Annex A: Minds policy challenges

Theme One: Well-supported, Diverse, Resilient People and Families

Challenge 1: Creative recruitment and retention models

  • How can DND/CAF make a military career attractive?
  • What are the barriers to recruiting/retaining a diverse CAF?
  • How can DND/CAF best integrate/manage a more diverse membership?
  • How can DND/CAF improve retention of its experienced, mid-career members?

Challenge 2: Innovative approaches to force mix and structure

  • What is the appropriate force mix and structure for today and the future, in light of emerging challenges like climate change?
  • How do we maximize the output/impact of the Reserves?
  • How can diversity targets support Force Posture and Readiness?

Challenge 3: Addressing and Preventing Sexual Misconduct

  • What practices could improve outcomes for those affected by sexual misconduct?
  • What further efforts can the CAF take to prevent sexual misconduct?
  • How can we encourage men to seek assistance and to report experiences?
  • How can we increase understanding of those individuals who commit sexual misconduct and the situational/individual risk factors which may lead to incidents?

Challenge 4: Addressing and Preventing Hateful Conduct and Radicalization

  • Can institutional measures be adapted to ensure a culture free from hateful attitudes and conduct?
  • How can DND/CAF work with OGDs and civil society to disrupt this conduct?
  • What best practices can be applied to identify prospective, serving, or veteran members who may be susceptible to radicalization/hateful attitudes?
  • Does the CAF’s unique culture play a role in perpetuating or removing hateful conduct and views?
  • Do existing policies and processes sufficiently address hateful conduct and radicalization?

Theme Two: A Changing Security Environment

Challenge 1: The Rise of Grey Zone Conflict: Below Threshold Tactics and Hybrid Warfare

  • What does this mean for policies/capabilities at the strategic, operational and tactical level?
  • What is the role for DND/CAF and OGDs?
  • How do allies/adversaries define and approach to threshold tactics and hybrid warfare?
  • How are non-state actors/adversaries using non-traditional actors?

Challenge 2: The Evolving Role of Major Powers

  • What are the strategic objectives of Russia and China? How do they align and diverge?
  • How are allies, partners and other actors responding to Russia and China?
  • What threats and opportunities exist in a time of great power competition?
  • What are the implications of Canada’s democratic system on the ability to respond to major powers?

Theme Three: Global Defence Engagement

Challenge 1: NORAD Modernization and the Future of North American Defence: Identifying Threats and Gaps

  • What are the threats against North America and associated gaps in continental defence?
  • What capabilities and infrastructure fill these gaps?
  • How should NORAD evolve?
  • What policies must be reformed to modernize NORAD?
  • What role is there for other security organizations such as NATO?

Challenge 2: Canada’s Defence Relationships

  • How does the breakdown of the international rules-based order affect defence relations?
  • What is the future of NATO in an era of great power competition?
  • What opportunities for defence and security cooperation exist?
  • How can defence diplomacy be better understood, evaluated, and practiced?

Theme Four: Approach To Defence: Anticipate

Challenge 1: Anticipating Future Challenges

  • How will the following domains evolve over the next 10, 20, 50 years?
    • Security Environment
    • Defence Investment and Burden Sharing
    • Geopolitical issues, alliances and partnerships
    • Capabilities
    • Technology / Information
  • Are current capabilities broad and adaptable enough to meet an evolving security domain? If not, what force structure is the most applicable to meet any future challenge in a joint or combined environment?

Theme Five: Approach To Defence: Adapt

Challenge 1: Cyber, Space, and Information as Operational Domains

  • How can DND/CAF maximize these domains especially in the context of great power competition?
  • How can DND/CAF maintain effective C2 and freedom of action in new domains amidst rapid technological change?
  • How do you develop, test and employ capabilities in light of strategic, operational, legal and ethical considerations?
  • How must domestic and international legal and policy frameworks change to compete/ contest/ confront/combat adversaries in the information domain?
  • How will adversaries use/exploit domains?
  • How do we respond to developments in a way that is compatible with Canada’s international engagements on space security?
  • How can DND/CAF support whole of government efforts to instill resiliency?

Challenge 2: The Role of Artificial Intelligence

  • What are the strategic and military implications of AI?
  • How can the CAF be better positioned to leverage AI?
  • What are the legal/ethical considerations?
  • How will adversaries use AI to challenge DND/CAF?

Challenge 3: Emerging Technology and Military Application

  • What are the strategic, operational and tactical implications of emerging technology?
  • How are allies and potential adversaries addressing emerging technology for defence and security purposes?
  • How can DND/CAF work with private sector to raise awareness and mitigate risk?
  • What are relevant examples where military/dual-use technology was acquired by a foreign state?

Challenge 4: Defence Role in the Arctic

  • Beyond the military domain, what threats exist in the Arctic? What are foreign and economic military interests?
  • How does DND/CAF work with partners (e.g. government, other Canadian partners, other Arctic countries, NATO, non-Arctic partners) to more effectively deliver benefits/services?
  • What is/will be the role of land, sea, air, special operations forces in demonstrating sovereignty and deterrence against activities undermining interests in the North?

Challenge 5: Defence Procurement

  • How does DND/CAF improve defence procurement?
  • What does the model look like?
  • What policy changes, if any, are required to implement a new model?

Theme Six: Approach To Defence: Act

Challenge 1: The Future of Capacity Building

  • How should capacity building evolve?
  • What are the implications of hybrid warfare on capacity-building?

Special Covid-19 Challenge

Geopolitical Impacts

  • How has COVID-19 changed the geopolitical landscape? What are the likely short- and longterm impacts of the pandemic on international relations, defence and security issues, political economy and society?
  • How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the nature of strategic competition between great powers, most notably between the US (and the West) and Russia/China?
  • What, if any, are the potential impacts of aggressive disinformation operations targeting Western governments, including militaries, on future operations?

Lessons Learned

  • What lessons can DND/CAF learn from Canada and other countries’ response to COVID-19?
  • What’s the appropriate role for DND/CAF in managing and responding to requests for assistance?
  • How can DND/CAF work more closely with other government departments and agencies, civil society organizations, and the communities in which they serve to prepare for and prevent the spread of infectious disease? Who are the key stakeholders with whom they should partner?
  • How can DND/CAF contribute to Canada’s global health engagement, in anticipation of health security becoming a larger problem in the future?
  • Should there be a restructuring or re-prioritization of the collection and presentation of medical intelligence to DND/CAF leadership and other government departments?
  • What vulnerabilities or dependencies revealed by COVID-19 require urgent action (supply chains, reliance on civilian health care, etc.)?

The Defence Team: People, Capabilities, Roles, and Relationships

  • How can DND/CAF adapt its support and service delivery to DND/CAF members and their families following COVID-19? What unique barriers or challenges did CAF members and their families encounter in managing the crisis?
  • How can DND/CAF help to grow the economy following COVID-19? How can the CAF assist the recovery of Canada’s defence and dual-use sectors which are essential to meeting capability needs or maintaining readiness/posture?
  • How can the Primary Reserve and Ranger forces be used during public health crises?
  • What are the impacts to how the CAF operate during a global health pandemic? What equipment, training, doctrine, capabilities, etc. would better prepare DND/CAF for future public health crises?
  • What are the gendered and diversity implications of the Covid-19 pandemic on CAF members, both at home and in their work?
  • What are the implications of COVID-19 for DND/CAF’s capacity building efforts abroad? How should DND/CAF engage with partner forces to enable partner nation rebalancing post- COVID-19?
  • What opportunities for innovation and efficiency have arisen from the COVID-19 crisis and what can DND/CAF learn from adaptations elsewhere in the public and private sectors?

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