The following pieces have been released as Special Edition Publications. This means that they are pieces derived from DSFG network members or are responses to inquiries from the Department of National Defence or the Canadian Armed Forces.

Practical Guide to Writing Briefing Notes in the Government of Canada

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Robert Fonberg, former Deputy Minister of the Department of National Defence as well as several other departments in the Government of Canada, worked with the DSFG to train our Junior Fellows in writing policy briefs. 

In the process, he developed the Practical Guide to Writing Briefing Notes in the Government of Canada, which you can use as a tool in your own policy brief development.

DSF Group Practical Guide to Writing Briefing Notes in the Government of Canada July 2020 (PDF)

**French translation coming 2021


North American Security Policy Briefs


NORAD Renewal: Strategic Shifts, Technological progress, and Political Constraints 

Richard Shimooka 

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The United States Department of the Air Force's Arctic Strategy, Space Force, the Unified Command Plan and the Implications for Canada (PDF)

Andrea Charron

Canada’s wish has come true. For years, the United States seemed to completely ignore the Arctic, even forgetting it was an Arctic state. Canada had to convince the United States to join the Arctic Council in 1996. In the background, NORAD regularly surveilled the Arctic and Canada and the United States exercised in the Arctic, albeit more tactically than strategically, and not for extended periods of time. Fast forward nearly twenty-five years later and the United States has concluded that the Arctic is now one of the most geostrategically important regions in the world. In rapid succession, the United States has released more Arctic strategies, including the first ever United States' Department of the Air Force's Arctic Strategy. What does this latest strategy portend for the future and specifically for Canada? What does the creation of U.S. Space Force and the U.S. Unified Command Plan suggest for Canada in the future? Will this be a case of regretting or embracing the increased United States' attention to the Arctic?


Special Edition Covid-19 Policy Briefs

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Assessing the Geopolitical Effects of the Coronavirus on Canada-United States-Asia Relations (PDF)

Shaun Narine

This paper addresses three distinct questions related to the geopolitical effects of the coronavirus pandemic: what is the impact of coronavirus on American global power and influence? How has the pandemic affected the rise of China? What should be Canada’s political and security responses to the emerging redistribution of global power? The arguments of this policy brief are the following: the US mismanagement of the pandemic is the latest, and perhaps most consequential, in a series of significant failures by the US state over the past 25 years. These failures demonstrate that the US is an unreliable and unsustainable global hegemon. The pandemic has also damaged China’s standing in the world. Even so, China is likely to consolidate its position as the dominant power in Asia within the next decade. Canada needs to accommodate American decline, China’s relative rise, and the emergence of a multilpolar world. Canada should respond to the changing global order by increasing its support for international institutions and develop a military capacity to protect its sovereignty. It should also develop economic and political relationships with as wide a variety of states as possible. Above all, Canada must avoid becoming embroiled in an American “new Cold War” with China.

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Geopolitical Impacts of the COVID-19 Challenge (PDF)

Jane Boulden

The United States has the potential to shift from being a security asset for Canada to a security liability. The very fact that this potential exists represents a change in the geopolitical foundation of Canadian security policy and thinking. The Covid-19 pandemic is not the cause of this change. Rather, the pandemic has been a catalyst, drawing together, consolidating and deepening pre-existing patterns of US behaviour at the domestic and international levels. This development has the potential to change thinking about Canadian security primarily at the international level, but it also has implications for the national and regional levels.