What’s New at the CDA Institute, 27 April 2017

What’s New?

More Change at the CDA Institute

The CEO and team at the CDA Institute are pleased to announce that Stéfanie von Hlatky, Director of the Queen’s Centre for International and Defence Policy (CIDP) has become our newest Research Fellow.  Stéfanie is a well-known and respected defence commentator who will bring particular expertise on military cooperation, alliances, deterrence and gender dynamics in the armed forces to our Institute.  You may learn more about Stéfanie and the CIDP at http://www.queensu.ca/cidp/home.  Welcome Stéfanie!

Recent CDA Institute Blogs:

Micheal Lambert offre une exploration un peu ironique de certains des problèmes très réels pour les citoyens et les États dans le travail de démonter l’Union européenne.


CDA Institute Aerograms – From our Research Fellow Howard Coombs

 “Trump Unleashes the Generals. They Don’t Always See the Big Picture” – The New York Times

Available at https: //www.nytimes.com/2017/04/20/world/asia/harry-harris-pacific-command-carl-vinson.html?emc=edit_th_20170421 (two spaces added after https: to prevent the URL from being stripped by spam filters) is The New York Times article “Trump Unleashes the Generals. They Don’t Always See the Big Picture.” This piece by Eric Schmitt and Helene Cooper is an interesting perspective on aspects of current American civil military relations. The article argues in the context of recent US military activities that “Both the aircraft carrier repositioning that wasn’t and the massive bomb in Afghanistan show that even seasoned military leaders can lose sight of the broader picture.”

“Rolling Back the Islamic State” – RAND

Available at https:  //www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1912.html (two spaces added after https: to prevent the URL from being stripped by spam filters) is “Rolling Back the Islamic State” by Seth G. Jones, James Dobbins, Daniel Byman, Christopher S. Chivvis, Ben Connable, Jeffrey Martini, Eric Robinson, Nathan Chandler.

This RAND publication suggests:

The Islamic State is a byproduct of the 2003 American intervention in Iraq and the subsequent American departure in 2011. At its peak in late 2014, the group held more than 100,000 square kilometers of territory with a population of nearly 12 million, mostly in Iraq and Syria. Beginning in 2015, the Islamic State began to lose territory as it faced increasingly effective resistance. Still, the Islamic State continues to conduct and inspire attacks around the world. This report assesses the threat the Islamic State poses to the United States and examines four possible strategies to counter the group: disengagement, containment, rollback “light” (with a reliance on local forces backed by U.S. special operations forces, Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence assets, and airpower), and rollback “heavy” (adding the employment of American conventional forces in ground combat). The authors conclude that the United States should pursue a light rollback strategy. They also recommend additional steps, such as rebalancing counterterrorism efforts to address grievances, loosening restrictions on U.S. military operations, increasing U.S. military posture in Africa, and tightening restrictions in the Islamic State’s internet access.

News around the World:

Our readers will recall that MND Sajjan has been overseas recently with visits to India and Malaysia – official statements on completion of the national portions are here:



John Ivison of the National Post delivers some pointed reminders to MND Sajjan during the prolonged waiting for the Defence Policy Review (National Post 24 Apr)


An American analysis on “Why a Trade War” with Canada. (Politico 26 Apr)


As a result of ongoing releases of court documents, details continue to emerge on the investigation concerning leaks over defence procurement however the full explanation has yet to be seen. (CBC 26 Apr)


Le chef de la diplomatie française Jean-Marc Ayrault a mis en cause mercredi la responsabilité du régime de Bachar al-Assad dans l’attaque chimique au gaz sarin menée contre la ville de Khan Cheikhoune, en Syrie, le 4 avril dernier. (France 24 26 avr)


While deliberate military confrontation is unlikely, increasing rhetoric over North Korea raises concern for the impact of miscalculation or mistake in the next 18 or more months – rather than the next week as is generally expected. (CBC 26 Apr)


A full explanation and discussion of the miscues surrounding the movements of the USS Carl Vinson battlegroup and the media disaster that ensured. (Defense News 23 Apri)


An analysis of the relative balance of naval forces for China and India as the new Chinese aircraft carrier launches. (Bloomberg 24 Apr)


An interesting perspective on the US and Chinese relationship over the last 70 years and how it has changed during the stability provided by US involvement in Asia.  (Economist 20 Apr)


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