Comparing The 1971 White Paper On Defence And The 2008 Canada First Defence Strategy

990 WordsNov 21, 20154 Pages
The purpose of this paper is to compare the 1971 White Paper on Defence and the 2008 Canada First Defence Strategy. More specifically, this paper will compare the strategic environment, Canada’s greatest allies, the alliances Canada supported, and Canada’s security and defence priorities in the 1970s and under the Canada First Defence Strategy (CFDS). As this paper will demonstrate, the key differences witnessed in the 1971 White Paper on Defence and in the 2008 Canada First Defence Strategy is in terms of the specificities of the foreign and defence policy presented, the perceived types of threats to national and international security, and the Canadian Forces’ capability to respond to such major challenges. However, both the 1971 White Paper and the 2008 CFDS clearly demonstrate that the Canadian Forces are there first to defend Canada and Canadians, then to defend North America in cooperation with the United States, and finally to contribute to international security. Furthermore, both papers emphasize on the importance of defence policy in achieving foreign policy objectives. Global Strategic Environment When assessing the global strategic environment, the major changes between 1971 and now is the types of perceived threats to national and international security. In 1971, when the White Paper on Defence was released, the world was dominated by the United States and the USSR, and there was a consensus that the major threat Canada feared the most was a nuclear war

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