This chapter suggests six interrelated reasons that explain why statements of Canadian defence policy and strategy have so often failed to result in the expected outcomes: (1) Canadians don’t typically develop policy and strategy through a rational process; (2) defence policy outcomes are often expendable because they are rarely linked directly to Ottawa’s grander strategic goals; (3) Canadian governments have habitually refused to accept the cost and level of commitment necessary to achieve policy aims; (4) the Canadian Armed Forces’ traditional military culture, characterized by an unwillingness to admit failure, interferes with rational analyses of the relative success of defence policy initiatives; (5) because Canadian defence policy is regularly operationalized in an alliance context, and since Canada is typically a supporting player within such alliances, Ottawa has limited control over the outcomes; and finally, (6) measuring defence policy outcomes is difficult in the best of times; it is near impossible in the context of Canada’s forward approach to defence.
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Chapnick, A., Stone, J.C. (2020). From Policy and Strategy to Outcomes. In: Juneau, T., Lagassé, P., Vucetic, S. (eds) Canadian Defence Policy in Theory and Practice. Canada and International Affairs. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-26403-1_6
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