ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS FORT LEAVENWORTH United States
From post-World War II to 911, the government and people of Canada have been content with defining the countrys national security through a healthy economy and the protection of societal values. Historical tendencies suggest Canada has perceived few, if any, existential threats and has rested on its geo-strategic position as a means unto itself of providing security. Moreover, Canadian strategic culture has been heavily influenced by the United States, guiding national security interests through an opportunistic approach. But no longer the Government of Canada GoC stated it will not be a client-state within the international order rather, the GoC seeks to positively shape it. In June 2017, the state clearly articulated its national security objectives and its desire to uphold a rules-based international order. Since that time however, there has been no next step to achieve Canadas stated policy objectives. This paper engages the reader in understanding the vital role a national security strategy plays in the policy-strategy relationship, both in theory and practice, as a tool to centrally manage all instruments of national power in the pursuit of Canadas interests. Moreover, through an examination of the global security environment, the application of power and the conceptual approaches a state may take to national security strategy formulation, this paper demonstrates the relevance and value a national security strategy could bring to Canadas national security framework. The GoC has moved beyond The Right Honourable Louis St. Laurents call for reflection and discussion on matters of national interests. Strategies are not born of immaculate conception. A positive change is required in Canadas national security framework the government and citizens of Canada would benefit from the production of a Canadian national security strategy.