Our understanding of national security protections is constantly evolving. Early on, border protection and espionage were the primary means of protecting a nation. As technology evolved, so did the espionage game. Codebreaking, wiretapping and other means of intercepting information were employed. But for a long time, the national security focus remained on what other nations-states were up to.
9/11 showed us that non-state actors can muster resources to stage attacks on nations. National security evolved to address these types of threats, but, principally, the game remained the same — protect the state from physical attack.
Now, two decades on, new threats have emerged, and traditional means of military defence can no longer meet Canada’s needs. Cyberattacks can be initiated by anyone, anywhere, and their target can be a private business or individual. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the interconnectedness of many supply chains and demonstrated how quickly shortages of basic items, such as medical supplies, can occur when those chains are disrupted. And climate change is creating a whole host of national security issues.
A new approach to national security is needed, one that better addresses the expanded range of threats and engages a broader community to solve these issues. CIGI has gathered more than 250 experts to address 10 key areas of emerging national security threats and produce a series of reports as part of the Reimagining a Canadian National Security Strategy project. Learn more at www.cigionline.org/canada-security/.