Strategic Studies Working Group Papers
National Security StrategyCanada’s National Security in the Post-9/11 World: Strategy, Interests, and Threats
Edited by David S. McDonough
After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, which targeted the heart of financial and military power in the United States, Canada once again proved its credentials as a key American ally. With the imminent end of its combat role in Afghanistan, however, it is time to take stock of how Canada has adapted to the exigencies of the post-9/11 world and to consider the future directions for its foreign, defence, and security policies.
This timely exploration and re-assessment of Canada’s approach to strategic affairs offers a diverse set of nuanced, sometimes controversial, and always insightful perspectives on the most pressing security challenges that Canada currently faces. Bringing together noted experts on these issues – including a Canadian Senator, a past Minister of National Defence, former high-level military officers, and top scholars – this collection provides powerful ideas and guidance for the difficult task of formulating an overarching national security strategy. David S. McDonough is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at Dalhousie University.
Anticipated publication date: Early 2012.
Available for purchase HERE.
The chapters in this book offer sound and sensible forecasts on what
the future of Canadian defence policy might look like in 2025. The
authors’ conclusions are sensible and sound, to be sure, but they
are written on the basis of rational prediction, on what the expert
authors expect to happen to the Canadian Forces a decade-and-a-half
in the future. In a very real sense, their chapters suggest what
should happen. But there are also other factors than assessments of
military necessity at play, primarily the global situation and the
social and political trends that will certainly enter into the
shaping of Canadian policy. In their own ways, the authors try to
factor in these trends, but there is some utility in laying out the
dimensions of the problems that Canada might face in 2025.
Everything is, of course, dependent on the global situation, and it
may well be full of surprises; it usually is. If current trends
persist, what seems all but certain is that China will be stronger
and the United States weaker in both military and economic terms by
2025. There is no doubt today that the U.S. is the sole superpower,
the only nation with a military that can operate and prevail
anywhere. But the American economy is less certain, and the nation’s
ability to keep spending huge sums on defence is already under
pressure, and that pressure can only increase. By 2025, the
Americans will still be top dog, but their dog will likely be
The United States is already tilting its naval and air power toward
Asia, pre-positioning itself for this new era, and Canada will also
likely shift some of its limited defence resources into the Pacific.
The small operational support hubs that Canada is now setting up in
Singapore and the Gulf States in 2012 are an indication that the CF
is thinking seriously in this direction, as is the increasing
Canadian participation in the ever-larger annual RIMPAC naval/air
exercises in the Pacific with friendly states. An expanded
“Anglosphere” to encompass the democratic states with interests in
the Pacific—Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Australia, New Zealand,
Japan, and possibly France, the Philippines, Singapore, and India—is
slowly taking form and by 2025 may have morphed into a diplomatic
and military alliance to try to contain China’s burgeoning
 See, e.g., Minxin Pei, “Everything You Think You Know About
China is Wrong,” Foreign Policy, 29 Aug. 2012