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Priority Capabilities for the CAF

GR66

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Here's a little twist on Mazlow's Hierarchy of Needs.

According to "Strong, Secure, Engaged" (and just about any post-WWII defence policy) the core missions of the CAF are:

To ensure Canada remains strong at home, secure in North America and engaged in the world, the Canadian Armed Forces will:
  • Detect, deter and defend against threats to or attacks on Canada
  • Detect, deter and defend against threats to or attacks on North America in partnership with the United States, including through NORAD
  • Lead and/or contribute forces to NATO and coalition efforts to deter and defeat adversaries, including terrorists, to support global stability
  • Lead and/or contribute to international peace operations and stabilization missions with the United Nations, NATO and other multilateral partners
  • Engage in capacity building to support the security of other nations and their ability to contribute to security abroad
  • Provide assistance to civil authorities and law enforcement, including counter-terrorism, in support of national security and the security of Canadians abroad * Provide assistance to civil authorities and nongovernmental partners in responding to international and domestic disasters or major emergencies
  • Conduct search and rescue operations

How would you prioritize the capabilities of the CAF to achieve the above goals? What might your "napkin" force look like? Let's be realistic with our proposals. Let's assume that at most we're looking at defence budget of the NATO goal 2% of GDP and our manning levels are unlikely to increase beyond our existing authorized levels (although you could potentially increase the overall personnel by shifting some capabilities from the Reg Force to the Reserves).

For the purposes of this thought experiment let's assume that control of the land border between the USA and Canada will remain primarily a law enforcement responsibility as will countering terrorist groups operating within Canada (i.e. the CAF providing assistance to civil authorities when required rather than being the lead agency in such activities).

To my mind the capability priorities would be:
  1. The ability to detect foreign forces entering Canadian territory including our Maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (i.e. our 200-mile limit). For me that means the NORAD North Warning System, a satellite surveillance network, maritime patrol, sonar surveillance (fixed sensors and subs and/or UUVs/USVs)
  2. The ability to defend against enemy missile attacks on our territory. For me that means participating in BMD, domesting GBAD, air-launched anti-missile systems and ship-based AD (in my opinion an actual airborne/amphibious attack against our populated areas of the country are beyond the capabilities of any potential enemy. The only realistic potential targets would be in the sparsely populated North with limited objectives like destroying our sensing capabilities or our forward operating locations, etc.)
  3. The ability to extend our detection capabilities outward beyond our own territory in order to locate (and attack) enemy platforms launching or preparing to launch attacks on our territory from outside our airspace/200-mile limit. For me that means over-the-horizon radar, fighters/AAR capabilities, MPAs, AEW capabilities, blue-water (vs coastal defence) naval assets, long range missiles, etc.
  4. Light, air transportable and arctic capable forces (and the transport capability to deploy and sustain them) to respond to any possible incursions on to Canadian territory.
  5. Special operations forces to deal with counter-terrorism operations both domestically and internationally in support of our partners as well as security force assistance capabilities to train/mentor allied forces.
  6. Internationally deployable military forces to support our NATO and other international partners including NATO/coalition military operations, deterrence operations, peacekeeping/stabilization missions and humanitarian missions. Preference should be given to providing existing capabilities outlined above (ISR, AD capabilities, air and naval forces, Light and SOF forces, transport capabilities, etc.) that we already have in place to fulfill our self-defence requirements over new capabilities geared exclusively to foreign deployments.
  7. SAR capabilities. Ideally the platforms used for SAR operations would have commonality with other CAF fleets to allow for easier augmentation in either direction in case of a major disaster or major conflict.
I'm interested in seeing what others feel the priorities should be and how they'd structure the CAF to fulfill those priorities.
 
Here's a little twist on Mazlow's Hierarchy of Needs.

According to "Strong, Secure, Engaged" (and just about any post-WWII defence policy) the core missions of the CAF are:



How would you prioritize the capabilities of the CAF to achieve the above goals? What might your "napkin" force look like? Let's be realistic with our proposals. Let's assume that at most we're looking at defence budget of the NATO goal 2% of GDP and our manning levels are unlikely to increase beyond our existing authorized levels (although you could potentially increase the overall personnel by shifting some capabilities from the Reg Force to the Reserves).

For the purposes of this thought experiment let's assume that control of the land border between the USA and Canada will remain primarily a law enforcement responsibility as will countering terrorist groups operating within Canada (i.e. the CAF providing assistance to civil authorities when required rather than being the lead agency in such activities).

To my mind the capability priorities would be:
  1. The ability to detect foreign forces entering Canadian territory including our Maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (i.e. our 200-mile limit). For me that means the NORAD North Warning System, a satellite surveillance network, maritime patrol, sonar surveillance (fixed sensors and subs and/or UUVs/USVs)
  2. The ability to defend against enemy missile attacks on our territory. For me that means participating in BMD, domesting GBAD, air-launched anti-missile systems and ship-based AD (in my opinion an actual airborne/amphibious attack against our populated areas of the country are beyond the capabilities of any potential enemy. The only realistic potential targets would be in the sparsely populated North with limited objectives like destroying our sensing capabilities or our forward operating locations, etc.)
  3. The ability to extend our detection capabilities outward beyond our own territory in order to locate (and attack) enemy platforms launching or preparing to launch attacks on our territory from outside our airspace/200-mile limit. For me that means over-the-horizon radar, fighters/AAR capabilities, MPAs, AEW capabilities, blue-water (vs coastal defence) naval assets, long range missiles, etc.
  4. Light, air transportable and arctic capable forces (and the transport capability to deploy and sustain them) to respond to any possible incursions on to Canadian territory.
  5. Special operations forces to deal with counter-terrorism operations both domestically and internationally in support of our partners as well as security force assistance capabilities to train/mentor allied forces.
  6. Internationally deployable military forces to support our NATO and other international partners including NATO/coalition military operations, deterrence operations, peacekeeping/stabilization missions and humanitarian missions. Preference should be given to providing existing capabilities outlined above (ISR, AD capabilities, air and naval forces, Light and SOF forces, transport capabilities, etc.) that we already have in place to fulfill our self-defence requirements over new capabilities geared exclusively to foreign deployments.
  7. SAR capabilities. Ideally the platforms used for SAR operations would have commonality with other CAF fleets to allow for easier augmentation in either direction in case of a major disaster or major conflict.
I'm interested in seeing what others feel the priorities should be and how they'd structure the CAF to fulfill those priorities.

The reason the CAF exists is the defence against "help". Everything after that is just window dressing.
 
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