Canadian Policy Dilemmas in Deterrence and Disarmament

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Connections: The Quarterly Journal, Volume 17, Issue 4 (2018)


Canadian defense policy, Deterrence, missile defense, nuclear disarmament


This article suggests that Canadian policy is dissonant in the current strategic dilemma opposing NATO and Russia over the Baltic States and Ukraine. On the one hand, Canada is a reliable, willing and respected partner in NATO, committed to making the Alliance credible to the Baltic States and to NATO adversaries. But while this credibility is buttressed by NATO nations’ conventional forces, Russia cannot meet this deterrent safely without relying on nuclear weapons. Canada has always been a proponent of responsible use of nuclear energy, and has been at the forefront of campaigns at NATO to reduce reliance on nuclear weapons for achieving political objectives. Nevertheless, NATO being a nuclear alliance, Canada cannot opt out of this aspect of the organization and still participate actively in forward deployments. We argue that Canadian participation and promotion of Ballistic Missile Defense will relieve this policy dissonance because BMD requires disarmament to function more fully. This development would enable a defensive transition, make Baltic reassurance safer, reduce Russian nuclear reliance, and provide a more ethical alternative to deterrence.

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Ever since the dawn of the nuclear age and the creation of NATO, Canadian security and defense policy has performed a delicate balancing act between the imperatives of Alliance membership – deterrence, responsible use of nuclear power, disarmament, and arms control. The post-Cold War interlude offered an opportunity to resolve this dilemma until the Ukraine crisis of 2014.

Efforts at re-designing NATO as a collective security (as opposed to common defense) organization have not altogether succeeded, as have efforts at reducing reliance on nuclear weapons for deterrence. The Ukraine crisis has pulled the Alliance back into its traditional role, particularly with its “reassurance policy” towards the Baltic States. In this sense, there is no “between” assurance and deterrence, because Canada is bound to both, and assurance is deterrence; both concepts are the same, bound by credibility.

Individual Allies are also bound to NATO by the notion of credibility. For Canada, this means the accentuation of a policy dilemma between partnering effectively as part of the reassurance initiative and maintaining its long-standing commitment on nuclear arms control and disarmament. Credibility is also involved in a less conceptual manner; how much security is actually procured for the Baltic States (and Ukraine) if NATO’s deterrence posture invites Russia to counter-deter with tactical and intermediate-range nuclear weapons?

This article argues that one way for Canada to reconcile both policy objectives (obligations!) of deterrence and disarmament is for NATO to engage Russia constructively on ballistic missile defense (BMD), however rapidly is the window for such engagement closing.

The article is structured in the first part on Canada’s position on nuclear disarmament and NATO participation, from which we segue into NATO’s reassurance initiative and its implications on the current strategic predicament on NATO’s eastern flank. The second part argues from the consequences of the first that BMD is a system whose nature encourages mutual disarmament, provided of course, that international discourse is conducive to an honest and objective nuclear risk assessment.

Canada’s Twin Policies

Canada’s National Defence Act mandates the Governor in Council to put forces at the disposal of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization for any actions undertaken by the Alliance under the Washington Treaty.[1] As a party to this Treaty and member of the Alliance, Canada is also participant under the silence procedure to the very decision whereby Canadian forces would be required for a NATO initiative (notwithstanding the caveat contained in Art. 5 of the Washington Treaty). Evidently, Canada also participates to other matters of Alliance policy under the Nuclear Planning Group (NPG), and other agencies. In short, Canadian law mandates Canadian participation in NATO efforts. The latter do not always coincide with Canadian interests (in fairness this is true of any Ally). On the whole, however, Canada’s interests are reflected in every successive Strategic Concept of the Alliance. It therefore behooves Canada to maintain the credibility of the Alliance as an important vehicle of foreign, defense and security policy.

Canadian official policy, reflected especially through its “White Papers” (the last worthy of the name dating back to 1994, and the one before that to 1987) and national security strategy of 2004. The 1994 Defence White Paper points to the threat of weapons of mass destruction as a factor of concern, but was very short on what to do about the problem of proliferation.[2] Fast forward to 2004 and Canada’s national security policy “Securing an Open Society,” and while the problems were the same, Canada could count on quite a few successes in thwarting proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), among which are the Global Partnership Program aiming at the prevention of acquisition of weapons material by terrorist groups and the Proliferation Security Initiative, allegedly bringing Libya to cancel its own weapons program.[3] Apart from that, Canada’s contribution to the counter-proliferation narrative has been rich and effective, especially through its Ambassadors Douglas Roche and Margaret Mason.

In the context of an ideological confrontation, the reconciliation between assurance and deterrence is not difficult to make; there are not many choices and Canada is not the strongest player. But when ideology no longer buttresses the threat of annihilation, governments should take this opportunity to revise their positions, especially in terms of nuclear weaponry.

Since 1999, the year of the advent of Vladimir V. Putin as leader of Russia, the Government of Canada has scarcely contemplated the problem of nuclear proliferation within the changing security environment. The Foreign Affairs and International Trade (FAIT) committee tabled a report in December 1998 entitled Canada and the Nuclear Challenge: Reducing the Political Value of Nuclear Weapons in the 21st Century, eliciting a government response to its recommendations. The only other government report reflecting Canada’s concern with strategic weapons matters came in 2014 with the National Defence and Veterans Affairs (NDVA) committee’s NATO’s Strategic Concept and Canada’s Role in International Defence Cooperation, tabled in December 2013.[4] The government response, tabled in April 2014, spoke of reassurance as “forward defense,” ensuring that conflicts take place as far away as possible from Canada’s shores.

From those reports, one can say that Canada’s concern is mainly with non-state actors and rogue states, the future implications of BMD development, and Canada’s place within the NORAD arrangements. Non-proliferation figures prominently among Canada’s policy objectives, setting arms control and disarmament efforts on the application of the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and urging Russia to ratify the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty II (START II).[5] Calling for de-alerting of forward missile sites, Canada was in a good position to make these suggestions, having itself removed its high readiness battalion from the Norwegian-Russian border in the mid-1990s (a Cold War “reassurance and deterrence” measure at what was then NATO’s eastern flank).[6]

The NDVA report, in particular, showed singular weariness at the insistence of the United States to maintain B61 tactical nuclear bombs in the European theater of operations, while the 2010 NATO Strategic Concept suggests that these weapons “need not be deployed in Europe.” [7] Yet, the Warsaw Summit Declaration, echoing prior NATO Declarations, stresses that commitment to disarmament and arms control, through the Intermediate Nuclear Force (INF) and NPT Treaties, should continue to be honored despite the fact that the Alliance welcomes the forward deployment of the United States tactical nuclear deterrent.[8] The sources above suffice to demonstrate that Canada’s policies and efforts on arms controls and disarmament, and the peaceful use of nuclear energy have been consistent over the last two decades.

So too, has been Canada’s commitment to a constructive participation in NATO, especially as a forward-deployed actor. It is only when the Cold War was well and truly over, and in the wake of the strategic assessment provided by the 1994 White Paper, that Canada began to stand its troops down from Cold War footing.[9] In geostrategic terms, this move was the right one to make in the context of Russia’s manifest change of ideology and her material and military distress. Nevertheless, Canada did not renege on NATO, but contributed to the disarmament discourse as well as to the change of mission discourse which occupied so much academic debate throughout the 1990s.

The Ukrainian Crisis and NATO’s Reassurance Initiative

Thanks to the shortsightedness of Western policy, its deaf ears to legitimate Russian security interests over the course of a quarter of a century, and West’s foolish belief in the boniments from those from whom it would expect democratic transition to be complete, the Euro-Atlantic community found itself confronted with Russian-sponsored destabilization of Ukraine in early 2014. It is beyond the scope of this paper to analyze the causes of the Ukrainian Maidan and the character of the subsequent reaction (if indeed it was a reaction). Far more important to Canada’s dilemma is the nature of NATO’s response.

The first official response from NATO came in the form of a Statement of its Foreign Ministers, where the commitment was communicated to Russia that NATO would increase its cooperation with Ukraine in the framework of its Distinctive Partnership in order to help Ukraine to “provide for its own security.” [10] Practically speaking, this has not meant much more from an Alliance point of view [11] or, as Kurt Volker stated, “NATO seems to be stuck operating in the logic of partnership, rather than the logic of defense and deterrence.” [12] This point of view is supported by the notion that the best that NATO was able to agree were a series of trust funds and the defense education enhancement programs (DEEP). Canada contributes to Ukraine’s self-defense through the Command, Control, Communication and Computers (C4) and the military logistics trust funds.[13] While there has been increased NATO cooperation with Ukraine, it falls short of actually providing coercive capability to resist or overturn the takeover of Crimea and the Donbas.

Otherwise, individual nations are free to conduct bilateral support programs. Canada’s traditional support of Ukraine’s military development was comprised mostly of language and similar training from the Military Training and Assistance Program (MTAP), and later the Military Training and Cooperation Program (MTCP). While these initiatives have been maintained, they have been augmented in August 2014 by the provision of non-lethal equipment. In November 2014, the type of materiel support provided through the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade bore a distinctly more “operational” character. For example, explosive ordnance disposal equipment was provided, along with Harris radios and night-vision equipment.

Canada formalized its cooperative agreement with Ukraine in January 2015 for the provision of military police training support. Since then, this has escalated to the provision of actual military training, for example, sniper training as part of Operation UNIFIER begun in September 2015. This mission is expected to continue until March 2019 at least.[14] Canada links its support of Ukraine with Operation REASSURANCE from NATO, which sees the deployment there much more substantial. This includes, according to the PMO

the deployment of Canadian military personnel and Canadian Armed Forces assets as part of Operation REASSURANCE including the deployment of Her Majesty’s Canadian ships Regina, Toronto and Fredericton in support of the same operation; contributions to the three NATO-accredited Centres of Excellence in the Baltic region on Cyber Defence, Energy Security and Strategic Communications to help strengthen the regional framework to address the crisis situation; and Canada’s participation in several military exercises with allies in Europe.[15]

This is in addition to a forward-deployed squadron of CF-18s. The disparity of commitment between a small contingent of Canadian Army trainers in Western Ukraine, compared to three frigates and a half-dozen fighters is glaring. Strategically speaking, this deployment, and that of other nations, including British and American armored troops, to help reassure the hapless Baltic States—which in the opinion and experience of this analyst have much to answer for in the current Ukrainian crisis—create a pole of forces on Russia’s doorstep that detracts the latter from committing more troops to the Donbas.

While this effort is in keeping with Canada’s reputation as an active player in the Alliance, the strategic and operational consequences put the country’s policy on the horns of a dilemma, because Russia’s current vulnerability means that it can only offset such local security threat with nuclear weapons – a long-standing problem for European security.[16] For therein lies Canada’s problem; NATO deterrence is working quite well, forcing Russia to devote resources far from where it would allegedly prefer to use them in the Donbas. But if Russia feels that NATO has suddenly become a threat, she may be tempted to counter-balance her local inferiority with intermediate or tactical nuclear weapons.

The Russian Contingency

“For the first dozen years of the post-Soviet era, Western leaders assumed that Russia would respond… by becoming part of… ‘wider Europe’,” writes Fyodor Lukyanov.[17] Those twelve years correspond roughly to the reign of Boris Yeltsin, which marked, in the minds of many Russians, a time of extreme hardship, shame and vulnerability. The arrival of Vladimir Putin in power in early 2000 marked a turning point, as it occurred on the heels of NATO’s quasi-illegal air war over Serbia and Kosovo,[18] with the final straw coming with the Ukraine crisis. The space lacks here to discuss Russia’s opposition to the Kosovo intervention, but short of forcing then Prime-Minister Primakov to turn back mid-way on to Washington, it showed that Russia did not have the means to make its voice heard in international relations, or its interests respected. In short, Russia lacked the power in the conventional forces area of the spectrum of state power to support its foreign policy.

Thereupon, the modernization and reform of the Russian security sector, left in disrepair throughout the 1990s, began in earnest. This author has written widely about this topic over the last 15 years. Shlykov argues that the Russian military-industrial complex (MIC) was virtually destroyed by the inept way the structural militarization of Soviet (and then Russian) society was conducted. There was neither reconversion from military to civilian production, nor was there re-investment to improve military production.[19] Furthermore, the dissolution of the Soviet Union meant that a large part of that force structure ended up in foreign countries, either intact or scuttled. This also meant that a significant portion of manpower was lost. While the Soviet Union had a population of some 230 million people, the population size of the Russian Federation stood at some 150 million on New Year’s 1992. But the downward trend has been apparently reversed. By 2001, the Russian armed forces were facing a massive crisis; under-funded, under-equipped, and under-manned; those who did not manage to avoid the draft deserted in droves, and those who did not desert were often beaten up during their service – hardly a situation satisfactory for morale.[20]

By 2003, however, the crisis had been stemmed to a certain extent. Since that year, the Russian defense budget has increased by 25 percent year on year.[21] Even the economic crisis years of 2008-2009 saw a budgetary increase. But this has not produced the kind of forces that Russia needs to effectively threaten NATO. For one, the defense industry in Russia has been consolidated under a clearinghouse called Rosoboroneksport in 2001.[22] Both Russia and foreign countries are its clients, but the design bureaus that compose Rosoboroneksport have spent Russian procurement money mostly in the service of research and development for the last several years. This means that whenever procurement goals could be met, the Russian forces did not receive equipment that was any better than what they had during the Cold War.[23] This means that as Russian force structure increases in materiel number, so does the technological asymmetry with the West.

Nevertheless, matching an adversary’s force structure or level of technological integration means little if the forces themselves are not ready.[24] Readiness is often understood as the efficiency and effectiveness of an army’s training schedule. The Russian armed forces have been diligent in this, with their annual Kavkaz and Zapad series of exercises, not to mention the anti-terrorism exercises carried out within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) since the mid-2000s.[25] It must be remembered that the forces being trained represented a very small portion of the overall Russian armed forces. Mostly, they were the 76th Airborne troops, based in Pskov Oblast, and certain units of the 58th Army based in Vladikavkaz.[26] At most, the equivalent of three motor rifle divisions (MRDs), or some 60000 men, can be said to be ready.[27]

In terms of equipment, the Russian Federation has proceeded in leaps and bounds in developing new technology, but this technology is still some years away from being fielded. The stringent efforts at modernization of conventional equipment have only recently begun to help re-equip units, under the so-called State Armament Plan (GPV) 2015.[28] According to Yazbeck, “the combination of economic crisis, balanced funding (just shy of 3 percent of GDP) during the period 2007-2011 has meant that the intention of replacing and modernizing every aspect of the Russian Armed Forces would need to be extended to 2020 at least.” [29] At the time the Ukrainian crisis erupted, the Russian Armed Forces were barely sufficient to carry out the so-called “aggression,” and relied more on proxy forces precisely because it is easier to equip rebels than align capable and ready forces in adequate numbers.

Yet, Russia’s behavior could only invite a NATO counter-reaction. Russia seized Crimea and the Donbas to prevent Ukraine from ‘falling’ to NATO in the wake of the November 2013-March 2014 revolution. This was interpreted by NATO as a Russian attempt to revise the status quo in Europe. NATO concluded that Russia’s actions were illegal, and to make sure that the Alliance could be understood as speaking of one voice, issued a declaration of transatlantic solidarity before starting to forward deploy troops to the Baltic States and Poland.[30] NATO called on the United States and Canada to demonstrate resolve in the face of aggression, which the US did through Operation Atlantic Resolve, deploying some 53 000 troops, mostly in Poland.[31] To this must be added Canada’s contribution, already alluded to earlier in this article, and that of many other NATO Allies. The magnitude of the forces arrayed in reassurance of Allies and deterrence of Russia is staggering; the forces arrayed in defense of the Baltic States put Russia at a local disadvantage of 3:1.[32] While this achieves the indirect objective of relieving pressure on Ukraine by forcing Russia to disperse its forces, the latter might even more be tempted to offset this imbalance by relying on nuclear weapons. Particularly, tactical and intermediate nuclear weapons.[33]

This predicament puts Canada in front of an ethical and operational contradiction. Canada may well be willing to throw its weight in as part of a conventional deterrent, but if the effect of the deterrent is to cause a qualitative nuclear escalation, then Canada’s fulfillment of its Alliance obligations forces an inconsistency over the peaceful use of nuclear energy and the non-reliance of nuclear weapons for political objectives. The NATO security concept is clear as to NATO’s nuclear nature, but it is also clear in stating the Alliance’s desire to continue working towards further disarmament and arms control.[34] Canada’s position has always been this ambiguous – that while it remains opposed to nuclear weapons, it nevertheless embraces NATO as a nuclear alliance. The argument expressed above shows now that this position has become untenable in the current circumstances.

This author believes that there is a way out of this dilemma through the better articulation of the ballistic missile defense (BMD) narrative. The promise of a defensive transition from mutually assured destruction would serve as a signal to Russia that NATO exists to reassure its Allies and not threaten anyone, notwithstanding the fact that NATO views BMD as complementary to an effective nuclear deterrent.

Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Today

Part 3 of this article is a summary of the argument made in a 2005 CIIA International Journal article proposed by this author.[35] The premise is that BMD, provided that it is deployed in response to objective threat assessments (also based on the capabilities of the system), can logically trigger mutual disarmament efforts and pave the way for a defensive transition.

This author is acutely aware that the window of opportunity for such talks is rapidly closing. He is further aware that, in the current strategic environment, a realist outlook is perhaps more prudent than a constructivist approach, and that disarmament is the last thing that Russia would seek. Finally, Canada should lead the charge under this argumentation, as it will relieve a US no one believes in, while at the same time tagging along the BMD project (Canada had always been ponderous in expressing its reluctance to join the BMD effort).

The opponents of BMD were many and their arguments against the deployment of such systems were varied in the late 90s early 2000s. Many points have become moot. The threat posed by BMD to the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) and the possible “de-coupling” of the American and European strategic destinies were the more salient. Today, the American withdrawal from the ABM Treaty and the subsequent installation of Aegis Ashore sites in Romania and missile batteries in Central Europe have helped solidify the BMD logic without stressing the transatlantic relationship.

BMD has always been a factor of friction between the West and Russia, and apparently, no amount of NATO soothsaying can reverse this trend. Strained relations over this and other factors are facts of strategic life. The Russian opposition to BMD deployment is grounded in the belief that the system offers an undeterrable second strike capability. This is a criticism that easily leads to another, more sinister argument against deployment – that BMD deployment would eventually trigger a renewed arms race. This latter outcome has been mitigated greatly by the three Bush (father and son) administrations, which have cut the US arsenal by half, with Bush son doing most of the cutting. When Obama entered office the US arsenal stood at some 5000 warheads, of which he cut 10 percent.[36] Through George W. Bush’s efforts, the Russian arsenal would find corresponding cuts.

The literature suggests that BMD is necessary to deter rogue states or respond to accidental launches. The importance of defending against small volleys of missiles has always been designed into the American conception of BMD. It is the one argument that has remained unchanged from the early days of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) to today’s deployment. Actually, the current deployment against North Korea is the expression of what BMD stands for.

There is no need to emphasize how BMD tests have been lackluster in bringing down incoming missiles. But perhaps therein lies the promise of strategic balance reconciled with a defensive transition. It is unlikely that the current Trump administration will further reduce the arsenal either unilaterally or through a new treaty with the Russians. Furthermore, at present, American credibility worldwide is at a record low. This would provide Canada with an opportunity to engage within the BMD debate in a context which is favorable for disarmament without sacrificing its posture on NATO deterrence.

Here is how Canada can articulate how the logic of BMD can bring disarmament. Even with parity between the US and Russia at 5 000 warheads, the result remains mutually assured destruction (MAD). The goal of nuclear disarmament should be to bring the respective levels down to thresholds of “unacceptable destruction,” which means levels of destruction which would be conducive to a belligerent to sue for peace. In other words, if not successful deterrence of initiation, at least deterrence of continuation. Only Japan offers us a measure of what intolerable damage is – the experience of two atomic bombs has led it to seek peace in 1945.

This gives us a measure that may not be accurate for all nuclear players, but it is academically and historically tenable. From this measurement, we can work backwards to determine what has been the rate of success of nuclear missiles, and the rate of success of BMD systems. Clearly the former has been a lot better than the latter. For example, the D-5 rocket is used in ballistic nuclear submarines of the US and Royal Navy. According to a recent Foreign Policy report, we can count perhaps three failed launches out of 161 over the course of the lifetime of the vehicle.[37] North Korea has made 100 missile launches since 2001, with a failure rate slightly exceeding that of the D-5, and estimated at 3 percent.[38] In Russia, the “Bulava” sub-launched missile continues to be plagued with problems, experiencing a failure rate approaching 50 percent.[39] The average of these rates is 18.3 percent which means that for 100 missiles launched, some 82 will manage to fly to their targets.

According to a recent Missile Defense Agency factsheet, the overall success rate of BMD (all methods included), is 80.6 percent, which means that of the 82 missiles that would make it 66 would be destroyed, leaving 16 to reach their target. The question now becomes one of actual tolerance to damage from both sides of the equation – whether that number of missiles is sufficient for deterrence of initiation and continuation. But if we compare 16 hits against the known two hits, we must reckon that a further 88 percent reduction would be needed. There is therefore a lot of room for further disarmament, considering the size of arsenals that remain.

The point therefore is that nuclear weapons cuts are required in order to make the current BMD systems tolerably effective. That is, effective enough to stop a small volley of missiles, which would itself be a deterrent against a rogue nation launch (we presume here that such a nation would have limited numbers of launchers and would be reluctant to send off volleys that could be shot down with no possibility of second-strike retaliation). It would also be completely effective against single launches, accidental launches, or scheduled launches that go out of control. In other words, the exercise of missile defense would be ethical because the systems target other missiles, and not populations. It would also be coherent with Canada-US partnership and enable Canada to participate in the effort so as to retain greater control over outcomes (such as the eventual employment of Aegis cruisers in the Arctic, which participation may invite), neutralize the Russian penchant for nuclear-vs-conventional deterrence over the Baltic States and Poland and, finally, would enable NATO to reconcile its nuclear nature with the defensive promise of BMD. This latter outcome would make Canadian participation in NATO as a conventional participant to forward deployments not only safer, but also less dissonant.

Finally, no one is suggesting getting rid of old-fashioned nuclear deterrence. Once the genie is out of the bottle, it cannot be put back in. There is no reason to expect a shift in national positions or NATO position on the nature of that type of deterrence. However, we may mitigate the consequences of rogue state actions, misunderstandings or accidents with BMD. The window of opportunity to do so with the help of Russia is closing fast, owing to the current context, and also owing to Russia’s chronic conventional vulnerability. Therefore, a more “honest broker” such as Canada has more chance to get the point across than the more ardent proponents of BMD. But it is also a chance for Canada to promote an international persona which is serious about her or his NATO commitments, but also constructive in achieving a workable and ethical balance with (or on behalf of) NATO and adversaries.


About the Author

Frédéric Labarre is International Program Manager for the Defense Education Enhancement Program (DEEP) in the Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes. His previous responsibilities include Head of Department of Political and Strategic Studies in the Baltic Defense College, Tartu, Estonia, Advanced Distributed Learning Chair in the NATO Defense College, Rome, Italy, and International Liaison Manager in the Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston, Canada.


[1]    National Defence Act (2015), Part II, Article 16 (1) and Article 31 (1) c.

[2]    National Defence, White Paper on Defence (1994), paragraph 13. The spread of advanced weapon technologies has emerged as another security challenge of the 1990s. The transfer of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile delivery capabilities to so-called ‘rogue’ regimes is of particular concern.

[3]    Government of Canada, Securing an Open Society: Canada’s National Security Strategy (2004), 48-49,

[4]    Peter Kent, “NATO’s Strategic Concept and Canada’s Role in International Defence Cooperation,” Report of the Standing Committee on National Defence (Canada: Parliament, House of Commons, 2013).

[5]    Recommendation 14, especially.

[6]    White Paper 1994.

[7]    Kent, “NATO’s Strategic Concept and Canada’s Role in International Defence Cooperation,” 16-17.

[8]    NATO, “Warsaw Summit Communiqué,” Press Release (2016) 100, July 9, 2016, paragraphs 59-65.

[9]    White Paper 1994. Canada transfered its contribution to the Composite Force defending northern Norway to NATO’s Immediate Readiness Force, deployable throughout the NATO area of operations.

[10] “Statement by NATO Foreign Ministers,” Press Release 2014 (062), April 1, 2014, point 3.

[11] Kurt Volker, “Where’s NATO’s Strong Response to Russia’s Invasion of Crimea?” Foreign Policy, March 28, 2014, For more specific examples see Pierre Jolicoeur, “DEEP in Ukraine: The Limits of NATO’s Education Program,” Connections: The Quarterly Journal 17, no. 3 (2018),

[12] Volker, “Where’s NATO’s Strong Response to Russia’s Invasion of Crimea?”

[13] NATO, “NATO’s Support to Ukraine,” NATO Fact Sheet, July 2016, 1-2. According to a press release from the Canadian Prime Minister’s Office, Canada contributes 1 million dollars to the C4 Trust Fund alone. See “PM Announces New Canadian Military Contribution in Ukraine,” April 14, 2015,

[14] “Operation UNIFIER,” National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces, March 10, 2018,

[15] “PM Announces New Canadian Military Contribution in Ukraine.”

[16] GEN (Ret.) Klaus Naumann, What Is the Future of NATO and Should Russia Become a Member of the Alliance: Remarks at the Conference of the Polish Euro-Atlantic Association, Report No. 20 (Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, 2011), 2.

[17] Fyodor Lukyanov, “Putin’s Foreign Policy: The Quest to Restore Russia’s Rightful Place,” Foreign Affairs 95, no. 3 (May-June 2016): 33-34,

[18] Katariina Simonen, Operation Allied Force: A Case of Humanitarian Intervention? Athena Paper no. 4 (Garmisch-Partenkirchen: PfP Consortium Press, 2004).

[19] Vitaly Shlykov, “Back into the Future, Or Cold War Lessons for Russia,” Russia in Global Affairs 4, no. 2 (April-June 2006), 50,

[20] Frédéric Labarre, “Russian Military Reform: An Overview,” Baltic Defence Review, no. 5 (2001): 133-144,

[21] Jan Leijonhielm et al., Rysk militär förmåga i ett tioårsperspektiv: ambitioner och utmaningar 2008 [Russian Military Capability in a Ten-Year Perspective: Ambitions and Challenges in 2008], FOI-R--2707—SE (Stockholm: FOI, January 2009), 20-21.

[22] Stephen J. Blank, Rosoboroneksport: Arms Sales and the Structure of the Russian Arms Industry (Carlisle, PA: U.S. Army Strategic Studies Institute, January 2007),

[23] Frédéric Labarre, “Defence Innovation and Russian Foreign Policy,” in Russia After 2012: From Putin to Medvedev to Putin – Continuity, Change, or Revolution? ed. J. Larry Black and Michael Johns (London: Routledge, 2012).

[24] Richard K. Betts, Military Readiness: Concepts, Choices, Consequences (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1995), 29-43.

[25] Marcel de Haas, Russia’s Military Reforms: Victory after Twenty Years of Failure? Clingendael Paper no. 5 (Clingendael: Nederlands Institute of International Relations, November 2011),

[26] Labarre, “Defence Innovation and Russian Foreign Policy”; and Frédéric Labarre, “The Sources of Russian Neo-Mercantilism,” in From Putin to Medvedev: Continuity or Change? ed. J. Larry Black and Michael Johns (Manotick, ON: Penumbra Press, 2009).

[27] Kaspars Mazitans, “Russian Armed Forces Military Reforms and Capability Development 2008-2012,” Baltic Security and Defence Review 16, no. 1 (2014): 5-22.

[28] Vitaly Shlykov, “Military Reform and Its Implications for the Russian Armed Forces,” in Russian Power Structures: Present and Future Roles in Russian Politics, ed. Jan Leijonhielm and Fredrik Westerlund, Report FOI-R-2437-SE (Stockholm: FOI, 2007), 56-65.

[29] Tanya Yazbeck, “The Russian Economy and Resources Available for Military Reform and Equipment Modernization,” Technical Memorandum (DRDC Centre for Operational Research and Analysis, September 2010), See also Labarre, “Defence Innovation and Russian Foreign Policy.”

[30] NATO, “Wales Declaration on the Transatlantic Bond,” Press Release (2014) 122, September 5, 2014, para 2.

[31] United States European Command (EUCOM), “European Reassurance Initiative (ERI) Fact Sheet,” May 1, 2017.

[32] Strategic Defense Bulletin (Kyiv: Ministry of Defense, 2016), 16.

[33] Frédéric Labarre, “Estonian Foreign Policy and the Dilemmas of Arms Control,” in Estonian Foreign Policy Yearbook 2010, ed. Andres Kasekamp (Tallinn: EVI, 2011).

[34] NATO, “Strategic Concept for the Defence and Security of the Members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – Active Engagement, Modern Defence,” 2010, para 26, point 2, and NATO, “Warsaw Summit Communiqué.”

[35] Frédéric Labarre, “Is Missile Defence Moral?” CIIA International Journal 60, no. 2 (Spring 2005): 553–73.

[36] William J. Broad, “Which President Cut the Most Nukes?” The New York Times, November 1, 2014,

[37] Jeffrey Lewis, “Everyone Fails Nuclear Weapons Tests Sometimes,” Foreign Policy, February 6, 2017,

[38] David E. Sanger and William J. Broad, “Trump Inherits a Secret Cyberwar Against North Korean Missiles,” The New York Times, March 4, 2017,

[39] Sergei Ptitshkin, “‘Bulava’ snosit golovi,” Rossiskaya Gazeta, September 20, 2010, As late as 2016, Bulava missiles still had problems. See Dave Majumdar, “One of Russia’s Most Advanced Nuclear Missiles Self-Destructed During a Test Flight,” The National Interest, September 28, 2016,