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sorry it‘s so long.....


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sorry it‘s so long.....

Posted by ****ey from Canada on May 24, 1999 at 11:56:29:

In Reply to: Non-starter posted by Reggie Millar on May 23, 1999 at 16:03:28:

No person employed in a civil capacity is entitled to exercise military command or to claim the privileges and advantages of rank.
-Canadian Army Orders, circa 1930.


Sixty-eight years later, and twenty-six years after the creation of National Defence Headquarters, as it is recognised by todays standards, such a clear-cut boundary on civil authority in military affairs would be difficult to assert. From the end of World War II to the present, the defence policy agenda has been largely consumed by an ongoing debate, especially in Canada, over the proper balance of civilian-military control. This debate, in Canada, has been anchored within two distinct post-war eras, each era typically consumed by the rhetoric of expected critics and proponents.
The first era, based on an ethos best expressed by the opening quotation, is known as the Command Era because it was characterised by clear distinctions between the control and administration of the three services and the administration of the Department of National Defence.
The second era, in which Canadian military policy environment currently operates, is known as the Management Era. As its name suggests, this era has been characterised by managerial theories rather than command theories, and inherent in this distinction is the necessity of civilian interference in a military ethos solely and rigidly indoctrinated in theories of command. Bland, p 11 As this remains to be elaborated, it temporarily suffices to observe that this era has been marked by a phenomenal blurring of the lines between civilian and military authority within Canadas Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces - two separate legal entities, the former compromising the bureaucratic arm, per se, and the latter making up the actual military - merged under one organisational structure which inherently forces the two entities to interact in a relationship of undeniable authority. It is the nature of this authority that is at issue herein.


Prior examining Canadas current military scheme and all of its organisational complexities, it will be of necessity to briefly frame its initial origins and post-war modifications. Doing so will allow a proper organisational analysis and help account for the current structure.
The history of Canadas military is one of integration and unification. The Department of National Defence otherwise DND was created on the 28th of June, 1922 to replace, through fusion, the Departments of Militia and Defence, Naval Service, and Air Board. Legally based in the National Defence Act, this union also provided for a Deputy Minister to head the civil administration of the department, but not to have any role or position within the command hierarchy. Important to note, however, is that the act gave little direction as to the deputys future role. It is also important to understand that the premise behind unifying the previous three departments was to enable a better, more efficient advisory function to the Minister who abilities were being taxed, while streamlining the command structure.
The following decades continued in this vein, as the National Defence Act was amended continually with the adding of several Associate Ministers to further integrate the advisory process. Nonetheless, since its inception, through World War II and up until the seventies, DND was characterised by its Command Approach, an approach engineered by Brooke Claxton, the longest-serving Minister of National Defence, appointed on the 12th of December, 1946. His vision, heavily influenced by Canadas changing foreign policy considerations, was to generate and maintain a fighting force that was capable of preventing aggression, but also able to thwart it should it arise. The object of Canadian policy, he said, is to do all we can to prevent the outbreak of another world war, and failing to ensure that we and our potential allies are in a position to win and win it quickly, if and when it does start.
In 1947 he presented a White Paper to Parliament, outlining fourteen long-term objectives, only four of which are necessary to account for its sweeping nature:

1. Progressively closer co-ordination of the armed services and unification of the Department so as to form a single defence force in which the three armed services work together as a team.

8. Close integration of the armed forces, the defence purchasing agency, government arsenals and civilian industry.

9. Co-operation between the armed forces, the Defence Research Board and private industry

11. Organisation of government departments and civilian agencies so as to enable us to put a plan for civil defence into immediate effect.

Clearly, Claxtons vision was one of a unified Canadian armed force, able to act efficiently and responsibly through clear-cut channels of authority, and serviced by an equally efficient bureaucratic tier, separated by role and limited in control to itself. Never was it Mr. Claxtons intent to fuse the civilian wing into the actual military process. But, as a first step in amalgamating the three departments and co-ordinating the three Services, a single, National Defence Headquarters NDHQ was established - the wartime offices for the Minister of Defence for Air and Naval Services were closed and the three sets of civilian administrators were amalgamated into a single Civil Service under one Deputy Minister DM. Based on this new administration, the planning process reflected the command theories of administration, the specific responsibilities of individuals, and a traditional military approach to interpreting objectives into pragmatic plans and requirements.
Claxton served as MND until the 30th of June, 1954 but his structural vision of Canadian defence lasted far into the future. Indeed, in keeping with his aim to enhance the flow of information and operational readiness of the forces, the three services were amalgamated by the Canadian Forces Reorganisation Act on the 1st of February, 1968 to form the unified Canadian Armed Forces, or CF. It is important to recognise, though, that there was another, more pressing reason to unite the three services.
Political concerns about military mismanagement and poor judgement, whether deserved or not, prompted some politicians to propose that the department be reformed in ways that other countries, and notably the United States and Great Britain, were reforming their defence establishments. In those countries, as in Canada, service rivalry was tagged as the chief villain responsible for strangling political control over the military and each state set out to discipline this internecine competition in its own way.

Canadas own way was certainly the most distinct. Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic of the Canadian defence establishment is that, of all the NATO nations, only Canada has a unified armed force. This unique Canadian phenomenon is still a fundamental issue in Canadian defence policy. Indeed, as will be reasoned, this institutional feature, which was designed to promote Parliamentary control of the Canadian military, actually served to take control away from Parliament in light of the future considerations and restructuring.
But at the time of unification, Most politicians believed that if they were to control the armed forces, then they would require a reliable source of professional advice free from service interests. So four years later, in 1972, a new National Defence Headquarters, NDHQ, was created by simply restructuring the roles of long-time offices and combining the previously separate civilian and military staffs into a single cohesive staff responsible to the minister and deputy minister of defence and the CDS Chief of Defence Staff. This new unity of civil and military command under NDHQ undeniably marked the end of the Command Era, but right up until the eve of its implementation, scholars were still asking, as R.B. Beyers did in 1972, Wither civilian control?


When engaging the topic of civilian control of the military, it is vital to not become confused by conceptual terminology. It is important to understand that Claxtons reorganisation was based on the idea that NDHQ would help the government develop and interpret national defence policy, but that the administration of such policies would be left to the command structure. That is to say, he envisioned a military run by the military, but being solely directed by government. As such, he wanted to secure the power of the Minister of National Defence and protect the MNDs and the governments authority, while concurrently preserving the militarys autonomic ability to pursue the governments objectives as each branch, Army, Navy, Air Force, saw fit. This policy, informally known as Ottawa decides, Command administers, also looked to civilian bureaucrats for administrative and policy advice. These three factors the need for co-ordination the dysfunctional aspects of interservice rivalries and the political need for competent but independent, military advice, made the establishment of some form of single organisational feature, essentially NDHQ, inevitably necessary.
But prior to implementing the new NDHQ, the government re-asserted its devotion to ensuring that Parliament did, in fact, decide. Like Mackenzie King stated in 1938, Parliamentarians, individually and collectively, have to accept their duty to control the military. Parliament is the final defence co-ordinating body, or it ought to be. This became the mantra of the Canadian governments in the sixties, as the debate grew over how to ensure Parliaments central role in determining Canadian defence policy. But was NDHQ the answer? To determine this it is necessary to look closer into its organisation. But first, it is necessary to assert that the concept of civilian control of the military, as forwarded by the defence reformers throughout the fifties and sixties, is based on the assumption that Parliament acts as the ultimate conduit of civil authority, and not the bureaucracy:
Finding the necessary co-ordinating mechanism to assist Parliament, prime [sic] ministers and defence ministers in the supervision of defence policy and the armed forces is not a simple matter. It must take into account of the particular legal and customary powers and responsibility of ministers, cabinets, members of the opposition, soldiers, and bureaucrats. Ultimately, however, the government must be accountable to Parliament.

Indeed, Canadian political culture and political tradition require this, but it becomes vitally important to remember that under these circumstances, the bureaucracy, though purportedly neutral servants of the government, does not constitute civil authority. D.W. Middlemiss and J.J. Sokolsky allude to this distinction when they argue that this impetus for this change emanated from the issue of the nature of the extent of civilian direction, as opposed to civilian control, the former being a matter of bureaucracy, the latter being an issue of legitimate Parliamentary rule. Having said that, it will now be of merit to look to the organisation of NDHQ to pinpoint the locus of power in light of its complex series of authority and responsibility. Doing so will enable the antecedent intention to determine military accountability in Canada.

NDHQ An act of mayhem committed in the name of administrative madness?

National Defence Headquarters, more affectionately referred to by critics and soldiers alike as Fort Fumble on the Rideau, Malfunction Junction, Disneyland, Puzzle Palace and so onmust be the focus of any attempt to determine military accountability in Canada not the Department of National Defence, nor the Canadian Forces. Indeed, The National Defence Act establishes two separate entities under the authority of the Minister of National Defence the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces. These two entities operate closely together in the integrated National Defence Headquarters and elsewhere. This dual nature of NDHQ lends Richard Neustadt to call it a duopoly, giving light to who holds power, while David Bercuson prefers to call it a dyarchy, which gives light to where the power is. Either way, the dual composition of NDHQ is fundamentally obvious. Its objectives are also quite clear. In the broadest sense, the National Defence Headquarters was created in 1972 to:
#61607 Provide advice to the Minister an Cabinet on defence issues, Canadian Forces matters and related government priorities, policies and programs

#61607 Ensure that the military and defence activities ordered by the Minister and Cabinet are carried out effectively and efficiently

#61607 Provide a cost-effective organisation for the acquisition and provision of materiel and other resources to the Canadian Forces

#61607 Ensure that government-wide policies, regulations, practices and guidelines are followed in the management of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces and

#61607 Assist the minister in consulting and informing Parliament and Canadians and in advancing Canadas defence relations and other interests.

The integrated military-civilian headquarters enables the Deputy Minister and the Chief of Defence Staff to draw on the different, but complementary, skills of military and civilian staffs to manage and command both effectively and efficiently.

One would assume, having said that, that an organisational flow chart of NDHQ would nonetheless show two vertically-oriented tiers running to and from the MND, one tier being DND, the other being the CF. This is not the case due to the integrative nature of NDHQ, even though the two tiers are legally supposed to be separate.
Indeed, as referral to the two following organisational charts illustrates, there is a great deal of interaction between the two, and lines of authority are not nearly as clear-cut and as balanced as they appear on paper. This remains to be elaborated, but for now it suffices to observe the two different, basic ways in which NDHQ can be represented on paper.
OrgChart 2

OrgChart 2

Keep in mind that although OrgChart 1 is somewhat older it is equally relevant save for the advent of the Ombudsman and the elimination of Defence Construction. Having said this, OrgChart 1 represents a more cohesive, integrated institution, in which power flows inwards and then upwards, colloquially speaking. In this chart, DND and the CF are not clearly visible entities indeed, this chart incorrectly shows the CF under the Vice Chief of Defence Staff and Deputy Chief of Defence Staff, as existing within the DND.
On the other hand, OrgChart 2, which is up to date, shows more of a differentiation between lines of control, in which power flows upwards, then inwards. In this chart it is much easier to locate the CF and to observe its separation from DND. Having said this, it is now necessary to specify the roles of the important actors in these two schemes to determine the reality of their relationships.


3. There is hereby established a department of the Government of Canada called the Department of National Defence over which the Minister of National Defence appointed by commission under the Great Seal shall preside.

4. The minister holds office during pleasure, has the management and direction of the Canadian Forces and of all matters relating to national defence and is responsible for

a The construction and maintenance of all defence establishments and works for the defence of Canada and
b research relating to the defence of Canada and to the development of and improvements in materiel. .

Though cabinet is ultimately the legal source for policy direction of national defence in Canada, the MND sits atop Canadas defence establishment as head of DND and the CF as proscribed in the National Defence Act.
His ability to formulate defence policy, as such, is largely based on his accountability to Parliament, and he is legally responsible for the administration of the National Defence Act, the Emergencies Act, the Emergency Preparedness Act, the Visiting Forces Act, the Aeronautics Act in relation to defence, the Canadian Forces Superannunation Act, the Garnishment Attachment and Pension Diversion Act, the Pension Benefit Division Act, the Charter of Right and Freedoms, and various international treaties and organisations to which Canada belongs. Under these acts, the Minister is charged with, among other things: the management and direction of the Canadian Forces and of all matters relating to national defence, and, the advancement of civil preparedness in Canada for emergencies of all types.
How the MND organisationally goes about the management and direction of defence policy, is largely a matter of his discretion. Section 5 of the National Defence Act, for example, says that The Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister, may designate any other person in addition to the Minister to exercise any power or perform any duty or function that is vested in or that may be exercised or performed by the Minister under this Act. As such, and due to the complexities of modern-day defence administration, the MND, over the years, has divvied out his duties to several separate institutions within NDHQ, but never his responsibility.
Virtually all decisions and actions taken by Departmental and Forces personnel in respect to these Acts are carried out, directly or indirectly, on behalf of the Minister of National Defence. The Minister, being accountable to Parliament for the actions of these officials, expects to be kept fully informed of any decisions or activities by the Canadian Forces or departmental personnel that may be of concern to Parliament or the public.

As such, the MNDs position in defence policy is final, and no matter how much delegation of his powers has occurred, he is still, like all other ministers, responsible to Parliament for the actions of those under him. Accountability is a familiar concept in Canadian politics. Prime Ministers and their cabinet colleagues seldom pass a day without pointed reminders from opposition parties, the media, or a host of others that they are accountable for their actions. This is as it should be. Accountability is an essential feature of parliamentary government in Canada. It underpins the operation of our democratic process.
Indeed, the accountability of MNDs in Canadian politics is of little doubt. Realistically speaking, as the head of DND he is also the head of NDHQ and as such the two institutions are often referred to interchangeably. Here, though, it is necessary to preserve the distinction because in reality, the Department of National Defence exists within NDHQ, as does the CF.
As such, the MND is the de jure head of DND, but the de facto head of NDHQ. By custom, the MND does not head the Department of National Defence. Rather, "it is headed by a Deputy Minister who is the Ministers alter ego, both legally and in practical terms, and who, under the Interpretation Act, may exercise all of the Ministers powers except the power to make regulations.
Nor by custom does the MND actually head up the CF. This is done by the Chief of Defence Staff, or CDS Canadas senior military officer who subject to the regulations and under the direction of the Minister is charged with the control and administration of the Canadian Forces.
Having said that, it is important to realise that the MND does not become involved in the daily management of the Defence Department. This task is shared by the Deputy Minister of Defence and the Chief of Defence Staff their relationship a manifestation and reflection of the integration of the civilian and military staffs at the heart of NDHQ.
It is important, at this point, to remember that NDHQ represents integration, but not union. One must not confuse the organisation of NDHQ with the union of the three services in 1968. That aside, there still remain two tiers of authority under the MND, even though they become somewhat integrated at the top. The CDS and DM respectively head these two tiers, a military chain of command within the CF and a line of departmental authority within DND.

Both the CDS and DM are appointed by Governor-in-Council, on the advice of the Prime Minister, or through recommendation by the MND. A quick look to the Organisational Charts above, shows that they are placed on the same footing, OrgChart 1 places them side-by-side, and OrgChart 2 separates them on the same level. Either way, this is not the reality of the two positions.
The CDS, under the direction of the Minister, has responsibility for command, control and administration of the Canadian Forces. The National Defence Act also stipulates that unless the Governor-in-Council otherwise directs, all orders and instructions to the Canadian Forces that are required to give effect to the decisions and to carry out the directions of the Government of Canada or the Minister shall be issued by or through the Chief of Defence Staff. The CDS also has primary responsibility for military strategy, plans and requirements.
The Department of National Defence is very quick to reassure onlookers that although in this organisation Civilian members of DND provide information and recommendations to various levels of the chain of command, this advice never overrides or supplants the flow of operational orders and instructions downward.
Now, having just illustrated the alleged command ability of the CDS and the alleged structural integrity of the military chain of command in light of civilian interference, it is necessary to take into account the following statement by DND, taken from their Primer on Accountability:

Both civilian and military personnel are accountable to the Deputy Minister through their respective Environmental Chief of Staff or Group Principal for the exercise of the delegated statutory, policy, and administrative authorities related to the management of funds, public service employees, property and other resources. These are authorities that have been entrusted to the Deputy Minister by the Minister, by the Treasury Board, or directly by regulations or statutes.

Based solely on that statement, the CDS, being a member of the military is automatically secondary to the DM when they are technically supposed to share equal footing. Aside from this technicality, however, there are many other factors, as it will be demonstrated, that serve to sub-ordinate the CDS to the DM.
The Department also aggressively asserts, obviously in response to an onslaught of critical speculation about increasing bureaucratic control of the military, that:

Accountability of military staff to the Deputy Minister for the exercise of financial, administrative or civilian personnel authorities does not mean that the DM may issue orders to military personnel nor does the issuing of directives by the DM somehow civilianize members of the Canadian Forces. It means simply that the Deputy Minister may:

a delegate to both civilian and CF personnel the exercise of certain administrative or other authorities
b give direction on how those authorities are to be exercised, and
c hold military and civilian personnel accountable for the exercise of these delegated authorities.

Clearly, the impression DND wishes to convey is that when the bureaucratic element mixes with the military side and vice-versa within NDHQ, it is only in an advisory or administrative capacity, and not as a matter of command. But, whether or not it is a matter of actual command has little to do with what is at stake in mixing military and civilian lines of authority, especially in such a confusing matter. The ethos surrounding Canadian civil-military relations has been largely guided by the very presumptuous notion that checking the improprieties and inefficiencies of military self-control is so necessary an objective that it warrants the blind assumption of public servants as faithful conduits of government intent. Indeed, this has been a problem for most aspects of Canadian government, but it is arguably more crucial an issue when the profound nature of defence is considered.
What is meant by this seemingly all-inclusive, yet very elusive concept of defence? Its definition is difficult to come by, and it often serves the purposes of policy-makers to maintain its ambiguity to preserve its flexibility, but essentially defence entails the maintenance of a Canadian fighting force that is capable of filling a domestic defensive role a domestic emergency preparedness and relief role as aid to the civil power in both the event of natural disasters and emergency threat contingencies and in an international role with regards to Canadas commitment to various treaties and organisations, namely to United Nations peacekeeping missions, which to this date remains the CFs only concrete mandate as a means of maintaining Canadas status as a middle-power. As outlined in the 1994 Defence White Paper, the fundamental mission of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces is to defend Canada and Canadian interests and values while contributing to international peace and security. Canadas defence policy calls for the maintenance of multi-purpose, combat-capable forces able to meet the challenges of Canadas security both at home and abroad.
But having said that, defence is still an elusive concept because in peacetime its phantom effects, or lack thereof, go unnoticed and are almost impossible to quantify. The Government has always recognised the domestic emergency role of the CF, and is becoming less and less hesitant to call out the troops, as recent disasters indicate - the floods in Alberta and the Saguenay, the ice-storm in Quebec, the forest fires in British Columbia, and the jetliner crash in Nova Scotia, all within the past two years. Internationally, the CFs peacekeeping ability has been praised and as such has escaped the budgetary axe for the past several years. This will be elaborated, but for now it suffices to say that except in times of emergency, the Canadian Armed Forces do not have a large constituency that recognises its utility. The hard, less obvious truth of the matter though, is that defence is the Canadian governments control of the means of brute force, and as such, its Parliamentary control is indeed vital to maintaining liberal-democratic consistency.
So then what of the DM and CDSs relationship, in light of what has just been asserted. Surely, the aforesaid nature of defence must play into the legitimacy of their relationship.


The whole idea behind NDHQ is that the militarys senior commanders should become functionally indistinguishable from their civilian counterparts. In the years that followed the reorganisation, this bureaucratisation of high command set the pattern for further bureaucratisation of the senior and middle ranks. One study revealed that many officers were confused about their proper role. Running an army, they concluded, was not unlike running any large corporation.

And so it went following the reorganisation of NDHQ in 1972 as Canadian defence policy geared down from, and shifted away from war-making to peace-keeping in light of the changing international environment. No longer was the value of defence dollars to be based on the ability to fight a war, an ability in which efficiency is often discarded as a criteria. Instead, defence, or what was now becoming needed of it, became a matter of economics a matter of how to spend as little as possible yet still provide for Canadas rudimentary military requirements.
Indeed, one of the first things a young solider learns nowadays in basic training is indicative of a much larger picture. Here in the CF, we train every soldier in how to do a little bit of everything because we dont have the money to specialise you whereas down in the States they have the money to throw at specialising every military trade.
The Honourable Bob Hicks, while sitting on the Standing Committee for National Defence and Veterans Affairs wrote in 1991: Canadian defence budgets are not what they once were. In time of emergency they have consumed 50 or more of federal spending. In time of peace, in the early 1960s, defence accounted for close to 25 of the pot. But then cutbacks of the 1960s and 1970s resulted in gradual shrinkage. The defence budget slipped to near 10 of the total, and the fighting ships, tanks, aircraft and personnel slid to the levels we know today.
Understand, though, that today was in 1991, prior to a year by year series of large cuts to defence spending, especially in 1995. Looking to the two charts below, in consideration of the aforesaid huge cuts in the 1960s and 1970s is testament to the magnitude of this decline. Having already alluded to the essentially phantom nature of defence nowadays, the first of the two following charts demonstrate the uncanny ability of budgets to quantify it.

Keep in mind, having examined this second graph that although civilian personnel are being trimmed proportionally more than service personnel, they will still constitute 1/3rd of Canadas defence establishment. Such a large percentage compels one to ask, having just examined the relatively meagre size of Canadas defence requirements and roles, why is such a large bureaucratic element necessary at all?
But that aside, the defence budget, having been reduced on a yearly basis since the 1970s is currently under the knife again. Reduced by a baseline reduction of $200 million in 1997-98, increasing to $450 million in 1998-99. In addition, there [was to] be a one-time reduction of $150 million in 1998-99. These reductions [were to] be achieved through cuts and deferrals in planned capital equipment expenditures, reductions to infrastructure, and reductions in selected activity levels. This, combined with the 1994 and 1995 Budgets, [was to] reduce National Defences budget to $9.25 billion in 1998-99 from $11.8 billion in 1994-95.
Looking at all these cuts impels one to wonder where the savings are being realised, so when the question of a peace dividend arises, it is necessary to ask: what dividend? It has already been spent. The Associate Minister of National Defence has stated it well in saying There is no peace dividend to call, and in fact much of the stock that helps produce the dividend has been sold. Our concern willbe to make sure we dont sell it all off.
But that is not the main issue. Indeed, preserving a base level of defence is necessary, as has already been asserted, but it is the effect these cuts have had on the way defence is organised in Canada that is important. Canadian defence policy in the 90s has been as much about its organisation as it has been about actual defence issues. The Three Rs of Canadian defence nowadays are restructuring, re-engineering, and renewal all management buzzwords.


To establish the profound impact the Management Era has had on defence administration in Canada, it is necessary to quickly reiterate the essence of the Command Era. The Command Era was characterised by command authority, military concepts of decision-making and administration, respect for individual responsibilities but perhaps not always for individuals, an integrative policy process, and a reliance on subjectivity based on experience. After all, who knows more about controlling the military than the military itself? From the perspective of defence that question is irrelevant, and obvious. But from a budgetary perspective, and later, program review, better leaders come in the form of managers. This pressure arose during the Command Era:

The efficiency of the whole structure was often called into question, something that would become central to later reform movements. Efficiency has many definitions that are often oriented to particular professions. The Command Era may have been militarily efficient while at the same time being inefficient in the eyes of the accountants. Who defined the term came to be critical to DND and CF.

Indeed, the re-organisation of NDHQ placed heavy emphasis on new techniques of management and public administration that were contemporary to their other departmental counterparts. What this did, though, was to increase the importance and relative number of the administrative-technical support segment in the Canadian Forces, thereby decreasing the proportion of officers who had joined to fight wars. The domination of the army by fighting soldiers was being challenged by the rise of military technocrats. To support this trend, one might even point to what Canadas current Chief of Defence Staff General Maurice Baril, just said three months ago when he addressed the 51st Conference of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada:

For a number of years now, the integrated Defence civilian/military management system has been adapting and changing in order to give the Defence Team civilian and military personnel the tools to continue serving Canadians competently, effectively and with a profound sense of duty.

There is one other characteristic shared by the new military and the new practice of public administration. A high level of leadership is one of the skills that mangers must have if they are to introduce the comprehensive changes that are needed. More than ever, managers must not only be capable of making sound decisions, they must also be skilled in advising, motivating and guiding their personnel.

At National Defence, we need leaders who are good managers and managers who are good leaders. The latter must not only possess solid technical and strategic skills, they must also be familiar with modern management concepts and techniques. This is due, first of all, to the complexity of operations, whether these take place in peacetime or during a crisis, inside Canada or abroad. Secondly, this need exists because operational decision-making must take into account factors relating to strategy, finance, and public relations, to name but a few.

Management, decision-making, leadership and operational efficiency are all interrelated.

Looking at what the CDS said it is little wonder why NDHQ has become so internally confused and confusing, and it is certainly little wonder why the office of the CDS is now much less powerful than it was intended to be. Throughout his address he referred interchangeably to managers and soldiers in acceptance of the reality of defence administration in Canada today. Not one of those four passages would ever have been accepted twenty years ago, for even eight years into the Management Era there still remained some sort of idea of who had responsibility for what. Nowadays, confusion abounds at NDHQ.
Douglas Bland, who is a sharp critic of NDHQ, said in 1995 that Although the CDS may be drawn from the combat lite of the military force, he is neither a classic warrior-commander nor is he a uniformed public servant. Based on General Barils recent comments, however, it is more likely that the CDS is indeed becoming a uniformed public servant. If such role confusion is occurring at the highest level, then it is no surprise what is happening down the chain of command either. Over the years, the power and influence of the DM have increased while those of the CDS have declined. That was probably inevitable given that the CDS normally holds office for a three-year term, while a deputy minister can, and usually does, serve for much longer periods.
Looking to the chart below illustrates the customary lengthiness of a DMs tenure, compared to the erratic, though more often than not brief career of MNDs.


To visualise on this chart the imposing of 11 CDSs from 1964 to 1994, each serving approximately three-year periods further reinforces the realisation of just how permanent the DM is in the Canadian defence landscape. This permanency has provided the DMs with considerable opportunity and ability to enhance their positions, and the position of their department within NDHQ.
In light of such a characteristic, many army officers today believe that the CDS now works for the DM. That trend, combined with the rise of military technocrats inevitably subverts the legal separation between the two branches with regards to authority and influence, and serves to subordinate the CF to DND, the military to the bureaucracy, ultimately represented by the subordination of the CDS to the DM.
A quick look back to the organisation charts of NDHQ will refresh the perceptual illusion that the CDS exists on the same organisational level as the DM and shares responsibility with him. That, of course, is not the reality, as has already been asserted, but referring to the following matrix will serve to reinforce the assertion that the DM is much more powerful and influential than the CDS.


This matrix, ironically forwarded in a presentation to the Canadian Forces Staff College by the actual DM, Buzz Nixon, in 1982, had no basis in law and was merely an interpretation of the accepted status quo. However, his presentation of it was visually powerful and bold in its implications and its introduction by an official of Nixons stature and prestige gave it the weight of authority.
The matrix clearly demonstrates Nixons thesis that defence it is not a case of deciding what is military and what is civilian. It informally demonstrates the way in which the DM and the CDS share power, but it only takes a quick look to observe that the DM has the greatest control over the most influential elements of defence policy. Policy, financial, evaluation, audit, and use of resources are extremely powerful because without them there could be no defence. As such the DM not only controls the direction of defence policy, but the way it is implemented. According to the matrix, and to fact, he also has input with regards to planning, training, operational plans, operation of CF, and internal direction some of the most military elements of the CF. Clearly, though interference by the DM and DND in such areas are de jure impossible and illegal, the two institutions have a great deal of de facto control, DND more so than the CF.
At this point, it will be valuable to insert one final chart, also offered by DND to help explain its organisational structure. It is odd, just as an aside to this, that DND currently has two organisational charts for the public to view, both exactly the same except in the manner in which they treat the relationship between the DM and CDS. Are they themselves confused?

OrgChart 3

OrgChart 2, from earlier on, appropriately represents the distances of the DM and CDS from the MND, but the actual relationship between the CDS and DM is unclear. In OrgChart 3, however, the dotted line that runs down from the DM and over to the CDSs chain of command is the most important element of their relationship because it illustrates the informal influence which he has over those elements, as discussed earlier. OrgChart 2 gives the mistaken impression that the Vice Chief of Defence Staff is the conduit through which all power flows from one branch to the other, but that is not the case. He exists more to co-ordinate and resolve cross-boundary issues than to transmit power. As a military officer one might think that his role in the centre of the whole operation gives the CF a great power resource, though this is unlikely as the VCDS is truly shared between the CDS and DM. As such, the dotted line on OrgChart 3 best represents the informal control the DM has over the CF not necessarily through the CDS, but with the CDS. The acts of Parliament that established these offices gives them distinct powers that cannot be shared legally but must be shared informally if the system is to work. But in light of what has been said thus far, the word share connotes an equality that does not exist.


In general, the Management Era has tended to replace the military way of administration with a civilian way of administration and to negate the importance of command concepts. But as has been demonstrated the 1972 managerial and organisational changes in defence administrationnot only confused military authority and allowed civil servants to intrude into the armed forces chain of command, but they also damaged civil-military relations by disrupting the clear lines that ought to run between Parliament and the armed forces. In both instances, DND, under the DM, has gained tremendous authority over the direction and implementation of defence policy something which was never supposed to have happened.
The Command Era, though assuredly inefficient through the eyes of an accountant was nonetheless militarily effective despite complaints form certain critics that the military had too much control over its affairs. Such criticisms in light of Canada changing defence needs soon became the mantra of those demanding reforms in Canadas defence administration, and defence was soon reorganised in the late sixties and early seventies within NDHQ under the principles of management and service-provision. As such, the management era has entirely different characteristics. The actors are both military and civilian and it is unclear who is superior to whom. The structure is organised in response to theories of functional unity and managerial theories rather than command theories.
Officers are often confused as to their role now, and bureaucrats readily acknowledge their control of the CF, as Buzz Nixon did back in 1982. Again, most officers think the CDS works for the DM and the current CDS has said many things in support of this reality. Indeed, the CDS, in his interchangeable use of manger and officer, has acquiesced to the informal fusion of DND with the CF and unabashedly asserts its influence over the CF and justifies it in reference to changes and trends in Canadian public administration in general.
The average soldier, the bottom-line in Canadian Parliamentary control of force, has not escaped these effects, both in terms of ever-decreasing budgets and in terms of the civilanising and softening of a once hard and unforgiving military ethos. Members of Canadas Armed Forces are not today so insulated from the currents of civilian society as their predecessors of even half a century ago, they nonetheless find those pressures uncomfortable to accommodate.
David Bercuson wrote a book on the fairly recent Somalia Incident - the watershed event in contemporary Canadian defence, both in terms of societys perception of the Canadian military, and in terms of looking to NDHQ to truly determine authority and accountability. His book sums up all of that which has been asserted heretofore and as such it will be appropriate to conclude while giving light to his thoughts.
Details of the incident aside, the ensuing inquiry uncovered large-scale improprieties up through the chain of command to the highest levels and gave the CF the poor reputation it generally has, despite positive reactions to recent aid to civil power operations. In his account of the incident, Bercuson looks to NDHQ to place the blame. He argues first, that DND bureaucrats have neglected their neutral mandate:

The merging of military and civilian advisers at NDHQ has been disastrous. The civil service exists to carry out the will of Parliament. Senior bureaucrats take direction from the cabinet, tender advice, then act on the instructions given. They execute policy decisions. They have no right to oppose government policy once it has been decided. They are, in fact, as well as name, civil servants, obliged to serve their democratically elected bosses.

He then points to the fault of the officer corps in subscribing to the military technocrat role:

Unlike their civilian counterparts, military commanders have a responsibility to the Forces under their command that is independent of their responsibility to Parliament. They exist or should exist to maintain an effective fighting force. Their lives are governed by the military ethos a way of behaving and thinking that is different from that of civilians. Civilian bureaucrats are not required by law to lay down their lives, but soldiers sometimes are. A soldiers liability is unlimited. Military commanders should not be temporising their professional advice to please their political masters. More to the point, their views should be based purely on military considerations and nothing else.

He then points to the improper attempt by successive DMs to encroach on the CDSs authority: It is up to others in government to add the social, political and economic factors into the defence and military policy-equation. Under no circumstances should the deputy minister stand between the military and the minister or attempt to blend his views with those of the CDS.
The reality of Canadian defence, however, is precisely such and instead of ensuring that Parliament controls the military, NDHQ and all of its inconsistencies have resulted in ensuring that nothing short of a blindly loyal bureaucracy refrains from influencing the direction and implementation of Canadian defence. Doug Bland says that as such the amalgamated central defence planning staffs in NDHQ have failed irrevocably and that it needs to be rebuilt on a sound legal base. Bercuson, even more of a critic, does not even recognise the original intent of reorganising NDHQ to augment Parliamentary control he argues those changes were designed solely to ensure that the military did the bidding of the bureaucracy.
Either way, the product of reorganisation was indeed the bureaucratisation of defence in Canada to the point where the CF currently experiencing grave disillusionment, the only source of pride among soldiers and politicians alike is its peacekeeping role - likely to be the only element of Canadian defence, save for minimal emergency requirements, that survives future budget cuts.
Having heretofore presented the current state of affairs in Canadas defence establishment, and the vast problems associated with its organisation within National Defence Headquarters in light of its original intent, it is with astonishing irony to finish with a quote from the author who originally asked Wither Civilian control in 1972, prior to reorganisation of NDHQ into the entity that has brought, and continues to bring about, its own downfall:

Central to satisfactory civil-military relations is a clear delineation of the political boundaries and roles within which the civilians and the military function in the resolution of defence issues. If this understanding is based on mutual trust, problems are less likely to arise. This, of course, is not possible if the principles governing the relationships are not understood, or if understood, are not accepted by either group.

OrgChart 3


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