Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR
Issue link: http://vanguardcanada.uberflip.com/i/507045
6 aPRIL/May 2015 www.vanguardcanada.com S SIT REP When General Tom Lawson accepted the role of Chief of the Defence Staff in 2012, he faced the difficult prospect of trying to preserve capability hard- earned in Afghanistan while fending off the worst effects of austerity. Though he set as one of his priorities the task of ensuring "robust forces going ahead in the future," the Prime Minister welcomed him to the job with a reminder that the military needed more teeth and less tail, a direct reference to the military's own 2011 report on transformation. As Lieutenant-General Jonathan Vance prepares for the job of CDS, the task of preserving the future force hasn't gotten any easier [on p. 46, Ad- miral William Gortney describes the risk to the Force should it be allowed to hollow out]. While the recent federal budget may offer a glimmer of new money after 2017, Vance will face many of the same difficult procurement is- sues – timelines for building navy ships, the best option for next-gen fighter aircraft, how to proceed with unmanned systems – as his predecessor. And while Afghanistan no longer occupies his plate, expanding missions in Iraq, Syria, eastern Europe and the Ukraine threaten to morph into no less a challenge. In an interview four days before his appointment was announced, Vance spoke with Vanguard about his objectives for JOINTEX 15, an ambitious multinational training exercise that aims to strengthen the Canadian Armed Forces' decision-making capability from the tactical through to the opera- tional and strategic. He noted that many of the CAF's missions around the world "that have been relatively benign now are in areas that are subject to increasing in- stability." As an example, he pointed to Operation Calumet, a multinational observer force in the Sinai Peninsula. "There had been a time when manag- ing that mission as a function of the treaty between Egypt and Israel was relatively straightforward. Now we have the emergence of ISIS in the Sinai, and although they are occupied primarily with the Egyptians and anyone they consider a target, nonetheless there is risk of collateral damage." How such missions are managed, how force protection is addressed and what contingency plans are in place all "starts to gain more importance as the situation around those missions becomes more perilous," he said. Vance brings a lot of operational and strategic experience to the role. As commander of Canadian Joint Operations Command, a post he assumed last fall, he has been a visible face for Operation Impact, providing media brief- ings at key moments in the campaign. He briefly served in 2014 as deputy commander of Allied Joint Force Command Naples and was previously Direc- tor of Staff, Strategic Joint Staff, and Chief of Staff Land Strategy for the Cana- For new CDS, instability in missions and budget In 2009, Vanguard posed a question to Tom Ridge, the first secretary of Homeland Security and at the time a member of the National Security Pre- paredness Group, a bipartisan team assessing progress of the 9/11 Com- mission's recommendations: "Given the amount of critical infrastructure... that crosses the border, do we need a bi-national strategy? A bi-national command? Something akin, perhaps, to NORAD?" It's a question the magazine has asked on numerous occasions since, in- cluding to Michael Hayden, former director of both the CIA and NSA. As Cheri McGuire of Symantec notes elsewhere in this isue, the number and sophisti- cation of threats continues to increase. Yet, while the idea has always met with approval, a bi-national solution does not appear to have gained much traction. Speaking to the Conference of Defence Associations Institute in February, Admiral William Gortney, commander of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, acknowledged that the frequency and visibility of attacks are increasing. He said both countries "are conflicted with how we should handle this threat. In NORAD we often debate NORAD's role within cyber. I tell the staff, our indi- vidual nations must first decide how to deal with the cyber threats and once that occurs, then the two nations can work together and can determine a common way ahead, and from that will determine NORAD's role. It is my hope that it does not take a cyber 9/11 or Pearl Harbor to force us to finally find the solution." Admiral Michael Rogers, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of the NSA, told the same audience that "each nation needs to come to its own conclusion first before we start creating something." NORAD works, he noted, because each nation has "a high comfort level with the legal framework, authorities and the operational concepts." To de- Do we need cyber NORAD? dian Army. Most notably, however, he twice led Joint Task Force Afghanistan in 2009 and again in 2010. In a statement, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Vance "will provide strong leadership for the Canadian Armed Forces at a critical time in its his- tory. His years working with key allied forces and partners, his combat ex- perience, his strategic leadership, and his experience in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism warfare will help position the Canadian Armed Forces for continued success." Harper thanked Lawson for his service and exemplary leadership, ac- knowledging that the CDS had led the Canadian Armed Forces through a "challenging but positive period." A change of command ceremony and Vance's promotion to the rank of Gen- eral are expected in early May.