Section 2: A Vision for CANSOFCOM

CANSOFCOM’s Strategic Vision

Fully integrated, connected and empowered Special Operations professionals, postured to:

  • Advise, enable and lead in the detection, pursuit and defeat of asymmetric threats to Canada across all domains
  • Excel as a military force at the National Defence/National Security nexus within the grey spaces of conflict
  • Be a key partner in the joint force, and in the joint fight

Asymmetric Threat

A threat emanating from the potential use of certain means or methods of attack, designed by an adversary whose relative military power or whose strategy or tactics differ significantly from its opponent, in order to circumvent or negate the adversary’s strengths while exploiting its weaknesses.

CANSOFCOM’s Strategic Vision positions us to contribute effectively to the defence of Canada, to the defence of Canadian interests, and to the protection of Canadians, in the context of this evolving security environment.

Realization of this Strategic Vision will result in continued success on operations, will position the Command to respond to future changes in the environment, will ensure that others benefit from CANSOF experiences, will reinforce the Command’s role as a valued member of the Defence Team, and will lead to the recognition of CANSOFCOM among military and national security partners as an effective military force within the grey spaces of conflict.

Advise, Enable and Lead in the Detection, Pursuit and Defeat of Asymmetric Threats to Canada Across All Domains

The core of CANSOF is its ability to defeat asymmetric threats with unmatched precision and speed across all defence and security domains as required. The ability to detect, pursue, and rapidly defeat these threats, as well as to advise and enable other partners in doing so, will remain central to the CANSOFCOM vision. In the past, such threats fell under the rubric of terrorism networks built around violent extremist ideologies of identified non-state actors. However, state-based disruptive actors are increasingly overlapping interests and capabilities with traditional violent extremist groups, creating much more potent and highly adaptive threats to the nation. As an entire enterprise, CANSOFCOM must remain prepared and postured to defeat these merging threat streams.

CANSOFCOM will translate resources and relationships into capabilities and effects in order to ensure that we are continually positioned to deliver strategic military solutions through operational excellence.

Excel as a Military Force at the National Defence / National Security Nexus within the Grey Spaces of Conflict

CANSOFCOM will focus on enabling the development and implementation of strategic solutions within the grey spaces of conflict. Within this grey space, CANSOFCOM will excel as a strategic military force at the National Defence / National Security nexus, providing complementary capabilities to those of the conventional forces as part of the CAF’s broader efforts to protect and defend Canada and Canadian interests.

CANSOFCOM will embrace and encourage a culture of flexibility, creativity, and strategic thinking.

The Command will also build and leverage strong internal, external, institutional, and interpersonal relationships to remain connected and relevant within the National Defence / National Security space. Relevance within the grey space is central to the realization of our Strategic Vision.

Be a Key Partner in the Joint Force and in the Joint Fight

CANSOFCOM will contribute to institutional leadership within the joint force domain, including by sharing its experiences – both victories and setbacks – with other emerging joint capabilities. As a supportive and collaborative partner vis-à-vis other key stakeholders who work within this space, CANSOFCOM will enable and support the enterprise development within the joint domain and ensure that capabilities such as Cyber, Intelligence and Information Operations/Influence Activities benefit from the Command’s experience as it continues to learn from theirs.

Lastly, CANSOFCOM will continue to be a critical enabler in the broader CAF joint fight, be it in support of collective conventional deterrence or via contribution to warfighting. Here, relationships with the other CAF services and joint force employers (Canadian Joint Operations Command and North American Aerospace Defence Command) must be continually reinforced and enriched; the Command’s links to the broader CAF efforts are critical.

CANSOFCOM will set an example for joint institutional stewardship by solidifying past institutional gains and developing deeper partnerships within the corporate architectures of security and defence. CANSOFCOM will continue to modernize its contemporary business practices by integrating new processes and cutting-edge technology into its day-to-day work.

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