolitical conflict.”18 For Canada and our allies, Russia’s attack on Ukraine is a line that “demarcates the before and after of a historic era with much clarity and impact,”19 similar to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. This places pressure on the federal government to urgently increase both domestic and international co-ordination and defence funding, in line with our primary allies. This also includes the need to consider how to make organizational changes in the Department of National Defence (DND), to better align the DND’s activities with those needed to deal with evolving Russian and Chinese military capabilities, and to rapidly grow the defence establishment in this country to face a deteriorating international strategic environment.
During Canada’s participation in the multinational force in Afghanistan, in response to changing insurgent tactics, equipment prototypes were deployed to military units in-theatre and the technology trialed in order to keep up with evolving Taliban use of technology, tactics and strategy. In the case of a confrontation with either Russia or China, Western nations will have to consistently rewrite their approach. The global community is increasingly being characterized by “many different kinds of incidents and processes happening at the same time leading towards different ends.”20 Canada needs to increase the global defence engagement that was one of the pillars of the 2017 Strong, Secure, Engaged defence policy.21
In 2022, Canadians live in an era of almost instant communication22 and rapid awareness of events happening globally. Russian defence expenditures have grown significantly throughout the past two decades23 and China spent US$175 billion in 201924 on defence; the ongoing investments by both countries are significant. Notwithstanding the sanctions that accelerated the crumbling Russian economy’s decline after the invasion, Russia has a large military and nuclear armament. Canada needs to demonstrate to both allies and potential opponents that the country will take threats to the West seriously. For example, the manner in which Russia has weaponized non-traditional warfare against Georgia and Ukraine illustrates the shift in how countries think about different approaches to conflict. Destroying Ukrainian defence infrastructure across the country shows how the international strategic environment has changed. Thus, the dynamics of defence need to rapidly change in Canada.
To adapt, Canada needs a faster decision-making process in the federal government and in the DND, and adequate resource levels that evolve as the international security environment becomes more complex and precarious. As Russian external aggression continues, words from national Western leaders and virtue-signalling during a serious crisis are no alternative for timely, strategic thinking that reflects an unstable global community. Canada may now require significantly higher defence budgets. Germany’s recent re-commitment to spend two per cent of its GDP on defence25 is an example of an ally that is responding directly to the current crisis.
“Canada neither walks nor talks seriously about national security, regardless of emergent risks and threats internationally, continentally and domestically.”26 – Mark Agnew and Nicolas Todd, CGAI
Attacks by large foreign powers would likely overwhelm the Canadian military without the massive intervention of the United States on Canadian territory, so defence needs to be developed through increased spending. For Canada and other NATO allies, “more adaption to a world with less America will be required”27 in the coming years. Available and sustained defence resources matter. In the late 1990s, the Liberal government, facing a significant structural budgetary deficit, balanced the budget through immediate and severe cuts to social programs and defence. While significant defence program cuts allowed the government to balance its books, it cut about half of the assistant deputy of materiel’s organization and reduced capacity, which contributed to the aging of equipment fleets in recent decades. Resources matter. Cutting back on replacing major capital equipment fleets is a false economy and also illustrates the tragedy on the horizon28 where near-term savings on capital investment can result in increased maintenance and repair years. The lesson here is that redundancy, capacity and risk management in the public sector are important. Canada needs better guidance on priorities, a faster decision-making process in government and the DND, and adequate resource levels that evolve with the complexity of the international security environment.
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is mired in high-profile sexual misconduct cases, recruiting challenges, a defence procurement process that remains too long and capacity limits on large capital equipment projects. The DND, CAF and the Treasury Board need to increase the engagement of Public Services and Procurement Canada. Likewise, the capacity of the cabinet committee structure to manage project decision-making needs must be increased. The fundamental issue is Strong, Secure, Engaged (SSE), which was written for an era that now appears increasingly distant. Throughout much of history, change has occurred at a fairly steady and predictable rate. However, now driven by relentless rapid technological and environmental change, Western defence policies have a rapidly diminishing shelf life. The unprecedented rate of change in today’s global security environment means that organizations need to adapt and reshape their strategy to address evolving situations much more frequently than in the past. Combined with structural change, which has historically occurred “every few decades,”29 this adds complexity to an increasingly complicated world. With a new defence minister faced with a broad range of problems and personnel issues, SSE’s modernization of the business of defence needs to be at the forefront. A new defence policy would refocus the Canadian defence establishment from the period in which SSE was drafted prior to its release in 2017 and address more recent trends, such as a more confrontational China and Russia, as well as a United States that is increasingly divided and inward-looking.
National defence organizations, like large established national or international business organizations, are not generally set up for “rapidly scalable innovation.”30 National defence institutions need to be designed to frequently update their capabilities, as the international security environment changes. Furthermore, defence has a large number of departmental and military employees who are linked to a diverse stakeholder network. Successful defence departments and military organizations evolve or shift their focus and business structures in response to systemic changes in the international security environment. This shift increases the importance of internal management and will necessitate change to different structures and processes. The multi-decade major capital equipment procurement process is a prime candidate for needed innovation and reform. Recently, Canadian academic Norman Doidge, discussing the subject of vaccines, said: “Re-appraisal of any prevailing narrative requires taking in new insights, which by definition, arise from a minority viewpoint.”31 The world has changed dramatically since the defence policy was released in June 2017, highlighting the need for federal governments to keep policy current, adequately funded, staffed to established manning levels and with modern and capable equipment.
“When we follow the majority’s way of thinking or its strategy to solve a problem, we are less likely to pay attention to other information, or to a different problem that may arise.”32 – Charlan Nemeth
Charlan Nemeth’s quotation highlights that internal dissent during decision-making can enhance problem solving. A strategy of the group majority can ignore relevant information, including a dissenting perspective, which can broaden the scope of potential options. The current defence policy shares many characteristics with preceding ones. Generally, in past major wars, Canadians have entered the conflicts relatively unprepared, but by the end of the war have distinguished themselves. “War is the great auditor of institutions,”33 and Canada is now faced with Russian military forces invading Ukraine and approaching the territory of Eastern European NATO partners. Consequently, we may be entering a future conflict with an under-resourced, under-manned military and a number of major equipment fleets that should have been replaced years ago. When there are changes to the surrounding environment and different challenges arise “there is often a disjunction between existing institutions and present needs.”34 Political systems do not have an embedded mechanism to re-align themselves with changing circumstances.
The status quo is no longer relevant. Traditionally, when national governments conceptualize changes in defence policies or posture, it is as a result of shortcomings in combat or other conflicts. Across Canada, occasional small forest fires can clean the underbrush of much of the flammable material in order to stop that material from accumulating and prevent large forest fires from occurring. Similarly, national defence is driven by relentless technological change. Therefore, maintaining a current defence policy, management practices, technology and the military skills of personnel are important elements if the CAF is to remain effective and fit for purpose.
Paradoxically, defence planners need to begin with resource limitations because in problems focused on choice we endeavour “to strive to get the most out of what we have.”35 The classic 1960 RAND publication, The Economics of Defense in the Nuclear Age,36 considered the resources allocated to defence at three distinct and broad levels:
- The quantity of national resources available now and in the future;
- The proportions of these resources allocated to national security purposes;
- The efficiency with which defence departments use these allocated resources.
Technological change, relevant to military innovation, is likely to be quicker and more consequential over the next decade. Conceivably, the rapid pace of innovation may make the next decade more groundbreaking in defence than in the past.37 This drives the crucial need for making appropriate changes in Canadian, U.S. and allied weaponry, military operations, wartime preparations and defence budget priorities.
The international strategic environment is in the early stage of a period of transition towards an unknown end state. For Canada, this is largely driven by an aggressive and belligerent Russian state – one that has again violated the norms of state sovereignty – with a Chinese government focused on increasing military strength and a divided United States whose political process is increasingly divisive and dysfunctional. With the Americans seemingly headed towards “some combination of instability, autocracy, and political violence,”38 this should be driving Canadians, as best described in French, to be “maîtres chez nous” (masters in our own house). Ongoing instability south of the border could lead to a substantive existential threat to the nation through the use of similar methods in Canada, such as the recent trucker convoy and the subsequent occupation of part of downtown Ottawa. While this is an issue for the federal government, the DND and CAF could be involved through aid to the civil power. Furthermore, bi-national co-ordination and co-operation initiatives, such as NORAD, need to be strengthened. With an 8,891-kilometre land border separating both countries and the majority of Canadians residing relatively close to the American border, a stable American nation is indispensable for Canadian security.
“Running any complex organization during a period of major change, especially large and complex organizations, requires careful attention to the essentials of management.”39 – Michael K. Jeffery
Optimizing defence resource management has been an enduring objective of Canadian governments for decades. The DND and CAF are both aspirational and ambitious organizations. Combined, they are engaged in managing multiple major capital equipment programs, implementing common initiatives across the federal sector, overseeing a massive defence infrastructure spread across the country, executing operations and administering public servants and military personnel. The effectiveness of Public Service initiatives, such as Beyond2020, which focus on mobilizing resources and people towards key priorities,40 are vital for optimizing defence resource management. So are procurement reforms and shortening the timeline for resolving military personnel issues such as recruitment, as well as ensuring a safe environment for the men and women in uniform.
However, a number of enduring challenges include:
- Recruitment and retention;
- Rising costs – defence-specific inflation is higher than overall inflation in the economy;
- Multi-year timeframe for procurement of major weapon systems;
- Maintaining aging weapon systems and infrastructure;
- Resource scarcity.
The paradox in Canada, as with our allies, is that military capital equipment programs and recruitment and training programs, as well as infrastructure programs, can take years from conception to capability delivery. For example, a recent analysis of NORAD modernization assessed that the RCAF business plan and defence posture showed that there are “considerable strategic, institutional, and operational constraints facing the fulfilment of SSE and possible NORAD modernization.”41 This misalignment between near-term needs and the multi-year timeframe of delivery is succinctly articulated in the 1963 departmental ad hoc committee on defence policy’s report entitled Budgeting and Programming as Tools of Defence Management:
Military plans and programs involve substantial periods of time and are concerned with operational capabilities which are expressed in terms of forces, weapons, facilities and states of readiness. Defence budgets relate to a single year and are expressed in terms of money. There is, therefore, an important difference in time, scale and language.42
The end of the Cold War enabled the conditions for globalization. The combined impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States divided and turning inward, an increasingly confrontational Russia that continues to disrespect sovereign borders and an overconfident Chinese government that is shifting to individual leadership from collective leadership, as well as increasing divisions within countries, create a more dangerous and unstable international security environment for Canadians.
“Preparedness is more of a deterrent than is empathy, understanding, or demonstrations of good intentions.”43 – Victor Davis Hanson
The billions of dollars that the federal government spends on defence is increasingly detached from the value that Canadians receive from national defence. Unfortunately, problems accruing in defence – such as recruitment and training shortfalls – are often overtaken by other events or circumstances before they can be fully addressed, demonstrating a collective failure of the federal government, the DND and the CAF. One of the primary military maxims is selection and maintenance of the aim. While acknowledging that the COVID-19 pandemic has indirectly brought about an “accelerating change that was incipient”44 in 2022, pivoting towards addressing shortcomings needs to be a primary government and defence establishment priority.
In the current international strategic environment, the existing shelf lives of national defence policies are being necessarily compressed. The significant rate of change in the international strategic environment drives the need for the Canadian government to adapt defence strategy to changing circumstances faster than in the past. At present, from a defence and security perspective dominated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it appears, like the previous major transition from Cold War to globalization, that a new system of great-power competition “with its own rules and logic”45 is beginning to reshape people’s lives. Consequently, we can expect deep-seated change in the future international security environment as a constant backdrop for defence and security issues in Canada.
With the near and long-term future increasingly unpredictable, a re-appraisal of the prevailing Canadian security narrative needs to be a priority. Change in the Canadian defence establishment takes time – much like maneuvering a supertanker at sea. This will require a rebalancing of emphasis, increased resources and making both Russia and China the central focus of defence policy. It will also require rapid prioritization of both NORAD modernization and greater attention to the North, as well as a greater defence presence in Europe. Compressing large capital equipment procurement timelines to deliver major weapons systems more quickly and a new defence policy that addresses evolving security threats to Canada are essential. Canadians will need to live with increased risk. Finally, ongoing radical change in the international security environment will likely act as a consistent backdrop, or overlay, for any future change to defence policy.
1 Francis Fukuyama, The Origins of Public Order (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011), 7.
2 Peter Drucker, Post-Capitalist Society (Milton: Routledge, 1994), 1.
3 Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, What is to be Done? (Durham: Aziloth Books, 2017).
4 Donald Barry and Duane Bratt, “Defense Against Help: Explaining Canada-U.S. Security Relations,” American Review of Canadian Studies, 2008, 38 (1): 63–89.
5 John Bolton, “On the Lessons to be Drawn from Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine,” The Economist, February 28, 2022, https://www.economist.com/by-invitation/2022/02/28/john-bolton-on-the-lessons-to-be-drawn-from-russias-invasion-of-ukraine.
6 Kenneth E. Boulding, Conflict and Defense: A General Theory (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1962), 79, 230–231.
7 Staff, “Where Next for Global Jihad?” The Economist, August 28, 2021, 7.
8 Nils Orvik, “Choices and Directions in Canadian Defence Policy. Part 2: A New Defence Posture with a Northern Orientation,” Canadian Defence Quarterly, 1980, 10(1): 8–13.
9 Balkan Devlen, Shuvaloy Majumdar and Jonathan Berkshire Miller, “Canadians are Clear-minded About Our Allies and Adversaries,” The Hub, January 20, 2022, https://thehub.ca/2022-01-20/canadians-are-clear-minded-about-our-allies-and-adversaries/.
10 Staff, “What Would America Fight For?” The Economist, December 11, 2021, 13, https://www.economist.com/weeklyedition/2021-12-11.
11 John W. Williams and Stephen T. Jackson, “Novel Climates, No-analog Communities, and Ecological Surprises,” Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 2007, 5(9): 475–482, https://doi.org/10.1890/070037.
12 Richard Haass, “The Age of America First: Washington’s Flawed New Foreign Policy Consensus,” Foreign Affairs, September 29, 2021, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2021-09-29/biden-trump-age-america-first.
13 Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way, “America’s Coming Age of Instability: Why Constitutional Crises and Political Violence Could Soon be the Norm,” Foreign Affairs, January 20, 2022, https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2022-01-20/americas-coming-age-instability.
14 J. Dobbins, R. H. Solomon, M. S. Chase, R. Henry, F. S. Larrabee, R. J. Lempert, et al., Choices for America in a Turbulent World (Santa Monica: RAND, 2015), http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR1100/RR1114/RAND_RR1114.pdf.
15 Staff, “Renewed Great Power Competition: Implications for Defense—Issues for Congress,” Congressional Research Service, 2021, 1, https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R43838/73.
16 Staff, “Briefing: American Foreign Policy – A Weary Superpower,” The Economist, December 11, 2021, 19.
17 Haass, 85–98.
18 Emily Kilcrease, Emily Jin and Rachel Ziemba, “Containing Crisis: Strategic Concepts for Coercive Economic Statecraft on China,” Center for a New American Security, 2021, 1, https://s3.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/files.cnas.org/documents/ContainingCrisis_EES_Web.pdf?mtime=20211201193941&focal=none.
19 Doug Sanders, “Vladimir Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine is Entirely About What a Country and Its People Are Permitted to Be,” Globe and Mail, February 26, 2022, https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-putins-invasion-of-ukraine-is-entirely-about-what-a-country-and-its/#:~:text=It%20is%20a%20line%20that%20demarcates%20the%20%E2%80%9Cbefore%E2%80%9D,Berlin%20Wall%20was%20breached%20on%20Nov.%209%2C%201989.
21 Government of Canada, Strong, Secure, Engaged: Canada’s Defence Policy, Department of National Defence, 2017, https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/corporate/reports-publications/canada-defence-policy/global-defence-engagement.html.
22 James Waller, “The Problem of Distance in the Information Age: Challenges for Militaries and Politicians,” The Strategy Bridge, 2017, https://thestrategybridge.org/the-bridge/2017/9/21/the-problem-of-distance-in-the-information-age-challenges-for-militaries-and-politicians.
23 Siemon T. Wezeman, “Russia’s Military Spending,” Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, April 27, 2020, https://www.sipri.org/commentary/topical-backgrounder/2020/russias-military-spending-frequently-asked-questions.
24 Nan Tian and Fei Su, “A New Estimate of China’s Military Expenditure,” Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, January 2021, 1, https://www.sipri.org/sites/default/files/2021-01/2101_sipri_report_a_new_estimate_of_chinas_military_expenditure.pdf.
26 Mark Agnew and Nicolas Todd, “Rethinking Canada’s Security Strategy: How Canada Can Graduate from the Kids’ Table,” Canadian Global Affairs Institute, 2021, 1, https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/cdfai/pages/4881/attachments/original/1638998975/Rethinking_Canadas_Security_Strategy_How_Canada_Can_Graduate_from_the_Kids_Table.pdf?1638998975.
27 The Economist, “What Would America Fight For?”
28 Mark Carney, “Breaking the Tragedy of the Horizon – Climate Change and Financial Stability,” Bank of England, September 29, 2015, https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/speech/2015/breaking-the-tragedy-of-the-horizon-climate-change-and-financial-stability.pdf?la=en&hash=7C67E785651862457D99511147C7424FF5EA0C1A.
29 Parag Khanna, Connectography: Mapping the Future of Globalization (New York: Random House, 2016), 30.
30 Philipp Hillenbrand, Dieter Kiewell, Ivan Ostojic and Gisa Springer, “Scale or Fail: How Incumbents can Industrialize New-business Building,” McKinsey, 2021, 1, https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/mckinsey/business%20functions/mckinsey%20digital/our%20insights/scale%20or%20fail%20how%20incumbents%20can%20industrialize%20new%20business%20building/scale-or-fail-how-incumbents-can%20industrialize-new-business-building.pdf?shouldIndex=false.
31 Norman Doidge, “Vaccines are a Tool, But They are Not a Silver Bullet,” Globe and Mail, January 22, 2022.
32 Charlan Nemeth, In Defense of Troublemakers: The Power of Dissent in Life and Business (New York: Basic Books, 2018), 98.
33 Correlli Barnett, The Swordbearers: Supreme Command in the First World War (London: Cassell & Co. Ltd., 1964), 11.
36 Ibid., 4.
37 Michael O’Hanlon, “Forecasting Change in Military Technology, 2020–2040,” Brookings Institution, 2018, 1, https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/FP_20181218_defense_advances_pt2.pdf.
38 Andrew Coyne, “U.S. Stability is No Longer Assured,” Globe and Mail, 2022.
39 Michael K. Jeffery, Inside Canadian Forces Transformation: Institutional Leadership as a Catalyst for Change (Kingston: Canadian Defence Academy Press, 2009), 107.
40 Government of Canada, “Public Service Renewal: Beyond2020,” Privy Council Office, 2020, https://www.canada.ca/en/privy-council/services/blueprint-2020/beyond-2020.html.
41 Ross Fetterly and Binyam Solomon, “North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Burden Sharing,” Defence Research and Development Canada, Centre for Operational Research and Analysis, 2021, 30, https://cradpdf.drdc-rddc.gc.ca/PDFS/unc366/p813527_A1b.pdf.
42 Department of National Defence, Ad Hoc Committee on Defence Policy, Budgeting and Programming as Tools of Defence Management (Ottawa: 1963).
43 Victor Davis Hanson, The Father of Us All: War and History (New York: Bloomsbury, 2020), 48.
44 Staff, “The Era of Predictable Unpredictability is Not Going Away,” The Economist, December 18, 2021, 13, https://www.economist.com/leaders/2021/12/18/the-new-normal-is-already-here-get-used-to-it.
45 Adrian Woodridge, Masters of Management: How the Business Gurus and Their Ideas Have Changed the World (New York: Harper-Collins Business, 2011), 115.
Ross Fetterly retired in 2017 from the Canadian Forces after a 34-year career as the Royal Canadian Air Force’s director of air comptrollership and business management. He previously served as the military personnel command comptroller, and in other senior positions with the Department of National Defence Assistant Deputy Minister (Finance).
Retired Col. Fetterly completed a tour in February 2009 as the chief CJ8 at the NATO base headquarters at Kandahar airfield, Afghanistan, where he was responsible for finance, contracting and procurement. While deployed he wrote a paper entitled Methodology for Estimating the Fiscal Impact of the Costs Incurred by the Government of Canada in Support of the Mission in Afghanistan with staff from the Parliamentary Budget Office. Col. Fetterly was employed as the deputy commanding officer of the Canadian contingent in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force in the Golan Heights during the second intifada in 2000-2001. He has served as an air force squadron logistics officer and as a finance officer at military bases across Canada.
An adjunct professor at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) department of management and economics, and a Senior Fellow with the Centre for Security Governance, Dr. Fetterly has a B.Comm (McGill), M.Admin (University of Regina) and an MA and PhD in war studies from RMC. His PhD fields of study included defence economics, defence policy and defence cost analysis. His primary research focus is defence resource management. Dr. Fetterly also teaches courses in financial decision-making, defence resource management and government procurement at RMC. Through his company, Ross Fetterly Consulting Inc., he has taught a defence resource management course and a business planning course internationally for the Department of National Defence to senior military officers and defence executives in developing countries.
The Canadian Global Affairs Institute focuses on the entire range of Canada’s international relations in all its forms including (in partnership with the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy), trade investment and international capacity building. Successor to the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute (CDFAI, which was established in 2001), the Institute works to inform Canadians about the importance of having a respected and influential voice in those parts of the globe where Canada has significant interests due to trade and investment, origins of Canada’s population, geographic security (and especially security of North America in conjunction with the United States), social development, or the peace and freedom of allied nations. The Institute aims to demonstrate to Canadians the importance of comprehensive foreign, defence and trade policies which both express our values and represent our interests.
The Institute was created to bridge the gap between what Canadians need to know about Canadian international activities and what they do know. Historically Canadians have tended to look abroad out of a search for markets because Canada depends heavily on foreign trade. In the modern post-Cold War world, however, global security and stability have become the bedrocks of global commerce and the free movement of people, goods and ideas across international boundaries. Canada has striven to open the world since the 1930s and was a driving factor behind the adoption of the main structures which underpin globalization such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and emerging free trade networks connecting dozens of international economies. The Canadian Global Affairs Institute recognizes Canada’s contribution to a globalized world and aims to inform Canadians about Canada’s role in that process and the connection between globalization and security.
In all its activities the Institute is a charitable, non-partisan, non-advocacy organization that provides a platform for a variety of viewpoints. It is supported financially by the contributions of individuals, foundations, and corporations. Conclusions or opinions expressed in Institute publications and programs are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Institute staff, fellows, directors, advisors or any individuals or organizations that provide financial support to, or collaborate with, the Institute.