PRAXIS - The Canadian Army Command and Staff College Dispatch

Big Ideas of Importance to the Army

The annual Gregg Centre Conference was held at the end of January. The theme was ‘From Radio to Smartphone: Warfare in the Information Age’. Some interesting questions were posed by Lieutenant-Colonel Robbin Dove, CO of the Tactics School. He first explained that the Army (Government of Canada) was constrained by truth, alignment of messaging and even chivalry to a degree. It is not necessarily desirable that we lower ourselves to the level of other state/non-state actors by doing such things as targeting the families of deployed soldiers through social media. While the Army requires legitimacy and the moral high ground, Lieutenant-Colonel Dove asked three pertinent questions: (1) ‘Are we too squeaky-clean, unimaginative  or lacking in ruthlessness to be truly competitive in the offensive cyber-ops domain?’; (2) ‘As a parliamentary democracy can we compete and should we even try to compete with authoritarian regimes in Hybrid Warfare?’; and (3) How do we win in Information Operations, or is it enough that we do not lose our credibility?’ Such questions are important given the Army’s investment in Targeting:

Critical Thought at the College

Army doctrine recognizes only two types of defensive actions, ‘Area Defence’ and ‘Mobile Defence’. In a Mobile Defence minimal combat power is committed to fixing the enemy while a counterattack is launched from an unexpected direction. There is considerable debate about whether or not a single battlegroup can conduct a Mobile Defence within its Area of Responsibility (AOR). The primary argument against it is that the battlegroup does not possess sufficient combat power to both fix and strike. Battlegroup in Operations does not clarify the issue and AOC students need greater clarity in order to understand time and space issues in the defence. ADRP 3-90 (2012).pdf (Only accessible via DWAN - internal).

Resources for the Student of War

The PME Development Staff have created a Virtual Staff Ride (VSR) to support Directing Staff (Resident and Distance Learning) Professional Development and to assist AOC students in visualizing time and space at the battlegroup/brigade level. The topic is ‘Worthington Force’, a Canadian battlegroup formed from Lieutenant-Colonel Don Worthington’s 28th Canadian Armoured Regiment (British Columbia Regiment) and the Algonquin Regiment, both part of 4th Canadian Armoured Division in Normandy. The battlegroup lost its direction during the night of 8/9 August 1944 and was destroyed by the 12th SS Panzer Division. The VSR follows the planning and decision-making process of Worthington Force as it assumes the spearhead role of the entire 2nd Canadian Corps during Operation TOTALIZE. Speaker’s notes, scripted Google Earth fly-overs and a Staff Ride Handbook will make the Worthington Force VSR completely exportable to units. Documents/Military History/Bechthold-Worthington-Force.pdf (Only accessible via DWAN - internal).

PRAXIS is produced monthly by the CACSC Professional Military Education Staff. Have questions? Contact us via email at: +CACSC PME@CACSC@Kingston (internal DND only).

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Praxis (from Ancient Greek: πρᾶξις, translit. praxis) is the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, embodied, or realized. "Praxis" may also refer to the act of engaging, applying, exercising, realizing, or practicing ideas.

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