In Defence of Defence: Canadian Arctic Sovereignty and Security


  • LCol. Paul Dittmann


The regional importance of Canada’s Arctic has been traditionally anchored in its resource base while its remoteness has both hindered resource development and provided a security buffer to southern Canada and North America. Since the mid-19th Century, Canadian military activity in the Arctic has oscillated between intense and moderate periods and is now once again on the rise. Due to the inherent characteristics of experience, training, capacity, presence, resources, and timeliness of response, this article argues that the Canadian Forces is most appropriately leading the Government of Canada’s response to existing and emerging Arctic security and sovereignty challenges. A series of policy recommendations are presented to enhance Canada’s current response to these challenges.

Author Biography

LCol. Paul Dittmann

LCol Paul Dittmann is currently the Commandant of 3 Canadian Forces Flying Training School, Portage la Prairie, MB. The paper is a scholastic document, and thus contains facts and opinions, which the author alone considered appropriate and correct for the subject. It does not necessarily reflect the policy or the opinion of any agency, including the Government of Canada and the Canadian Department of National Defence.