About Defence and Security Foresight Group

Short Defence and Security Foresight Group Logo_Maple Leaf and DSF Group

The Defence and Security Foresight Group (DSF Group), directed by Dr. Bessma Momani from the University of Waterloo, is a network of academics across Canada, and abroad, who will provide foresight on pivotal defence and security issues. We have five thematic teams and one GBA+ team.

1) North American Security – led by Dr. Brian Bow (Dalhousie University) and Dr. Veronica Kitchen (University of Waterloo). This team will explore topics like the future of NORAD and other national and regional command and planning structures, as well as the coordination of military and non-military capabilities to ‘homeland defence’ challenges.

2) Sub-Saharan Africa and Complex Peace Operations – led by Dr. Jennifer Baechler and Dr. David Black (Dahousie University); will focus on sub-Saharan Africa and peace-building, including anticipating crisis in which the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) may be called on to contribute in terms of peace support operations or to provide training and expertise on civil-military relations.

3) European NATO – led by Dr. Alexander Lanoszka (University of Waterloo) and Dr. Christian Leuprecht (Royal Military College of Canada) who will explore conventional and non-conventional challenges posed by Russia, including hybrid threats and disinformation campaigns, domestic instability in Eastern Europe, and the implications for Canada’s approach to NATO collective defence.

4) Middle East and North Africa – led by Dr. Thomas Juneau (University of Ottawa) and Dr. Aisha Ahmad (University of Toronto) will focus on emerging threats in the region, challenges posed by jihadist movements and terrorist organizations, as well as CAF presence in stabilization engagements and assistance to local security forces.

5) Asia Pacific – led by Dr. Stéphanie Martel (Queen's University) and Dr. Brian Job (University of British Columbia). This team will explore strategic realignments and regional institutions, evolving threats from North Korea, civil conflict, extremist movements, unregulated movement of people and goods, as well as other challenges to regional stability.

6) Gender Based Analysis + (GBA+) Application –led by Dr. Maya Eichler (Mount Saint Vincent University) will provide intersectional analysis and mainstream gender into all our activities.

The Defence and Security Foresight Group is funded through the Department of National Defence's (DND) Mobilizing Insights in Defence and Security (MINDS) program. A requirement of this grant is to address some of the MINDS Policy Challenges, which "reflect policy challenges for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) and are the result of consultations with senior leadership across the Defence Team".

DSFG addresses the following policy challenges:

  • Theme 4, Challenge 1: Anticipating Future Challenges;
  • Theme 2, Challenge 2: Evolving Role of Major Powers;
  • and Theme 6, Challenge 1: The Future of Capacity Building.


The Mobilizing Insights in Defence and Security (MINDS) program is designed to facilitate collaboration and mobilize knowledge between the Department of National Defence, the Canadian Armed Forces, and academia and other experts on defence and security issues. Through its Targeted Engagement Grants, collaborative networks, scholarships, and expert briefings, MINDS works and collaborates with key partners to strengthen the foundation of evidence-based defence policy making. These partnerships drive innovation by encouraging new analyses of emerging global events, opportunities, and crises, while supporting a stronger defence and security dialogue with Canadians.