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Planning without guidance : Canadian defense policy and planning, 1993-2004 Hartfiel, Robert Michael 2008

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PLANNING WITHOUT GUIDANCE: CANADIAN DEFENSE POLICY AND PLANNING, 1993-2004 by ROBERT MICHAEL HARTFIEL B.Sc., The University of British Columbia, 2002 A THESIS SUBMITTED iN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Political Science) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) October 2008 © Robert Michael Hartfiel, 2008 ABSTRACT The decade between the release of Canada’s 1994 Defence White Paper and its 2005 International Policy Statement was a period of crisis within the Canadian Forces (CF). The CF’s operational tempo increased significantly even as the defence budget was cut by a quarter. Defence issues were perceived to have very little profile in Ottawa., and military officers felt their concerns were not being heard. Despite rapid changes in the global security environment, dramatic budget cuts and frequent deployments, the CF was given no overarching policy direction from government. However, as one officer remarked, the CF gradually learned to survive in the absence of political guidance -- Indeed, “we have provided our own guidance.” This paper will examine how the CF adapted in the absence of strategic direction from government. It will focus particular attention on the adoption of capabilities-based planning as a decisional methodology for resource allocation and mitigating risk. This paper is based on a series of interviews with senior military officers and civilian officials at the Department of National Defence (conducted by Dr. Cohn Campbell in 2004 and 2005), and a reading of the relevant literature on Canadian defence policy and strategic planning. TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT ii TABLE OF CONTENTS “ LIST OF TABLES iv LIST OF FIGURES v 1. iNTRODUCTION 1 2. DEFENCE POLICY AND PLANNING 3 2.1 Why Strategic Planning Matters 5 3. POST-COLD WAR POLICY AND PLANNING CHALLENGES 7 3.1 Peace Dividend 8 3.2 Operational Tempo 8 3.3 Capital Expenditures 10 3.4 Human Resources 13 3.5 A Policy Vacuum9 16 4. SPONTANEOUS ADAPTATION 21 4.1 Strategic Visioning 24 4.2 Capabilities-based Planning 25 4.3 Capabilities-based Planning as an Educative Tool 28 4.4 Limitations of Capabilities-based Planning 29 5. CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTED AREAS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH 31 5.1 The Efficacy of Capabilities-based Planning 31 5.2 Civil-military Relations 34 5.3 Political-military Deliberation 36 5.4 Conclusion 37 BIBLIOGRAPHY 39 III LIST OF TABLES Table 3.1: Trend in DND Expenditures Breakdown 11 Table 3.2: Distribution of the Population of Regular Members of the Canadian Forces 15 iv LIST OF FIGURES Figure 3.1: Canadian Forces International Operational Commitments, 1980-2004 10 Figure 4.1: Defence Compared With Other Federal Programmes, 1993-2003 22 V PLANNING WITHOUT GUIDANCE: CANADIAN DEFENCE POLICY AND PLANNING, 19932OO4! In Canada, the history ofthe civil-military relation in the context ofcommitments has been a history ofunrelenting confusion and conflict between governments and military officers.” (Douglas L. Blana ‘Chiefs ofDefence Staff ‘p. 15) 1. INTRODUCTION The decade between the release of Canada’s 1994 Defence White Paper and its 2005 International Policy Statement was a period of crisis within the Canadian Forces (CF). The CF’s ‘operational tempo’, or frequency of operations, increased significantly during this period, even as the defence budget was cut by a quarter. Defence policy decisions were often made ‘on the fly’ and seemingly without regard to the government’s declaratory defence policy. Defence issues were perceived to have very little profile in Ottawa, and military officers felt their concerns were not being heard. The comments of a senior CF officer provide the motivation for this study. During the 1990s, he states, “we found ourselves literally living day to day... the day-to-day challenges were such that nobody thought beyond next week... we gave up on strategic planning... we had a failure of strategic leadership.” The CF was initially ill-prepared and ill-equipped for the post- Cold War world, but—as militaries are expected to do—they adapted to new conditions. 1 In 2004 and 2005, Dr. Cohn Campbell interviewed senior civilian officials and military officers at the Department of National Defence in Ottawa as part of research for a comparative project on defence transformation in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. An outline of this paper was presented at the 2006 Annual Security and Defence Forum (SDF) Fall Conference, Queen’s Centre for International Relations, Kingston, Ontario, September 20-22, 2006. 1 According to the officer, “the services.., they learn to survive in the absence of guidance and it has only been very recently that we have provided our own guidance? Drawing on interviews with senior CF officers and Department ofNational Defence (DND) officials and on a reading of the relevant literature in Canadian defence administration, this study evaluates the officer’s contention that the CF learned “to survive in the absence of guidance” and indeed began to provide their “own guidance.” The statement suggests that the CF had adapted to a perceived lack of strategic guidance by developing its own planning processes—a case of what Cohn Campbell has called “spontaneous adaptation”3. The paper begins with a discussion of the utility and importance of strategic defence policy and planning, and how responsibility for this area is shared and divided. The second section of this paper presents an overview of the challenges faced by the Canadian Forces during the eleven years between the 1994 and 2005 White Papers. It summarizes the rapid changes in global security, the impact of dramatic budget cuts and frequent deployments on the CF’s human and material resources, and the ‘incoherence’ of defence policy guidance during this period. The third section will examine how the CF adapted to the absence of strategic guidance by pursuing ambitious internal reforms. This reform process, apparently driven by a cohort of officers within the CF, centered on the adoption of strategic visioning, and capabilities-based planning—a decisional methodology for resource allocation and mitigating risk. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of these developments for civil-military relations in Canada and presents a case for institutional reform. 2Emphasis added. See Cohn Campbell et al., Comparative Trends in Public Management: Smart Practices Toward Blending Policy and Administration (Ottawa: Canada School of Public Service, 2006) http://www.csys efc.gc.caIResearch/pubhications/pdfs/p I 35_e.pdf (accessed May 25, 2008). 2 2. DEFENCE POLICY AND PLANNING The ‘mechanics’ of defence management in Canada have been presented in detail elsewhere.4According to Middlemiss, the breakdown of responsibilities is as follows: the federal government must set the “broad defence policy objectives”, that is, “the commitments and role of the Canadian Forces that will reflect and serve them... [and] provide the resources necessary to staff, train and equip [them].”5 More simply, the government is meant to explain what the CF is for and what it should be able to do. The government’s policy objectives are formally expressed in Department ofNational Defence White Papers—the government’s official, declaratory defence policy. These have historically been updated on an ad hoc basis, often early in a new government’s mandate. The government is not required to update them on a regular basis. In addition, government defence policy can be articulated in speeches by the Minister of Defence or Prime Minister, in parliamentary debates, and in answers to questions in the House of Commons.6 Speeches and statements in question period are not considered ‘official’ government policy statements, however, and are not used as the basis of formal strategic planning by the Department of National Defence. Once the government has established a formal defence policy framework, it is the responsibility of the Department ofNational Defence to implement it. The defence policy and for example Douglas L. Bland, Issues in Defence Management (Kingston, On.: Queen’s University, 1998) and Douglas L. Bland and Sean Maloney, Campaignsfor International Security: Canada Defence Policy at the Turn of the Century (Kingston, On.: Queen’s University, 2004). 5Danford W. Middlemiss and Joel J. Sokolosky, Canadian Defence: Decisions and Determinants (Toronto: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1989), 195. 6Canada, Department ofNational Defence, “Responsibilities of the Minister”, http://www.forces.gc.caJadmpol/content.asv?id96534736-BCA7-44B3-8C04-F1D9FF82D5DE} (accessed April 11,2008). 3 planning process is (ideally) a continuous one involving the Minister ofNational Defence and civilian and military officials from the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces. The overall policy objectives articulated by the government provide the guidance through which civilian and military ‘defence managers’ make decisions. As Bland puts it, “...defence management is about transfonning allocated resources into military capabilities relevant to and in accord with government policy.”7 It is critical for the government to provide the Department ofNational Defence and the Canadian Forces with an overarching vision to guide its long-range planning, one that clearly articulates the government’s defence policy objectives and the resources allocated to achieve those ends.8 First, defence policy guidance enables defence managers to set priorities and allocate scarce resources. Without reference to defmed policy objectives, defence managers are forced to make educated guesses about how to allocate resources, and how to prioritize defence capabilities. They cannot make informed decisions about the content of training programs, how resources for research and development are allocated, or how many personnel should be deployed on operations and how many should be kept in reserve. Left to their own devices, defence managers may tailor the military for different roles than those the government envisage. This may lead to a mismatch between the government’s policy goals and the policy instruments they have at their disposal. 7Bland, Issues in Defence Management, 3. 8”A good strategy should always fit securely into the enduring ends-ways-means construct, in which ‘ends’ identifies the political objective, or, in current terminology, the effect we wish to create; ‘ways’ defmes the method we choose to pursue that effect; and ‘means’ describes the tools available to implement that way. It follows that if either the means or the ways is inconsistent with the desired ends, then the strategic approach will be unsound, regardless of the available firepower, technology, doctrine, and organisational arrangements.”Alan Stephens and Nicola Baker, MakingSense of War: Strategyfor the 21’ Century (Cambridge, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2006), xi. 4 Second, the government’s articulated policy objectives provide guidance on the type of missions the CF should be prepared to conduct, and, by extension, on its force structure—its inventory of personnel, weapon systems and equipment. Defence planning timelines tend to be longer than for most other areas of government responsibility. While new threats can emerge quickly, the process for buying new equipment and developing new capabilities can take decades, especially if the equipment is based on a new or customized design rather than purchased ‘off-the-shelf.’ The cost of new equipment purchases can reach into the billions, requiring the involvement of numerous agencies such as the Treasury Board, Industry Canada, the Privy Council Office and the Prime Minister’s Office.9Once a platform and supplier has been selected, it can take several years before the CF takes delivery of the final product. Training personnel and testing the equipment can lengthen the process even further. If the Canadian Forces are deemed to have the wrong force structure for the missions the government requires of it, restructuring the force could take years. 2.1 Why Strategic Planning Matters It is impossible for the military to be trained and equipped for every possible contingency. Force structuring decisions are therefore crucial; they determine what the CF can and cannot do. If the CF lacks a key capability (e.g. tactical airlift, maritime resupply vessels), that shortfall can compromise the CF’s ability to carry out a mission. If the CF’s force structure is tailored to meet government-defmed defence policy objectives, then those objectives must be carefully selected, clearly articulated and supported with the necessary resources. As one two- star general put it, the purpose of strategic planning is “not trying to get it perfectly right, it’s an overview of the role of the Prime Minister and central agencies in foreign policy decision-making see John Noble, “PMOIPCOIDFAIT: Serving the Prime Minister’s Foreign Policy Agenda”, in Canada Among Nations 2007: What Room to Manoeuvre?, eds. Jean Daudelin and Daniel Schwanen (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2008), 3 8-65. 5 avoiding going terribly wrong.” If the government’s policy guidance is too ambiguous, or if the resources allocated are not sufficient to meet its policy objectives, gaps in capabilities will emerge. The government may fmd that the CF does not have the ability to carry out (or sustain) missions that it deems are in the national interest. 6 3. POST-COLD WAR POLICY AND PLANNING CHALLENGES The end of the Cold War presented significant challenges for defence planners in Canada and its allies. Defence planning during the Cold War has been described as primarily ‘commitment’- or ‘threat-based,”° referring to Canada’s defence obligations to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), an alliance formed in opposition to the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. NATO allies negotiated national commitments to their collective defence efforts against a Soviet attack. Decisions regarding doctrine, force structure and force posture” were made in response to estimates of Soviet doctrine, force structure and posture. Force structure planning had become incremental, focusing on replacing weapons systems with newer, more expensive models.’2 Western militaries were tailored for a particular opponent and a certain kind of war. Davis describes the fixation ofNATO defence planners on the Soviet Union during this period as “point-scenario planning” — a “fixation on particular enemies, particular wars, and particular assumptions about those wars—a fixation that comes at the expense of more flexible and adaptive planning.”3 As one army colonel put it: “We knew exactly what we were 10 Commitment-based planning: “This planning approach focuses on developing force-deployment options suitable for known threats or specific established tasks. However, it limits flexibility and is therefore no longer used in CF strategic planning.” Canada, Department of National Defence, Canadian Forces Joint Doctrinefor Mobilization, (Ottawa: Department of National Defence, 2002), http://www.cfd-cdf.forces.gc.ca (accessed July 7, 2008). See also the ‘strategy of commitments’ in Bland and Maloney, Campaignsfor International Security, 74. ‘ ‘Force posture’ refers to the disposition of military forces, i.e., where various defence capabilities located and how they are positioned. ‘2”[R]ather than considering how missions might be performed differently in the future”, Air Force planners focused on “. . .replacing old platforms with something that looked and functioned just the same.” Cohn Campbell and Michael Barzelay, Preparingfor the Future: Strategic Planning in the US. Air Force (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2003), 42, 64. The Canadian Navy referred to this as “platform-based procurement” in Canada, Department of National Defence, Leadmark: The Navy’s Strategyfor 2020 (Ottawa: Department of National Defence: 2001), http://www.navv.dnd.ca/leadmarklr,df/ENG LEADMARK FULL 72DP1.PDF (accessed August 27, 2008), 2. ‘3”Point-scenario planning is characterized by a fixation on particular enemies, particuiar wars, and particular assumptions about those wars—a fixation that comes at the expense of more flexible and adaptive planning.” Paul K. Davis, Analytic Architecturefor Capabilities-Based Planning, Mission-System Analysis and Transformation (Santa Monica, CA; Rand, 2005), 8, http://www.rand.org/oubs/monograph reports!20051MR1 513 .pdf (accessed April 15, 2008). 7 doing. I knew who I would fight, the vehicles they would be driving, where I would come from and I knew exactly the positions we would occupy.” 3.1 Peace Dividend The end of the Cold War came as a surprise to politicians and defence planners. Existing strategy, force structure and posture were rendered obsolete. NATO governments responded to public expectations for a ‘peace dividend’ by slashing defence budgets. Total military expenditures in Western European and North American states fell from $778 billion in 1988 to $585 billion in 1998, a decline of 25 percent. The CF saw a dramatic decline in resources during this period as the Chretien government focused on eliminating a $40 billion budget deficit and cutting a $750 billion net debt.14 Between 1993-4 and 1998-9, defence spending decreased by 30 percent in real terms.15 The CF was slashed from 75,000 to 50,000 personnel, and the acquisition of new equipment was delayed or cancelled. 3.2 Operational Tempo At the same time, Western politicians were faced with an upsurge in new intra-state conflicts around the world, many associated with the termination of superpower support to client regimes. The end of the Cold War also ended the deadlock on the United Nations Security Council, unleashing “a major surge of activism directed towards stopping armed conflicts.”16 14 ‘Net debt’ refers to the consolidated net debt of federal, provincial, territorial and local general governments. Canada, Statistics Canada, “Consolidated Government Finance: Assets and Liabilities,” The Daily (April 25, 2005), http://www.statcan.calDaily/English/050425/d050425c.htm (accessed April 14, 2008). ‘5Vincent Rigby, “The Canadian Forces and Human Security: A Redundant or Relevant Military?” in Canada Among Nations 2001: The Axworthy Legacy, eds. Fen Hampson, Norman Hillmer and Maureen Appel Molot (Oxford University Press, 2002), 52. ‘6Human Security Report Project, Human Security Brief2006 (Vancouver: Human Security Report Project, 2007), 19, http://www.humansecuritybrief.info/2006/ (accessed April 14, 2008). 8 UN and regional peace operations increased dramatically during the 1 990s.’7 In 1990, some 27,000 uniformed personnel were deployed in peace operations; by 2002 that figure had increased by over 400 percent, to 138,000. These efforts contributed to a significant decline in armed conflicts and a significant drain on downsized NATO defence budgets.’8 With the end of the Cold War, policymakers assumed that a lower level of operational readiness would be required. Instead, demands on the CF increased during the 1990s, mirroring trends in other NATO member states (see Figure 3.1).’ As commitment followed commitment, it became clear that one of the major strategic assumptions in the 1994 White Paper—that the CF will “do less”20—was, in the words of a three-star admiral, “fundamentally wrong.” During the decade after the end of the Cold War, Canada’s military participated in approximately 70 international missions; during the previous forty years it participated in 25.21 According to one estimate, the operational tempo throughout the 1990s was higher for the Army than in any period since the Korean War (1950- 1953).22 17 William Durch and Tobias Backstrom, Who Should Keep the Peace: Providing Securityfor the Twenty-First Century (Washington, DC: Stimson Center, 2006), 9-11, http://www.stimson.org/pub.cfin?id=339 (accessed April 21,2008). 18Hnman Security Report Project, 19. ‘9”Ignoring their White Paper’s recommendation that the military should be deployed selectively, the [Chretien] government committed CF units to a wide variety of UN and NATO operations in the 1990s.” Brian W. Tomlin, Fen Osler Hampson and Norman Hilmer, Canada International Policies: Agendas, Alternatives, and Politics (Don Mills, Ont: Oxford University Press, 2008), 150. 20Canada, Department ofNational Defence, 1994 Defence White Paper (Ottawa: Department ofNational Defence, 1994), 10. 21 Rigby, 45. 22Canada, Parliament, House of Commons, Standing Committee on National Security and Defence, Canadian Security and Military Preparedness, 37th Parliament, 1st Session, 200 1-2002 (February 2002), 25, http://www.parl.gc.ca137/1/yarlbus/commbus/senate/Com-e/defe-e/rep-e/repo5febo2-e.pdf(accessed April 12, 2008). “Colonel Peters, in his presentation of July 18, 2001 told the [Standing Committee on National Security and Defence] that throughout 1 990s the operational tempo was higher for the Army than in any other period since Korea. Not only were there deployments in Eastern Europe, Africa and the Pacific Rim, but major domestic deployments were required to help with floods and ice storms. The Army proved its capability of maintaining two battle-group sized units abroad on demanding peace support operations, but “we managed to accomplish these tasks only at a considerable price. We are very concerned about our ability to sustain this tempo at current resource levels.” Colonel Peters went on to say that the burden is becoming “intolerable” for soldiers, and particularly junior leaders, who have been forced to work the equivalent of 80 days beyond the typical work year. Vital combat skills at higher levels are being eroded at an accelerating rate due to lack of collective training at brigade level. 9 Fiscal Year Source: Yves Turgeon, “Interoperabilily Down and Canada s Mentorship ofPeace Support Operations, “ Canadian Forces College, htty://wps. dc, forces.gc. ca/papers/csc/csc33/exnh/tur2’eon.pdf(accessed September 25, 2008). 3.3 Capital Expenditures The surge in activity during this period was reflected in how scarce defence resources were allocated. To help pay for operations resources were diverted from the capital budget.23 Table 3.1 illustrates the escalating cost of operations and maintenance of aging platforms, and the decreasing share of capital expenditures as a percentage of the defence budget.24 The capital budget represents the government’s investment in future capabilities.25 The failure reinvest in 23 Capital is defined here as “expenditures made for new equipment and facilities.” John M. Treddenick, “Distributing the Defence Budget: Choosing Between Capital and Manpower,” in Issues in Defence Management, ed. Douglas L. Bland (Kingston, Ont.: School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University, 1998), 62. For more detail, see Brian MacDonald, “The Capital and Future Force Crisis,” in Canada Without Armed Forces, ed. Douglas L. Bland (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2004). 24Canada Department ofNational Defence, Making Sense Out ofDollars: 2006-2007, (June 2007) 46 http://www.admfincs.forces.gc.calfinancialdocs/MsoodI2006-2007/msoodO7.pdf (accessed 7 July 2008). 25 “Capital expenditures are investments in future capabilities. They are payments for potential forces.” Capital expenditures are an inexact indicator of the government’s investment in defence capabilities. While the procurement of new weapon systems accounts for the lion share of capital expenditures, it is not the only component. The capital budget consists of five components: machinery and equipment; land, buildings, and works; professional services; personnel costs; and other costs. Treddenick, “Distributing the Defence Budget: Choosing Between Capital and Manpower”, 62. See also Philippe Legasse, “Specialization and the Canadian Forces,” Defence Figure 3.1: Canadian Forces International Operational Commitments, 1980-2004 &ODO — War on Terror Rwanda IncIu A1nisIen & ThkablanS.a Somalia Gulf War Cambodia baq 0 3i300 0 C, 2.OO 0 ‘S Eritrea Hafti Nca Warm Kosovo\ East \ Middle East Missions \ — —A Cyprus It) Id - Z It) Id I’- dd 0) 0 — eq tq 1’) 858 01 (‘1 (4 10 capital does not have an immediate effect; it is only five or ten years later when older equipment begins to wear out and there is nothing available to replace it with.26 Table 3.1: Trend in DND Expenditures Breakdown The state of the air force is a case in point. In a February 6,2007 hearing of the House of Commons Defence Committee, MP Russ Heibert stated that “13 years ago, 1993-94, the air and Peace Economics 16, no. 3 (June 2005): 205-222, and various issues of ‘The Estimates of the Government of Canada’ and the ‘Making Sense Out of Dollars’ briefings prepared by the Department ofNational Defence. 26”Acqufring new capital is typically a lengthy and expensive process. Capital equipment is bought with the expectation that it will be in service for an extended period of time. Accordingly, the percentage of the defence budget devoted to capital expenditures in indicative of an armed forces’ future capabilities: the amount spent on capital equipment today reveals what an armed force will be able to accomplish tomorrow. Over the past two decades, personnel and operations and maintenance costs have eroded capital expenditures in the Canadian defence budget. Since a high of 30% in 1983, capital expenditures have fallen to between 17-13% of the defence budget as of 2003. Unless the composition of Canada’s defence budget is re-tooled in favor of new capital expenditures or the need for new capital equipment is reduced, the long-term capabilities of the Canadian Forces (CF) may be undermined.” Legasse, 206. Source: Canada, Making Sense Out ofDollars: 2006-2007,46. •cw•z (ThW)N 11 force had 700 serviceable aircraft; 10 years later they were down to 290, with serviceability rates of 30% to 60%; the air force suffered 75% drop in air power in 10 years.”27 Gordon O’Connor, the first Minister of Defence under Stephen Harper’s government, put the recapitalization rate during this period as half what it needed to be.28 As a consequence of this failure to reinvest, the list of weapons systems, or ‘platforms’, needing to be replaced lengthened. Facing a cascade of obsolescence, future governments would be forced to choose between massive increases in spending or abandoning important capabilities. As Morten remarked in 2003, the costs of replacing so many platforms at once “has shaped up as one of the biggest headaches Canada’s defence planners face in the twenty-first century.”29 Despite the commitment made in the 1994 White Paper, that Canada would maintain ‘combat-capable’ forces able to ‘fight alongside best against the best,’ the CF was in danger of losing important capabilities. As its capabilities declined, it would increasingly become a niche military—capable of very specific tasks but unable to operate overseas in hostile environments without significant allied support. As an exanp1e, an army colonel explained that the decision not to maintain heavy armour or upgrade artillery would mean that the CF would be unable to engage in high-intensity urban combat: “This Army could not go into Falluja right now as the American forces did [in 20041. They simply could not engage in built-up areas. We lack the protection to operate.” Given the government’s commitment to maintain combat-capable forces, this decline in capabilities was seen as the result of government neglect rather than a deliberate 27 Canada, Parliament, House of Commons, Standing Committee on National Defence, Evidence, no. 33 (February 6, 2007) 39th Parliament, 1st Session, 2006-2007 http://cmte.parl.gc.calcmte/CommitteePublication.ast,x?Source1d192746&Lang=l &PARLSES=39 l&JNT=0&CO M=10470 (accessed April 14,2008), 9. 28poid 1. 29Desmond Morton, Understanding Canadian Defence (Toronto: Penguin Canada, 2003), 152. 12 strategic choice. Aging equipment was allowed to ‘rust-out’, then deemed too expensive to replace. CF officers valued their war-fighting capabilities, and worried about losing the capability to fight at the high end of the spectrum or in certain kinds of enviromnents. There is nothing inherently wrong with maintaining a defence force with limited capabilities; but, as one three- star admiral put it, “a niche is nice but if you get the wrong niche you are irrelevant.” Another officer, an army colonel, warned that, once abandoned, the process of regaimng a capability could take a decade. In other words, deciskns resulting in the loss of cpabilities are time- consuming and costly to reverse and should not be taken lightly. 3.4 Human Resources Frequent overseas deployments and the decision to reduce the size of the armed forces through buy-outs and decreased xecrnitmentalso had a severe impact on the CF personnel. In Canada Without Armed Forces, Douglas Bland observed: “In the 1 990s... people serving in the core land, sea, and air combat and support trades - the people most needed to fulfill the actual wartime policies of the government - soon began to leave the Canadian Forces early, and they continue to do so.”3° Under the 1992-1996 Force Reduction Program (FR,P), almost 14,000 CF members left the CF, leaving “certain targeted military occupations... under-manned.”3’In addition, the CF recruited fewer than half the number of people it lost.”32 The CF’s retention L. Bland, “The Fundamentals ofNational Defence Policy Are Not Sound,” in Canada Without Armed Forces (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2004), 18. 31 Under the Force Reduction Program, CF members “weje offered the opportunity to volunteer for early release or retirement in return for... [a] compensation package.” Canada, Department ofNational Defence, Audit ofForce Reduction Program (January 1997), http://www.dnd.ca/crs/ydfs/frp e.pdf (accessed April 20, 2008). 32 Canada, Parliament, House of Commons, Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Report 11 - Chapter 2 ofthe May 2006 Report ofthe Auditor General ofCanada on National Defence - Military Recruiting and Retention (December 2006), http://cmte.iarl.gc.ca/ContentlHOC/committee/391/yacy/reports/rp2560007/39I PACP Rptl 1/391 PACP Rptl 1- çp4f (accessed 14 April 2008) 13 problems continued throughout the 1990s. A 2002 Senate Committee report warned that over 60 percent of the CF’s 105 military occupations were seriously undermanned.33 As Bland and others acknowledge, people choose to change careers for a number of reasons. The growing strength of Canada’ s economy during this period offered attractive opportunities for military personnel, particularly those with skilled trades. However, the impact of the 1990s is visible in the CF’s distorted demographic profile which shows a shortage of personnel in the middle ranks (see Table The CF is still dealing with the consequences. In a 2002 Auditor-General report, DND research staff reported that, “depending on recruiting success, it could take up to 30 years before the military population profile is such that the right numbers are available with the skills and experience to match the demand.”35 “The Committee learned that there are 105 military occupations within the Canadian Forces. The status of an occupation is considered Red or “critical” if its “trained effective strength” is 90 percent or less of the “preferred manning level” and there are indications that its strength will not recover within 2 years. It is considered Amber or “caution” if it is 91-95 percent of the “preferred manning level and there are indications that the shortfall will be made up within 1-2 years, if there is a rapid change year-to-year in its “trained effective strength,” or if its strength is more than 10 percent above the “preferred manning level.” On this basis an extraordinary 66 of the 105 occupations are “stressed,” that is 43 are classified as “critical” and 23 as “caution.” Canada, Canadian Security and Military Preparedness, 22. Table 3.2, see Canada, Office of the Auditor General, 2006 May Status Report ofthe Auditor General of Canada (Ottawa: Government of Canada, 2006), http://www.oag bvg.gc.calinternetlEnglishlatt_20060502xe04_e_14434.html (accessed April 15, 2008). For more on the CF’s human resources challenges, see Canada, Office of the Auditor General, 2002 April Report ofthe Auditor General of Canada (Ottawa: Government of Canada, 2002), http://www.oa bvg.gc.ca/internet/English!parl oag 200204_e 1 133.html (accessed April 15, 2008) and Christopher Ankersen, “The Personnel Crisis,” in Canada Without Armed Forces, ed. Douglas L. Bland (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2004), 56. Canada, Office of the Auditor General, 2002 April Report ofthe Auditor General ofCanada. 14 Table 3.2: Distribution of the Population of Regular Members of the Canadian Forces Members Years of service Source: Canada, Office of the Auditor General, 2006 May Status Report ofthe Auditor General ofCanada (Ottawa: Government of Canada, 2006) httl://www.oag-bvg.gc.calinternet/English/att 20060502xe04 e 14434.html (accessed April 15, 2008). The strain of the CF’s high operational tempo on its human and material resources is part of the reason why the Senate defence committee recommended in 2002 that Canada bring home its armed forces and start refitting, training and organizing them all over again.”36 The 2002 report recommended an immediate withdrawal of all Canadian military forces from overseas duty, and a minimum 30 month moratorium on new overseas deployments.37 In 2004, the Chief of Defence Staff was forced to declare an ‘operational pause’ citing the need to rest, retrain and refit equipment—a clear sign that the CF had been overextended.38 36Morten, 152. Canada, Parliament, House of Commons, Standing Committee on National Security and Defence, For an Extra $130 Bucks... Update on Canada Militaiy Financial Crisis: A View From the Bottom Up (November 2002) 37th Parliament, 2nd Session, 2002-2003, http://www.parl.gc.caJ37/2/parlbus/commbus/senate/com-e/defe-e/rep- e/rev02novO2-e.htm (accessed May 20, 2008). 38 G.E. Sharpe and Allan English, “Observations on the Association between Operational Readiness and Personal Readiness in the Canadian Forces,” Defence Research and Development Canada (Toronto: Defence Research and Development Canada, 2006), http://pubs.drdc rddc.gc.ca!inbasket/CEBsuuport.0604 1 0_lO 1 7.toronto_cr_2006 072.Ddf (accessed April 26, 2008). 4.1)O 4.000 3OO 3000 2O 2.000 1500 I000- There are few members to till in behind those leavinR. Members with t5ormoe years of service are either already eligible to leave, or soon will be. 13 IS 20 15 3.5 A Policy Vacuum? According to Bland and Maloney, “surprise.., is the common element in Canadian defence decisions.”39 While most defence contingencies cannot be predicted, critics like Bland have argued that Canada is notable for the ad hoc manner in which defence policy decisions are made. The lack of coherent policy guidance and direction, which frustrates efforts by civilian and military defence managers at long-range planning, stems from a highly personalized decision-making process, and the status of the defence portfolio as a political backwater and potential ‘graveyard.’40 The perceived indifference of policymakers to military matters exacerbates civil-military disagreements over resources and deployments. This perception is fueled by the failure of the government to update its formal policy guidance (upon which all departmental defence planning activities are based), and the failure to regularly consult with military experts, particularly before committing to new operations. In a 1997 study, Anne Denhoim Crosby observed that “[d]efence policy is not a top priority issue within the Canadian government... [the] Minister of National Defence is not a high status position, and rarely do issues of national security occupy sustained public debate.”4’ Owing to Canada’s geography and lack of natural enemies, defence issues have seldom rated highly on the electorate’s list of priorities.42 As a result, defence has not been a priority issue in Ottawa. Bland and Maloney go further, stating that: “There is little evidence that any prime minister has ever, outside of the world wars, been actively engaged in deep considerations of 39Bland and Maloney, 94-5. 40janice Gross Stein and Eugene Lang, The Unexpected War: Canada in Kandahar (Toronto: Viking Canada: 2007), 40. Only one Minister of Defence has risen to become prime minister: Kim Campbell. 41Anne Denhoim Crosby, “A Middle-Power Military in Alliance: Canada and NORAD”, Journal ofPeace Research 34, no. 1(1997): 40. 42 “Canadian’s first priorities were domestic ones.” Tomlin et al., 127. 16 national defence strategy.”43 In The Unexpected War: Canada in Kandahar, Stein and Lang noted that “neglect of the Canadian Forces was not unusual in the Prime Minister’s Office, in the Finance Department, and within the Liberal caucus. Jean Chretien’s last Defence Minister, John McCallum, admitted having received “few phone calls” from the prime minister during his 18 months on the job, this during a period when significant numbers of Canadian troops were deployed in Afghanistan.45 Perhaps for these reasons, Crosby describes “the political/military relationship” as one that “is not characterized by conditions of highly structuredpolitical control.”46 The government’s lack of regular engagement with defence policy and planning is reflected in the lack of institutionalized deliberation and coordination between defence planners and the civil leadership. According to Bland and Maloney, there are few effective links between the Cabinet, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and the chief of defence staff.47 Treddenick points to political control only through budget constraints and bureaucratic procedures and the politics surrounding procurement.48 The lack of formal linkages institutionalizing the policy and planning process allow for a highly personalized decision-making process. Bland and Maloney remark that defence policy is more or less whatever the prime minister says it is.”49 The statement is hyperbole50,but it points to the considerable discretion prime ministers have over foreign and defence policy matters in Bland and Maloney, 79. Stein and Lang, 7. Stein and Lang, 56. 46Crosby “A Middle-Power Military in Alliance: Canada and NORAD,” 40. Emphasis added. and Maloney, 79. 48 John M. Treddenick, “The Economic Significance of the Canadian Defence Industrial Base,” CSDRA 4 Report No. 5 (Kingston: RMC, 1987) quoted in Solomon, “The Demand for Canadian Defence Expenditures”, Defence and Peace Economics 16, no. 3 (June 2005), 178. 49Bland and Maloney, 79. states: “Contrary to some prevailing views about the omnipotence of prime ministers, they do not always impose their will on Cabinet or the caucus.” Noble, 41. 17 Canada’s Westminster parliamentary system of government. In practice, prime ministers have tended to rely on a few close advisors when making decisions relating to foreign and defence policy. This pattern was apparent during the Chretien period. Military officers had very limited access to Cabinet. As a former senior Department ofNational Defence official put it: “[T]here [was] no regular cabinet gathering, there was no venue where the chief [of defence staff] actually got a hearing in front of even a small group of ministers .. .military matters just didn’t have much profile. Not that there was opposition or criticism, it was just a lot of ignorance.” The Chretien government, like those before it, tended to make foreign and defence policy decisions “on the fly”51 and without regard for Canada’s declaratory defence policy. Keating writes: Looking back on Chretien’s decade as Prime Minister, one is struck by the inconsistencies that surround Canada’s foreign policy during this period... In part these inconsistencies reflect competing pressures and the uncertainty of the post-Cold War security environment, but they also suggest a Prime Minister without a clear set of priorities or a sufficiently strong commitment to remain highly engaged on foreign policy issues.52 Morten was even more critical, concluding that, “[b]eyond budget-balancing, Chretien actually had no agenda.”53 The result was policy incoherence—the failure to match ways (methods), means (defence resources), and ends (defence policy objectives), resulting in the need in 2004 to withdraw the CF from overseas operations. The 1994 White Paper had promised to match reduced means with reduced commitments; in other words, do less with less. Instead, the Chretien government 51 David Rudd, Deborah Bayley and Karen Everett, Implementing Canada ‘.s’ Defence Policy Statement (Toronto: Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies, 2005), 3. 52 Tom Keating, “A Passive Internationalist: Jean Chretien and Canadian Foreign Policy,” in The Chrétien Legacy: Politics and Public Policy in Canada, eds. Lois Harder and Steve Patten (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2006), 126-7. Morten, 91. 18 demanded the CF do more with less, committing Canadian soldiers to serial peacekeeping and peacemaking operations—often without clear mandates, adequate training or equipment. Squeezed by budget cuts, these missions eroded the human and material resources of the CF, leaving little in reserve for new contingencies or future force development.54 In his 2006 assessment of Chretien’ s foreign policy record, Keating states that Canada’s interests in the Balkans, East Timor and the Horn of Africa were “indirect at best.”55 The confusion about the purpose of these missions is reflected in the following statement by an army colonel: “We did not have a clear understanding of what we were about, and what we were going to do, and the forces were ill-prepared. The failure in Somalia, in my opinion, was directly attributable to the fact we did not articulate national interests and specific objectives for the force.” Several CF officers and DND officials interviewed for this paper expressed frustration over the failure of the government to articulate a national security strategy during this period. According to one two-star general, there was “no attention paid in government at almost any time” to strategic planning. A senior naval officer hypothesized that “Chretien was not interested in the least because if he actually had a strategy he might have to follow it.” He wanted the flexibility to use the CF whenever and wherever he wanted. The Chretien government’s handling of defence policy contributed to a widening gulf of misunderstanding between the military and their civilian masters, and fueled the perception that the government was indifferent to military matters. Writing in 2004, Bland and Maloney observed that: [d]iscord [between CF officers and politicians] characterizes policies concerning force sizes, budgets, and deployments; indeed, in most every critical area. The much discussed MacDonald, “The Capital Crisis and the Future Force.” Keatmg, 136. 19 ‘commitment-capabilities gap’ of the late-1980s was, arguably, not a gap in capabilities as much as a gap in how politicians and officers viewed commitments. Present policies based on Defence 1994 White Paper are as disharmonious as ever, with little civil- military agreement on any substantial issue of policy, capabilities, funding, administration, or operations.’6 In the resulting vacuum, a cohort of CF officers began pursuing an ambitious internal reform agenda; its aim was to reorganize internally and establish planning processes which would help the institution cope with a perceived lack of guidance and support from government. 56 and Maloney, 96. 20 4. SPONTANEOUS ADAPTATION According to respondents, the erosion of capabilities during the 1 990s raised concerns within the military about the future direction of the CF. Initial budget cuts in defence spending during the early 1990s closely tracked trends in overall federal spending. However, as the country’s fiscal situation improved, defence spending recovered much more slowly (see Figure 4.1), this despite the operational demands discussed above. To defence planners, the failure to win a greater share of the budget caused some introspection, and recognition that the military shared a measure of responsibility for the crisis it found itself in. A navy captain admitted: “[T]he military in my view had not grasped the question of how to make ourselves relevant in the [1990s1... We [were] not relevant to the Canadian public.” A two-star general cast the net wider: “We lost a quarter of our budget because at the time we could not demonstrate credibility, relevance and stewardship.” In order to make the CF more relevant, both to the Canadian public and to their elected representatives, CF officers realized they would have to become more innovative and entrepreneurial; the CF would need to adapt to, and anticipate, the types of missions it was now being asked to perform. According to Bland and Maloney, “officers began a wholesale reorganization of the military staff system directed at emphasizing military planning and the day- to-day operations of units deployed in dangerous places.”57 This reform process, motivated by the difficult lessons CF officers had learned in Somalia and the former Yugoslavia, appears to have been initiated from within and led by a cohort of officers within the military, rather than the joint initiative of military and civilian departmental staff. 57Bland and Maloney, 38. 21 Figure 4.1: Defence Compared With Other Federal Programmes, 1993-2003 Index FY 93—94 = 100 115 110 Federal Government 1993—94 1996—97 1999—2000 2002—03 SOURCE: J. Craig Stone and Binyam Solomon, “Canadian Defence Policy and Spending,” In Defence and Peace Economics 16, no. 3 (June 2005): 145—169. Campbell has described reform processes initiated within government agencies as ‘spontaneous adaptation’. According to Campbell, “spontaneous adaptation produces combinations of internally generated or collegial interagency adjustments of visions, plans and budgets, allowing for effective organizational evolution or transformation in response to changing policy and administrative environments.”58 CF officers recognized that the blame for the “failure of strategic leadership,” as one officer put it, was shared between political and military leaders. “This place [headquarters] needed an overhaul a long time ago,” a one-star general stated. “The past few CDS’ [Chiefs of Defence Staff] didn’t take charge of the Canadian forces” and provide “a vision on how we’d operate.” ‘ Campbell, Comparative Trends, 5. 22 As part of this reform process, the CF began to generate strategic policy guidance of its own. In 1999, DND released a short strategy document entitled Shaping the Future ofthe Canadian Forces: A Strategyfor 2020. Strategy 2020 was: aimed at creating ‘a strategic framework for defence planning and decisionmaking to guide the institution into the next century.’ The document was meant to serve as a bridge between current policy and the future... Strategy 2020 set out for planners various defence objectives scenarios, and planning targets, none of which were particularly novel. Nevertheless, the document provided a ready pseudo-policy source for NDHQ staffs and a base upon which specific staffs could build their plans.6° According to Bland and Maloney, the document was produced by Canadian Forces central staff without the departmental [civilian] staff.6’ Middlemiss and Stairs noted that this planning guidance “officially [Strategy 2020] had no formal government approval, certainly no Cabinet imprimatur.”62 A two-star general appeared to confirm that Strategy 2020 was written in response to a lack of policy guidance from government. Strategy 2020 was developed because “we could get no traction [on] any kind of policy revision, other than the budget.” Within the National Defence Headquarters, the CF began to take the lead in the policy process. Bland and Maloney observed that “[p]olicy papers, once the sole responsibility of the deputy minister, have fallen to the military staffs.”63 The CF’s environmental commands, the Army, Navy and Air Force, each produced strategic papers based on the Strategy 2020 vision.M Canada, Department ofNational Defence, Shaping the Future ofthe Canadian Forces: A Strategyfor 2020 (Ottawa: Department ofNational Defence, 1999), http://www.cds.forces.gc.calpubs/strategv2k/intro e.asv (accessed April 20, 2008). 60an and Maloney, 139. 61 Ibid. Emphasis added. 62 Danford W. Middlemiss and Denis Stairs, “The Canadian Forces and the Doctrine of Interoperabiity: The Issues,” Policy Matters 3, no. 7 (June 2002), 8, http://www.irpp.org/pm1archive/pmvol3no7.pdf (accessed August 21, 2008). Bland and Maloney, 149-150. 64Canad, Department of National Defence, Advancing With a Purpose: The Army Strategy (Ottawa: Department of National Defence, 2002), http://www.army.forces.ca/strategv/English/resourcestrat.asp (accessed September 25, 2008). Canada, Department of National Defence, The Aerospace Capability Framework: A Guide to Transform and Develop Canada’s Air Force (Ottawa: Department ofNational Defence, 2003), 23 CF officers also looked to the forces of its traditional allies, Australia, United States and the United Kingdom for inspiration. CF officers reviewed how allied militaries were doing strategic planning. A one-star general explained: “We went to Australia, we went to the U.K., we went to U.S. because they were doing some capability based planning and we looked at how they attacked, how they approached it and then we came back and we adopted a model that would work for the Canadian situation... [Alt the time it was the UK and the United States that were doing the best planning and that opened the door... We put the three together and we took the best of everything.” The model allied militaries were adopting was based on two interrelated components: (1) long-range planning exercises, or ‘strategic visioning’, and (2) capabilities- based planning, a new planning methodology. 4.1 Strategic Visioning Strategic visioning refers to long-term planning exercises borrowed by public service agencies from the private sector in the 1990s. According to Campbell and Barzeley, “The proximate aim of any given round of strategic visioning is to improve the organization’s strategic intent. Strategic intent is a committed interpretation, shared by the organization’s leaders, of how the organization’s capabilities should evolve so as to remain effective in performing future tasks.”65 Like other defence establishments, the Canadian Forces were trying to adapt to a new strategic environment, with myriad new threats and missions. Participants of the visioning process develop a set of plausible alternative futures—typically a best-case, worst-case, and neutral scenario. They discuss what these futures will look like, what threats they will present, and what missions or ‘effects’ will likely be expected of the CF. http://www.airforce.forces.gc.calsite/visionlacf_e.asp (accessed September 25, 2008). Canada, Leadmark: The Navy s Strategyfor 2020. 65 Campbell and Barzelay, 96. 24 Instead of projecting current trends forward into the future, the participants attempt to ‘backcast’ from these future scenarios to the present. The utility of working backwards from a shared vision is summarized by Campbell and Barzelay: Advocacy of strategic visioning implies two things. First, while organizations cannot discern their future with certitude, they can improve their performance by anticipating environmental changes that will require them to draw on capabilities that they would not develop by following the status quo. Second, incremental change based on piecemeal modifications of the status quo will inevitably result in the organization falling short of requirements sometime in the future, and this failure to adapt will endanger its institutional viability.66 The gap between the capabilities required in these future scenarios and the organization’s present capabilities provide a roadmap for a long-term strategic plan. In the context of defence planning, it provides a roadmap for transformation of the military’s force structure. Strategy 2020 was the first significant attempt at integrating visioning exercises into strategic planning processes. 4.2 Capabilities-based Planning Like strategic visioning, capabilities-based planning was developed in the 1990s as a response to the proliferation of security threats in the post-Cold war world. Definitions of capabilities-based planning vary. Davis defmes it as “planning, under uncertainty, to provide capabilities suitable for a wide range of modern-day challenges and circumstances, while working within an economic framework.”67Bland and Maloney define it as “a method of planning [which] focuses on specific and related sets of equipment, people, infrastructure, and information systems which produce defence capabilities to meet defence policy goals as defined by governments.”68 66 Ibid., 19. 67Davis Analytic Architecturefor Capabilities-Based Planning, Mission-System Analysis, and Transformation, 1. 68Bland and Maloney, 46-7. Emphasis added. 25 During the Cold War, the U.S. and its allies used so-called ‘scenario-point planning’, in which particular weapon systems were matched against identified adversaries (usually the Soviet Union) in highly specific scenarios. According to Davis, the analysis produced by this planning process “consistently supported current programs.”69As one weapons platform neared the end of its life-span, it was inevitably replaced by a newer version of the same platform.7°This process was not, however, “useful for dealing with uncertainty or for assessing transformation concepts.”7’In contrast, capabilities-based planning focuses on developing and maintaining a set of generic defence capabilities for a wide spectrum of possible contingencies. In doing so, it aims to allocate scarce resources in a more balanced way, ensuring that the government has the ability to counter a broader spectrum of threats, not just what is considered the most likely.72 In general terms, capabilities-based planning involves developing a series of hypothetical scenarios in which military force may be necessary. These scenarios take place in the present- day and in the medium- and long-term future. Defence planners then develop a list of capabilities which would be required in these scenarios. A task which is currently performed by an expensive platform may be accomplished using a cheaper (or safer) alternative. As one three- star general put it: “By looking at capabilities you divorce yourself from platforms and their 69David Paul K., “Uncertainty-Sensitive Planning,” in New Challenges, New Toolsfor Defense Decisionmaking, edited by Stuart Johnson, Martin Libicki and Gregory F. Treverton (Santa Monica, CA; Rand, 2003), 14 1-142, http://www.rand.org/pubs/monograyhreports/MR1576/ (accessed May 20, 2008). 70 See for example Campbell and Barzelay’s discussion of U.S. Air Force’s plans to replace the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) and the development of the Predator, an unmanned aerial vehicle. Campbell and Barzelay, 42, 156-168. 71 Ibid. 72 The George W. Bush administration’s 2006 National Security Strategy, for example, acknowledges a broader spectrum of potential threats. The Department of Defense now divides these threats into four categories of security challenges: (1) traditional, i.e., state-to-state war; (2) irregular, i.e., counter-terror operations; (3) disruptive, i.e, new technologies which limit/negate U.S. dominance; and (4) catastrophic, i.e., employment of WMD. United States, White House, National Security Council, The National Security Strategy ofthe United States ofAmerica (Washington DC: White House, 2006), 43-44, http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss/2006/nss2006.pdf (accessed September 29, 2008). 26 capability and you start to look at what has to be done. [Capabilities-based planningj takes us from a platform centric view of the world to a capabilities based view of the world.” Once capability targets have been set, planners look at the current force and determine whether capability shortfalls or gaps exist, or if there is excess capability. Finally, planners integrate budget constraints into the equation, and make trade-offs between sets of capabilities. If there are capability gaps, decisions must be made on the priority level of the capability (ie. assess the likelihood, or risk that the capability will be required), and whether resources (new equipment or training) should be allocated to fill that gap. If there is deemed to be excess capability, some of the resources allocated to maintain that capability could be shifted elsewhere, thus adding capabilities in one area without losing capability in another; in other words, doing more with less. The exercise requires the development of ways to measure capability, and a careful assessment of risk. Capabilities-based planning was formally adopted by the CF as a force planning and development methodology in 2OOO. Capability Outlook 2002-2012 provides an early example of the application of this methodology to the CF’s existing and projected capabilities, and identifies projected capability gaps and priority areas for reinvestment.74 Outlook 2002-2012 warned that “the CF’s ability to maintain the operational tempo of the last decade cannot continue without a significant infusion of resources or, alternatively, mortgaging the future. It is therefore essential that projected capability deficiencies be prioritised and available resources aligned accordingly.”75 Canada, Department ofNational Defence, Capability Based Planningfor the Department ofNational Defence and the Canadian Forces, Ottawa: Department ofNational Defence, 2002. Canada, Department of National Defence, Capability Outlook 2002-2012 (July 2002), http://www.vcds.forces.gc.ca/dgsp/OOnative/ren-pub/CAPABILITY_OUTLOOK_E.pdf (accessed September 25, 2008). 75Ibid. 27 4.3 Capabilities-based Planning as an Educative Tool In interviews, CF officers suggested that one of the reasons for Canada’s current commitment-capability gap was their failure to communicate the consequences of budget cuts and procurement delays to politicians. Capabilities based planning might provide a means to do so. A senior naval officer said: “[W]e have not educated them [members of parliament]. We need a process to do that... what we should have is a way to look to the politicians.., and say that here are the options, we could demilitarize, we could have a purely protective force to just help the police and support disasters, or whatever Continental force where we work with United States and go off and put out forest fires. If you want a token force that contributes to the U.N. that might cost you $15 billion or do you want a real kick ass U.N. force that can go out there and make a difference, well that’s $22 billion. Present them with the capabilities that the Canadian forces need to do these kinds of things. If you don’t have these forces here’s what you cannot do.” In other words, CF officers want a closer link between means and ends, objectives and resources—closing what MacDonald calls Canada’s ‘defence policy gap’.76 An increase in total spending, though desirable, is not necessarily the point of the exercise. lithe government decides to discard a capability for budgetary reasons, the CF wants that to be an informed decision. As another officer, a one-star general put it: “{W]hat we had in mind was to be able to go to government and say that if you decide to take this decision today this is the impact of that... on the capabilities of the Canadian forces overall.” We need the “ability to demonstrate the impact that budget cuts can have on capability.” They reason that an argument for resources backed by this methodology stands a higher chance of success. Likewise, when an argument over funding is presented to the electorate in this manner it is more likely to be understood. For example, if the government cuts spending on search and rescue equipment and infrastructure, it will take twelve hours to respond to a request for search and rescue instead of six. 76Brian MacDonald, “Closing the Policy Gap”, in Transforming Defence Administration ed. Douglas L. Bland (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2004), 45. 28 4.4 Limitations of Capabilities-based Planning CF officers interviewed for this project hoped capabilities-based planning could be used to allocate scarce resources more effectively, and to educate politicians on the consequences of cutting programs or personnel. However, for any defence planning process to be effective, it must have policy guidance to draw upon. In this respect, it is no different from previous planning methods. The 2002 report Capability Based Planningfor the Department ofNational Defence and the Canadian Forces states that “The departure point for force development planning must, as always, be Government direction.... The capability based planning (CBP) process identifies the relative level of capability necessary in each of the various aspects of DND and the CF to achieve Government direction.”77The role of capabilities-based planning is described even more succinctly in a CF/DND presentation as “the process that translates policy into capability goals.”78 It is a way to match military ways and means with government-defmed ends. However, as one two-star general complained: “the previous [Chretien] government was very quiet about the ends they were trying to accomplish. There was never a real true statement of ends.” This apparent policy vacuum undermined the efficacy of departmental strategic planning processes, and frustrated planners. At the time the interviews took place, Jean Chretien had recently resigned as Prime Minister to clear the way for former Minister of Finance and rival Paul Martin.79 Re-elected in mid-2004, Martin’s government promulgated Canada’s first National Security Policy and initiated an international policy review. This was a significant departure. A two-star general noted that, under the Chrétien, there “was no attention paid in government to an overall defence 77Canada, Capability Based Planningfor the Department ofNational Defence and the Canadian Forces, 3. ‘78 Canada, Department ofNational Defence, “Capabilities Based Planning,” (PowerPoint presentation, November 29, 2005), http://www.vcds.forces.gc.caldgsp/pubs/dy_m/cbp e.asp (accessed August 11, 2008). Martin was sworn in as Prime Minister of Canada on December 12, 2003. 29 strategic framework... no national security policy.., in this country.” CF officers were hopeful that the policy review signaled a re-engagement by the government in defence policy and planning. In the absence of policy guidance, defence planners were still guessing about what capabilities the government will require — not only today, but 10, 15 years into the future. As one senior army officer put it: “The fundamental problem that we have in the Canadian military is that we’re trying to craft strategy, military planning if you will, in the absence of policy.” Another senior naval officer said, even more succinctly: “What is the first thing that you need when you’re talking about capabilities based planning. It is a capability to do what?” Strategic uncertainty notwithstanding, civilian and military staff responsible for implementing government policy should have a clear answer to this question. Without clear strategic guidance, civilian and military staffs may formulate plans which are ill-suited to the government policy preferences. And clear guidance helps ensure unity of purpose within any organization. A vacuum raises the risk that various elements of the DND/CF will be working at cross purposes, intentionally or unintentionally. 30 5. CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTED AREAS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH This paper has traced the CF’s adoption of strategic visioning and capabilities-based planning as an example of spontaneous adaptation. This adaption was driven by multiple pressures: changes in the global strategic environment, domestic budget constraints, a high operational tempo, a lack of ‘strategic’ political guidance, inconsistent and disinterested engagement by government, and the prospect of a rapid erosion of military capability. The internal reforms associated with integrating strategic visioning and capabilities-based planning into Department ofNational Defence planning processes do not appear to be directed from the Prime Minister’s Office. Rather, they were championed by a group of CF officers of various ranks, inspired by similar practices by their counterparts in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Research for this paper has suggested three areas which merit further study: (1) evaluating the efficacy of capabilities-based planning; (2) assessing civil-military relations in Canada; (3) investigating new methods ofpolitical-military deliberation. 5.1 The Efficacy of Capabilities-based Planning In 2005, the newly-appointed Chief of Defence Staff General Rick Hillier ordered the development of a new Defence Capabilities Plan (DCP). The DCP was tailored to complement the goals of the current Conservative government’s ‘Canada First’ defence plan, and based on capabilities-based planning methodology. Under Hillier, the CF has attempted to further institutionalize and refme capabilities-based planning as a means to connect ways and means with ends. The CF has also been reorganized to include more dedicated positions for strategic planning. 31 However, it is too soon to tell whether strategic visioning and capabilities-based planning have taken root, or represent a permanent sea change in how defence policy is managed in implemented in Canada. Campbell and Barzelay warn that the success of strategic visioning and planning processes depend “substantially on the personal qualities of the organization’s leaders and the extent to which they involve themselves” in those processes.8° Will the next CDS embrace these methods? As Campbell observes in a recent paper, spontaneous strategic planning processes can end as quickly as they begin, snuffed out by “the combined effects of fiscal stringency” and proliferating mandates from political authorities.8’The institutionalization of long-term planning processes must therefore be encouraged by the civilian government. Dedicated resources should be allocated to planning offices within DND/CF. DND/CF should resist the temptation to divert these resources and personnel to current operations. It is also unclear whether Canadian governments are committed to closing the gap between ways, means and ends. Despite the recent infusion of cash, the DCP reportedly met with significant resistance from the Clerk of the Privy Council, Ottawa’s most powerful bureaucrat.”82 The DCP was under review for at least two years, possibly because the price tag associated with realizing the Harper government’s Canada First Defence Strategy was much higher than expected. In the end, when the Harper government released Canada First in May 2008, the DCP remained classified. A DCP based on capabilities-based planning methodology would have laid bare the capability shortfalls of the CF (see for example Capability Outlook 2002-2012) and the trade-offs being made between funding and capability. As such, it is disappointing but not surprising that the information deemed too sensitive to circulate. ° Campbell and Barzelay, 18. s Campbell, “Spontaneous Adaptation in Public Management: An Overview,” Governance 20, no. 3 (July 2007): 388. 82 “Can political battles be far behind?” Toronto Star, June 16, 2007, http://www.thestar.conilNews/article/229405 (accessed April 12, 2008). 32 For proponents of increased defence spending, the Canada First Defence Strategy was greeted with ambivalence. New funding commitments were welcome, as was the commitment to a base level of funding over a twenty year period. Such budget certainty would aid long-term planning processes. However, the resources committed were less than expected.83 The Senate Committee on Defence criticized the funding as ‘minimalist’, and observed that the commitment of 1.5-2 percent increases in the budget would be eroded by inflation.84 One analysis by the Conference of Defence Associations, a lobby, showed that even with this infusion of cash, capital spending appears inadequate and total defence spending as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) is projected to decline over the next twenty years.85 An op-ed by Elinor Sloan concludes that while the overall funding commitment—roughly $45bn over 20 years—”is probably about right”, the investment must be front-loaded to avoid rust out of several platforms and a concomitant decline in defence capabilities.86 Canada First commits to incremental spending increases spread over twenty years. The delay in releasing the DCP suggests the Conservative government was unwilling to fully support (financially) the CF’s blueprint for the future. That the DCP encountered such opposition despite a healthy economy, a ‘pro-defence’ government, a sizable commitment in Afghanistan and a level of public support for the CF unprecedented in recent times, demonstrates the challenging budgetary and planning context CF/DND officials face. And, as Sloan points 83 The number of new personnel expected was cut from 15,000 regulars and 10,000 reservists to 7,500 regulars and 1,000 reservists. Canada, Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, “The View From the Top: Report of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence,” 39th Parliament, 2nd Session (August 2008), http://www.parl.gc.caJ39/2/parlbus/commbus/senate/com-e/defe-e/rep-e/repl 1 aug08-e.pdf (accessed August 15, 2008). ibid. 85 Brian MacDonald, “The Canada First Defence Strategy And The 20 Year Defence Budget,” Conference of Defence Associations Commentary (July 2008), http://www.cda-cdai.ca!Finance/CFDS%202008%2oBudget%20- %2OCDA.Ddf (accessed August 15, 2008). 86Elinor Sloan, “Canada First Defence Strategy,” Conference qfDefence Associations (July 2008), http://www.cdfai.orgJPDF/Canada%20First%20Defence%20Strategy.pdf (accessed 15 August 2008). 33 out, the commitments that have been made are by no means permanent, and “could just as easily be over turned by the next government.”87 Will the adoption of capabilities-based planning represent a turning point or a footnote? While public statements by CF officers suggest greater optimism about the direction of the CF88, it is too soon to say whether these reforms will fundamentally change defence administration in Canada, or arrest the long-term decline in the CF’s defence capabilities. 5.2 Civil-military Relations Research for this paper has suggested that a more careful look at civil-military relations in Canada is in order. Civilian control of the military is more or less taken for granted, but there have been occasions in the past (NORAD, Cuban Missile Crisis) when civilian and military leaders have clashed.89 CF officers value their warfighting capabilities, and have fought to preserve them in the face of successive rounds of budget cuts.9° And, as the comments of one senior civilian official quoted above have made clear, CF officers had better access to the leadership of the U.S. military than to the Cabinet of the government of Canada during the 1993- 2004 period. The CF’s close relations with allied militaries reinforce a common strategic outlook. On the other hand, research for this project suggests relations between the CF and the government are characterized by misunderstanding and frustration. As Bland states, “It is... an obligation for politicians, to set out plainly the government’s interpretation of its defence commitments and to ensure that military officers understand and comply with that 88 Canada, “Four Generals and an Admiral: The View from the Top.” 89Crosby “A Middle-Power Military in Alliance: Canada and NORAD,” quoted in Solomon, 178. See also Anne Denhoim Crosby. Dilemmas in Defence Decision-making: Constructing Canada’s Role in NORAD, 1 958-96 (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998). 9° Rick Hillier said “If we are incapable of dealing [with combat] we will fail in other missions as well.” Paul Koring, “Combat role of troops is vital, Hillier says”, The Globe and Mail, February 14, 2005, http://www.theglobeandmail.corn/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20050214/HILLIER 14/TPNational/Canada (accessed February 15, 2005). 34 interpretation... Left withoutpolitical guidelines military officers might possibly make their own interpretation of commitments based on their assessment of the national interest as well as their professional loyalties and that situation will inevitably bring the military into conflict with government.”9’ Frustration with a lack of support from previous government was reflected in Hillier’s statement in February 2007 in which he described the period of Liberal party government as a ‘decade of darkness.’92 Hillier was criticized in some quarters (and praised in others) for involving himself in politics. However, he clearly believes that the military was too quiet, too subservient during the Chretien period, and that the CDS has a responsibility to be a more aggressive advocate for the CF. When asked by a journalist about his most important duty, Hillier replied: “I speak for the soldiers... If I don’t speak for them, nobody else really does. In fact, they have no recourse to somebody else, to put it in more negative terms.”93 It is too early to tell whether Hillier’s tenure marked the beginning of a trend toward a more vocal military, or if the Hiller period was an anomaly. However, the controversy generated during this period has made clear that the subject of civil-military relations in Canada would benefit from further study. A systematic survey of CF personnel modeled those conducted on U.S. military personnel during the Clinton era would provide a sensible starting point.94 91 Bland, Chiefs ofDefence Staff 15. 92Mjke Blanchfield, “Liberals accuse Hillier of being a prop for the Conservative party,” Ottawa Citizen, February 16, 2007. Don Martin, “Is Hillier the Politician of the Year?” National Post, December 21, 2007, http://www.nationali,ost.comlrss/story.html?id=191169 (accessed December 22, 2007) ‘ Triangle Institute for Security Studies, “Project on the Gap Between the Military And Civilian Society,” http://www.pubyol.duke.edulcenters/tiss/researchlcmr/civmilpurpose.phy (accessed August 21, 2008). 35 5.3 Political-military Deliberation The notion that military officers are looking for innovative ways to educate politicians is a troubling one, and suggests current political structures are inadequate for effective defence administration. Formal defence reviews provide an opportunity for political-military dialogue about the government’s policy objectives. Unfortunately, the defence review process in Canada is a rare event. Eleven years passed between the 1994 White Paper and the 2005 International Policy Statement, fifteen passed between the 1972 and 1987 White Papers.95 As a method for planning under conditions of strategic uncertainty, capabilities-based planning holds considerable promise. However, for capabilities-based planning to work effectively, planning must be based on clear strategic guidance from government. Government input should be incorporated into any capabilities-based planning exercise. A regular, formalized consultation process—mandated by legislation—would be aimed at the perception among military officers that the long-term future of the CF is being neglected. Defence administration has increasingly become the purview of experts with specialized skills, education and experience. This has eroded the ability of non-expert civilian officials to evaluate the advice emerging from the Department of National Defence. To ensure effective civilian oversight, the capacity of the civilian officials to understand and engage with defence policy must be enhanced. Despite a spate of post-9/1 1 reforms, including the establishment of a National Security Advisor in 2004, the Privy Council Office (PCO) has relatively modest resources at its disposal. The establishment of an Advisory Council on National Security (ACNS) in 2005 is a step in the right direction. The ACNS is mandated to provide “confidential expert advice to the Government through the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister on 95Bland, Chiefs ofDefence Staff 158. 36 issues related to national security.”96According to the body’s original terms of reference, “Ministers and senior Government officials will attend meetings of the Council as appropriate.”97 However, this appears to be only an intermediate step. The ACNS only meets between two and four times a year, a frequency which seems inadequate to the task. If the government intends to maintain a high tempo of operations, it should consider a more permanent body, perhaps modeled on the U.S. National Security Council. This body would have a mandate to assist Cabinet in the formulation of national security policy, to evaluate existing policy, planning and programs on an ongoing basis and to provide advice to the prime minister and Cabinet as required. Since the PCO is meant to be a source of non-partisan advice, this body should be housed within the PMO. Formulating government policy is an inherently partisan activity. Members of Parliament not appointed to Cabinet should also have better access to information on defence matters. The Parliamentary Research Service should be tasked with publishing and regularly updating a research brief on defence policy. 5.4 Conclusion Morton said that defence, like business incentives and slot machines, “can swallow any amount of money and keep crying for more. Understanding Canadian defence means going beyond cash consumption to trying to figure out what we should be doing and why.”98 It is ultimately the responsibility of the elected government to set policy and allocate resources. The problems of today’s Canadian Forces stem from the repeated failure of governments to match policy objectives with resources. One-sided efforts by the CF to anticipate government decisions will inevitably fail. Strategic visioning and capabilities-based planning should provide the basis 96 Canada, Privy Council Office, “Advisory Council on National Security,” http://www.yco bcp.gc.calindex.asp?langeng&pagesecreats&subsi-sr&docacns-ccsn_e.htm (accessed August 15, 2008). 97Ibid., “Advisory Council on National Security Terms of Reference,” http://www.pco bcp.gc.calindex.asD?langeng&pagesecretariats&subsi-sr&docterms-mandat e.htm (accessed August 15, 2008). 98 Morton, xiii. 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