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The Evolution of Strategic Thinking at the Canadian Department of National Defence, 1950-1960

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The Evolution of Strategic Thinking at the Canadian Department of National Defence, 1950-1960

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Title: The Evolution of Strategic Thinking at the Canadian Department of National Defence, 1950-1960
Author: Richter, Andrew
Abstract: The paper will demonstrate that Canadian officials expressed interests in a variety of areas, including both conceptual and empirical strategic contributions. Conceptually, it will be demonstrated that officials began to appreciate the mutually destructive nature of any nuclear engagement prior to their American colleagues, and they therefore began to articulate an understanding of deterrence that was somewhat different from the one which emerged in the United States. Empirically, the paper will focus on Canadian air defence policy of the time, and the strategic concepts that underlined it. It will be demonstrated that the Canadian appreciation of the air defence problem (including both procurement and command concerns) differed from the American model, and that officials approached issues from a distinctly Canadian point of view. While there are other areas of defence policy that could be examined, readers should note that air defence was a vital component of Canadian defence policy in the 1950s, as most of the controversial issues of the period related to this mission (i.e., the Avro Arrow, the BOMARC missile, etc.). Methodologically, observations and findings will be based on an examination of original
government documents, many of which have been reviewed for the first time in this paper. This inductive research process will offer security scholars a more complete picture of how defence issues and problems were considered during this period, and will be of considerable benefit in tracing Canada’s Cold War defence orientation.
Subject: Canadian military
the 1955 External study
the 1955 DND study
deterrence
Type: Other
Rights: http://www.yorku.ca/yciss/
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/1407
http://www.yorku.ca/yciss/publications/OP38-Richter.pdf
Published: YCISS
Series: Occasional Paper ; 38
Date: 1996-08

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