Achieving Consensus and Effectiveness in Canadian Defence Policy
Establishing a political consensus on Canadian defence policy objectives is in the national interest. Since defence policies look ahead based on ten-, fifteen- or even twenty-year planning horizons, political consensus is highly desirable to avoid damaging stops and starts in defence initiatives and to build programme consistency. Historically, the establishment of a consensus on a core defence objectives has been challenging in the face of changing domestic priorities. But this may be changing given a consensus on key elements of the defence programme initiated under the Harper Government and which has been continued under the Trudeau Government. The paper outlines both some pitfalls that could disrupt the continuation of the defence policy consensus, as well as measures that can assist in sustaining that consensus. Should the consensus be sustained it can help to ensure that Canada’s defence policy is effective in serving the national interest.
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