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.

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JMSS is a publication of the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary.

JMSS gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council.