Robert Smol

Robert Smol holds a Master of Arts in War Studies from the Royal Military College and served more than 20 years in the Canadian Armed Forces, retiring as a Captain in the Intelligence Branch. He is currently studying law in Toronto.

Latest from Robert Smol


A Canadian Rangers reset would help Armed Forces keep pace with a changing North

Canadian government needs to properly train and professionalize the Rangers to the basic military standard of our Army Reserves, or permanently station combat-trained military units in the North, writes Robert Smol.

Liberators of the Netherlands in 1945, today Canada's Armed Forces are eclipsed by Dutch military

From the perspective of military capability for defence, peacekeeping and disaster-relief operations, the tide in 2020 has effectively turned between liberator and liberated, writes Robert Smol.

With Trump as commander-in-chief, Canada's dithering on procurement becomes intolerable

A well-equipped Canadian air force — and entire military, for that matter — is both a practical necessity, as well as a symbolic imperative. We must be ready to act, as well as be seen to be ready to act, along with our allies.

Getting tough on Russian aggression, everywhere but in the Arctic

Whether we like it or not, Canada is perfectly placed to be the battleground of choice in a future conflict: we share a long and long-disputed Arctic border with an increasingly militaristic and hostile superpower.

Governments of the past have been able to provide proper veteran care. So what's changed?

For at least the last 200 years, whenever veterans required care, government provided — sometimes begrudgingly — regardless of its economic circumstances.

Violence against teachers by students is turning into a bona fide workplace hazard

Making the situation worse is the reluctance among teachers and administrators to report violent encounters to the police.

Co-operation with government isn't working. Veterans need to start making noise

The sight of thousands of decorated veterans marching in protest and in unison to Parliament Hill would surely be too difficult to ignore.

Disabled veterans will do Canada proud at Invictus despite the government, not because of it

Through no fault of their own, the very public show of individual strength and perseverance among Canadian Invictus athletes will give the very mistaken impression that all is well among those who have returned from war. It isn't.

Canada has a 'colonial mentality' when it comes to funding our military

We inherently expect the U.S. to make up for the ever-increasing gaps in our military capabilities. And, like the classic enabler, the U.S. unwittingly continues to allow Canada to live its traditional “middle power” delusion of global significance.

Old ways of trying to fix the military aren't working. The Canadian Armed Forces should unionize

This would mean giving the military rank and file the right, as a group, to self-advocate and negotiate for improved salary, benefits and working conditions within government-approved parameters.