Domestic Operations: The Canadian Approach   [open pdf - 51KB]

"The application of military force by a democratic government within the confines of its borders, and in some cases against its citizenry, has long been a controversial and politically sensitive topic. Though that is not a new type of operation for either the American or the Canadian military establishments, the nature of the threats each is being asked to confront has evolved. [...]. It is safe to assert that threats to North American domestic security will increase in nature, scope, and number in the next century. This in turn will presumably prompt more debate on and calls for an increase in the military's role in containing and neutralizing those threats. Military commentators, observers, and policymakers in both nations can perhaps learn from one another how democratic and culturally similar nations prepare for and respond to domestic situations requiring military force. The United States' closest ally and trading partner, Canada, has in the past 30 years undertaken several sensitive domestic operations. Canada has forged effective intragovernment legal and command mechanisms to conduct such operations effectively with its small but well-trained military. The purpose of this article is to explain what these mechanisms are, how they have evolved, and how they have been employed by the Canadian government. Though structured primarily to support and implement government policy overseas and to protect Canada from external threats, the Canadian Forces provide the battlefield attributes of coordination, communications, mobility, organization, discipline, and force which the civil power does not possess in abundance, if at all."

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U.S. Army War College, Parameters: http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/parameters/
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Parameters: United States Army War College Quarterly (Autumn 1997), v.27 no.3, p.135-152
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