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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #50 on: November 08, 2004, 10:30:49 »
I don't think we are too far apart, really, Kirkhill, except that:

o   I think too many people put too much emphasis on the military/national security component of foreign policy â “ understandable, to be sure, on army.ca but a bit dangerous all the same;

o   I have difficulty with relating the tendencies[/i] towards 'romanticism' or 'realism' to hard principles â “ especially to the 'master principle.'

Going back to Gotlieb and his concerns that we recognize geopolitical realities: that should cause the authors of the next white paper to call for: Recognition of the fact that our American friends have been attacked and security now dominates their policies (the plural is important) and we should â “ as good neighbours, even if we don't want to talk about our own best (selfish) interests â “ cooperate with them.

Were it my call I would argue for some new, additional (beyond NORAD and the IBETs (Integrated Border Enforcement Teams)) super-national or continental organizations to deal with some customs and immigration matters.   This would require both countries to tighten up some of their procedures (the tourism lobby in the US advocates something akin to a gold card as proof of trustworthiness while the refugee lobby in Canada advocates a dark skin as proof of the same) and it might, even, involve combined (bi-national) 'units' in some places.   That rationale for this is that we need to do, roughly, what the Liberals said Mulroney wanted to do back in 1988: erase the border between Canada and the US and put a common 'fence' around our shares of the continent.

The Americans have a 'right' â “ I believe â “ to expect no less than enhanced cooperation given the facts that they have been attacked and that some enemy elements do (or try to) operate 'through' Canada; we have a selfish interest in easing American fears â “ enhanced flow of goods, services and people within our commonwealth â “ which ought to reinforce our romantic desire to be good neighbours.

Margaret Thatcher used to end arguments with â Å“TINAâ ? -   There Is No Alternative!   Someone else â “ not me, sadly â “ coined the very clever dictum of TINA2 by which he meant that in dealing with the Americans we must remember that:

1.   We are Trapped In North America; and

2.   There Is No Alternative!

Good advice to foreign policy developers, I think.

That being said, our major interests with the Americans are economic, social, cultural and political â “ not military.   Our foreign policy needs to emphasize that we should enhance our continental military/security capabilities as enablers â “ supporting other, more important matters, rather than for their own sake.   This is realism â “ identifying what our vital interests are and then identifying the enablers needed to protect and promote them.   As a general rule military/security capabilities are enablers for more important, valuable and productive economic, social and political capabilities.

I do not like the analogue of: principles of war/policy tendencies.   While I agree that our best (rather than our base) values should animate our national and foreign policies (and the economic and social ones, too) we must strive, always, for clarity â “ realism â “ when we identify and assess all the factors which bear upon our 'aim' (peace and prosperity, in my shorthand).   After we have analyzed the factors and the 'courses open' and made a plan to implement our foreign policy then it may be necessary to camouflage our realism in some romantic verbiage.   But, big BUT realism and romanticism are not competing principles[/b]; they are, rather, more akin to beliefs â “ and one is sense, grounded in a careful appreciation of the situation â “ as it really exists, and the other is nonsense, wishful thinking, at best.
  
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #51 on: November 08, 2004, 11:56:19 »
You're right ROJ, we are not far apart.

All I am saying is that if you ignore morale and you issue an order you may not get the response from your troops you were expecting.  Likewise any policy that doesn't take into account the "morale" of the nation, romantic notions and all, you will not gain the necessary support and resources for the policy.

That being said I think there is a lot of scope available for a determined Government to make a strong case, both rational and romantic, to the nation to justify a rational foreign and defence policy.

Cheers Sir.
Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #52 on: November 08, 2004, 15:52:03 »
This may be a wee tiny bit off topic but, the article below; from today's Ottawa Citizen sheds some light on the effects of Trudeau's selling of the pacifist sizzle rather than the self interest steak.   The 30-44 age group came of age well after the infamous 1969 white paper became the base for how we were to see ourselves in the world: little, timid, peaceful Canada.

As others have mentioned elsewhere it wasn't just Trudeau and his fellow travellers who detested the military â “ even their own military â “ we had two generations who saw no good in anything military; they wanted, and got, a pacifist foreign policy and emasculated diplomatic services, aid programmes and armed forces.

----------

http://www.canada.com/ottawa/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=0c1c4959-063c-4732-b772-48bdeba85234

Canada's leaders of tomorrow more than a little confused about the past

Here's a hint: he was PM for much of the first half of the 20th century, writes Randy Boswell.

Randy Boswell

The Ottawa Citizen

Monday, November 08, 2004


They're the up-and-comers of Canadian society and the leaders of tomorrow, but ask Generation X a fairly simple question about the country's recent history and prepare to laugh -- or weep -- at their Remembrance Day Duh.

A new survey aimed at gauging Canadians' basic knowledge of the Second World War has revealed a startling blind spot among the 30-to-44 age group. By a whopping margin, more of these prime-of-life citizens believed the prime minister during the 1939-45 conflict was Lester B. Pearson instead of Mackenzie King, the country's true wartime leader.

The error seems all the more egregious because even younger Canadians -- those aged 18 to 29 -- knew enough history to pick Mr. King over Mr. Pearson, who was best known for the postwar diplomacy that won him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 and his so-so performance as prime minister of two minority governments in the 1960s.

Try to imagine a whole generation of Britons choosing Harold Macmillan over Winston Churchill as their wartime leader, and you get some idea of the significance of the thirtysomethings' view of history.

"That is very surprising," said McGill University historian Jack Jedwab, executive director of the Association for Canadian Studies, who double-checked the numbers just to be sure. "It clearly speaks to a problem in retention of learning."

The survey of 2,100 Canadians, conducted by Environics on behalf of Montreal-based ACS, was part of a study of attitudes toward this country's experience of war. The results are to be discussed this week at a conference in Montreal called Remembering Canada: How We Recall and Represent the Past.

Respondents were asked, "Who was prime minister of Canada during the Second World War?" and given a list of choices: King (who was PM for two terms in the 1920s and then from 1935 to 1948), Pearson (1963-68), Wilfrid Laurier (1896-1911) and Louis St. Laurent (1948-57).

More than half of those over 60 correctly identified Mr. King, with just 16 per cent naming Mr. Pearson. Respondents aged 45 to 59 were twice as likely to choose Mr. King over Mr. Pearson -- 40 per cent to 20 -- with another 20 per cent admitting they didn't know the answer.

Recent high school graduates, those 18 to 29 years old, also made Mr. King the top response: 30 per cent compared with 23 per cent for Mr. Pearson and 26 per cent who didn't know.

But more than a third of the 30-to-44 demographic -- 35 per cent -- named Mr. Pearson as our wartime PM, while only 25 per cent got it right with Mr. King, and 26 per cent couldn't say.

It's no surprise the two oldest groups -- many of whom were born in the King era or just after -- tended to get the right answer. And Mr. Jedwab suspects the youngest cohort in the survey still remembers enough of their high school history to strongly associate Mr. King with the Second World War, while the 30-to-44 set has simply forgotten what they must have once been taught.

He also figures that Mr. Pearson's sterling reputation as the architect of Canada's role in international peacekeeping was particularly ingrained in the minds of those who grew up in the 1960s and '70s.

"Pearson is remembered very well by history," agrees pollster Derek Leebosh, who conducted the survey.

Some people's memories, he suspects, might be jogged by reference to Mr. King's famously equivocal utterance on the key political issue of the war: "Conscription if necessary, but not necessarily conscription."

But there were "no great speeches" by Mr. King to really rivet him into Canadian consciousness, says Mr. Leebosh, none of Churchill's dramatic pledging of blood, toil, tears and sweat.

"Churchill is an iconic figure associated with World War II all through the world," says Mr. Leebosh. "What did King do? Well, he hosted the Quebec Conference, where he pretty much poured drinks for Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt while they talked about the real stuff."

Mr. Pearson, a veteran of the First World War, was a diplomat during the Second World War. He was posted to the Canadian High Commission in London and also worked in Ottawa before becoming Canada's ambassador to the U.S. in 1945.

Mr. King died in 1950; Mr. Pearson in 1972.

Elsewhere in the survey, which was conducted in May and September this year, there may be some explanation for the surprising Gen-X aberration on the King question. While those aged 18-29 responded that they'd learned "a great deal" about the Second World War during their school days, only 22 per cent of the 30-to-44 group said the same.

But no other cut at the numbers reveals such a strong tendency toward mistaking the identity of our wartime prime minister as that exhibited by those born between 1960 and 1974. A fairly high awareness of Mr. King's role in the Second World War was registered overall in each region of the country, with Atlantic Canadians giving the correct answer most often (41 per cent) and Quebec respondents notching the lowest score, a still relatively respectable 35 per cent.

It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
----------
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #53 on: November 14, 2004, 12:41:27 »
Getting back on topic: I notice in the weekend's news that Prime Minister Martin is musing out loud about Canada having a 'role' to play in the Middle East peace process, which we all hope can be restarted after Palestinian elections.

I agree.

A two state solution - two independent states, with secure borders, living up to the provisions of a peace treaty - is the only answer.

There are two huge sticking points:

"¢   Secure borders; and

"¢   Honouring a peace treaty.

No one at the UN ever thought that the 1948 'green line' (the so called pre '67 boundaries) provided Israel with anything like a secure border; that's why Lord Caradon and his colleagues crafted UNSC Res. 242 as they did.   No one thinks that Sharon's new fence is the right answer, either - but the wall is, almost certainly, part of the answer, once there is some agreement, of some sort, re: how much less of the West Bank the Palestinians get,

The Israelis do not believe that the Palestinians can be trusted to keep any treaty they have signed.

There is a third problem area: the United Nations.   It is highly unlikely that Israel will cooperate in any useful way with any United Nations officials or organizations.

From the point of view of helping the peace to take root, then, there would seem to be two broad courses open:

"¢   A major role for the United Nations on the Palestinian side; or

"¢   A non-UN organization supervising the truce.

I would argue for the latter and I would argue for Canada, as a leading middle power, to play a major role in forming and maintaining this new, multilateral Israel/Palestine Truce Supervisory Organization.

Canada, and several other nations can come to the table with reasonable reputations - both in Israel and amongst the Arabs - for fairness and trustworthiness.   That list might include, for example, and in addition to Canada: Australia, Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Fiji, Finland, Hungary, Italy, India, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore and South Korea.   There are some Islamic countries which will, likely be acceptable to Israel: Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey would be about it, I think.   There are a few European countries which are considered very pro-Arab but would still be acceptable to Israel, I think: France, Germany and Spain come to mind.   There are also some American nations - Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico, for example - that may also be acceptable.

A list like that - 20 or 25 or so members of another coalition of the willing - might provide a good, fairly compact, reliable team to do a number of tasks:

"¢   'Secure' Palestine - make it relatively safe from Israeli incursions by putting a 'trip wire' between Israel and Palestine - a trip wire Israel will be unwilling to cross;

"¢   'Secure' Israel by, for a period of a few years, replacing any sort of Palestinian army - in the near term;

"¢   'Secure' both Israel and Palestine by creating, training and, initially, leading Palestine's eventual armed forces;

"¢   'Secure' both Israel and Palestine by supervising the Palestinian security forces and by actually managing the Israel/Palestine border crossings;

"¢   'Secure' Palestine for the Palestinians by recreating and supervising the Palestinian public service - especially major institutions like the central bank, the courts and regulatory agencies; and

"¢   'Secure' Palestine by the Palestinians by replacing UNRWA in Palestine.

These tasks require, from the Group of 20+:

"¢   Politicians;

"¢   Senior bureaucrats;

"¢   Military leaders and trainers - senior and junior;

"¢   Police and security managers and officers;

"¢   Officials; and

"¢   Formed military units and formations.

This is a useful foreign policy initiative for the Martin government: worthy but, since the military burden can be shared broadly, not too expensive.

I expect Martin to offer Canada's good offices to the Haitians next week.   He will offer a bit of money and a few people - mostly retired politicians and bureaucrats, but, maybe, some soldiers, too - to help with the negotiations.   That is not enough, however, to placate either the US or many Canadians.   He needs, desperately, to be able to say, when George Bush comes calling - looking for a formal Canadian military contribution to Iraq, that: "We have just taken on new tasks, Mr. President, and the cupboard is bare - but we will, yet again, add our naval forces to the Persian Gulf area of operations.   We have assigned troops to Afghanistan and we have just earmarked others for Haiti and Palestine.   We are fully committed - to the global war on terror, to Middle East peace and to problems in our (shared) region.   We can do no more, at this time.â ?


It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
----------
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #54 on: December 03, 2012, 12:04:33 »
The CBC's Brian Stewart wants us to go back to peacekeeping in this article which is reproduced udner the Fair Dealing provisons of the Copyright Act from the CBC:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/11/30/f-vp-stewart-peacekeeping.html
Quote
Time for Canada to get back to peacekeeping

By Brian Stewart, CBC News

Posted: Dec 3, 2012

For years now, the Canadian army has fretted about finding a new role for itself after Afghanistan. Well, that day has arrived and it can no longer dodge the stark post-war questions: What next, and where?

Spare us an eternity of training at home and aiding with floods and ice storms, is a common lament among soldiers who see little that's challenging or career-enhancing ahead.

With little chance of another overseas mission in the foreseeable future, there is little for our 25,500 regular soldiers and 16,000 reservists to do, and it's not hard for them to read the tea leaves. An inactive army is both easily bored and easily cut at budget time.

When Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently called for a leaner military "as ready to bring disaster relief as to deliver lethal force," grim images of snow shovels and sandbags surely flashed through many a military mind.

From a command perspective, this is a critical worry for an army that saw both its political clout and domestic popularity soar to remarkable heights over the past decade, even after Canadians soured on the Afghan war itself.

Now all that remains is a little-noticed, short-term training role in Afghanistan.

In Ottawa, the political masters have learned that sending ships and a few aircraft, as we did in the overthrow of Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, is a far safer security investment than putting infantry boots on foreign ground.

What's more, the country has had its fill of fighting land wars in far off places.

But the irony in all this is that Canada — with our military's eager blessing — has ditched the alternative international role our soldiers were long renowned for: peacekeeping.

A dirty word

For more than a decade, Canada's top military officers along with staunchly pro-military politicians and a dedicated handful of academics and journalists, battered and besmirched UN peacekeeping to the point that it became a dirty word uttered with a sneer within the Canadian Armed Forces.

"The UN itself couldn't run a one-man race to the outhouse," wrote Canada's super-star general Rick Hillier in his memoirs a few years ago. He's not always that polite on this subject.

I know many officers and military writers who share the view that UN peacekeeping doesn't deserve us.

But to me this looks like a case of that old adage "Be careful what you ask for." Or in this case, what you are too proud to ask for.

My guess is that a few big peacekeeping operations in Africa and perhaps even the Middle East won't look so bad to a generation of young soldiers and junior officers who feel Afghanistan prepared them to face the real challenges of the world.

32 soldiers

The irony, however, is that at a time when the UN is making serious strides to reform and expand peacekeeping, Canada, which largely invented the practice in the 1950s, is noticeably absent, and unless Ottawa has a change of heart, will remain so.

Since the late 1990s the pro-military lobby did such a good job bad-mouthing UN operations that both Liberal and Conservative governments have been only too happy to eviscerate our peacekeeping contributions.

The Harper government in particular treats the UN as an irritating irrelevance at best, to the point that we forget a UN operation like peacekeeping is something we used to be pretty good at, and that helped define us as a country.

In fact, more than 100,000 Canadian military personnel have worn the blue armband abroad over the years, usually with great distinction.

In the 1990s, Canada made up 10 per cent of all peacekeeping troops worldwide with as many as 4,000 soldiers serving at any one time in places like Cyprus, Lebanon, the Golan Heights, the Balkans, Africa and parts of South America and Asia.

Today, as peacekeepers from other countries have quadrupled in just a dozen years (from 20,000 to 95,000) we have shrunk to a near invisible 52nd place, alongside Fiji and Paraguay.

While nations like India, Brazil and the still impoverish Ethiopia are now the main peacekeeping forces in the UN arsenal, Canada's entire 100,000-strong land, sea and air components contribute "less than a school bus-load of Canadian soldiers" in the striking image of the Globe and Mail's Paul Koring.

That's right, only 32 soldiers, according to the latest UN figures. And these are doled out in tiny packets: one in Cyprus, three in the Golan Heights, six in Darfur, and so on.

'Warrior nation'

When it comes to peacekeeping, we can't blame our low effort on the strain of Afghanistan, for some of our allies in that struggle continued to maintain respectable numbers, particularly Britain (278 soldiers), France (916) and Germany (207).

What degraded peacekeeping here was the mindset that used Afghanistan as a way to seek a full revival of a "warrior nation" ethos through support-our-troops campaigns and media messaging that seemed determined to crush all that was allegedly squishy about our past internationalism.

"The damming of peacekeepers became, among the coterie of military historians and fellow travellers in the media, something of a blood sport, and the game in their sights was liberal Canada," writes Noah Richler in his recent polemic What We Talk about When We Talk about War.

Yes, the critics of UN peacekeeping often had real grievances. It can be inefficient, poorly led, and will forever be identified with disasters like Somalia, Rwanda, and Srebrenica.

But only emphasizing the negatives distorts the picture and takes no account of the many successes, from Mozambique to Cyprus and East Timor, that saved countless lives and regional peace.

In fact, countries caught up in civil war have a 50 per cent greater chance of finding lasting peace if peacekeepers are deployed, according to the most detailed study to date, Does Peacekeeping Work? Shaping Belligerents' Choices after Civil War, by Virginia Page Fortna of Columbia University.

Canadians, to their credit, never entirely bought the anti-peacekeeping vitriol that was making the rounds.

Two years ago, pollsters at Nanos Research found 52 per cent of respondents considered peacekeeping the most important role for our military; only 21 per cent saw combat as the priority.

Yes, we do need an army that can handle combat in crisis zones when necessary, but we also need one that can also use the sophisticated, patient and humane skills required for robust peacekeeping in a world that badly requires such help.

The UN very much wants Canada to return. But one can only imagine the embarrassing back-flips our military boosters will have to perform before our current government says it is time we volunteered again for more UN duty.


The criticism of UN peacekeeping that Brian Stewart acknowledges - "It can be inefficient, poorly led, and will forever be identified with disasters like Somalia, Rwanda, and Srebrenica." - are not just symptoms of a problem: they are permanent attributes of the UN's Department of Peacekeeping Operations. It, DPKO, is not capable of planning, mounting, commanding or controlling any useful sort of military operation and posting in 1,000 well trained people would not even begin to address the issue.

We probably can and, in some cases, should "return to peacekeeping" but not, ever, wearing UN baby blue berets.

The UN must be forced to:

1. Use second and third world nations to do the kinds of peacekeeping which the UN can manage - the kinds of operations in which Canada should always decline to participate; and

2. Subcontract "robust" peacekeeping to a coalition, like ABCA+. (I regard NATO as too big, too bureaucratic and too inefficient to conduct operations properly.)

My ABCA+ would include America, Britain, Canada and Australia but also a couple more Europeans (say the Netherlands and a non-NATO member like Finland) and one African country (South Africa) and three more Asians (China, India and Singapore). It would be informal - no treaty status, at all - but it would have small, permanent, diplomatic (about 10 members) and military staffs (of no more than say 50 officers 25 NCMs) based in North America to facilitate close liaison with the UN and with the US military's logistic base.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
----------
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #55 on: December 11, 2013, 12:44:12 »
If the CF can't get the money to do everything it would like (or even need) to do as a fully self-sufficient, multi-role military perhaps we need to take a closer look at how we can provide the most bang for our buck with our allies.  When do we deploy on our own?  The rest of the world is going through the same cutbacks that we are so will we just end up with a whole bunch of smaller, less capable allied militaries that can each work less effectively alongside the Americans? 

Maybe if we look at the gaps that exist in the effective deployment of our probable coalition partners (our typical deployment scenario) we could identify some capabilities which we could develop/expand in order to magnify the strengths of our partners.  If our partners have forces to deploy but can't get them there then maybe we could expand our air transport fleet.  More air-to-air refueling or AORs to support allied air/naval deployments.  Specialist units like electronic warfare, counter-battery, CRBN, etc.  I'm not saying that these are the specific capabilities we could/should focus on...just giving some possible examples.

There would of course then have to be a trade-off by decreasing, or possibly even eliminating, other existing capabilities (this is fundamentally about the money after all).  For example, what if we dropped out of the armoured business and relied on our more capable allies to provide that support when required (like some of our allies relied on our tank support in Afghanistan when they didn't have the capability in theatre)?  Where could we put that money in other capabilities that would provide an even larger positive impact on coalition military operations than our relatively small armoured force?  Again...I'm not making that recommendation, just using it as a possible example.

A possible side benefit could also be that some of these capabilities might be more politically sellable to the Canadian public than more traditional military capabilities.  Procuring and deploying support units/equipment is much more politically safe than nasty, warlike thinks like tanks, submarines and stealth fighters. 

Such a policy certainly wouldn't be without risks either.  The world is a very uncertain place and what happens if a situation should arise where we really NEED a particular military capability and don't have it available anymore?  Canadian blood and treasure could certainly be on the line.  There is also the political risk that we wouldn't get credit from our allies for the things we do in the same way as putting "boots on the ground" in a more traditional way.  If we're not seen as useful and helpful then we could lose much of our say at a lot of important tables around the world.  I think such a policy would certainly require a VERY close relationship, cooperation, coordination and interoperability with our closest allies.  We'd need to work hand-in-hand with them so that they're intimately aware of how important OUR role is in their successful fulfillment of THEIR roles. 

Regardless of what we do money for the CF will likely be quite tight for a number of years to come.  Any course of action (or inaction) is going to have impacts on the capabilities of the CF.  The military might wither across the board, waiting for a return of money and a chance to renew in the same basic structure, or it might make some very specific and targeted changes which could see the CF with very different capabilities and structures than it has currently.  Either way I think it's important to have these very basic level discussions so that the government and the CF can be proactive in facing the budget constraints rather than just reacting to them.


And this brings us back to a nine year old thread: Defining Foreign and Defence Policies.

We cannot structure a force, not in any sensible way, much less assign resources to our defence, until we know what we want the military to do.

GR66 suggests, for example, that we might want to discard the capability for unilateral, solo deployments. That's an idea, but upon what is it based?

I see a spectrum of problems for which the military is part of the solution:

<== Very Low Intensity == Low Intensity == Low/Mid Intensity == Mid Intensity == Mid/High Intensity == High Intensity ==>

I can, without stretching my imagination too far, conceive of situations (in the Caribbean, for example) where we might have vital interests that are not shared with any of the major powers but which might convince us to intervene, militarily, into a (Very) Low Intensity situation in order to protect or promote our own interests. That doesn't mean that we should, much less must have a capability for unilateral military action; it does mean that we should decide, after due consideration, to give up that capability, not just slough it off.

The government has expert military advisors. But we, ordinary Canadians, as the NDP would call us, have a right and, indeed, in my opinion, a duty to tell our politicians what strategic objectives we want the Government of Canada to pursue.

I would suggest that any Canadian can develop a "little list" of tasks (s)he insists our military must be ready and able to perform. Mine would include, but, probably, not be limited to:

     1. Provide the Government of Canada with reliable, expert military advice;

     2. participate in gathering and analyzing strategic, operational and tactical intelligence;

     3. Maintain near real time surveillance (and identification) over Canada's land mass, the waters contiguous to it, and the airspace over both;

     4. Be able to intercept any intruder into the territories, waters and airspace we claim as our own and "deal with" such intruders;

     5. Conduct small scale (less than 5,000 people) unilateral, low intensity military operations when our vital interest require; and

     ---------- After appropriate periods of mobilization and with (perhaps considerable) extra resources ----------

     6. Conduct small and medium scale (less than 15,000 people), mid intensity operations as part of a coalition of like minded nations when our interests are served; and

     7. Conduct large scale (anything from 25,000 to 2.5 million people), high intensity military operations with a coalition that includes our traditional allies in order to restore peace and security.

My first five are what I think the CF should be able to do, day after day, year after year, decade after decade, with a modest, fixed budget - in my view, something akin to 2% of GDP.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
----------
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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #56 on: December 11, 2013, 13:53:36 »
We cannot structure a force, not in any sensible way, much less assign resources to our defence, until we know what we want the military to do.
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #57 on: December 11, 2013, 14:38:51 »
Corollary:

We cannot decide what we want our military to do until we know what we can do with the resources available.

Chicken! Meet Egg.  :)

This 2012 discussion in the UK about the Aussie Beersheba plan emphasises that we are not alone.

http://ukarmedforcescommentary.blogspot.ca/2012/05/australian-army-reform-and-british-army.html

Coupled with the Yankee struggles I think it is fair to say that nobody has a grip on what is possible and how much it costs.  Equally everybody is having to revisit all their planning assumptions.

WW1, WW2 and the Cold War are well behind us now.

Edit: There is going to have to be a period of experimentation akin to the 1930s to determine what is workable and what it costs.
The Aussies, with their ACR (Armoured Cav Regiment) experiments, are in the midst of that experiment just now.

They are trying to balance Abrams, LAVs, M113s and Bushmasters in a single 3 Squadron, 600 man construct.  Canada = Leos, LAVs, TLAVs and TAPVs.

« Last Edit: December 11, 2013, 14:42:32 by Kirkhill »
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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #58 on: December 11, 2013, 14:58:11 »
We know about:

     1. The global strategic situation. We know who we have for friends ~ say a dozen countries upon which we can rely, come hell or high water. We know who our current enemies are ~ again a dozen, maybe more, countries, all far away and
         unable, in any conventional military way, to threaten us, but enemies, all the same;

     2. We know about our own interests ~ and they are global and some are in areas which our enemies can reach;

     3. We know about our strategic objectives: oversimplified they are peace and prosperity; and

     4. We know about our resources ~ we are one of the dozen or so richest countries in the world.

We ought to know:

     1. What our (broad and general) foreign policy is ~ what we plan to do about, for, with and, sometimes, to other countries, and why we plan to do those things; and

     2. What sorts of military power we need, and, again why we need it.

I will accept that we cannot assign precise costs to each and every capability we need but as each need (operational requirement) becomes achievable then the costs should become more and more clear.

(The broad outlines of both foreign and defence policy ought to be agreeable to Conservatives and Liberals alike. I can accept that fringes of both the CPC and the LPC will detest the other's polcies but the mainstreams ought to be close ~ if they aren't then I would suggest that one or the other's policy is wrong. I'm not suggesting that there is, or should be unanimity ~ on several issues, there will be difference that are grounded in both principle and domestic politics: Israel and the Middle East, for example, but on the core issues ~ America, China, India, Europe, etc ~ there should be broad, general agreement between the two main Canadian centrist political parties.)

If my parenthetical hopes are true then sensible long term planning ought to be both possible and the norm.
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Offline MilEME09

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #59 on: December 11, 2013, 15:01:28 »
I don't think the CAF can get any where unless we come up with a clear strategic goal/direction for where we want the forces to go. Without that we are trying to do everything and accomplish nothing, maybe we can see some change as I hear revision is being made to the CFDS but i doubt that would give us a direction to go.
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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #60 on: December 11, 2013, 15:11:34 »
Quote
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)

The ultimate problem is about trying to have a focused conversation about when we, as a nation, are willing to kill people. 

We have the riches to buy the world's biggest robot army (we don't have the people for the world's biggest army).  We can easily afford a 5% of GDP defense policy.  But unless we can say when we are willing to kill people then there is no basis for discussion.

As Rick Hillier said, the job is to kill people.  Under what circumstances will Canadians permit others to be killed?

In the absence of that understanding there is no justification for any of the Combat Arms.

Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #61 on: December 11, 2013, 15:28:15 »
Corollary:

We cannot decide what we want our military to do until we know what we can do with the resources available.

Chicken! Meet Egg.  :)
Yes and no.

I'm guessing there's more back-and-forth involved, but in theory, you have to know where you want to go before you 1)  figure out if the vehicle you have will get you there and, if not, and 2)  decide how to change it to get you there.

The ultimate problem is about trying to have a focused conversation about when we, as a nation, are willing to kill people. 
Bang on - as critical as ERC's point, but one that voters may be squeamish about discussing (or even considering).
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Offline Spectrum

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #62 on: December 11, 2013, 15:28:48 »
I don't think we are going to get any clear direction. Too many people have competing ideas of what Canada is, and what it should be. To get all the players to agree on a defence strategy would be next to impossible. Expense claims, six figure salaries, and substantial pensions will be earned, but nothing coherent or consistent will materialize.

As a whole, the nation is unwilling to take the defence of Canada seriously, but we are also too proud to admit it openly. Politicians will pay attention to defence when voters demand it. Voters will only demand it after we have been caught with our pants down, so to speak.

EDIT: And I'd much rather see well thought out Foreign/Defence policies than mindless military spending. I am very much of the mind that we could do FAR more with LESS if we set realistic goals for what we need and are willing to spend.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2013, 15:37:55 by Spectrum »

Offline UnwiseCritic

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #63 on: December 11, 2013, 19:35:10 »
I don't think we are going to get any clear direction. Too many people have competing ideas of what Canada is, and what it should be. To get all the players to agree on a defence strategy would be next to impossible. Expense claims, six figure salaries, and substantial pensions will be earned, but nothing coherent or consistent will materialize.

As a whole, the nation is unwilling to take the defence of Canada seriously, but we are also too proud to admit it openly. Politicians will pay attention to defence when voters demand it. Voters will only demand it after we have been caught with our pants down, so to speak.

EDIT: And I'd much rather see well thought out Foreign/Defence policies than mindless military spending. I am very much of the mind that we could do FAR more with LESS if we set realistic goals for what we need and are willing to spend.

I agree completely. Unfortunately the people that can should make the noise serve in a uniform that keeps us from publicly criticizing our government. And as Harper already keeps a tight muzzle on his party. I could only imagine what would happen to a higher up who criticized the conservatives. Or worse it could draw attention to our/Canada's problem and we might not like the outcome as a new defence strategy might be made to appease and gain votes rather than make us effective at properly defending Canada. And perhaps the people in power don't want to put a strong willed individual who stands up for our soldiers. As that is a real thing and if you read about W.Churchill you will see he specifically set up his office to have strong opposition against him so that he would have people looking critically at his ideas. As he learned from some mistakes of his past.

However I remember reading back in the day an article about how members of the Australian army were embarrassed to serve in their uniform as they felt they weren't pulling their weight overseas due to politics. And it seemed to work out for them. And quite frankly I am not  entirely proud to serve in a Canadian uniform. Don't get me wrong I am a proud Canadian and I am happy to be a soldier. And I think highly of our men and women in uniform as we can do what our government asks of us. But I feel they don't really care about us as a military as much as a political tool. And thus they will never "ask" (give real direction) to us in uniform. So how can I as a Canadian soldier strive for a defined goal, rather than be a fish out of water? And wouldn't making some noise about this behind closed doors be the right thing to do to properly serve our COUNTRY. Rather than our government who views us as a way into office. (I know the voters put them there, but ethically speaking I find it to be a grey area)
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #64 on: December 12, 2013, 10:19:16 »
The ultimate problem is about trying to have a focused conversation about when we, as a nation, are willing to kill people. 

We have the riches to buy the world's biggest robot army (we don't have the people for the world's biggest army).  We can easily afford a 5% of GDP defense policy.  But unless we can say when we are willing to kill people then there is no basis for discussion.

As Rick Hillier said, the job is to kill people.  Under what circumstances will Canadians permit others to be killed?

In the absence of that understanding there is no justification for any of the Combat Arms.

People will be squeamish about discussing when it is appropriate to kill other people for many good reasons (including our collective cultural background: "Thou Shalt Not Kill" is one of the Ten Commandments, after all). Even I, who supposedly is able to do this for a living, will admit to being a bit squeamish about the idea, although recognizing that at some point people will cross the line and need killing after all.

Perhaps reframing the discussion to "What is worth fighting for?" might be a better starting point. You could argue this is just semantics (yes, it is), but it also frames the argument in a positive ("what is worth") rather than a negative ("when we are willing to kill people"). It also ties more cloesly to Edward's overall theme on what our "Grand Strategy" should be (Peace and Prosperity), so may be a much better means of focusing on what we want to achieve, which then logically leads to how we hope to achieve this, and what resources we are willing to apply to the effort.
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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #65 on: December 12, 2013, 11:28:08 »
Squeamishness is the problem in the debate.

If we can't look the question square how can we have a rational debate?

We dance around the question with euphemisms and alternatives:

Peace-making
Peace-keeping
Domestic Ops
Humanitarian Assistance
Sovereignty Patrols

None of those require a gun - much less killing.

None of those require an army.

Worth fighting for?  Nobody dies.  Well played old man. Congratulations on your win.  See down at the club
Worth dying for?  Brave lad.  Died well in a noble cause.  Unfortunately we lost. Not his fault.
Worth killing for?  ......  Crickets.

I propose we start at the bottom:

Would we kill to protect ourselves? 

I know many brave, and honest, individuals that would say no to that.

Would we kill to protect our families? 

That becomes harder and easier.  More people that I have talked to would be willing to kill someone who threatened their loved ones than if they themselves were threatened.

After that things become increasingly murky.

Family? Extended Family? In-Laws? Locals? Provincials? Nationals? Corporate entities? Foreigners? Foreign family? Foreign family killing Canadians in Canada?

Under what circumstances do you react and when do you act?  Do you always let the other guy get the first shot in?

A dear friend of mine drank himself into an early grave wondering if he was the hero he believed his father to be.  The seminal point of his concern was not if he had the courage to fight, or to die but rather to kill and, for him, more problematically, to order others to kill.
Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

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Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

Offline pbi

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #66 on: December 20, 2013, 07:50:12 »
I've always thought that our biggest problem as a military is not really money, or resources (we usually get those in spades when the Govt of the day decides we need them), but rather that this country has so few strategic imperatives that would allow a very focused defence policy as a "must do".

To take extreme examples to illustrate my point, let's take Israel and South Korea. Their strategic imperatives are very clear: failure to have an effective military would not only be politically unacceptable to any Govt, it might also be suicidal.

Where is this imperative for Canada? The defence of the nation? IMHO, it's impossible to imagine any plausible threat to Canadian security that would not be a threat to North American security and thus to the US. The US will never, could never, allow the security of North America to fail (911 aside...). All Canadians and their govts know this. "Canada First" has, in my opinion, really been more of a useful political slogan than a coherent strategic concept with the associated ends, ways and means.

Expeditionary combat operations? Even less of an imperative. History shows quite clearly that, less a global war, we can pick and choose whether or not we participate, with what degree of force, and for how long. Don't forget that if McKenzie King had been able to have his way, Canada's role in WWII might have been limited to the RCAF. Some nations might get PO'd at us for not playing, but that usually blows over.

Peace support operations? Again, totally discretionary, although they have some moral and emotional suasion power. But, if we have a Govt like the CPC who couldn't really care less about the UN and its antics, then even that suasion counts for little.

So, what's left? Civil defense? No need for a military for that: just form something like the TNHW national civil emergency service that Germany has, and you're set. Public order or internal security? Beef up the RCMP so it's really a "gendarmerie" in more than name only.

What you're left with, IMHO, is using military policy as a political tool to please various regions and voting constituencies, economic partners and allies. And how you actually go about doing that is case-by-case, Govt-by-Govt, which can lead to an apparently disjointed "flavour of the month"-driven defence policy.

In the end, there seems to be very little requirement to have any particular type or configuration of CAF: it's just about having "something in the window" to meet political needs. Cynical? Yes, probably, but I'm trying to think like a politician, which in the end are those who make these decisions.
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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #67 on: December 20, 2013, 10:22:28 »
Like many organizations facing the double trouble of an aging boomer population and equipment 'rust out'/ under investment due to the ongoing and dire financial situation, our biggest issue is basic sustainability.

Peacekeeping? Really? Better ask Baby Boomer Joe of he has his teeth in:
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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #68 on: December 20, 2013, 10:32:28 »
Worth fighting for?  Nobody dies.  Well played old man. Congratulations on your win.  See down at the club
Worth dying for?  Brave lad.  Died well in a noble cause.  Unfortunately we lost. Not his fault.
Worth killing for?  ......  Crickets.
Want yet another level of complexity?  What's worth having your/someone else's son/daughter fight/kill/die for?

I've always thought that our biggest problem as a military is not really money, or resources (we usually get those in spades when the Govt of the day decides we need them), but rather that this country has so few strategic imperatives that would allow a very focused defence policy as a "must do".
:nod:
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Offline Hamish Seggie

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #69 on: December 20, 2013, 10:53:31 »
Want yet another level of complexity?  What's worth having your/someone else's son/daughter fight/kill/die for?
:nod:

Yes, we do regret our son's death, but he believed in what he was doing and he chose to do it.
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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #70 on: December 20, 2013, 11:24:33 »
I've always thought that our biggest problem as a military is not really money, or resources (we usually get those in spades when the Govt of the day decides we need them), but rather that this country has so few strategic imperatives that would allow a very focused defence policy as a "must do".

To take extreme examples to illustrate my point, let's take Israel and South Korea. Their strategic imperatives are very clear: failure to have an effective military would not only be politically unacceptable to any Govt, it might also be suicidal.

Where is this imperative for Canada? The defence of the nation? IMHO, it's impossible to imagine any plausible threat to Canadian security that would not be a threat to North American security and thus to the US. The US will never, could never, allow the security of North America to fail (911 aside...). All Canadians and their govts know this. "Canada First" has, in my opinion, really been more of a useful political slogan than a coherent strategic concept with the associated ends, ways and means.

Expeditionary combat operations? Even less of an imperative. History shows quite clearly that, less a global war, we can pick and choose whether or not we participate, with what degree of force, and for how long. Don't forget that if McKenzie King had been able to have his way, Canada's role in WWII might have been limited to the RCAF. Some nations might get PO'd at us for not playing, but that usually blows over.

Peace support operations? Again, totally discretionary, although they have some moral and emotional suasion power. But, if we have a Govt like the CPC who couldn't really care less about the UN and its antics, then even that suasion counts for little.

So, what's left? Civil defense? No need for a military for that: just form something like the TNHW national civil emergency service that Germany has, and you're set. Public order or internal security? Beef up the RCMP so it's really a "gendarmerie" in more than name only.

What you're left with, IMHO, is using military policy as a political tool to please various regions and voting constituencies, economic partners and allies. And how you actually go about doing that is case-by-case, Govt-by-Govt, which can lead to an apparently disjointed "flavour of the month"-driven defence policy.

In the end, there seems to be very little requirement to have any particular type or configuration of CAF: it's just about having "something in the window" to meet political needs. Cynical? Yes, probably, but I'm trying to think like a politician, which in the end are those who make these decisions.

While I generally agree with what you've said, I wouldn't discount the "political needs" you describe in the last paragraph.  As a trading nation we are very dependant on our involvement in international agreements, general peace among our major trading partners, and the free flow of goods across the globe. 

While it may not be necessary to do much military "heavy lifting" to directly enforce our national interests, it IS necessary to at the very least show we are pulling our weight with our allies in order to win a seat at the table when decisions are being made that WILL have significant impacts on our economy.

Many of our key partners in our own prosperity DO have real security concerns for their national interests both at home and overseas for which they will expect our support in order to "keep in their good books".  If those partners begin to see us as a nation that just reaps the benefits of their own efforts with no sacrifice of our own then we WILL pay a price for that.  The price may not be obvious, but don't doubt that there will be a price paid.

As far as "National Defence" goes, I agree that we don't have to fear enemy armoured divisions rolling across the prairies or paratroops floating in the skies over Ottawa, but there ARE threats to North America (and the US in particular).  911 showed how asymmetrical attacks can have huge economic impacts.  Missiles from rogue states in desperate situations can fly across our territory.  Disruption of our energy flows to the US can be a threat to the US, etc. 

If the US ever thinks that our own weakness and inability to protect their northern flank from these kinds of threats is putting them at significant risk then we will have big problems.  The US as a "partner" isn't always an easy thing to live with...but the US as a distrustful neighbour will put up the kinds of fences that will seriously hurt our national interests (i.e. our pocketbooks).  Our very sovereignty would also face pressures as the US takes matters into its own hands in order to secure its perimeter.  The US is the ONLY country we need to worry about having the capability to invade us.  Much better to make sure they have no national interest in doing so rather than having to try and defend against the possibility.

The CF may indeed be much more of a political tool than the militaries of most other countries throughout history and we may not really "need" much military strength in order to defend ourselves in the traditional sense, however it IS still an important tool.  The problem is that none of our political leaders are willing to explain that to the public so that we can have the military we need to fulfill those political needs.

Offline MCG

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #71 on: January 11, 2016, 18:31:28 »
Some thoughts on where defence policy needs to go.  I like the idea of something that won't flop around substantially with each government change, but that might be a lot to ask for in Canada.

Quote
Changing the politics around Canadian defence policy
There is a clear desire to step back from the hyper-partisanship of the recent past and find more collegial approaches.
Charles Davies
Embassy News
Published: Friday, 01/08/2016 12:00 am EST
Last Updated: Friday, 01/08/2016 9:44 am EST

And so it goes. Yet another election where half-considered political commitments to change course in Canada’s defence policy, made in the heat of battle, stare a new government in the face.

This time it is the Liberal promise to exit the F-35 program. In 2006, it was the Conservative plan to create new units all over the country, regardless of whether they were needed or could be afforded. In 1993, it was the disastrous cancellation of the New Shipborne Helicopter project. In 1984 it was the Mulroney Conservatives’ wildly ambitious and unaffordable defence expansion that included a nuclear submarine fleet.
 
Sometimes, as with the submarine idea, the government is eventually forced into an embarrassing about-face. In other cases, the more troublesome commitments are stalled and eventually quietly buried. Occasionally, however, the new government sticks to its guns and implements the promise, like the Chrétien Liberals in 1993. Which model the Trudeau Liberals will follow remains to be seen, but no matter what there will be a cost to the nation.
 
Defence policy is not about what missions a government assigns to its military—that is a matter of foreign or national security policy. Defence policy is about what defence capabilities Canada will acquire, maintain or divest, and how they will be resourced. Modern defence capabilities take years or even decades to build, so the military options available to the new Liberal government to respond to domestic and global events were decided by past governments, and future governments will have their options defined by this one.
 
Consequently, governments don’t own defence policy the way they do foreign policy. Rather, they are stewards of it, and Canadian governments of all stripes have not been very good at stewardship, to the nation’s cost.
 
Sometimes the costs are publicly acknowledged, such as the $500 million spent to cancel the New Shipborne Helicopter contract. Normally, however, they remain hidden. The enormous diversion of resources within the government, and even allied nations, to develop implementation plans for the Mulroney Conservatives’ defence ambitions was never catalogued or admitted.
 
Either way, these national flip-flops represented a real waste of resources that further eroded the level of military capabilities the country could afford, and the nation’s capacity to defend its interests and contribute substantively to international security challenges.
 
It doesn’t need to be this way. Other countries, including Australia, the United States and most of our European allies, do a much better job ensuring that a change in administration does not mean a costly redirection in defence policy. They do this by reducing political partisanship and recognizing that defence resources need to be efficiently applied, over the long term, to the task of turning bucks into bang.

Mechanisms such as legally-mandated cyclical policy reviews every four or five years, done within a non-partisan (or at least multi-partisan) political framework, establish a political dynamic that provides greater consistency than we see in Canada. This is not to say that politics is completely removed from the process, but they have found ways to do it smarter.
 
The new 42nd Parliament has an opportunity to begin changing the political dynamics around Canadian defence policy. There is a clear desire to step back from the hyper-partisanship of the recent past and find more collegial approaches to conducting the nation’s business. Defence would be a very fruitful place for Parliamentarians to start.
 
A more inclusive political approach would at least provide all parties with better insight into the operational, technical, financial, political and other aspects of defence capability investments being considered. This should help them more carefully think through their future election commitments, or even better, warn them away from the politically risky defence policy area completely. After all, elections in Canada are rarely won or lost on defence issues.
 
The best outcome for Canadians would be a stronger, more stable national political consensus around defence policy: the military capabilities the nation requires to defend its sovereignty and contribute to global peace and security, and the resources it needs to allocate to acquiring and sustaining them. This may be a bridge too far in the short term, but is something we need Parliament to reach for.
   
http://www.embassynews.ca/2016/01/13/changing-the-politics-around-canadian-defence-policy/48061

Online Remius

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Optio

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This looks promising if it follows through....

http://www.embassynews.ca/news/2016/01/13/defence-minister-military-review-to-be-completed-by-end-of-2016/48092
Quote
Defence minister: Military review to be completed by end of 2016

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says he plans to complete a thorough defence policy review by the end of 2016—and the public will be asked to participate.
Great, the informed wisdom of the CBC Comment section. :stars:
 

Quote
And as the economy improves, we can look at adjusting things as well,” he added.
I'm guessing he didn't read this post on investment banks' concerns that "the new, Liberal government will press ahead too many unnecessary, unproductive stimulus projects and too few of the kind that might, actually, help."  Oh well.
I even read works I disagree with;  life outside  an ideological echo chamber.

Offline Eye In The Sky

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I think I'd rather have input from Tickle Me Elmo than the average citizen on anything military related.   :2c:

I have never heard the term 'foreign allies' before.  Must be a new buzzterm in Upper Canada.

Pilot, RADAR...turn right, heading...3-6-5...