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Understanding Global Challenges and the Spectrum of Conflict: The View from Canada
The election of the Trudeau government is providing fresh impetus for the Canadian Department of National Defence to review its approach to the security challenges of today. In September, the government will produce its Defence Policy Review, the first defence review in eight years. Officials face many of the same challenges as their British counterparts with defence emerging from a period of austerity and budget cuts at a time of expanding commitments. Canada’s national defence priorities force it to look to the High North, to the Atlantic and NATO in the east and to the Pacific in the West. It also has commitments in the Middle East and Africa and is active in both the Cyber and Space domains. However, as in the UK, balancing its broad range of commitments at a time when the department of national defence needs to modernise remains a challenge.
RUSI is delighted to welcome General Jonathan Vance, Chief of Defence Staff at the Canadian Department of National Defence to provide his thoughts on Canada’s defence priorities and the need to continue to provide military forces that can operate across the full spectrum of conflict.
General Vance has served in Canada, Germany and on UN Peacekeeping operations with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions, The Royal Canadian Regiment, and has commanded at all levels within the field force from platoon commander to brigade commander and in combat operations as Commander Joint Task Force Afghanistan and Task Force Kandahar in 2009 and again in 2010. Following his tours in Afghanistan, General Vance served in Army headquarters as Chief of Staff Land Strategy and as Director of the Strategic Joint Staff in National Defence Headquarters. He completed a tour as Deputy Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples in July 2014 before assuming the position as Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command in September of the same year. General Vance was promoted to his current rank and formally appointed as the Canadian Armed Forces Chief of the Defence Staff in July 2015.