Operating Context

National Defence policies and activities are informed by the evolving security context in which the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) operates. Strong, Secure, Engaged: Canada’s Defence Policy (SSE), identifies three broad trends that continue to shape the modern security environment:

  1. The evolving balance of power;
  2. The changing nature of conflict; and
  3. The rapid evolution of technology.

These trends have accelerated since SSE was published in 2017 and therefore continue to shape the context in which the Department of National Defence (DND) and the CAF must operate. A common realization from these trends is that many of the modern threats faced by Canada are diffuse and transcend national borders undermining the security once provided by Canada’s geography. This requires Canada’s engagement to help promote security and stability abroad.

Against the backdrop of this ever-evolving operating context, DND and the CAF are squarely focused on implementing SSE. The effective implementation of this comprehensive, 20-year plan is essential to ensuring that the CAF is well prepared to execute its mandate and meet Canada’s defence needs. It will also lead to concrete improvements in the care and services we provide to our people and is consistent with SSE’s people first focus. Taken together, these efforts will ensure that Canada can continue to field an agile, multipurpose and combat-ready military that can conduct the full spectrum of military operations simultaneously across multiple theaters of operations.

For more information regarding the Operating Context, please see Strong, Secure, Engaged: Canada’s Defence PolicyFootnote 1   (SSE) – Chapter 4 – Global Context.

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