Alastair Luft’s Blog

04/23/2017

Canada Company: Supporting Canadian Military and Their Families

Every year, around 5,000 veterans leave the Canadian Armed Forces. Some go directly into retirement, some face medical rehabilitation, but many look for second careers. As they enter the civilian workplace, these veterans bring unique experiences and skills, qualities that should make them desirable to many private sector employers. And yet, up until 2013 most
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04/17/2017

Can Praxis: Using Horses to Train People

Horses and psychology; at first glance it’s a strange combination. The former, a symbol of speed and power, the latter symbolized with couch-surfing and navel gazing. But no matter the perceived differences, in the hands of Can Praxis the marriage of horses and psychology is proving to be a powerful method of helping soldiers and
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03/19/2017

The Importance of Flexibility: Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome

The summer of 2006 in Kandahar, Afghanistan was surreal. In the early spring of that year, coalition forces regularly drove Panjwayi district, 30 km southwest of Kandahar city. By August, the region was nearly impassable, with several hundred to a thousand Taliban fighters reported to be in the district and intelligence analysts stressing that the
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03/13/2017

Priorities, Economy of Effort, and Inner Creative Battles

General Dwight D. Eisenhower is reported to have said that, “What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.” As Supreme Commander of Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe during the Second World War, and later as 34th President of the United States, Ike had lots of experience in prioritizing what tasks
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03/09/2017

International Women’s Day

In honour of International Women’s Day, my publisher asked their authors which female author had inspired them the most. For me, without a doubt that would be J.K. Rowling. First and foremost is her sheer storytelling ability. I first discovered Harry Potter when I was in my twenties and serving in the military. A dog-eared copy
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03/08/2017

Relative Superiority, Schwerpunkt, and an Artist’s Inner Creative Battles

The Revolution in Military Affairs that supposedly began in the 1990s introduced a lot of innovative ideas for how militaries of the future would conduct operations. Recognizing the effect of improved technology and a changed contemporary operating environment, terms such as Network-Centric Warfare and fourth-generation warfare (4GW) emerged, often to mixed reviews. In Canada, the
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02/12/2017

Surprise

2011 was supposed to be a banner year in Afghanistan. Starting in 2009, the American military began surging an additional 33,000 personnel into theatre, a half-again increase of pre-surge troop levels of 68,000. With these extra boots on the ground, 2010 saw an increase in operations and tempo that pushed the Taliban back on their
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02/05/2017

Keep Your Chin Tucked

“War is an act of violence pushed to its utmost bounds.” Carl von Clausewitz, On War. In 2002, suicide bombers were unheard of in Afghanistan. But in 2005, the tactic began to creep in from the neighbouring conflict in the Iraqi theatre of war. As the years dragged on, the tactic continued to evolve; using women, remote
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