A CMSS Student in (Campus) Politics

Universities are bureaucratic beasts.  This is a statement that should not be taken lightly.  With its many committees, task forces, stakeholders, and employees, universities operate as institutions embodied with the values and the practices expected of a government.  Perhaps for this reason, involvement in University governance provides ample training ground for a student intent on entering politics.  For those interested in academia, involvement gives you a glimpse into the life of a professor and the administrative duties expected of such professions.

When I first embarked on my undergraduate career at the University of Calgary, I was drawn to get involved in campus politics.  This drive to volunteer was a continuation of trends in my youth.  From a young age, politics fascinated me.  In hindsight much of this fascination was a consequence of the times; with the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the reported end of the Cold War, the world seemed to be in political turbulence.  Closer to home, within British Columbia, I witnessed firsthand economic changes as my rural hometown closed its mine, and as the softwood lumber dispute escalated and became heated.  I admired the individuals, and the organizations that sought to temper change for the betterment of society, and represent the interests of their constituents.  This admiration bestowed in me a desire to reach out to others and represent their interests and concerns in the governmental realms inherent in our environment.  Running for campus politics was, on a smaller scale, a way to engage with an institution that became a recognizable force in my life.  The next four years of my undergraduate degree was spent largely volunteering for student advocacy and student representation on behalf of the Students’ Union.

After I was accepted into the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies (CMSS), I found myself surrounded by the politically savvy and the civilly active.  I was urged by my fellow colleagues to represent CMSS within student government as a council representative.  I went one step further, and ran for election to the executive of the Graduate Students’ Association.  As a small, focused group of individuals, we achieved the goals that we had set out to achieve; we stabilized our budget, we helped to establish a provincial lobbying organization, we held accountable policy that would affect graduate students, and we aimed to encourage good relations with and good governance by the University.  The responsibilities I had deeply involved student relations with the University.  In serving on twenty-six University committees, five taskforces and search committees, two industry and awards programs, and several contract bargaining teams I gained insight into the mechanisms of the University and its direct impact on graduate students and on my program.  It was an experience that I would recommend to any aspiring student entering or currently undertaking the Strategic Studies program.
But with every opportunity comes a cost.  No matter your work ethic, or your intellectual prowess, time is a cruel mistress, and the task of serving in campus politics does take up much of your time (free or otherwise).  For a graduate student, where the duties of research and teaching underscore your availability, this can be particularly disconcerting.  Nevertheless, the experience and understanding gained by volunteering to represent your fellow students is worth it.  The knowledge provided to you on the nature of administrative work, professorial appointments, and committee delegation is indispensable if you aspire to continue on into academics, or if you simply wish to partake in political activities while in academia.  As I find myself nearing the end of my time at the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies, I realize that despite all the costs, the opportunity was a fulfilling one that, thus far, has proven to be rewarding.

– Jeff Rakebrand


The Myers Briggs Type Indicator: Clarifying Life – Sorta

In my never-ending search to discover my life’s purpose and/or become a contributing member of my household, I recently found myself in the office of one of the University’s career counsellors. Realistically, I’m not sure what I was expecting, but then I’ve never been one for realism. I think I was secretly hoping that she’d KNOW what I should do with my life after graduation; that she’d offer me a perfect career option, one that has somehow managed to evade me for the past 27 years. Such is my faith in the staff of this institution.

While she still hasn’t fulfilled my expectations, she did administer the Myers Briggs Type Indicator test, and it shone a beacon on my life. For the uninitiated, the MBTI is semi-psychological test rooted in the work of Carl Jung. Essentially, it uses four different sets of factors to divide humanity into 16 types. In a nutshell, the letters are as follows:

E or I preference: Are you Extraverted or Introverted? Essentially, do you receive energy from the outer world, or your own inner world?

S or N preference: Do you take in concrete information through your five Senses? Or do you rely primarily on your iNtuition to connect pieces of information and examine the “big picture?” (essentially, do you see the trees? Or the forest?)

T or F preference:  T – Do you make decisions based on objective information (“true” or “false” questions)? F – Or do you make decisions based on values (more valued vs. less valued)?

J or P preference: J – Do you prefer to make decisions, schedule plans and seek closure? P – Or do you prefer to keep your mind/schedule open to new possibilities?

After taking the test, a number of facets of both my personality and my career search became clear. According to the description of my “type,” (in the interest of full disclosure, INFP), it is completely normal for me to continually question my purpose on this earth in a vacillating and spacey fashion. This is somewhat comforting, but doesn’t seem to offer much hope for settling on a long-term career choice.

In the meantime, I have been putting the MBTI to good use in my attempts to analyze the various members of CMSS. While the MBTI doesn’t claim to predict behaviour, it can be uncanny in the accurate frame of reference that it provides for viewing different personality types. It can indicate fundamental beliefs, and suggest how individuals view the world.

Blue Steel, Magnum, Le Tigre, or Ferrari?

Suddenly, it is clear to me why several CMSS-ers seem bent on world domination; why others have seemingly perfected the absent-minded professor schtick; why still others gravitate towards conspiracy theories and suspect all and sundry of misdeeds; and why I seem to gaze into puddles – a la Derek Zoolander – asking “who am I?”

The MBTI can also offer interesting statistics on grad school in general – apparently, universities attract a disproportionate number of iNtuitives, and Introverted iNtuitives in particular. This has no bearing on aptitude – it merely suggests compatibility between the manner of thinking that iNtuitives enjoy and the abstract thinking that universities often demand. The military, on the other hand – an institution that many at CMSS study – is characterized by a preponderance of Sensing types, and more particularly, ISTJ types. While by no means a predictor of career choice, the MBTI can suggest career preferences of various types.

I am still hoping that the MBTI will bear the proverbial fruit in my career search. If nothing else, it has proved enlightening. To take a free (albeit not official) MBTI, go to: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp

And for a good description of the various “types,” see:


If nothing else, you will have a good time analyzing the people with whom you share an office.


At the Midway Point: A Reflection on my time thus far at Graduate School

It was an unusually sunny April day in Vancouver and I was having a farewell lunch with one of my coworkers. It was, for all intents and purposes, my last day of work at that particular job, and he was taking me out for a meal and a drink.. We had both had had a very good week, as far as one can in the exhausting and exasperating business of sales, and were feeling rather full of ourselves. We sat, dressed to the nines (I know this seems hard to believe given my usual attire), on the patio of a trendy, downtown Vancouver restaurant, discussing what I was doing for the summer. He was much my senior, and could not understand why I was quitting my job in Vancouver, just as I was starting to get good at it. But I had other plans. In less than a week I was moving to Edmonton to start a new job and live with my younger brother and his friends—certainly regressing in terms of maturity. It would be a welcome change of pace and a last gasp of irresponsibility (famous last words, right?) before three long, hard years of law school in Halifax. At this point I knew where my life was going; this plan had been in place since I was 14 years old. I was going to be a lawyer, and a damned good one at that. My undergrad marks were not spectacular, but my LSAT score was good enough to ensure my admission at pretty much any school I wished. I had a goal, I had worked reasonably hard to achieve it, and now I was on the path to realizing it. I was sure that nothing could change my mind.

However, midway through a bite of my Ahi Tuna salad my phone buzzed: an email. Casually glancing at it (as it was most likely a work related email, which I had little intention of acknowledging) I read the name of the sender: “Centre for Military and Strategic Studies”. I smirked slightly, remembering how I had been rejected on the first round of acceptance letters from U of C. “Screw them”, I remember thinking, “I got in to the JD/MBA program at Michigan and I’m on my way to Dalhousie with an entrance scholarship”. I don’t know why I even opened the email, I guess partly out of curiosity and the need for self validation, but I did. It contained a letter of acceptance to the CMSS program at the U of C. Smiling, I tried to describe the program to my coworker, betraying my utter lack of knowledge of what CMSS was—I couldn’t even remember why I applied!

We finished our lunch, shook hands, and I went home. As the day grew to a close I mulled that email over in my head. I read and reread the CMSS website, looking at the courses offered, and what the program entailed—thinking how interesting and fulfilling it looked. I remember feeling frustrated, almost resentful that I now had a choice to make. Perhaps Hegel was right, and the slave is indeed freer than the master, because this choice weighed heavily on my mind. I was going to law school; this had been decided years ago, right? Why would I do a Master’s Degree? I’m not an academic by any stretch of the imagination. But gradually the idea began to make more and more sense, and law school started to seem longer, harder, and more daunting than it ever had before. A few days later I flew to Edmonton, my decision still not made. The decision was made in the same manner I make every decision: spontaneously and without consideration of the consequences. While sitting in my brother’s filthy, disgusting basement suite reading cnn.com I realized something: I wanted to do this. I wanted to try this program. I emailed Trisha stating my intent to accept their offer and asked what my next step was. For better or worse I was going to the University of Calgary.

Fast forward ten months. I’m half way through this thing now, and the consequences of my decision bear considering. It was a rocky start, to be sure and I’m not entirely sure how well I fit in the academic world. I don’t have any particular research interests, and my skill at achieving the minimum required grades for the minimum required effort in undergrad is

Definitely NOT Joel

simply not amenable to success in graduate studies. I’d never written anything worth publishing, or undertaken any effort at research beyond the minimum level to achieve the grades necessary for law school. I’d never really taken anything seriously, and relied more on my ability to talk my way out of things than my ability to plan carefully (which, if I’m being honest doesn’t really exist). I had to relearn things fast. I could not BS through this stuff, and there was no exam at the end to bail me out. I found this out quickly, and despite some early hiccups I’m chugging along now, and things are going well. I know that I’ll never be a scholar, and contributing something meaningful to academia will forever be out of my reach. I’ll never be able or willing to conduct research like any of my peers, and you won’t see me speaking at a conference or offering anything meaningful to the erudite, intelligent conversations one hears at CMSS. But in spite of this I think I like this thing of ours, and I’m mildly proud of myself for giving it a go. Soon I’ll be an M.S.S. plying my trade in industry. It wasn’t a choice I ever expected to make, but maybe many years down the road I can look back and know that it was my best choice.

Joel Thompson

CMSS on Tour: Clash of the Worlds

About a year ago, I was still living in the trenches with other CMSS students. Crouching, grasping for our lives, as we listened to Dr. Huebert and Dr. Keeley discuss about out-of-this-world concepts like “hermeneutically speaking” and “post-modern neo-liberal constructivist approach” whistling past our ears, eyes wide-shut, fervently believing this would not be the death of us. Many thought we would not make it. Miraculously, most made it out fairly unscathed, while a few will bear the marks forever. I am one of them.

Shock-shelled by all those soul-tainting notions, I did what many valiant soldiers would do in such circumstances: flee the real world and pretend that everything is okay by leaving all that I know behind and start a new life. Enter the People’s Republic of China. New identity, new purpose, new light at the end of the tunnel in this piece of paradise.

After being parachuted over the city during nightfall to avoid drawing suspicion, I had to ditch all the remnants of my past life and assume the role of… a student at Beijing University (some people like it rough, what do you want me to say…). I thought I had known torture before, but I had never experienced anything of the sort. Recitation after recitation, the “you don’t have to understand, just know it, it’s gonna be alright” drills, learning Mandarin tones… THE TONES!! But fortunately Dr. Cooper prepared us well with his incandescent belief and faith in human life, so I decided to blend in. As much as a white guy can blend in a city of 20M + Chinese people. At least all white guys look alike, except for that red-head guy, he does stand out.

Beijing has a surprising lot of foreigners (all “journalists” or “political advisors”, no doubt). The Spanish contingent is omnipresent, you cannot escape it. Seeing local Chinese people having a distinct favorable bias towards foreigners is also something I did not expect. This is why I was surprised to be approach by this gentleman (Beijing University teacher) coming to me and saying: “you know that all the Americans in Beijing in the 1970s were actually spies, don`t you?”, hands folded with a disarming smile. After some intense cold sweat, thinking my cover had just been blown in a thousand pieces under his scrutinizing eyes, I was left gasping for air as soon as he left the room. Don’t get me wrong: it’s not that I did not want to end up in a forgotten, officially-none-existing Chinese jail (I always like to experience local flavors and culture), I just wasn’t in the mood for that on that specific day. Nonetheless, I am more careful now. I have barricaded my windows on the fourth floor and we walk in teams of three strategically positioned going to class, after losing our tails by riding a bike, taking a cab, backtracking with the über-developped subway system and swiftly walking past the shadows of the suffocating Beijing smog that cover our steps.

The official mission of getting to know more about China’s naval development is not an easy task. I feel like First Lieutenant Aldo Raine trying to speak Italian to SS Colonel Hans Landa, so gathering information is not a walk in the park. Baby steps such as these as hurting my pride, no doubt, but the pride of a dead man is not worth much more, mind you, so I patiently await the moment where my language skills will be adequate, and then I shall be as elusive to Chinese authorities as Dr.Keeley’s IR concepts. That, my friends, is elusive.

It seems, however, that other people from my… “trade”… have already been here before me. The subversive ideas of the West have creeped in surreptitiously despite all the intended goodwill of the Chinese government officials. The young minds know they do not know what is going on in the inner sanctum of the PRC. Some students surely have kept contacts with these foreign agents, because a good chunk of the educated youth is desperately looking for an opportunity to immigrate in Europe, the US or Canada. The rest, well, are happily living the Chinese dream, accessible to those who are going to Beijing University. The following could be a quote from any 18-22 years old boy scout on campus: a good career, a good position, money, a big car, a big house, a  nice wife, and well-connected in-laws (helps you a lot if you want to get fat eating with the Politburo at the society’s expenses).

So far, this tireless journey has been quite a ride. Networks are being established, info is being gathered, Clausewitzian and Sun Zi-ian concepts are being applied to my daily life. I shall continue on this path of exploration, so I can come back here enlightened… just in time to write a thesis about all the stuff that happened over the last year. Senses sharp in the firestorm, I will not fail. Hell yeah.

(Radio silence)

Lift Off! 14th Annual Starts TODAY!

The 14th Annual Graduate Strategic Studies Conference has begun!

Check out the conference website at: http://www.strategyconference.ca

The conference program is available at: http://www.strategyconference.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/conference-program_-finalonline1.pdf

We remind everyone that the general public is welcome to attend as many or as few panels as they wish! But if you can’t get to the conference in person, we will be tweeting all about what’s going on, so please follow our Twitter account: http://www.twitter.com/s3cstrategy

And finally, the play-by-play will be available at the conference live blog http://www.coveritlive.com/index.php?option=com_altcaster&task=siteviewaltcast&altcast_code=a8b5627a2d&height=550&width=470

We hope to see you at the University of Calgary Roza Centre!

The Strategic Studies Students’ Consortium (S3C) 14th Annual Conference Program



Welcome to the 14th Annual Graduate Strategic Studies Conference, another in the strong tradition of academic symposia organized by the students of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies.  I extend my greetings to our presenters and guests who have travelled from all over the world.  This conference is unique in the field for being organized wholly by, and presenting papers from, graduate students.  This year’s conference executive, chaired by Brice Coates with the assistance of Maria Robson and Jeremy Stuart, has worked tirelessly with the support of the graduate students of CMSS to put on a great academic event.  I encourage all presenters and attendees to make the most of this experience by discussing and exchanging ideas both in and out of your field.  The topics being discussed this year are evidence of the breadth of strategic studies and the variety of fields touched by its interdisciplinary approach.  I personally believe this conference fosters an environment that is a reflection of the uniqueness of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies, at the University of Calgary.  I therefore encourage you to speak with the faculty and students of the program, as they are the best representatives of our mission: to promote and develop excellence in Military, Security and Defence Studies. 

Dr. David J. Bercuson, OC, FRSC


Centre for Military and Strategic Studies (CMSS)

University of Calgary

I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of our moderators, speakers, and attendees.  I am honoured to have been selected as the 2012 Conference Chair, and proud that we have assembled a group of presenters with such fascinating and original material.  The quality of the submissions for this year’s conference was extraordinary, which made the selection process that much more challenging.  We received a record number of submissions from 14 countries and over 25 academic institutions across the world. As such, this conference is a rare opportunity to interact with fellow graduate students from St. Petersburg, Russia to Sydney, Australia.  I encourage you to engage your fellow presenters in discussion and debate, as this is one of the strongest ways of developing your own ideas and research.  Avail yourself to your colleagues, share your ideas, and most of all, enjoy!

 Brice Coates

Conference Chair, Masters Student

Centre for Military and Strategic Studies (CMSS)

University of Calgary

Panel Procedure:

We have planned a full two days of conference proceedings, therefore the timing of all events must be adhered to as closely as possible.  As such, all presenters will have a maximum of 15 minutes to present their paper.  A time keeper will be sitting in the front row and will show:

3 minutes remaining = green paddle

1 minute remaining = yellow paddle

Time expired = red paddle

 Once time has expired, the panel chair will thank the presenter and invite the next presenter to the podium.  There will be a question and answer period once all of the panellists have presented their paper and we ask you hold your questions until then.  The panel chair will moderate the question and answer period.

General Conference Information:

There is time scheduled both mornings for registration and we encourage you to arrive as early as possible.  There will be a continental breakfast and it will give you a chance to meet your fellow conference attendees.

Lunch on Friday will take place at the Rozsa Centre.  Lunch on Saturday will take place at the Last Defence Lounge in the MacEwen Student Centre which is marked in the map in your conference program; there will also be CMSS students to help direct you from the Rozsa Centre to the Last Defence Lounge.

Dinner on Friday will begin at 18:00 in the Blue Room: located on the upper floor of the Dining Centre (also marked on your map).  It is a short walk from the Rozsa Centre located on the west side of the Hotel Alma.

We remind you that there is no smoking in any of the buildings on campus.

The Strategic Studies Students’ Consortium (S3C) Proudly Presents:

The 14th Annual Graduate Strategic Studies Conference

Rozsa Centre – University of Calgary

February 10-11, 2012


Day One: February 10th


8:15 – 8:45                                     Conference Registration and Continental Breakfast

Husky Oil Great Hall, Rozsa Centre

8:45 – 8:50                                    Welcoming Remarks

Brice Coates

Conference Chair, Masters Student, Centre for Military and

Strategic Studies

8:50 – 9:00                                    Opening Address

Dr. Elizabeth Cannon

President, University of Calgary


9:00 – 9:45                                     Cherie Henderson

Security Expert, Government of Canada

Working to Protect the Security of Canada in Today’s Threat Environment



9:45 – 10:45                                    Intelligence: Security and Strategy

Panel Chair:                                     Cherie Henderson

Security Expert, Government of Canada

Jim Robson                                    University of Toronto

The Chemistry of ENORMOZ: Breaking Down the Success of Soviet Espionage into the Manhattan Project


Braden R.W. Ambler                        Centre for Military and Strategic Studies

Debating Tactics, Negating Strategy: A Critical Appraisal of U.S. Counterterrorism Policy Against al-Qa’ida and Associated Movements


Maria Robson                                    Centre for Military and Strategic Studies

The Canadian Advantage: Cold War Signals Intelligence



10:50 – 11:50                                    Terrorism and Countermeasures

Panel Chair                                    Dr. Gavin Cameron

Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Calgary

Senior Research Fellow, CMSS

Capt. Andrew P. Betson            Captain, US Army; Patterson School of Diplomacy, University of Kentucky

Slow Learners: The British Military in Contemporary COIN


Jen Lacovara            Russian and Eurasian Studies, European University at Saint Petersburg

Predicting Post Conflict Terrorism through Pre-Conflict Indicators


Ophir Falk                                    School of Political Science, Haifa University

Correlation between Legal Compliance and Targeted Killing Effectiveness



12:00 – 12:45                                     Evan’s Room, Rozsa Centre


12:50 – 13:50                                     Ethnic Conflict and Peacebuilding

Panel Chair:                                     Dr. Pablo Policzer

Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Latin American Politics

Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Calgary 

Tobey Berriault                        Department of Political Science, University of Calgary

Assessing the contribution of traditional practices on reconciliation reintegration in post-conflict Sierra Leone


Ben Denison            Texas A&M, George H.W. Bush School of Government and Public Service

Bosnian Disconnect: EU Security and Enlargement Policy Impact on Bosnian Elites


Hadleigh McAlister                        Centre for Military and Strategic Studies

The Militarization of Refugee Camps and Transnational Insurgencies




13:55 – 15:10                                     21st Century Security

Panel Chair:                                    Dr. Terry Terriff

Arthur J. Child Chair of American Security Policy

Senior Research Fellow, CMSS

Interim Department Head, Political Science, University of Calgary


Jeff Collins                                    University of Birmingham

Moving Beyond the Balkans: Post-Heroic Warfare and the Second Lebanon War


Rebecca Jensen                        Centre for Military and Strategic Studies

Compellence and Deterrence in the 21st Century


Carmit Valensi                                    School of Political Science, Tel Aviv University

Exceeding the State: Hamas & Hizbullah as Hybrid Actors


Amanda Stuart-Ross                        Centre for Military and Strategic Studies

Biological Weapons: A Twenty-First Century Threat


15:10 – 15:20


15:20 – 16:20                                     Arctic Security

Panel Chair:                                    Dr. Rob Huebert

Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Calgary

Associate Director and Senior Research Fellow, CMSS

Lauren Moslow                        Department of Political Science, University of Calgary

Security, Sovereignty and the Canadian Arctic


Timothy Choi                                    Centre for Military and Strategic Studies

Canada’s Northern Fleet: The Relevance of the Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships



Bill Carruthers                                    Centre for Military and Strategic Studies

The Impact of Satellite-Automatic Identification Systems on the Arctic Security Spectrum


16:25 – 17:25                                     Strategy Through the Ages

Panel Chair:                                     Dr. Holger Herwig

Canada Research Chair in Military and Strategic Studies

Professor, Department of History, University of Calgary

Senior Research Fellow, CMSS

Julian Brooks                                    Department of History, Simon Fraser University

Blue Tunics and Goose Steps: ‘Proto-peacekeeping’ in Ottoman Macedonia, 1903-1908


John Livingstone                        War Studies, Royal Military College

Relieve Vicksburg or Seek a “Battle of Annihilation”? An Analysis of Robert Edward Lee’s Grand Strategic Vision in the Summer of 1863


Samantha Hossack                        Department of History, University of Calgary

Losing the Battles to Win the War: Carthaginian and Roman Intelligence in the Second Punic War


Lucas McMahon                        Department of History, University of Calgary

Dealing with the Crusaders: Irregular Warfare in Byzantium


Reception and Dinner

6:00 – 9:00                                     Blue Room, Dining Centre, University of Calgary

Memorial Lecture

7:00                                                Dinner Served

7:45                                                David Biette

Director, Canada Institute

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C.

9:00                                                Closing remarks and Invitation to the Graduate Lounge

Day Two: February 11th

8:45 – 9:15                                     Conference Registration and Continental Breakfast

Husky Oil Great Hall, Rozsa Centre



9:15 – 10:15                                     The World at War, 1914–1918 and 1939-1945

Panel Chair:                                    Dr. Patrick H. Brennan

Professor, Department of History, University of Calgary

Senior Research Fellow, CMSS

Keith Hann                                    Centre for Military and Strategic Studies

Victory Against All Odds? – Apparent Contradictions in the Carrier War in the Pacific, 1942


Bodie Dykstra                                    Department of History, University of Calgary

“Digging like Blazes”: Entrenchment and the Birth of Position Warfare at the Battle of the Aisne, 14-27 September 1914


Donna Sinclair                                    Central Michigan University

Operation 60,000, the Axis’ Dunkirk?



10:15 – 11:15                                    Security Issues in Asia

Panel Chair:                                     Dr. David C. Wright (Invited)

Professor, Department of History, University of Calgary

Senior Research Fellow, CMSS

Ruth Richert                                     Centre for Military and Strategic Studies

The Role of Identity in US-Pakistan Relations


Mendee Jargalsaikhan                         Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia

Roles of Small Powers in the New “Great Game” in Greater Central Asia



Mitchell Parkinson                        Department of Political Science, University of Calgary

From Soviet Invasion to Civil War: The Internal Roots of Conflict and State Breakdown in Afghanistan



11:30 – 13:00                                    Last Defence Lounge, MacEwan Student Centre


Lieutenant-Colonel Daniel Drew

Senior Military Officer, DRDC Suffield, CFB Suffield

Department of National Defence

Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan: The Canadian Experience, 2008


13:15 – 14:30                                    Israeli Security

Panel Chair:                                     Dr. David Tal

Kahanoff Chair in Israel Studies

Professor, Department of History, University of Calgary

Research Fellow, CMSS

Shaiel Ben-Ephraim                        Centre for Military and Strategic Studies

To Build and be Built: Strategy, culture and the birth of the Israeli settlement project


Danielle Brown                        Interdisciplinary Center Herzeliya

Israeli strategy facing Palestinian unilateral quest for statehood – missed opportunities in the international legal arena


(Please note: While Ms. Brown is an employee of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, she is not here as a government representative and the opinions expressed in her presentation are hers alone.)

Oren Magen                                    School of Political Science, Haifa University

Deterrence in Ethno-Political Asymmetrical Conflicts – a Research Program




14:30 – 14:40


14:40 – 16:00                                    Society and Warfare

Panel Chair:                                     Dr. Josephine Smart

Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Calgary

Krystel Carrier-Sabourin            War Studies, Royal Military College

Comparing the “Canadian Experience” of Integration to the American FETs Model: Implications for Foreign and Defence Policy


Timothy Shaw                                    Centre for International Security Studies, Sydney University

The Legality and Morality of Killing in War: Just War Theory and its Implications for Understanding the Etiology of PTSD


Cayley Bower                                    Department of History, University of Calgary

Masculinity, War, and Antimoderism: English Canadian Men and the First World War


Ryan Flavelle                                    Centre for Military and Strategic Studies

The Art of War in Canada:  A.Y. Jackson, Arthur Lismer, the Group of Seven and the Influence of the Great War on Canadian Art


16:00                                                Brice Coates

Conference Chair, Masters Student, Centre for Military and Strategic Studies


16:15-21:00                                    Conference Buffet Dinner

CIBC Hub Room, Rozsa Centre

Speaker Biographies:

(Please see separate booklet for presenter biographies)


Cherie Henderson

Security Expert

Government of Canada

See print version


David Biette

Director, Canada Institute

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C.

David Biette is Director of the Canada Institute, an integral program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. The Wilson Center is the living, national memorial to President Wilson established by Congress in 1968; it establishes and maintains a neutral forum for free, open, and informed dialogue in a nonpartisan setting. The Canada Institute works to increase awareness and knowledge about Canada and U.S.-Canadian relations among U.S. policymakers and opinion leaders; it focuses on three topic areas: energy and environment, trade, and borders and border security.

Prior to joining the Wilson Center, Biette was executive director of the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States. He also served as a political-economic officer at the Canadian Consulate General in New York City, where he was a policy analyst for energy, environment, political, native affairs, and transportation portfolios, promoting Canadian federal and provincial policy to federal, state, and city agencies, private corporations, environmental NGOs, local and national media.  He has an M.A. in international relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, a B.A. from Bowdoin College in Maine, and a Diplôme de Hautes Études de Lettres et Civilisation from the Université de Nice (France). Biette lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife, Ann Timmons, a communications artist, and their two children.




Lieutenant-Colonel Daniel R. Drew, OMM, CD

Senior Military Officer, DRDC Suffield, CFB Suffield (DND)


Lieutenant-Colonel Drew joined the Canadian Forces in June 1976 as an Officer Cadet in the Officer Candidate Training Program.  In 1977, he was Commissioned in the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) as a Second Lieutenant.  Drew has served in all three battalions of his Regiment and 2 Airborne Commando, The Canadian Airborne Regiment.  He is a U.S. Army Ranger, graduating in 1980 as the Officer Distinguished Honor Graduate and the winner of the Merrill’s Marauder Award for Leadership and Navigation Excellence.  He commanded Delta Company of the Second Battalion during the Medak Pocket operation in Croatia in 1993, an action for which the Second Battalion was awarded the Commander-in-Chief’s Commendation.  In 2011, LCol Drew assumed the duties of Chief of Staff for a NATO Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan that supervised the training and development of the Afghan National Army.

In addition to six Regimental tours, including five operational tours overseas, Lieutenant-Colonel Drew has been employed as an Operations Staff Officer at Area and Army level and as a Company Commander in the School of Infantry in Gagetown, NB.  He is a graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada and the United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Class of 1997.  He assumed Command of Canadian Forces Base Suffield in June of 2005 and is currently the Senior Military Officer at the Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) Suffield. Lieutenant-Colonel Drew is married to Carol Drew (nee Poole).  They have three children; Jonathan is a member of 3PPCLI (and is presently in Afghanistan)



The 14th Annual Graduate

Strategic Studies Conference

February 10-11, 2012


Conference Executive:


Brice Coates

Conference Chair and S3C VP Conference

Masters Student, Centre for Military and Strategic Studies


Maria Robson

Communications Director and S3C VP Finance

Masters Student, Centre for Military and Strategic Studies


Jeremy Stuart

Executive Advisor and S3C President

Masters Student, Centre for Military and Strategic Studies



Conference Contributors:


Shaiel Ben-Ephraim

Rachael Bryson

Bill Carruthers

Tim Choi

Katie Domansky

Keith Hann

Nathan Hawryluk

Hadleigh McAlister

Kim Pavelich

Jeff Rakebrand

Ruth Richert

Amanda Stuart-Ross

Matthew Sutherland


Centre for Military and Strategic Studies Administration


Shelley Wind

Admin./Budget Officer

Erin Charman

Recruitment & Comm. Coordinator

Nancy Pearson Mackie

Outreach Coordinator

Cara Higgins

Administrative Assistant


A very special thanks to the following people, without whom this event would not have been possible

My thanks to previous Conference Chairs Marshall Horne (2010) and Rachael Bryson (2011) for their support.  Particularly, the advice and unwavering support of Cindy Strömer (2008, 2009) was both appreciated and invaluable.

Many thanks to Nancy Pearson Mackie and Shelley Wind for their guidance, experience, and counsel.  A special mention must be made of Dr. David Bercuson and Dr. Holger Herwig for their continued support of all initiatives taken by the students of CMSS.

I was entrusted with the responsibility to organize and chair this year’s conference by the students of the Strategic Studies Students’ Consortium (S3C).  This conference reflects we students, and I hope that the executive has put together an event that makes you proud.  A special mention to the members of the Paper Selection Committee: your efforts were tireless and it could not have done it without you. (Alphabetically:) Shaiel Ben-Ephraim, Rachael Bryson, Bill Carruthers, Tim Choi, Katie Domansky, Keith Hann, Nathan Hawryluk, Hadleigh McAlister, Kim Pavelich, Jeff Rakebrand, Ruth Richert, Amanda Stuart-Ross, and Matthew Sutherland.

My most sincere thanks to my fellow conference executive members: Maria Robson and Jeremy Stuart.  I cannot thank you enough for your dedication and work over the past few months.  Your efforts were indispensable.

Finally, I would like to thank all the presenters for sharing their expertise on their given topics and allowing us the opportunity of engaging with their research.  This year’s conference owes its success to the quality, the knowledge and the engagement of its participants.

Brice Coates

Conference Chair

Masters Student, CMSS

CMSS on Tour: Israel Meets ASR

I was recently afforded the opportunity to travel to the Middle East to research the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Israel’s threat perception of Iranian nuclear ambitions. While both of these subjects have garnered considerable media attention in recent years, news reports did not prepare me for what I was about to experience.

Yes, as a former political science student I shouldn’t admit to having had preconceived ideas of what I thought to expect upon my arrival to the Holy Land. However, given the degree to which both of these issues are covered in the media, it’s almost impossible not to. While I wasn’t exactly expecting Qassam rockets to go flying past me once I hit the ground, I also didn’t expect to find such a flourishing and peaceful state.

Allow me to start from the beginning…

Having survived my first redeye from Calgary to Toronto to catch my flight to Tel Aviv, I made my way to the El Al terminal to pick up my boarding pass and drop off my luggage, which I wrongly assumed would be a twenty-minute process.

Getting through El Al security was a challenging and painted a rather uninviting picture of where I was headed. I was picked out of a crowd of people before I even got in line to pick up my boarding pass. For whatever reason, my blonde ponytail, track pants, and gigantic suitcase painted me a perfect target for interrogation. I was asked a series of security questions (as are all people who wish to fly El Al). I had been warned in advance that the purpose of the interrogation was to evaluate my facial expressions to see if I was lying. The entire time I remember thinking to myself “did first year psych say that looking up to the left while responding to a question meant I was lying, or was it the right?” I settled for looking down to the right, which was extremely unnatural for me. While I didn’t lie, I was still nervous…

El Al employee: purpose of the trip?

(An exhausted and tired) Me: research.

El Al employee: duration of the trip?

Me: ten days.

El Al employee: do you speak Hebrew?

Me: no, but I would love to learn.

El Al employee: did anyone give you a package to bring to Israel?

Me: no.

El Al employee: the reason we ask miss is to make sure you are not carrying a bomb?

(Wide-eyed) Me: no bomb.

[Insert an additional twenty question]

El Al employee: Where do you go to school? What is your program? What do you study?

Me: The University of Calgary, the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies, and I study warfare (for obvious reasons, I was not about to specify what type of warfare).

For whatever reason, (and I swear I didn’t look up to the left while answering these question) I was asked, along with the group of students I was travelling with, to go through an additional security clearance. We were taken to this security area, where all of our belongings were searched. Minutes before our flight took off we were given the go ahead and thankfully boarded our plane. A grueling twelve-hours later we had arrived in Tel-Aviv.

We immediately met our tour guide/translator Michael, which I may or may not have told my mom was our personal bodyguard for the duration of the trip. To put things into perspective, Michael stands at 5’6 and weighs an approximate 150 lbs. Fantastic man.

The first few nights we stayed in Jerusalem, which was such an incredible experience. We started the day off with a tour of Jerusalem’s Old City, which was absolutely stunning. We then made our way to the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) which was interesting.

In terms of people I met, the list is long. I met with Yossi Klein Halevi, a fellow at the Shalom Harman Institute in Jerusalem and contributing editor to The New Republic, over dinner. Which brings me to the topic of dinning in Israel. While the food is unbelievably delicious, they bring you plate after plate. Eating in Israel is like a sport. It requires commitment. I also met with Palestinian representative Hiba I. Husseini, a former legal advisor to the Palestinian Negotiations Team in the Oslo, Stockholm and Camp David processes. Later that day I met with Professor Allen Zyzblat at the Supreme Court of Israel, where we had an informed discussion on human rights and international law. I sat down with Khaled Abu Toameh, a Jerusalem Post Palestinian Affairs journalist. We talked about his role in brining journalists from North America into Gaza and his thoughts on the future of the conflict. Met with Professor Asher Susser from Tel Aviv University. We got into a rather heated debate…. which I would be happy to discuss in person. I met with several other individuals, but for the sake of expediency I shall move on…

Jerusalem Security Barrier

I was able to tour the Jerusalem security barrier and the occupied territories. It was fascinating being able to see something that you read about in the newspapers and have discussions on in class. While touring the security barrier I wandered into a small Arab village. With the help of Michael, I was able to ask them a series of questions, one of which included whether or not they would prefer to live under Israeli or Palestinian control. Completely unprompted, these people said the choice was easy and would prefer to continue living under Israeli control.

On Friday night I took part in my first Shabbat dinner, which was quite the experience. Before dinner we went to the Westin Wall, which is located in the Old City. This was a truly unique experience. People from all over come here to pray. People write prayers/wishes and put them into the cracks of the wall. Apparently Obama put a prayer in the wall before he won office. Ryan Gosling still hasn’t proposed, so who knows (joking).

The ancient fortress of Masada, eastern edge of the Judaean Desert. Dead Sea (background)

Now moving on to my experience in the Dead Sea region. Floating in the Dead Sea should be on everyone’s bucket list. It is an absolutely mind blowing experience. I covered myself in the black mud and made my way down to the sea. There wasn’t any sand, but instead white salt everywhere. It honestly looked like there was snow at the edge of the sea. And instead of sandbars at the bottom of the sea, there were ripples of crusted salt. It was strange. So as I walked further into the sea I eventually (and naturally) flipped onto my back. I could not stop laughing. It was hilarious. Its like you are on a floaty in the middle of the sea, without the floaty. You cannot sink and you feel incredibly light (which is great for the ego, haha).

I also went on a tour of the Odem Winery. For those of you who know me, this was dangerous. Enough said.

Moving on…

Perhaps the most amazing experience of all was my tour of the southern city of Sderot. Some of you might have read about Sderot. The Gaza Strip often launches Qassam rockets at Sderot. I was told that if I heard a siren in the streets to run for shelter. Things got real. As I was walking down the empty streets, I noticed that the bus shelters turned into rocket shelters, which are located everywhere in Sderot. What made this experience so amazing was the fact that we stumbled into a schoolyard. Michael had approached the teachers and asked if we could speak with the children. At first I was a little shocked. You can’t just walk into a schoolyard here in Canada, but whatever he said worked because we were let in.

The children were very eager to speak with us and asked a million questions—but then again so did we. I asked them what they wanted to be when they grew up. Ballerinas, doctors, and rich landowners were among the more popular response. I asked them if they were scared because of the rockets. One of them explained that they knew the drill and that it was a part of life. My heart ached at that point. One kid asked us if we knew Justin Bieber, we all laughed. Another little man asked what the weather was like. I responded with “cold, very cold.” At that point he told us how he felt sorry that we had to endure the cold. My heart broke at this point. These children have to deal with the reality of Qassam rockets being launched at them, and they are telling me they feel sorry for us because of the weather. How does that make any sense?

I could write for days on my experience in Israel. My time in Tel Aviv was amazing. Fantastic city. However, I still prefer Jerusalem and cannot wait to go back. I guess to sum things up, it was incredible to visit a place that I have studied for so long. Words truly cannot describe my time in Israel. If you want an accurate understanding of anything in life, you need to experience it.