Canadian Army Journal

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Canadian Army Publishing CFB Kingston
317 Ontario St. PO Box 17000 Stn Forces
Kingston, Ontario K7K 7B4


All reviews commissioned by the Canadian Army Journal are considered works for hire and as such are copyrighted by the Canadian Army Journal. The Canadian Army Journal in turn grants review authors the right to re-publish their reviews in other publications, provided that proper acknowledgement is given to the Canadian Army Journal as the original publisher.

Tactical Decision Games

Welcome to the Canadian Army Journal’s tactical decision games

Tactical decision games (TDG) are abbreviated tactical exercises without troops designed to present the reader with a challenging tactical scenario without full information. They are meant to be executed within a limited time frame, with few resources, and to be focused on the delivery of a solution to the tactical problem as opposed to an estimate of the situation. They are designed to be a flexible and effective training aide that will help soldiers, non-commissioned officers, and officers with their analytical and intuitive decision-making skills. There are few rules for engaging with TDGs—you can make it up as you go, challenge one another or even use history or science fiction to arrive at a solution. You can use a white board, terrain model or actual terrain; the only limit is your imagination.

Attached is the inaugural TDG, a simple tactical scenario designed to challenge the reader’s critical-thinking and decision-making skills. At a future date, a suggested solution to this TDG will be posted on this site. It is hoped that this initiative will be challenging and interesting for the readers and that it will become a valued component of a leader’s practical toolbox for developing their individual or collective decision-making capability.

The Canadian Army Journal (CAJ) would like to thank Major Matthew Rolls for his initiative on TDGs and for working with the CAJ staff to make this page a reality. For more detailed information on TDGs, please see Major Rolls’ article in Canadian Army Journal 18.2.

Tactical Decision - Blue River

P. Whitney Lackenbauer

Canada’s 2017 defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged (SSE), confirms that the Arctic remains an area of particular interest and focus, highlighting its cultural and economic importance as well as rapid environmental, economic, and social changes that present opportunities and generate or amplify security challenges. To meet those challenges and “succeed in an unpredictable and complex security environment,” the Government of Canada is committed to an ambitious program of naval construction, capacity enhancements, and technological upgrades to improve situational awareness, communications, and the ability of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to operate across the Canadian Arctic. The justifications for these investments include a range of drivers and dynamics often compressed into a single narrative, with the Arctic region highlighted as “an important international crossroads where issues of climate change, international trade, and global security meet.”1 Read more (.pdf 2 MB) .

Major Geoffrey Priems, Canadian Army Land Warfare Centre, and Peter Gizewski, Defence Research and Development Canada – Centre for Operational Research and Analysis

Interest in the military applications of artificial intelligence (AI) is growing worldwide. Indeed, much like a number of other advances in technology, AI is increasingly viewed as a potentially significant enabler of military effectiveness.

Not surprisingly, interest in the implications that AI holds for the Canadian Army (CA) and the possibilities that exist for its adoption are on the rise. Questions concerning how and to what extent AI may be employed to potentially benefit the realization of Close Engagement: Land Power in an Age of Uncertainty, the Canadian Army’s capstone operating concept, and enhance the conduct of the Army’s five operational functions, are particularly salient. So too are questions concerning the challenges that could confront the effective adoption of AI and the measures required to surmount them. Read More (.pdf 1.9 MB).

Mr. Peter Gizewski and Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Rostek

In today’s security environment, successful military operations are unlikely to be achieved through the use of military power alone. In a world where conflict often involves a myriad of ethnic, religious, ideological and material drivers, an ability to bring to bear all instruments of national—and coalition—power and influence (e.g. diplomatic, economic, military, informational) on a problem in an effective, coordinated fashion is increasingly essential to achieving effective results. So too is an ability to address and, if possible, effectively harness the views and reactions of the public—both domestic and international, as well as the media, in support of operations as they unfold.

Canadian Forces (CF) acknowledgement of the need for a more coordinated and holistic approach to operations is ever more evident—and pressing. Accordingly, DND leadership—both civilian and military1—have increasingly called for the adoption of a force that is joint, interagency, multinational and public (JIMP)-enabled. Such a force would see diplomatic, defence, development and commercial resources, aligned with those of numerous other agencies, coordinated through an integrated campaign plan and applied in areas of operations as needed. As such, the approach would see traditional and non-traditional military activities being carried out collaboratively within a broader context known as the “effects based approach to operations” (EBAO)2 resulting in greater mission effectiveness. Read more (.pdf 1 MB).

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