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Old 03-22-2008   #41
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Cool Ignition?

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Originally Posted by Billy Ruffian View Post
Holy smokes Norfolk! Do you think we should check to see if the government has left the keys to the country in the ignition?
What ignition?!? Anyway, I'm sure that this incident was caused by a Freedom Of Information request that was submitted in English and read in French .
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Old 03-23-2008   #42
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Indeed, the Auto Pact is dead and the Auto Industry nearly so. And who needs a FOIA request when leaky security positively oozes whatever people with ill-intent may desire?
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Old 03-23-2008   #43
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Indeed, the Auto Pact is dead and the Auto Industry nearly so. And who needs a FOIA request when leaky security positively oozes whatever people with ill-intent may desire?
Perhaps we need an Official Secrets Act?

Everyone already suspects it of Harper, may as well fulfill their expectations.
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Old 03-23-2008   #44
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Perhaps we need an Official Secrets Act?
We used to have the Official Secrets Act, until it was replaced with, amongst some very odd and unsettling amendments to the Transportation Act, the Security of Information Act, several years ago. I would argue that that information was much better protected in the days when we still had the Official Secrets Act (though practical enforcement had slid badly by the 1990's) than since. All the new laws and regulations seem best suited to strengthening Government powers in ways that even the old War Measures Act (replaced by the Emergencies Act back in 1988 I seem to recall) did not surpass, or even equal in some measures I think. Not good.
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Old 03-23-2008   #45
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All the new laws and regulations seem best suited to strengthening Government powers in ways that even the old War Measures Act (replaced by the Emergencies Act back in 1988 I seem to recall) did not surpass, or even equal in some measures I think. Not good.
Especially when most of them have not been passed by Parliament but, rather, as Orders in Council. Makes one wonder...
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Old 06-06-2008   #46
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Default Canada's new top soldier named

From CBC.ca

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Gen. Rick Hillier, Canada's outgoing chief of defence staff, will be replaced by Lt.-Gen. Walter Natynczyk, the current vice-chief, CBC News has learned.

More...
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Old 06-06-2008   #47
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From CBC.ca
When is Canada gonnna lern how ta spell deefense?
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Old 06-06-2008   #48
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When is Canada gonnna lern how ta spell deefense?
Part of our official bilingualism policy, Tom . 'sides that, we like keeping old British traditions alive - like spelling being a mater uv pursunal choise !!
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Old 06-06-2008   #49
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Another Toad as CDS, and again from the RCD. Hmmm...very interesting [Norfolk narrows eyes to slits, suspiciously]. Well, the RCD are okay (as long as they stay in their own Mess and out of ours!), but they better remember their Brigade-mates, The RCR, too.
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Old 06-20-2008   #50
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Default "Canada First" Defence Strategy

From CBC.ca

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Tories release $490B military plan without fanfare
Details posted online Thursday night
Last Updated: Friday, June 20, 2008 | 5:57 AM ET

The Conservative government has quietly released the details of its extensive plan to beef up the military, including spending $490 billion over the next 20 years to ensure Canadian soldiers are well-equipped, well-trained and highly active.

Details of the plan, known as Canada First Defence Strategy, were posted Thursday night without fanfare on the Department of National Defence's website.

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From DND

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"Canada First" Defence Strategy

Building on the government’s significant defence investments over the past two years, the Canada First Defence Strategy sets a detailed road-map for the modernization of the Canadian Forces. It puts forward clear roles and missions for the Canadian Forces, outlining a level of ambition that will enable the CF to maintain the ability to deliver excellence at home, be a strong and reliable partner in the defence of North America, and project leadership abroad by making meaningful contributions to operations overseas.

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Full pdf version (5.3 mb)
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Old 06-20-2008   #51
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It was probably best that this document was released under the radar and down in the weeds; in real substance it is little different than Defence in the 70's, except a tenth the size. And the Q&A page is rather embarrassing. As for the $490 billion price tag projected over 20 years, it is a pittance, and the paper grudgingly admits as much when it states that real projected growth in the DND budget over the twenty-year span will only amount to 0.6% (compared to a nominal 2.2%). The only real growth in DND's budget would come from eliminating 2/3rds of the officer corps and at least a similar proportion of the 25,000 DND civilians.

First off, the next Government is unlikely to be Conservative, and as such, the axe will soon swing once again, and probably deeply; Secondly, fuel, M&O, and other costs will eat up many times over whatever growth may be projected; Thirdly, parts of this document, and especially Chapter VII, are nothing other than a sop to the Aerospace and Defence industry; and Fourthly, this document indicates little recognition of the long- (and even medium-) term military impracticality or ineffectuality of most of the stated missions and priorities, given present and anticipated manpower, equipment, and resources. In short, the document (and admittedly it mentions nothing that many, even most, of us did not already know that it would say months ago) may turn out to be little more than a vapour in the wind.
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Old 06-22-2008   #52
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I can't see how they can cut the DND's budget much more without having to throw in the towel and shutter your military altogether?
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Old 06-22-2008   #53
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I can't see how they can cut the DND's budget much more without having to throw in the towel and shutter your military altogether?
That's happened before, unfortunately . I'm not sure what the thinking, if one can call it that, is on the future of our military. We have spent too much time acting as Peace Keepers and with a very limited number of combat troops. This, especially when coupled with the Afghanistan mission, has created a rather polarized, and weird, political image of what our troops should be doing. I'm afraid that Norfolk is probably correct in his assessment that the next government won't be Conservative - then again, the Dion carbon tax proposal may just be enough for the Tories to get back in in a minority situation.

Personally, I would like to see a multi-party discussion and debate over where we, as a nation, believe our military should go. The officer cuts mentioned by Norfolk are a good example, as is the elimination of many of the civilian employees. What are our priority missions? What are our contractual obligations? What do we actually need to fulfill them?
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Old 06-22-2008   #54
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Personally, I would like to see a multi-party discussion and debate over where we, as a nation, believe our military should go. [] What are our priority missions? What are our contractual obligations? What do we actually need to fulfill them?
No meaningful multiparty discussion would, or could, ever take place, I'm afraid. The utter ignorance and more or less complete indifference of all parties with regards to military matters is practically invincible; it is effectively likewise for the general public, though for much less distasteful reasons. Being in some ways Metternich's political 5xGreat-Grandson, the lack of any meaningful public interest in or substantive support for the military, while certainly not laudible, must be practically conceded as being something close to inevitable. Pretty hard to be concerned about something that never seems to touch you when it's difficult enough making ends meet day-to-day for many, and increasingly more, people. Especially when it means more money out of your own shrinking pocket. Troops can identify with that much quite well.

As Stevely mentions, there is a point at which the resources (as well as the political conditions and constraints imposed by the Government) reach the point at which a Military is brought to the tipping point between remaining a Military, or degenerating into a Gendarmerie. Since we already have a Gendarmerie, the RCMP, which does indeed have both peacetime paramilitary and wartime military roles, tasks, and missions, then if we are no longer able or willing or both to maintain a proper Military, then it's time to end the pretense and disband DND and the CAF. Re-paramilitarize the RCMP (their Constabulary role under contract to various Provinces has softened them substantially), and paramilitarize the Canadian Coast Guard. At least they will be capable of territorial surveillance as well as border and internal security. They would also be capable of limited overseas LIC missions.

The real cost of such an approach would be a national independence that would literally degenerate into legal fiction. But even as there is strong hostility towards such an eventuality, there is conversely no real will, or even recognition, of this, let alone a will or even recognition of what it would take to substantively reverse it. Unless these are effectively rectified, even asking what our treaty obligations and mission/force requirements are are of little more than interesting but merely hypothetical point.

Last edited by Norfolk; 06-22-2008 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 06-22-2008   #55
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Norfolk; there's next to no likeliness of an invasion of Canada.
I understand very well that/if the nation isn't much interested in the military.

I would only care about the efficiency, not the amount of spending.
Small armies often work pretty well - inventories like 2 Hercules planes work well in small nations even while large nations assert that inventories below a couple dozen or hundred aircraft of a single type would be ineffective.
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Old 06-22-2008   #56
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The real cost of such an approach would be a national independence that would literally degenerate into legal fiction.
In my opinion, the greatest threat to Canada's sovereignty is its inability to patrol and/or guard its northern territorial claims. With ice receding up north, everyone (especially Russia) has been trying to lay claims to the Arctic seabed. Canada has been unable to perform underwater surveys due to its lack of a powerful icebreaker. Russia has made several expeditions with one of their icebreaker (nuclear powered if I recall) to do so. I know this is a tad off topic, but I feel that it is very related to this issue.

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Norfolk; there's next to no likeliness of an invasion of Canada.
I understand very well that/if the nation isn't much interested in the military.

I would only care about the efficiency, not the amount of spending.
Small armies often work pretty well - inventories like 2 Hercules planes work well in small nations even while large nations assert that inventories below a couple dozen or hundred aircraft of a single type would be ineffective.
Although Canada is a "small" country as far as population is concerned, I would think they have many of the logistical issues of a much larger nation due to the shear size of the country. Norfolk, can you give some insight on this?

Adam L

Last edited by Adam L; 06-22-2008 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 06-23-2008   #57
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I didn't mean logistical challenges, but fleet operation efficiency.
Some officials claim that inventories need to be very large for economies of scale or the equipment could not be supported.
And then you see countries like Belgium, who have iirc two or three Hercules.

I tried to tell that a small military does not need to be underfunded. It just needs to adapt to its budget and can be fine with little budget.
I see no real reason for a large Canadian military. They should at a minimum keep their army/navy know-how, NORAD participation and fighters just in case, though.
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Old 06-23-2008   #58
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Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
I didn't mean logistical challenges, but fleet operation efficiency.
Some officials claim that inventories need to be very large for economies of scale or the equipment could not be supported.
And then you see countries like Belgium, who have iirc two or three Hercules.

I tried to tell that a small military does not need to be underfunded. It just needs to adapt to its budget and can be fine with little budget.
I see no real reason for a large Canadian military. They should at a minimum keep their army/navy know-how, NORAD participation and fighters just in case, though.
I see what you are saying now and I completely agree. As you said, Canada is not going to be invaded. If there are any major threats they will always have the US. Having a small well equipped force is really in their best interests.

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Old 06-23-2008   #59
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Originally Posted by Adam L View Post
In my opinion, the greatest threat to Canada's sovereignty is its inability to patrol and/or guard its northern territorial claims. With ice receding up north, everyone (especially Russia) has been trying to lay claims to the Arctic seabed. Canada has been unable to perform underwater surveys due to its lack of a powerful icebreaker. Russia has made several expeditions with one of their icebreaker (nuclear powered if I recall) to do so. I know this is a tad off topic, but I feel that it is very related to this issue.

Although Canada is a "small" country as far as population is concerned, I would think they have many of the logistical issues of a much larger nation due to the shear size of the country. Norfolk, can you give some insight on this?

Adam L
Hello Adam,

Perhaps even more so than the U.S., in its own way Canada is dependent upon Airpower for its strategic defence and operational mobility. The recent acquisition of C-17s was a step in the right direction, but 4 were not remotely enough; the planned acquisition of 17 C-130Js is nice, but given the choice between having a full squadron of a dozen+ C-17s on one hand, or the planned force of 4 C-17s and 17 C-130Js, the former would be better. Canada requires strategic airflift just for its own defence, whether that's airlifting and sustaining a Battalion to deal with an enemy lodgement in the High Arctic or along one of the Ocean Coasts, or doing the same with a Battle Group on the other side of the world. It is practically inconceivable that anything larger than a Regiment/Brigade airlift would ever have to be mounted, not least, obviously, because any enemy would find it difficult or impossible to mount and sustain anything larger than a Battalion-level operation. For tactical operations, something akin to the good old DHC Caribou STOL transports would do; they were originally designed to provide Divisional-Level supply and transport in nuclear war conditions, but unfortunately there has been no replacement. Obviously, Air Superiority is critical to enable any of this.

As to Canada's territorial water claims in the Arctic and especially the North-West Passage, they are misconceived. They are not generally recognized internationally, and of course do not in any way meet the 12-mile limit under International Law. As to the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone that International Law provides for, that's a legitimate claim Canada can hold on to. But to enforce in practice would require a modest, but noticeable militarization of the Arctic, particularly along the NorthWest Passage. In general terms, think a few AIP subs, a Fighter Squadron, and a reinforced Infantry Battalion/Battle Group either in the region or able to get there, intact and sustainable, fiarly rapidly.

---------------------------------------------------------

Perhaps it would do to address Marc's question of what are Canada's defence obligations, requirements, and resources. In another thread, Marc mentioned that Canada required forces of very high quality, and it should go without saying that he is entirely correct. The problem is that the disparity between political will and willingess to allocate resources on the one hand, and international obligations and military requirements on the other is vast, to say the least.

At the end of WWII, the General Staff determined that the Army required 6 Infantry Divisions (1 Regular Army, 5 Reserve Army) and 2 Armoured Brigades (both Reserve Army) for the defence of Canada. The Navy Staff determined that it required 2 Aircraft Carriers along with Escorts and the like (one on each Coast), and the Air Staff determined a requirement for something like 600 Fighter aircraft (IIRC, my memory is hazy here).

They actually got an Army of 3 Infantry Battalions, 2 Armoured Regiments (Battalions), and a Regiment (Battalion) or equivalent each of Artillery, Field Engineers, and IIRC (again memory hazy) an AA Regiment, plus an SAS Company. The Navy got 1 Aircraft Carrier - plus Escorts on both coasts, and the Air Force received something like a handful of the Fighter Squadrons it was looking for. That's probably about what Canada can afford now, if it had the will do do so, though a CV or LHD is probably beyond the country's will and resources. AIP Subs and Coastal Patrol/ASW aircraft are best for coastal defence, leaving surface ships to Expeditionary and Convoy operations.

As to requirements, that's a different story. Canada is most unlikely to ever commit a force much larger than either a Battalion, Frigate Squadron, Fighter Squadron, some Logistics and Ancillary elements, or a full-fledged Battle Group or Joint Task Force. In this sense, we still possess the traditional Imperial mentality of "A Battalion, a Battery, and a Frigate". Think up to an MEU for all practical purposes. Except if a general war breaks out, then nothing short of entire Divisions, Naval Battle Groups, and Air Divisions will do. Canada attempted something like this on the cheap in the 1950's, and gave it up by the mid-1960's. Not politically sustainable then, and certainly not now.

But as to "quality" and training, that's harder now; the Human Rights Commission in the early 90's imposed requirements upon the Armed Forces that were prejudical to training, order, and good discipline, to put it mildly. The Armed Forces have tried to work around this, in some cases with quite some success. But the albatross is still there. Without the ability to demand and enforce the highest standards of selection, leadership, training, and discipline, a "small but high-quality force" is more of a wish than an achievable objective. When Infantrymen, as an example, are required every 90 days (at least) to perform the 2x10 (marching 10 miles within 2 hours with full kit, on back-to-back days), one day immediately crossing an Assault Course after the 10-miler before directly proceeding on to a Live-Fire Section Attack with no rest; and the other day peforming a Casualty-Carry immediately after the 10-miler, and then proceeding directly without rest to a Live Shoot out to 300-400m where each must achieve a Marksman's rating, then a "small, high-quality force" is practically achievable. The basics must be strictly enforced, otherwise the "small, high-quality force" is rather less than it appears on paper.

Last edited by Norfolk; 06-23-2008 at 02:53 AM.
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Old 06-23-2008   #60
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Hi Norfolk,

Just a couple of things I'd like to toss my $.02 in on...

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Perhaps even more so than the U.S., in its own way Canada is dependent upon Airpower for its strategic defence and operational mobility.
Absolutely true. Last year I was doing some research on European tourists to Canada and one of the things that really came out was that they just had no conception of how large, and under-populated, we are. One person from the UK mentioned that they thought BC was about the size of France - when I told them you could fit 4 Frances in BC (17 in all of Canada), there was a resounding - stunned - silence. This size, coupled with a very low population density, makes it very hard to use anything but airpower for defence and operational mobility.

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Originally Posted by Norfolk View Post
As to Canada's territorial water claims in the Arctic and especially the North-West Passage, they are misconceived. They are not generally recognized internationally, and of course do not in any way meet the 12-mile limit under International Law. As to the 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone that International Law provides for, that's a legitimate claim Canada can hold on to. But to enforce in practice would require a modest, but noticeable militarization of the Arctic, particularly along the NorthWest Passage. In general terms, think a few AIP subs, a Fighter Squadron, and a reinforced Infantry Battalion/Battle Group either in the region or able to get there, intact and sustainable, fiarly rapidly.
Not something I would be opposed to, but operationally (aka politically) very tricky. We *might* be politically able to put together a Border Unit as the main component of an Infantry BTN/BG, but I doubt we will see either the vision, money or political will for the rest... at least until there is a major economic presence in the area.

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Originally Posted by Norfolk View Post
Perhaps it would do to address Marc's question of what are Canada's defence obligations, requirements, and resources. In another thread, Marc mentioned that Canada required forces of very high quality, and it should go without saying that he is entirely correct. The problem is that the disparity between political will and willingess to allocate resources on the one hand, and international obligations and military requirements on the other is vast, to say the least....

But as to "quality" and training, that's harder now; the Human Rights Commission in the early 90's imposed requirements upon the Armed Forces that were prejudical to training, order, and good discipline, to put it mildly.
Don't get me started on the Human Rights Commission and their bastard offspring, the Tribunals ! Personally, I think that if someone in a wheelchair wants to join the CF - fine, let them, but don't even think about lowering the standards for the Infantry! Honestly, I always liked Heinlein's ideas about recruitment in Starship Troopers (book, NOT film!!!!!!). Having the training standards lowered is, IMO, ridiculous. I wonder if anyone has launched a Human Rights complaint about the lowered standards .
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