Introducing the Canadian Defence and Security Network

by Stephen M. Saideman

The time has come to roll out the Canadian Defence and Security Network.   We have been working on funding the CDSN for several years, so we are elated and just a wee bit anxious. We have built an excellent team of scholars and defence scientists to lead the effort and already have a terrific staff to do much of the heavy lifting and day-to-day management. In addition to that, we have so many partners in a variety of sectors in Canada and beyond who strengthened our application through the commitments they have made.   I am so very grateful for the work done thus far and the work to be done by our leadership team (David Bercuson, JC Boucher, Andrea Charron, Irina Goldenberg, Phil Lagassé, Anessa Kimball, Alex Moens, Alan Okros, Stéphane Roussel, Stéfanie Von Hlatky, and Srdjan Vucetic),* the folks at CDSN HQ (Jeffrey Rice, Melissa Jennings, Alvine Nintai), the people at NPSIA, our dean (Andre Plourde), grants facilitator extraordinaire (Kyla Reid), other folks at Carleton including our VP for Research (Rafik Goubran), and our partners and participants.  I look forward to working with these terrific people along with others who join our efforts.

* Note we have plenty of Francophones on our leadership team that will help compensate for my being linguistically lame.  While my blog here is unilingual, we will try to make sure that much of our stuff will be accessible in both official languages.

Of course, as you are reading this, you are asking yourself: what is the Canadian Defence and Security Network and what is it supposed to do?

It is a partnership involving academics at both civilian and military universities, units within the Canadian Armed Forces, elements of the Department of National Defence, think tanks, advocacy organizations, a survey firm, and more.  We have a set of common objectives:

  • To create a coherent, world-class research network.
  • To advance our understanding of defence and security issues.
  • To tailor research initiatives to provided evidence-based knowledge to inform policy-making
  • To facilitate the transfer of knowledge and data across various divides.
  • To improve the defence and security literacy of Canadians (and beyond).
  • To build the next generation of experts with an emphasis on equity, diversity and inclusion.

How will we reach those objectives?  The CDSN will focus on five themes to coordinate research efforts–military personnel, defence procurement, operations, civil-military relations, and security–while also providing resources via our headquarters to assist its members and its partners to collaborate and amplify their work.

To provide an example, one can imagine an event organized by scholars in Kingston or Calgary.  The CDSN Headquarters (based at CSIDS at NPSIA) will help provide contacts to reach out beyond the networks of the organizers, assist if grant-writing is required, will help publicize the event through the CDSN’s social media efforts (yes, we have some experience in that stuff) including a blog, twitter account, and podcast, and then after the event, provide a repository for the data generated, the papers and policy briefs that are produced and spread the findings via our website.

Please note, despite our years of prep work, we are very much a work in progress.  We are officially launching the CDSN on May 24th, and our first major event will be the Kingston Conference on International Security (KCIS) in early June.  While that event has been a great conference involving not just Queens’s Centre for International and Defence Policy but also the NATO Defence College and the US Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute and various CAF elements, we hope that the CDSN will help KCIS have a broader reach across Canada, and it will probably provide our first podcast content!  We will also be supporting the Women in International Security-Canada Annual Workshop later in June.

For our first year, we will be focusing mostly on developing our infrastructure and figuring out how to help the various members of the CDSN community.  In years 2-7, we will have thematic workshops on our five areas of research; book workshops for junior scholars; post-docs; surveys of the Canadian public; network analyses; summer training institutes for scholars, military officers and policy officers; an annual conference; defence fellowships for military officers; and capstone events that will bring the best young presenters from events across Canada together to present to defence policy-makers.

Our twitter account is:  The website will be populated as time goes on, and we will certainly have facebook, instragram and other social media accounts that we will be announcing over the next few months.  Our logos are a work in progress, but this is what we have thus far:

If you are interested in joining our efforts or have questions, shoot us an email at



Pan Canadian Defence Review

by Steve Saideman

Today, the Centre for Security, Intelligence and Defence Studies at NPSIA along with the Conference of Defence Associations Institute and the Centre for International Policy Studies (Queens) held a workshop that involved much of the Canadian defence academic community.  The idea was to feed into the Defence Review Canada is running this summer.

Andrea Charron, our Centre’s director, did a great job of organizing so that the day was very engaging.  We were split into four groups: threat environment, the forces, readiness, and missions/allies.  Each group was tasked to come up with five ideas/priorities.  Then each group would Red Team (criticize, respond/react) to two of the other groups.  My group was Missions/Allies led by Andrea C and Jim Fergusson.   This group included Sjrdjan Vucetic and Thomas Juneau of U of Ottawa, Justin Massie of UQAM, Theo McLauchlin of U of Montreal, and Kim Richard Nossal of Queens.  

I really didn’t know what I was going to say going into the event, as I had never done something like this before (of course, anyone who knows me would have predicted that I would talk alot).  Also, the missions for Canada are pretty established–that we will not be changing what Canada is likely to think its role is in the world: defending Canada, jointly via NORAD with US, NATO, UN, and occasional coalitions of the willing ops.  We did come up with a bunch of questions that one should always ask when considering a mission–what are the rules of engagement, who is involved, what are the desired goals, etc.  Kind of akin to the Dutch’s Article 101 letter procedure (see the Dave and Steve book).  

The big point I pushed was that the classic Canadian question of whether to provide small units in many operations or concentrate in one place for extended period of time should be resolved thusly: do the latter.  If you want to make a difference, concentrate the effort and be patient.  

The challenge for any review is that there is not much room to move Canada. That is, the budget is mostly set, 47% is dedicated to personnel, the big procurement decisions are decided/have a process of their own, AND Canada faces few threats and has limited capabilities.  So, neither our review nor the big government one can really alter the path of the CAF and DND much.  Still, it was a very useful exercise for thinking about this stuff and giving input to government.

Personally, it was mighty good for me both because I could connect with the many folks I know who attended and help set the stage for one of my major sabbatical priorities: applying for a partnership grant to create a Canadian Defence Research Network so that we can meet more often, develop shared research agendas, communicate our results and train the next generation of defence scholars.  

In short, woot!

Year Ahead Conference: A Summary

The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies held a conference on Friday to suggest what will be the challenges in the year ahead.  As a card carrying member of the CCISS, I got to help organize the conference and moderate the last panel.  Rob McRae and the grad students involved deserve most of the credit with the panelists getting the rest as it went really well.  Each panel was engaging, provocative and chockful of information.  Having spent this fall teaching a course on Contemporary International Security, I felt kind of schooled by these folks who had excellent perspectives on much of the stuff we had been talking about in class.

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The Year Ahead: An International Security and Intelligence Outlook for 2016

On December 4th, at the War Museum, our Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies will be hosting a conference on the year ahead.  Our lineup is pretty awesome:

What does 2016 hold for international security?  Get the views of international experts from the US and Canada on December 4, 2015 at the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa

Hotspots: Where Might Instability & Conflict Occur in 2016? C. Christine Fair (Georgetown University) on Afghanistan and Pakistan, Will McCants (Brookings) on the Middle East & North Africa, and Miles Kahler (American University) on the South China Sea and East Asia

The Outlook for Stabilization Missions and Civilian Instruments: Clint Watts (Foreign Policy Research Institute) on Iraq & Syria, Thomas Juneau (University of Ottawa) on Iran and, Heather A. Conley (Center for Strategic & International Studies) on Russia

Keynote: Michael E. O’Hanlon (Brookings) The Future of Land Warfare

The Cyber Dimensions of Security: Ray Boisvert (Hill and Knowlton Strategies) on Cyber Threats to Economic Security, Catherine Lotrionte Yoran (Georgetown University) on Deterrence & Rules of the Road, and Bill Wright (Symantec) Partnerships and the Private Sector

The US and the Politics of International Security in 2016: Heather Hurlburt (New America) on The Obama Legacy and Joshua Rovner (Southern Methodist University) on US International Security Policy going forward

There will be a fee (food! coffee!) so register via EventBrite


NPSIA Event: Ambassadors Speakers Series

Germany, the European Union and Canada

Ambassador of The Federal Republic of Germany His Excellency Werner Wnendt

Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 5:30 PM
Carleton University Campus
Senate Board Room, 6th Floor, Robertson Hall (room 608)
Reception to follow, Alumni Board Room, Robertson Hall (room 617)

Limited seating. RSVP by October 21 at:

Metered Visitor Parking available on Levels 2 and 3 in the Parking Tower located directly next to Robertson Hall.

NPSIA - Ambassador of Germany - oct 22 2015 - for approval

Job Posting: Tenure Track Appointment

Second job posting for NPSIA. To view the first, click here.

Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (Intelligence and National and International Security) – Assistant Professor (Applications Closing Date: November 10, 2014 or until position is filled)

The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) invites applications from qualified candidates for a Tenure Track appointment in Intelligence and national and international security at the rank of Assistant Professor beginning July 1, 2015.

The successful candidate will be expected to research, teach and supervise undergraduate and graduate students in fields broadly related to intelligence, terrorism and counter-terrorism, and national and international security. The position is linked to the development of a new undergraduate specialization in intelligence and national security, and will also support our current graduate programming in this and related fields. We are particularly interested in applicants with expertise in intelligence and security operations and who are focused on applied and practical policy issues.

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Job Posting: Tenure Track Appointment

By Steve Saideman

We are hiring this fall.  We will have two jobs both in the area of intel, terrorism and national security.  I am posting the first job ad below.  It is more specific than the second job, which I will advertise when I get the final ad copy.

Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (Infrastructure Protection, Intelligence, and International Security) – Assistant Professor (Closing Date for applications: October 10, 2014 or until the position is filled)

The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) invites applications from qualified candidates for a tenure track appointment in infrastructure protection, intelligence, and international security at the rank of Assistant Professor beginning July 1, 2015.

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NPSIA Event: Ambassadors Speakers Series

The Course of Haiti in History — Contribution to the Emancipation of Blacks & Haiti’s Challenges in 2014 and How Canada Can Play a Role

Ambassador of The Republic of Haiti His Excellency Frantz Liautaud

Wednesday, February 26 at 5:30 PM
Carleton University Campus
Senate Board Room, 6th Floor, Robertson Hall (room 608)
Reception to follow, Alumni Board Room, Robertson Hall (room 617)

Limited seating. RSVP by February 25 at:

Metered Visitor Parking available on Levels 2 and 3 in the Parking Tower located directly next to Robertson Hall.




NPSIA Events: NPSIA Benefit Soirée 2014

On behalf of the students of the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University, we are pleased to invite you to this year’s annual NPSIA Benefit Soirée.

Friday, March 7, 2014, 6:00pm until 11:00pm.

Keynote Speaker: Michael Ignatieff
Proceeds will go to Heifer International, a charity working to end hunger and poverty.
Ticket Sales, How You Can Donate, and More Info on

The NPSIA Benefit Soirée is NPSIA’s annual black-tie charity fundraiser and largest social event. Each year our graduate students invite a distinguished guest to deliver a keynote speech, preceded by a formal dinner, as a means of promoting discussion about current issues while supporting a valued charity. The event is attended by members of the academic community, prominent members of the Canadian government, foreign diplomats, the business community and the student body.

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