From the Editor

In this issue of ON TRACK, we review a range of critical issues in Canadian defence policy and important developments in international security that will undoubtedly have repercussions for many years to come.

Executive management consultant and Canadian Armed Forces veteran Eric Dion looks at the key issues facing military human resources (HR) policy in the twenty-first century. He offers expert analysis of how CAF culture has changed over the past decades and challenges policymakers and practitioners alike to think creatively about reshaping unproductive practices for a new generation of service personnel.

Tensions in the South China Sea remain high after a recent close encounter between a US Navy destroyer (USS Decatur) conducting freedom of navigation operations and a ship from the Chinese navy. Adam P. MacDonald of Dalhousie University examines the factors contributing to dispute and assesses whether the security architecture of a peaceful maritime region like the Arctic, can be applied to the South China Sea. In his article, he draws parallels between these two disparate areas of the globe and investigates the applicability of lessons learned in the North.

Ensuite, nous présentons un article du Dr. Michael Eric Lambert, un spécialiste du soft power. Dans l’article, Lambert suggère que la Transnistrie est un laboratoire pour la politique étrangère de la Russie. Celle-ci ambitionne de retarder l’intégration de la Moldavie et de l’Ukraine dans l’Union européenne et l’Otan. Toutefois, loin d’être une zone périphérie, la Transnistrie dispose d’une identité singulière et revêt une importance stratégique capitale pour le transit du gaz vers l’Europe et la stabilité régionale. Dans ce contexte, la Russie impose la paix depuis la chute de l’URSS en l’absence d’une proposition concrète venant de l’OSCE. L’article de Lambert fournit des clés utiles pour comprendre le conflit et ses nuances.

Finally, we have reprinted a series of our latest book reviews that provide cogent insight into the latest work in Canadian and international defence and security. This includes everything from militarized responses to organized crime to North American strategic defence, Operation MEDUSA and the world of war correspondents since 9/11.

This issue of ON TRACK represents a period of transition for all of us here at the Conference of Defence Association’s Institute. Heading towards the end of 2018, we are looking to expand the

diversity of voices and viewpoints that we publish both in this journal and in our other publication platforms. As part of this process, we have already issued new submission guidelines for our authors that we hope will help encourage a stronger and more robust conversation of the challenges facing Canadians today.

Over the following months, we encourage all our members and readership to keep an eye on our blog, the Forum. This is where you will be able to find articles from many of the young and talented MA and PhD students who attended this year’s Graduate Student Symposium in Kingston. Moreover, we are busily working with this year’s winners to develop their work for publication as part of our Vimy Papers series.

The month of November and Remembrance Day provides us all with opportunities for reflection. As a historian, I am reminded of just how important it remains to encourage open and frank discussion about the origins and nature of conflict. The CDA Institute is committed to fostering that conversation with the help of our members and the wider defence and security community. We look forward to connecting with all of you in doing just that.


Dr. Meghan Fitzpatrick
Director of Research & Senior Editor

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