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News Release - Report by Queen's/RMCC professors finds Canadian Special Operations Forces "undersubscribed and under-utilized"

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

KINGSTON - Queen’s University defence researcher Christian Leuprecht has co-authored a comprehensive report on the mission capability, utility and future of Canada’s Special Operations Forces (SOF). The report, co-authored with H. Christian Breede, professor at the Royal Military College of Canada, highlights the rationale underlying the employment of SOF by decision-makers and offers recommendations to best utilize their capabilities.

“Canada currently lacks the policies, national security culture, mechanisms, processes, and methods to optimize the use of SOF,” says Dr. Leuprecht. “As a result, Canada’s SOF is undersubscribed and under-utilized.”

They recommend that defence decision-makers need to develop a more thorough understanding of the mission capabilities of Canada’s SOF – in particular how they differ in utility, training and skillset from conventional forces. To maintain the elite capabilities of these units, the authors also argue against the rapid or large-scale expansion of these units, and only select targeted collaboration with conventional units. Finally, the authors argue that how and when SOF are utilized needs to be re-thought to decrease decision-making time and allow for the greatest possible number of options for SOF to act.

The report was published to assess the current SOF landscape in light of the on-going Defence Policy Review being undertaken by the Government of Canada. While the review is slated for completion in early 2017, it is expected that the government will lay out a growing role in the defence of Canada and Canadian interests in the face of threats by irregular, non-state actors such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Boko Haram and Abu Sayyef.

The report was published jointly by the Conference of Defence Associations Institute (CDA Institute) in cooperation with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute. The full report, titled Beyond the Movies: The Value Proposition of Canada’s Special Operations Forces, is available online.


Chris Armes
613-533-6000 x77513

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