The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF; (フランス語:Forces armées canadiennes), ''FAC''), or Canadian Forces (CF) (, ''FC''), is the unified armed force of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."〔
This unified institution consists of sea, land, and air elements referred to as the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), Canadian Army, and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Personnel may belong to either the Regular Force or the Reserve Force, which has four sub-components: the Primary Reserve, Supplementary Reserve, Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Service, and the Canadian Rangers. Under the National Defence Act, the Canadian Armed Forces are an entity separate and distinct from the Department of National Defence (the federal government department responsible for administration and formation of defence policy), which also exists as the civilian support system for the Forces.
The Canadian Armed Forces is managed by the Armed Forces Council, chaired by the Chief of the Defence Staff. The Commander-in-Chief is the reigning , who is represented by the Governor General of Canada.〔(【引用サイトリンク】 title=Governor General of Canada > Commander-in-Chief )〕
Since the Second World War, Canadian defence policy has consistently stressed three overarching objectives:
* The defence of Canada itself;
* The defence of North America in cooperation with US forces;
* Contributing to broader international security.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=About Us - National Defence - Canadian Forces )〕
During the Cold War, a principal focus of Canadian defence policy was contributing to the security of Europe in the face of the Soviet military threat. Toward that end, Canadian ground and air forces were based in Europe from the early 1950s until the early 1990s.
However, since the end of the Cold War, as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has moved much of its defence focus "out of area", the Canadian military has also become more deeply engaged in international security operations in various other parts of the world – most notably in Afghanistan since 2002.
Canadian defence policy today is based on the Canada First Defence Strategy, introduced in 2008. Based on that strategy, the Canadian military is oriented and being equipped to carry out six core missions within Canada, in North America and globally. Specifically, the Canadian Armed Forces are tasked with having the capacity to:
* Conduct daily domestic and continental operations, including in the Arctic and through NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defense Command);
* Support a major international event in Canada, such as the 2010 Winter Olympics;
* Respond to a major terrorist attack;
* Support civilian authorities during a crisis in Canada such as a natural disaster;
* Lead and/or conduct a major international operation for an extended period; and
* Deploy forces in response to crises elsewhere in the world for shorter periods.〔Department of National Defence http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/focus/first-premier/defstra/summary-sommaire-eng.asp〕
Consistent with the missions and priorities outlined above, the Canadian Armed Forces also contribute to the conduct of Canadian defence diplomacy through a range of activities, including the deployment of Canadian Defence Attachés, participation in bilateral and multilateral military forums (e.g. the System of Cooperation Among the American Air Forces), ship and aircraft visits, military training and cooperation,〔For example, through the Military Training and Cooperation Program and its ancillary activities http://www.forces.gc.ca/admpol/mtcp-eng.html
〕 and other such outreach and relationship-building efforts.
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