API6336A Canadian Defence Policy and Procurement (abridged version)

Defence Policy and Military Affairs:

Canadian Defence Policy and Procurement

API 6336A

Philippe Lagassé

Winter 2014


Processes and outputs of defense policy in key Western states, including Canada. The course begins with an overview of the threats to security in the modern world and then examines models of defense policy making, before moving on to a more detailed analysis of the defense policies of selected states and how they are made.


Canadian defence policy is shaped by a number of competing concerns, including partisan politics, alliance considerations, economic constraints, global trends and events, and international and domestic security threats. In spite of these myriad influences, however, since the Second World War Canada’s defence policies have remained remarkably constant in terms of their scope and aims. Over the past sixty years, Canadian defence policy has sought to defend Canada and Canadians, protect North American alongside the United States, and contribute to international peace and stability. As well, Canadian defence policy has endeavoured to meet these objectives at a relatively low cost. Though critics have often lamented that Ottawa’s defence policies has failed to properly defend Canadian interests or reflect Canada’s true potential on the world’s stage, both the historical record and current policies suggest that successive governments have been unswayed by these arguments. One area that has increasingly troubled governments, however, are defence procurements. Acquiring military equipment in a non-controversial, cost and time effective manner has been daunting. This is unlikely to change soon. Managing complex procurements will be at the forefront of Canada’s defence challenges in the coming years.         

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the determinants and dynamics of Canadian defence policy and procurement. Using a thematic perspective, the first part of the course will focus on Canadian defence policy during the Cold War, 1990s, and 2000s. Next, the course will explore specific defence issues, such as peacekeeping, aid of the civil power, missile defence, the Arctic, and defence spending. The course will also examine institutional relationships, civil-military relations, and budgetary considerations that structure defence decision-making. Lastly, the course will address defence procurement, using the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy and National Fighter Procurement Secretariat as case studies. The objective of the course is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of Canadian defence policy and procurement, and of the actors, factors, and structures that shaped them. 


Week 1 (6 Jan.) 

Introduction to the course and Canadian defence policy and procurement

Week 2 (13 Jan.)

Canadian Defence: Confederation to Cold War 

Desmond Morton, A Military History of Canada, 5th edition (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2007), chapters 4-5. (Reserve)

Philippe Lagassé and Paul Robinson, “Reviving Realism in the Canadian Defence Debate,” Martello Paper No. 34 (Kingston: Queen’s Centre for International Relations, 2008), pp. 13-39.


Howard G. Coombs with Richard Goette, “Supporting the Pax Americana: Canada’s Military and the Cold War,” in Bernd Horn, ed. The Canadian Way of War: Serving the National Interest (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2006), pp. 265-296. (Reserve)

Joel J. Sokolsky, “A Seat at the Table: Canada and Its Alliances,” Armed Forces and Society 16 (Fall 1989). 

R.J. Sutherland, “Canada’s Long-term Strategic Situation,” International Journal 17/3 (1962). 


J.L. Granatstein, Who Killed the Canadian Military? (Toronto: Harper Canada, 2004). 

J.L. Granatstein, Canada’s Army: Waging War and Keeping the Peace (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011). 

Nicholas Tracy, A Two-Edged Sword: The Navy as an Instrument of Canadian Foreign Policy (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2012). 

Joseph T. Jockel, No Boundaries Upstairs: Canada, the United States and the Origins of North American Air Defence, 1945-1948 (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1987). 

Joseph T. Jockel, Canada and NORAD, 1957-2007: A History (Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2007). 

Sean M. Maloney, Learning to Love the Bomb: Canada’s Nuclear Weapons During the Cold War (Dulles, VA: Potomac Books, 2007). 

Roy Rempel, Counterweights: The Failure of Canada’s German and European Policy, 1955-1995 (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1997). 

Denis Stairs, The Diplomacy of Constraint: Canada, the Korean War, and the United States (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1974). 

Week 3 (20 Jan.)

Canadian Defence: the 1990s and 2000s

Joe Jockel and Joel Sokolsky, “Lloyd Axworthy’s Legacy: Human Security and the Rescue of Canadian Defence Policy,” International Journal 56 (2000-2001). 

Joel J. Sokolsky, “Realism Canadian Style: National Security Policy and the Chrétien Legacy,” Policy Matters vol. 5, no. 2 (Montreal: Institute for Research on Public Policy, 2004).


David S. McDonough, “Afghanistan and Renewing Canadian Leadership: Panacea or Hubris?,” International Journal 64/3 (2009). 

Elinor Sloan, “Homeland Security and Defence in the Post-9/11 Era,” in David S. McDonough, ed. Canada’s National Security in the Post-9/11 World: Strategy, Interests, and Threats (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012), chapter 5. (Library E-book)

Justin Massie, “Public Contestation and Policy Resistance: Canada’s Oversized Military Commitment to Afghanistan,” forthcoming in Foreign Policy Analysis (Blackboard)

Noah Richler, “War Games,” The Walrus, April 2012.



Douglas L. Bland and Sean Maloney, Campaigns for International Stability: Canada’s Defence Policy at the Turn of the Century (Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2004). 

Murray Brewster, The Savage War: the Untold Battles of Afghanistan (Toronto: Wiley, 2011). 

Roy Rempel, Dreamland: How Canada’s Pretend Foreign Policy Has Undermined Sovereignty (Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2006). 

Bruno Charbonneau and Wayne S. Cox, “Global Order, US Hegemony and Military Integration: The Canadian-American Defense Relationship,” International Political Sociology 2/4 (2008). 

Joseph T. Jockel and Joel J. Sokolsky, “Canada and NATO: Keeping Ottawa in, expenses down, criticism out…and the country secure,” International Journal 64/2 (2009). 

Joel J. Sokolsky, “Sailing in Concert: The Politics and Strategy of Canada-US Naval Interoperability,” IRPP Choices 8/2 (2002). 

Benjamin Zyla, “NATO and post-Cold war burden-sharing: Canada ‘the laggard’?” International Journal 64/2 (2009). 

Kenneth Holland and Christopher Kirkey, eds. “Canada’s Commitment to Afghanistan,” special issue of American Review of Canadian Studies 40/2 (2010). 

David S. McDonough, “Getting it just right: Strategic Culture, Cybernetics, and Canada’s Goldilocks Grand Strategy,” Comparative Strategy 32/3 (2013). 

Eric Lehre, At What Cost Sovereignty? Canada-US Military Interoperability in the War on Terror (Halifax: Centre for Foreign Policy Studies, 2013). 

Week 4 (27 Jan.)

Peacekeeping at home and abroad

Desmond Morton, “ ‘No More Disagreeable or Onerous Duty’: Canadians and Military Aid to the Civil Power,” in David B. Dewitt and David Leyton-Brown, eds. Canada’s International Security Policy (Scarborough: Prentice Hall Canada Inc., 1995), pp. 129-152. (Reserve)

Sean Maloney, “Domestic Operations: The Canadian Approach,” Parameters 27 (Autumn1997).


P. Whitney Lackenbauer, “Carrying the Burden of Peace: The Mohawks, the Canadian Forces, and the Oka Crisis,” Journal of Military and Strategic Studies 10/2 (2008). (Blackboard)

Walter A. Dorn, “Canadian Peacekeeping: Proud Tradition, Strong Future,” Canadian Foreign Policy 12/2 (2005). 

Sean Maloney, “In the Service of Forward Security: Peacekeeping, Stabilization, and the Canadian Way of War,” in Bernd Horn, ed. The Canadian Way of War: Serving the National Interest (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2006), pp. 297-323. (Reserve)


LCol Ross Fetterly, “The cost of peacekeeping: Canada,” Economics of Peace and Security Journal ½ (2006). 

David Last, “Almost a Legacy: Canada’s Contribution to Peacekeeping,” in Bernd Horn, ed. Forging a Nation: Perspective on the Canadian Military Experience (St. Catherine’s: Vanwell Publishing, 2002). 

Sean M. Maloney, Canada and UN Peacekeeping: Cold War by Other Means, 1945-1970 (St. Catherine’s: Vanwell Publishing, 2003). 

Robert W. Murray and John McCoy, “From Middle Power to Peacebuilder: The Use of Canadian Forces in Modern Canadian Foreign Policy,” American Review of Canadian Studies 40/2 (2010). 

Week 5 (3 Feb.)

Recurrent Defence Dilemmas: Missile Defence, the Arctic, and Defence Spending

Philippe Lagassé, Canada, strategic defence, and strategic stability: a retrospective and look ahead,” International Journal 63/4 (2008). 

Brian Bow, “Defence dilemmas: Continental defence cooperation, from BOMARC to BMD,” Canadian Foreign Policy 15/1 (2011). 

Rob Huebert, “Submarines, Oil Tankers, and Icebreakers: Trying to Understand Canadian Arctic Sovereignty and Security,” International Journal 66/4 (2011).

Andrea Charron, “The Northwest Passage: Is Canada’s sovereignty floating away?,” International Journal 60/3 (2005). 

Andrew Richter, “Forty Years of Neglect, Indifference, and Apathy: The Relentless Decline of Canada’s Armed Forces,” in Patrick James, Nelson Michaud, and Marc J. O’Reilly, eds. Handbook of Canadian Foreign Policy (Toronto: Lexington Books, 2006), pp. 51-82.


Bill Robinson, “Canadian military spending 2010-11,” Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, March 2011.



James Fergusson, Canada and Ballistic Missile Defence, 1954-2009: Déjà Vu All Over Again (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2010). 

Week 6 (10 Feb.)

Parliament, the Executive, and Defence Decision-Making

Douglas L. Bland and Roy Rempel, “A Vigilant Parliament: Building Competence for Effective Parliamentary Oversight of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces,” Policy Matters, vol. 5, no. 1 (February 2004)


Philippe Lagassé, “Accountability for National Defence: Ministerial Responsibility, Military Command and Parliamentary Oversight,” IRPP Study No. 4 (2010)


Christopher Dunn, “Canada Needs a War Powers Act,” Canadian Parliamentary Review 30/3 (2007).


Nicholas A. MacDonald, “Parliamentarians and National Security,” Canadian Parliamentary Review 34/4 (2011). 



Roy Rempel, The Chatter Box: An Insider’s Account of the Irrelevance of Parliament in the Making of Canadian Foreign and Defence Policy (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2002). 

Philippe Lagassé, “The Crown’s Powers of Command-in-Chief: Interpreting Section 15 of the Constitution Act, 1867,” Review of Constitutional Studies 18/2 (2013). 

Week 7 (17 Feb.)


Week 8 (24 Feb.) 

Canadian civil-military relations

Douglas L. Bland, “A Unified Theory of Civil-Military Relations,” Armed Forces and Society 26/1 (1999). 

Douglas Bland, “Hillier and the New Generation of Generals: The CDS, the Policy and the Troops,” Policy Options (March 2008), pp. 54-58. 


Philippe Lagassé and Joel J. Sokolsky, “A Larger ‘Footprint’ in Ottawa: General Hillier and Canada’s Shifting Civil-Military Relationship,” Canadian Foreign Policy 15 (2009).

Kimberly Marten, “From Kabul to Kandahar: The Canadian Forces and Change,” American Review of Canadian Studies 40/2 (2010). 

Thomas J. Ring, “Civil-Military Relations in Canada: A ‘Cluster Theory’ Explanation,” M.A. thesis, Royal Military College of Canada (2009), chapters 6-7. (Blackboard)

Op-eds by Stephen Saideman, David Bercuson and P. Lagassé on the appointment of CDS Lawson:






Douglas L. Bland, Chiefs of Staff: Government and the Unified Command of the Canadian Armed Forces (Toronto: Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies, 1995). 

Douglas L. Bland, The Administration of Defence Policy in Canada, 1947 to 1985 (Kingston: R.P. Frye, 1987(.

Daniel P. Gosselin, “The Storm over Unification of the Armed Forces: A Crisis of Canadian Civil-Military Relations,” in Howard G. Coombs, ed. The Insubordinate and the Noncompliant: Case Studies of Canadian Mutiny and Disobedience, 1920 to Present (Kingston: Canadian Defence Academy Press, 2007). 

Week 9 (3 March)

Defence budgeting 

John M. Treddenick, “The Defence Budget,” inDavid B. Dewitt and David Leyton-Brown, eds. Canada’s International Security Policy (Scarborough: Prentice Hall Canada Inc., 1995), 413-454.(Reserve)

David Perry, “Canada’s Seven Billion Dollar War: The cost of Canadian Forces Operations in Afghanistan,” International Journal 63/3 (2008). 

David Perry, “The Privatization of the Canadian Military: Afghanistan, Canada First, and Beyond,” International Journal 64/3 (2009).  

David Perry, Defence Austerity: The Impact to Date, Conference of Defence Associations Institute, 2013.



Douglas L. Bland, ed. Canada Without Armed Forces? (Kingston: School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University, 2004). 

LCol Ross Fetterly and Mjr Richard Groves, Accural Accounting and Budgeting in Defence, Claxton Paper 9, Defence Mangagement Studies, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University, 2008. 

Week 10 (10 March)

Defence Procurement: Procedures and Challenges

Aaron Plamondon, Equipment Procurement in Canada and the Civil-Military Relationship: Past and Present, Calgary Papers in Military and Strategic Studies, Occasional Paper No. 2, 2008. 

Craig Stone, “Defence Procurement and Industry,” in David S. McDonough, ed. Canada’s National Security in the Post-9/11 World: Strategy, Interests, and Threats (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012), chapter 4. (Library E-book)

Philippe Lagassé, Recapitalizing the Canadian Forces’ Major Fleets: Assessing Lingering Controversies and Challenges, CIC/CDFAI Strategic Studies Working Group, December 2012.


Craig Stone, A Separate Defence Procurement Agency: Will it Actually Make a Difference, CIC/CDFAI Security Studies Working Group, February 2012.



Public Works and  Government Services Canada, Supply Manual:


Aaron Plamondon, The Politics of Procurement: Military Acquisition in Canada and the Sea King Helicopter (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2010). 

Aaron Plamondon, “Amnesia in acquisition: the parallels of the F-35 procurement and the Sea King replacement projects,” Canadian Foreign Policy 17/3 (2011). 

Alan S. Williams, Reinventing Canadian Defence Procurement: A View from the Inside (Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2006). 

Alastair Edgar, “Growth Pains or Growing Strains: The Limits of Neighbourliness and the Politicization of Canada-US Defence Industry Integration,” Canadian Foreign Policy 8/2 (2001). 

Week 11 (17 March)

The National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy 

National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, Backgrounders, 2010-2013


Eric Lehre, The National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy: An Update, CIC/CDFAI Strategic Studies Working Group Papers, 2013.


Office of the Auditor General of Canada, Fall 2013 Report, chapter 3. 


Week 12 (24 March)

Replacing the CF-18s and the National Fighter Procurement Secretariat

NB: Some of this week’s readings may be updated during the term. 

Kim Richard Nossal, “Late learners: Canada, the F-35, and Lessons from the New Fighter Aircraft Program,” International Journal 68/1 (2012-2013). 

Office of the Auditor General of Canada, Spring 2012 Report, chapter 2.


 National Fighter Procurement Secretariat, Evaluation of Options to Sustain a Canadian Forces Fighter Capability: Terms of Reference


National Fighter Procurement Secretariat, Industry Engagement Request: Questionnaire 1 – Assessment Methodology, May 2013



Srdjan Vucetic, ed. “Canada and the F-35: What’s at stake?” special issue of Canadian Foreign Policy 17/3 (2011). 

Week 13 (31 March)

Contemporary Canadian Defence Challenges

David Auerswald and Stephen Saideman, NATO in Afghanistan: Fighting Together, Fighting Alone (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014), chapter 5. (Blackboard)

Peter Jones and Philippe Lagassé, “Rhetoric versus Reality: Canadian defence planning in a time of austerity,” Defense & Security Analysis 28/2 (2012).

Martin Shadwick, “The Report on Transformation 2011,” Canadian Military Journal 12/1 (2011).


Canada First: Leveraging Defence Procurement Through Key Industrial Capabilities, Report of the Special Adviser to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, February 2013.


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