Author Topic: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)  (Read 97891 times)

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Offline PPCLI Guy

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Heretic time...

I think that this is actually exactly the right question to be asking - along with a host of other like-minded questions.  We need a Defence Policy that is based on a National Security Policy and a Foreign Affairs policy, precisely so that we can ask and answer those kinds of questions.  Right now, we as an instituion are dysfunctionally inarticulate when it comes to defending our requirements - and mostly because we haven't put the necessary thought into the problem - in essence our arguments lack any kind of  intellectual rigour.  More importantly, whenever an "outsider" questions us, we turtle up right away, or mutter things like "you wouldn't understand you liberal pinko", and blame it all on Trudeau and the CBC etc etc etc.

I read a great opinion piece this morning (note that the Gazette piece was also an opinion piece - the journalistic standards are slightly different than for "straight" reporting) by Rick Anderson, a former Reform strategist:

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1097878210906&call_pageid=968256290204&col=968350116795

Some highlights...

Quote
Canadians need a more frank discussion on the topic of military spending. Put the rhetoric aside â ” people's lives are involved. So is a great deal of money, and our bona fides with other nations.

The tragedy of HMCS Chicoutimi highlights the need to knock off the lip service and align our military expectations with our military commitments. We acknowledge Canada's need to support its own defence and that of others to support international stability and peacekeeping, the rule of international law, the fight against those who violate it through terror or other means. But we leave most of this to others.

We are past due for a serious debate about this. And to start funding properly that which we deem a priority and stop pretending otherwise about the rest. We advertise ourselves as a "middle power," ready to accept important roles within NATO, NORAD and the United Nations, on peacekeeping missions and elsewhere. But our record suggests otherwise:

I think that we all agree that we need a review of our policy.  The key point here is that we need to pick the priorities, fund those appropriately, and discard the rest.

Quote
The idea is to define our expectations, and bring those expectations and resources into sync, to match military expenditures with military commitments.

Doing this must be anchored in practical assessments of our foreign policy and defence interests, essential precursors to defining the missions and resources assigned to our military.

With luck, the reviews of foreign and defence policy underway within the Liberal government will avoid all-things-to-everyone platitudes and get down to specifics, informing an honest discussion that culminates in concrete decisions.

Although I have high hopes fr the policy review, I fear that we will get exactly that - a something-for-everyone approach, that threatens no rice bowls.

Quote
The defence debate is more than just about money. Earlier this year, NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer challenged nations to "confront some rather traditional mindsets in their military establishments. There are still too many out there who are comfortable with old ways of doing business, and who prefer to run on the structures of the past rather than making the radical changes that real transformation means. The time has clearly come for us to challenge these traditionalist views."

For instance, offers Scheffer, let's "examine alternative options like, for example, common funding of essential capabilities, such as airlift or medical facilities ... is it outrageous to suggest that a group of nations come together to provide a NATO transport fleet of helicopters and aircraft ... could the same not be done for medical facilities as well? Or, could nations outsource to provide these specialized capabilities?"

Two key nuggets here - one is the "old think" that runs rampant in the military- a knee-jerk response to protect what we have, and always try to get newer and shinier versions of what we already have - all without putting much effort into re-thinking why we need those capabilities.  A first principles review sure would be nice...

The second point refers to alternative vcollective security arrangements.  Very intersting.

Quote
Updating thinking about Canada's modern military requirements and priorities involves forcing ourselves to confront two broad choices.

We can re-equip our military for an updated set of missions encompassing continental defence, search and rescue, peacekeeping, and other multilateral commitments. This means ramping up military spending pretty substantially â ” just reaching NATO's average involves an extra $13 billion a year.

Or, we can choose the alternate path, continuing to withdraw from military commitments.

But we cannot do both

Yep.  You can't have your cake and eat it too.

So I say "bring on the hard questions" - and lets to some hard thinking to come up with truly defensible answers.

Dave
The Heretic
"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

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Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2004, 12:36:34 »
Hey Heretic ;)

Just for my own clarification you are not an advocate for niche roles for the CF are you?
I will leave your flesh on the mountains and fill the valleys with your carcasses. I will water the land with what flows from you, and the river beds shall be filled with your blood. When I snuff you out I will cover the heavens and all the stars will darken. Ezekiel 32:5-7
Tradition- Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid
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Offline PPCLI Guy

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Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2004, 12:41:04 »
Hey Heretic ;)
Just for my own clarification you are not an advocate for niche roles for the CF are you?

Niche if necessary, not necessarily niche...

I am an advocate of defensible, logical, effective and efficient Roles, Missions and Tasks for the CF.
"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

Karl von Clausewitz

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Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2004, 12:53:05 »
Quote
Niche if necessary, not necessarily niche...

Can you clarify that please?
I will leave your flesh on the mountains and fill the valleys with your carcasses. I will water the land with what flows from you, and the river beds shall be filled with your blood. When I snuff you out I will cover the heavens and all the stars will darken. Ezekiel 32:5-7
Tradition- Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid
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Offline PPCLI Guy

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Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2004, 13:06:12 »
Can you clarify that please?

Sorry about that - sometimes I can be a little obtuse. ::)

What I mean is that I am not for or against any specific solution - I am against the problem, which is that we do not have a defensible Defence Policy.  I refuse to situate the estimate.  We need to do a First Priciples review that recognises no shibboleths, no rice bowls, no political considerations, no Granatsteins or Bercussons.  Do an estimate, select a course of action, develop a plan, and execute it.
"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

Karl von Clausewitz

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Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2004, 13:08:24 »
Gotcha...Thanks :)
I will leave your flesh on the mountains and fill the valleys with your carcasses. I will water the land with what flows from you, and the river beds shall be filled with your blood. When I snuff you out I will cover the heavens and all the stars will darken. Ezekiel 32:5-7
Tradition- Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid
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Offline CheersShag

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Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2004, 13:16:02 »
Quote
Do an estimate, select a course of action, develop a plan, and execute it.

You're coming dangerously close to being logical...now you know logic has no place in the modern military.

Offline PPCLI Guy

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Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2004, 13:20:12 »
You're coming dangerously close to being logical...now you know logic has no place in the modern military.

<shakes head> I don't know what I was thinking.  Sorry about that.
"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

Karl von Clausewitz

Offline Cdn Blackshirt

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Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2004, 17:15:17 »
Kudos to the Heretic.   I completely concur....



Matthew.
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Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2004, 21:40:37 »
Since we are on the subject of a higher National Foreign/Defence Policy, I'll split it off to give it its own thread, separate from the Submarines.

What should define our Foreign Policy?

I liked a basic framework proposed by Joseph S Nye.  Although he has geared it towards America, I think we are faced with many of the same geopolitical realities as they are and thus the basic framework can be tailored to a Canadian perspective.  Nye has gotten a bad wrap for his idea of "Soft Power" - this is due to the fact that starry-eyed idealists like Lloyd Axworthy have taken it and mangled it (much to our dismay).  "Soft Power" is really summed up by Theodore Roosevelt's oft quoted dictum "Walk Softly but Carry a Big Stick".  In essence, coercive Hard Power, although the most decisive and definitive form of power, should be used sparingly as Soft Power carries much more "bang for the buck".  It's cooperative nature allows for efforts to be amplified through acceptance within the International Community.

Anyways, our Defence Policy, as a subset of our Foreign Policy, should be geared to come into play when Soft-Power fails (something Axworthy deemed unlikely, much to his dismay in Kosovo).  History has shown that humans and societies are often not rational, pursuing their own goals for a variety of reasons.  As such, any Policy formulation should recognize that the ability to shift rapidly from a cooperative Soft Power stance to a coercive Hard Power one is essential.  As such, whatever our Policy decides we must have should get full attention from Ottawa; their is simply no excuse for half measures when the military is seen as one half of the essential Soft Power/Hard Power principle of Foreign Policy.

What should define our Foreign Policy?  There can be only one thing, the National Interest.  Defining Foreign Policy on ideological or idealistic grounds represents a discord with reality and can prove dangerous.  I firmly believe that a realistic outlook on our National Interest, which should constantly be re-evaluated against the back drop of the international arena, is the best way to go about things.  Ideologues can argue counterpoints, but our National Security demands that we leave that to the Political Science lecture hall.

Nye presents a good framework for the defining features of a framework for our National Interest.  These are the six principles that Canada must mold its Foreign Policy (and as an extention, its Defence Policy) around; the first three are pretty consistent to a liberal democracy (Britain formed policies around the same ideas in the 19th century), while the latter three are more relevent to the modern, Information Age democracy living in an increasingly globalized world (it's always been globalizing, the pace now is much faster though). As with any venture, the formulation of the National Interest utilizing these principles must define what is important and what is not.  We cannot afford to implement policies willy-nilly, as this will only exhaust our resources rapidly.  :

1. Maintain the Balance of Power in Important Regions:  Generally, War is accepted as a bad thing for a trading nation like Canada.  Wars mean that our military, which is expeditionary by nature, has to be sent (at no cheap cost) around the world to protect our national interest.  As such, Canada must remain dedicated to maintaining the Balance of Power in regions important to our National Interest.  By promoting a stable balance of power in our Foreign and Defence policies, we seek to maintain the local geopolitical equilibrium and to dampen the incentive by local societies to use force to change boundaries and relative power levels.

Example:  Preserving the liberal democratic regimes of South Korea and Japan is essential to Canada's vitality as a Pacific Rim country.  Things in Asia which may throw this balance wildly askew (Chinese aggression, North Korean nuclear missiles, a resurgence of Japanese nationalism) are counterproductive to our National Interest.

2.  Promote an Open International Economy:  Canada is a trading nation.  According to the DFAIT, more then 40% of our Gross Domestic Product is stems from this fact.  Therefore, a threat to our economic lifeline of trade is a threat to our National Interest.  As well, an open, international economy can help to mitigate physical threats to us and can help to develop downtrodden areas around the globe, reducing other forms of threats to our National Interest (rampant refugee populations).  As such, our Soft and Hard Power should be directed towards maintain the current world Economic Order that has allowed us as Canadians to prosper from an unprecedented standard of living.

Example: Soft Power-wise, we must promote institutions that breakdown trade barriers and thus reduce economic activity for Canadians.  Hard Power-wise, we must defend the internation economic order.  If a despot attempts to usurp the Middle East in order to gain control of OPEC and hold the West for ransom, then this represents a clear threat to our National Interest and demands that we take action (as such, our failure to do so in GWI is a sign of failure of the government to execute policy to support this principle).

3.  Preserve the International Commons:  International commons must be preserved for the use of humanity at large.  The easiest example is freedom to use the seas.  Nations or groups (Pirates) that inhibit access to the international commons must be dealt with through the application of Hard Power/Soft Power.  Other forms of international commons include the global climate, endangered ecosystems, outer space, and the Internet.

4.  Maintain International Rules and Institutions:   International cooperation remains the best way to protect the liberal democratic order that sustains us.  As such, our Soft Power/Hard Power needs to be put to use to promote the institutions to which we belong; allowing us to amplify our National Interests with regards to trade, the environment, weapons proliferation, human rights, terrorism, etc, etc.

5.  Assist Economic Development:  Much of the world lives in squalor and destitution.  These conditions are the breeding ground for hate, radicalism, and desperation - all factors that lead to conflict.  Although we can never rid ourselves of the specter of war, helping others to stand on our feet serves a variety of our national interests; it improves relations, it opens new economic opportunities, it reduces suspicion, and it appeals to the moral sense the Canadian public feels in that it must better the lot of mankind.

6.  Act as a Convener of Coalitions and Mediator of Disputes: Canada has built a reputation for being a successful actor on the world stage (most of the times).  Sometimes, our intervention into the affairs of others may help to resolve the situation, reducing threats to our National Interest.  As well, taking an international approach as opposed to an isolationist stance helps to build an international standing among the community of nations.

This is what Nye presents and I find as a well-rounded approach to forming our Foreign and Defence policies.  With the principles in place we must now look to prioritizing.  We can formulate the desired ends from this; the next step is to look at our resources to develop the appropriate ways and means to support the above framework.  In developing ways (policies and strategy) and means (executors of policy - like the Military), we build our inventory of Soft Power/Hard Power "tools" around our ends (as defined by the National Interest).

Hopefully, my idea has some merit.  Feel free to pick apart the ideas and contribute.  If we are largely satisfied, the next step is to prioritize ends and build our ways and means to reach these goals.

Cheers,
Infanteer.
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Offline PPCLI Guy

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2004, 22:58:16 »
As you probably know, we have a "new" National Security Policy, here:

http://www.pco-bcp.gc.ca/docs/Publications/NatSecurnat/natsecurnat_e.pdf

Quote
Securing An Open Society: Canada's National Security Policy is a strategic framework and action plan designed to ensure the Government of Canada can prepare for and respond to current and future threats. The policy adopts an integrated approach to security issues across Government, employs a model that can adapt to changing circumstances, and reflects Canadian values of openness, diversity and respect for fundamental rights and freedoms.

The National Security Policy focusses on addressing three core national security interests:
Protecting Canada and Canadians at home and abroad;
Ensuring Canada is not a base for threats to our allies
Contributing to international security. ;

It has eight sections, the last of which is International Security, highlights of which are:

Quote
International Security
"¢ The Government will make Canada's national security one of the top priorities in its International Policy Review.
"¢ The Government is committed to ensuring that the Canadian
Forces are flexible, responsive and combat-capable for a wide
range of operations, and are able to work with our allies.
"¢ Beginning with the establishment of a dedicated capacity-building
fund, Canada will leverage its experience in building peace, order
and good government to help developing, failed and failing states.
"¢ Canada will continue to play an important role in countering
international terrorism, preventing the proliferation of weapons of
mass destruction, and defusing key intra- and interstate conflicts.

The Defnce Policy is subordinate to the International Poicy, which is subordinate to the National Security Policy, so we are half way there...

OK - enough library services - now I will re-read your post and ruminate....

« Last Edit: October 18, 2004, 23:06:45 by PPCLI Guy »
"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

Karl von Clausewitz

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2004, 23:10:24 »
Infanteer: I think these provide a good set of basic premises. A few guiding principles should be:

-recognizing the vital importance of our multi-faceted relationship with the US, we will never willingly pose a threat to the security of our neighbour, whether by act or by neglect. We will ensure that our Canadian coastline, airspace and landmass will never become conduits for threats to the security of North America in general and the US in particular. This implies that we will dedicate resources to controlling access, not merely monitoring and reporting;

-we will be first or among the first to act to stop gross violations of human security wherever they may occur, following an assessment of risk and of the need for a coalition. We will seek to be first responders to such incidents, rather than remaining in a location for decades and thus tying down our always-limited capabilities.This implies that we will maintain a joint expeditionary force with a rapid reaction capability; and

-we will remain ready to assist with disaster response in our own country, but clearly as a force of last resort. We will encourage local and provincial authorities to continue to develop aequate plans and response capabilities such that automatic default to the military in an emergency is avoided. This implies that we will retain the C2 (plans, liaisons, etc) necessary to provide such response, but will not make it a focus of our existence.

Just some thoughts. Cheers.
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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2004, 01:36:04 »
Regarding Infanteer's comments, I think that taking cues from Nye and other hardcore IR realists poses quite a risk, not only to Canada but to the world at large. Of course, there's a reason why international realism, as a shool of thought, carries the substantial weight that it does in political science (incidentally, the frameworks and paradigm that Nye subscribes to were all developed in the "political science lecture hall" that's dismissed so lightly in the post.. tsk tsk) and that reason is that it does have excellent explanatory value. As for societies not being rational - it's quite the opposite. The overwhelming tendency for societies to act in the own interests is, as rational choice scholars and realists would both agree, the very epitome of rational human behaviour. 

Using international realism as a way of identifying what's wrong with the international system and what the risks are is one thing, using their mantra of national interest and the resulting ends-justify-means thinking that it breeds is what has limited international development thus far - one only has to look at the US' attitudes and behaviour towards international institutions such as the UN and ICC to see this manifested. The Kissinger-esque attitude of national interest justifying the most far-flung interventionist policies is what has put the world in the state it's in. Interventionism has its place - namely the counteraction of aggressive war and genocide. I think it would be a serious mistake to base a national defence policy on intervention-heavy national interest thinking when the illegitimate interventions it inevitably produces only exacerbate threats to national security. The employment of force for economic security has already been established as self-defeating since the mobilization and employment of the tools it requires inevitably leads to more expenditure than gain, most especially in the long term.

I agree, though, with the suggestion of support for international institutions as a means of ensuring security and stability. Multilateral international institutions breed legitimacy of action and thus reduce the costs of intervention by allowing a far greater number of states to take part (most especially democratic states wherein legitimacy of cause often dictates "actionability"). As for an "open" economy being in Canada's interests, the tendency of unhindered competition from developing countries to increase social welfare costs in Canada would suggest that there are serious flaws with a fully laissez-faire approach to our economic security. Unless one subscribes to a society absent of social welfare programs in which case such a threat is irrelevant.

My main concern is that Canada's policies reflect the reality that what may appear to be advantageous to national interests may very well be detrimental to national security. For example, securing access to Middle Eastern markets and resources through intervention may sound like a good idea but the damage it does to national security by increasing terrorism likely isn't worth it, especially when you factor in the damage it does to market stability and foreign investment.

That was a bit long winded.. sorry. :D I guess the real question is how different policy options will affect the composition of our forces. What are your thoughts specifically on composition, assuming a policy similar to Nye's?
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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2004, 04:40:07 »
Quote
As for societies not being rational - it's quite the opposite. The overwhelming tendency for societies to act in the own interests is, as rational choice scholars and realists would both agree, the very epitome of rational human behaviour.

The divide between "interests" and "reality" is often wide; hence irrational decisions stem from seemingly rational actors.   As well, interests are often affected by notions of ideology, religion, greed, prejudice, etc -  infact, I'd argue that diversity of human societies makes "rationality" a rather relative concept (eg: Sept. 11).

Quote
Using international realism as a way of identifying what's wrong with the international system and what the risks are is one thing, using their mantra of national interest and the resulting ends-justify-means thinking that it breeds is what has limited international development thus far - one only has to look at the US' attitudes and behaviour towards international institutions such as the UN and ICC to see this manifested. The Kissinger-esque attitude of national interest justifying the most far-flung interventionist policies is what has put the world in the state it's in. Interventionism has its place - namely the counteraction of aggressive war and genocide. I think it would be a serious mistake to base a national defence policy on intervention-heavy national interest thinking when the illegitimate interventions it inevitably produces only exacerbate threats to national security. The employment of force for economic security has already been established as self-defeating since the mobilization and employment of the tools it requires inevitably leads to more expenditure than gain, most especially in the long term.

Did you just copy that from your textbook?

Please, if you are going to criticize my proposals, address them directly instead of trying to outwit us with big words and fancy concepts.

Quote
My main concern is that Canada's policies reflect the reality that what may appear to be advantageous to national interests may very well be detrimental to national security. For example, securing access to Middle Eastern markets and resources through intervention may sound like a good idea but the damage it does to national security by increasing terrorism likely isn't worth it, especially when you factor in the damage it does to market stability and foreign investment.

Dealing with terrorism is better then having a petroleum-based economy (and thus our standard of living) grind to a halt.

Quote
That was a bit long winded.. sorry.   I guess the real question is how different policy options will affect the composition of our forces.

I presented the above as a framework to approach defining our Defence Policy, one that is based upon the National interest.   You are right to criticize specific aspects (or the whole thing) if you feel they are not good concepts for defining a foreign policy; just focus in on what I've proposed with specific counter proposals of your own so we can make some progress rather then showing us that you've taken some introductory IR courses.

Quote
What are your thoughts specifically on composition, assuming a policy similar to Nye's?

A basic conception coming from the framework I outlined above is best described by PBI:

-recognizing the vital importance of our multi-faceted relationship with the US, we will never willingly pose a threat to the security of our neighbour, whether by act or by neglect. We will ensure that our Canadian coastline, airspace and landmass will never become conduits for threats to the security of North America in general and the US in particular. This implies that we will dedicate resources to controlling access, not merely monitoring and reporting;

-we will be first or among the first to act to stop gross violations of human security wherever they may occur, following an assessment of risk and of the need for a coalition. We will seek to be first responders to such incidents, rather than remaining in a location for decades and thus tying down our always-limited capabilities.This implies that we will maintain a joint expeditionary force with a rapid reaction capability; and

-we will remain ready to assist with disaster response in our own country, but clearly as a force of last resort. We will encourage local and provincial authorities to continue to develop adequate plans and response capabilities such that automatic default to the military in an emergency is avoided. This implies that we will retain the C2 (plans, liaisons, etc) necessary to provide such response, but will not make it a focus of our existence.


Three pretty solid concepts, here are my corresponding ideas on them:

1)   In assuming our fair burden of the continental responsibility, we will ensure that threats to our National Interests will be dealt with away from our shores.   The security and stability of the North American continent is best secured through projecting this security and stability to other areas.   Isolationism and half-measures are not an option.

2)   Going on #1, by nature our military must be an expeditionary force composed of ground, naval, and air assets.   The notion of an expeditionary force must permeate our thinking - from doctrine to equipment rationalization to readiness and deployment.   As well,   aspects of an expeditionary force will force us to "move" to a certain direction, namely light, rapidly deployable, and flexible while at the same time maintaining the traditional aspects of firepower and survivability.   I believe that the USMC offers us many excellent ideas on how to do this.

3)   The prime function of this expeditionary military shall be to project combat power around the world in support of our National Interests.   Although capable of operating across the spectrum of conflict, this demand shall maintain that the ability to fight and win wars in the prime focus of projecting combat power.   As such, other roles should be considered ancillary and place minimal burdens upon the Military as it prepares for and executes the prime function - these ancillary responsibilities can be given to domestic organizations (Coast Guard, RCMP, etc) and to a certain extent, the Reserves, which will have Homeland Defence as one of its missions.

Anyways, to make a more serious attempt at deriving Defence Policy we must hammer out the details of a proper Foreign Policy (I've advocated one based upon furthering National Interest through Soft Power/Hard Power) or else we are putting the cart before the horse.   That is why I created this thread.

Cheers,
Infanteer
« Last Edit: October 19, 2004, 04:43:59 by Infanteer »
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Offline Lance Wiebe

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2004, 05:45:07 »
You have a supporter, Infanteer!

Quote
By CONSERVATIVE MP
GORDON O'CONNOR
In 1994, the last time our government took a serious look at defence policy, they did not anticipate the threat focus shifting so much so rapidly. Neglect of this reality led to an improperly structured and inadequately funded Canadian military to meet the evolving challenges.

The end of the Cold War ushered in a new and more volatile security environment. Today failed states, ethnic cleansing and terrorism present enormous challenges to international stability and human security.

If Canada's broad policy requirements to protect our national sovereignty, support allied common security, and contribute to global peace are to be credibly fulfilled, significant political will for new prioritization and funding must be found.

The government has knowingly underfunded the military for over a decade. The Canadian Forces currently need a multibillion dollar defence budget base increase just to do what they are being asked to do under the current defence policy.

The first priority of defence policy should be the protection of our territory, yet the Canadian Forces cannot adequately protect our sovereignty in the North and they are ill-prepared to respond to terrorist attacks and large-scale natural disasters.They also lack the capabilities to adequately contribute to shared continental security or independent Canadian leadership on the world stage.

The Canadian military simply does not have adequate equipment, regular and reserve troop strength, or the ability to transport them quickly within Canada or abroad. In some cases, they do not have the appropriate training.

The Canadian Forces have an authorized strength of 60,000 but because of difficulties in recruiting and training they have an effective strength of about 52,000. The reserves are about 20,000.

This is far too small a force to meet current defence policy let alone today's challenges. Regular force strength needs to be in the 75,000 to 80,000 range while the reserves over time have to be significantly increased.

Incredibly, the Canadian military does have the organization and infrastructure spread across the country to support a force two or three times its size. For example, National Defence Headquarters employs between 11,000 and 12,000 military and civilian personnel, which is equivalent in size to 14 infantry battalions in a military that cannot afford the personnel to have 14
infantry battalions.

National Defence Headquarters is a dual amalgam of civilian departmental administration and military command and control. This has caused many military officers to act and think like public servants. One of the consequences is
that the government rarely gets unblended military advice.

There are far too many generals and senior public servants for our current size military. Beyond the operational units, jobs tend to be getting smaller in scope yet rank is rising. It has become a means of pay compensation rather than a reflection of responsibility. Serious rank creep is now running counter to the priority for military efficiency.

The increased tempo of operations in the new security environment and lack of funding has resulted in a significant decrease in collective training. While individual training requirements, in the main, are being met, group or collective training has suffered. The ability to act as a collective in organizations like naval task groups, air squadrons and army battalions/brigades is essential to conduct meaningful military operations.

Equipment needs are not being met. With roughly 12 per cent of departmental funding committed to equipment upgrading and replacement, the long-term needs of the department cannot be fulfilled. Over time, more and more equipment will have to be abandoned resulting in a â Å“dumbed downâ ?military.

Much of the equipment in service is nearing the end of its useful life or beyond. This means that extraordinary maintenance and servicing has to be carried out to keep it operating. This everincreasing diversion of funds, contributes to a downward spiral of capability.

As with equipment, military infrastructure is in a serious deteriorating state. To keep infrastructure in overall serviceable condition, it needs to be funded at two per cent replacement value per year. This standard has not been met for a very long time and as a result the Department is facing a bow wave of infrastructure replacement and servicing demands.

The recruiting and training system is not operating effectively. Recruits are desperately
needed, yet the system is having great difficulty getting them from the street to units. This problem coupled with the effects of a decade of downsizing has created a rank imbalance. The skill levels and numbers of senior officers and noncommissioned
officers soon to be retiring cannot be addressed in time. An overall loss of talent is imminent.

Improving the state of Canada's
national defence is not insurmountable. The problems faced by the Forces with outdated policy, under funding, structural
imbalance and excessive bureaucracy can be solved. However, as time goes on the situation will become more difficult
to reverse. The dithering of the government must end. New political will must be found to stop the decay of the Canadian
Forces so that they can contribute effectively to the security of Canadians and stability in the world.

Conservative MP Gordon O'Connor Is his party's national defence critic and represents the riding of Carleton-Mississippi Mills, Ont. The Hill Times
"It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who served beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protestor to burn the flag." - Charles M. Province

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2004, 06:16:46 »
...   our Defence Policy, as a subset of our Foreign Policy,

I want to take issue with this; it is a common misperception â “ even taught in our staff colleges.   Parts of our defence policy are, indeed, dependent upon foreign policy objectives but others are independent.

The most common defence policy issue which is separate and distinct from foreign policy is: internal security by which I mean the most fundamental defence of our sovereignty against insurrections.   At root Canada is all about free people who have chosen to be here and to be part of a democracy within which government is allowed through the active consent of the governed.   Our government is, by our choice: civil and it secured day-by-day by laws which are enforced by civil police and courts; that is the country we want.   A civil government is, by design â “ by the people's design, 'weak' because we depend upon 99.9% of our fellow citizens to obey the laws we have, collectively, allowed to be made; the government does not need to be 'powerful' to deal with the 0.01% ... not normally.

Now and again disaffected groups may decide that our laws and our political processes are denying them fundamental rights; they might take up arms to protect their rights.   When they do so they threaten the very core of the sovereignty of the nation â “ our right to govern ourselves.   What good is Canada if it is not a democracy of free men and women, governed, by their own consent, through the rule of law?   What good is Canada if any armed band can overthrow the elected government?   The modern liberal-democratic nation-state has one overarching responsibility: to secure its own political sovereignty â “ the freedom for its people to choose their own government.

When that political sovereignty is threatened the nation-state must have adequate 'force' â “ almost certainly armed forces â “ to overcome that threat.   This is the first and primary responsibility of the armed forces in the modern nation-state â “ as it was in ancient nation-state, too.

The first element of our defence policy must be to provide for our own domestic security.


What should define our Foreign Policy?   There can be only one thing, the National Interest.   Defining Foreign Policy on ideological or idealistic grounds represents a discord with reality and can prove dangerous.   I firmly believe that a realistic outlook on our National Interest, which should constantly be re-evaluated against the back drop of the international arena, is the best way to go about things.   Ideologues can argue counterpoints, but our National Security demands that we leave that to the Political Science lecture hall.

No major argument but you might wish to consider that our interest might be best served, perhaps can only be served when some of our ideological values are satisfied.   Are our interests 'served' if we, and perhaps a very few others, are the only liberal-democracies in the world?   My own observations would suggest that peace and prosperity (a pretty fair, albeit grossly oversimplified, abbreviated version of our national interest) is enhanced when more and more nations are also liberal democracies, more interested in commercial competition than in militaristic expansion.

I will join you in discussing your points when time is more readily available.

Three cheers for Lord Palmerston ...
 
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 Glorified Ape

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2004, 09:48:15 »


The divide between "interests" and "reality" is often wide; hence irrational decisions stem from seemingly rational actors.   As well, interests are often affected by notions of ideology, religion, greed, prejudice, etc -  infact, I'd argue that diversity of human societies makes "rationality" a rather relative concept (eg: Sept. 11).

I think the relativity problem more pertains to the issue of how one goes about realising one's interests. We may think it irrational for Al Qaeda to do something like 9/11 and provoke a major attack on their very existence but one could also argue that such a counter-attack only contributed to their interests further by creating further opposition to the West in the Muslim world.

Quote
Did you just copy that from your textbook?

Please, if you are going to criticize my proposals, address them directly instead of trying to outwit us with big words and fancy concepts.

Er... I criticized the very foundation that your proposal was based on and made reference to the points therein. I would assume that qualifies as a direct addressal of the proposal but maybe I'm crazy. As for the textbook, no - I'm mercifully beyond the point where I need to plagiarize textbooks to state the obvious. If you find my words too big or my concepts too fancy (I used pretty much the same concepts you did, as per addressing your post), my apologies.

Quote
Dealing with terrorism is better then having a petroleum-based economy (and thus our standard of living) grind to a halt.

I'm not sure it's really that much of an "either/or" scenario. I don't think terrorism has really threatened our oil supply and my point was that the current method of dealing with terrorism stands a greater likelihood of endangering our economic security than the terrorism itself.

Quote
I presented the above as a framework to approach defining our Defence Policy, one that is based upon the National interest.   You are right to criticize specific aspects (or the whole thing) if you feel they are not good concepts for defining a foreign policy; just focus in on what I've proposed with specific counter proposals of your own so we can make some progress rather then showing us that you've taken some introductory IR courses.

Here you say I'm right to address the proposal that, before, you claimed I hadn't addressed. Regardless, I believe I addressed specific aspects insofar as I criticized the approach's emphasis on interventionism as a means of interest realization. Our defence policies, in relation to non-domestic issues, should be guided by the demands of the institutions of which we are members. In this aspect I'm in some agreement with point #4, as I'd stated. The problem is whether our NATO commitments should override our UN commitments when the two conflict - as they did in Kosovo. The proposal you outlined seems to demand a far more ambitious approach to defence policy than may be inferred from a purely institutional focus. Maybe Martin had something similar to your proposal in mind when he asserted that Canada must be more involved in international affairs.


Quote
Three pretty solid concepts, here are my corresponding ideas on them:

1)   In assuming our fair burden of the continental responsibility, we will ensure that threats to our National Interests will be dealt with away from our shores.   The security and stability of the North American continent is best secured through projecting this security and stability to other areas.   Isolationism and half-measures are not an option.

How far should we be willing to go with the projection of security and stability elsewhere? If popular revolt in Saudi Arabia threatens North American economic security through the instability it creates, should we intervene in a purely domestic issue?

Quote
2)   Going on #1, by nature our military must be an expeditionary force composed of ground, naval, and air assets.   The notion of an expeditionary force must permeate our thinking - from doctrine to equipment rationalization to readiness and deployment.   As well,   aspects of an expeditionary force will force us to "move" to a certain direction, namely light, rapidly deployable, and flexible while at the same time maintaining the traditional aspects of firepower and survivability.   I believe that the USMC offers us many excellent ideas on how to do this.

Would this require substantial expansion of the forces or more a restructuring of them, or both? I realise our forces aren't exactly "rapidly deployable", but how do they measure up insofar as flexibility and being light are concerned?

Quote
3)   The prime function of this expeditionary military shall be to project combat power around the world in support of our National Interests.   Although capable of operating across the spectrum of conflict, this demand shall maintain that the ability to fight and win wars in the prime focus of projecting combat power.   As such, other roles should be considered ancillary and place minimal burdens upon the Military as it prepares for and executes the prime function - these ancillary responsibilities can be given to domestic organizations (Coast Guard, RCMP, etc) and to a certain extent, the Reserves, which will have Homeland Defence as one of its missions.

By ancillary roles, do you mean crowd control, disaster relief, etc.? If so, have demands on the forces in these areas really been that extensive? (I'm asking because I don't know, not as a rhetorical device)
Bureaucracy is hell.

Offline pbi

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2004, 12:23:46 »


How far should we be willing to go with the projection of security and stability elsewhere? If popular revolt in Saudi Arabia threatens North American economic security through the instability it creates, should we intervene in a purely domestic issue?

Would this require substantial expansion of the forces or more a restructuring of them, or both? I realise our forces aren't exactly "rapidly deployable", but how do they measure up insofar as flexibility and being light are concerned?

By ancillary roles, do you mean crowd control, disaster relief, etc.? If so, have demands on the forces in these areas really been that extensive? (I'm asking because I don't know, not as a rhetorical device)

1) When I stated my original "principle", I had in mind no specific limit. Rather, I believe each case must be judged on its merits, but with an eye to pre-emption rather than dealing with terrorism on our own streets or uncovering mass graves after the fact. The issue of what is or is not any loner considered to be a "domestic" issue is, IMHO, no longer clear. I think that the UN has taken a position (IIRC) that it is conceivable that the sovereignty of a nation might be violated to, say, stop genocide. The decisive factor would probably be the consequences: invading China being somewhat riskier than, say Yemen or Iraq.

2) The forces we have today are neither fish nor fowl, being at the beginning of a period of transformation but with a large amount of legacy structure and equipment. We are, IMHO, not very "joint": I do not believe that we are capable of projecting/sustain/protecting/recovering a joint force of any size without extensive lash-ups and foreign help. We have systems (MBT, SPG, AVLB, etc) that we cannot rapidly deploy, and naval and air forces that are only marginally or not at all capable of joint force projection/sustainment. We need to work more in these fields. Expansion may not be strictly necessary, but some form of restructure and refocus almost certainly is.

3) While there have been only two major assistance to law enforcement agency operations in the last decade   or so (Oka and Gustafson Lake), there has been considerable burden placed on the Army (and to a lesser extent the Air Force, and lesser still the Navy) to respond to major humanitarian emergencies. I have participated in several of these operations since 1997, and I can state unequivocally that one of the major reasons we are required to get involved is due to the inadequacy of civil preparedness and resources. While this has steadily improved over the last decade, the BC Fire Emergency proved that further work is required. These operations are hugely burdensome on the military, altough we accept the need to help fellow citizens in time of disaster, but more must be done to keep response and mitigation where it belongs: in the hands of municipal and provincial authorities, assisted by Federal funds and coordination.

Cheers.
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The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline Spartan

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2004, 16:40:14 »
Excuse my ignorance but, how can the Forces be evolving into something when it doesn't have clearly defined policies to follow, more seems like the whipping boy of the government in power? Don't we need a clear policy(es) to define the military and then work towards those capabilities and training? Or is it a chicken/egg arguement that we can't define our policies until we know what our capabilities are?
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Offline pbi

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2004, 00:14:28 »
The Army, under the guidance of the last CLS and through its Directorate of Land Strategic Concepts (Future Army) shop in Kingston (have I got that right??), some time ago decided (rightly or wrongly) that it could not wait for a Def/ForPol review before coming to grips with the changing nature of modern conflict (I do not say "war" because you can get into combat under a lot of names other than "war"). The Army has tried to assess the way the world and our strategic partners are going, and what changes we need to make to stay relevant within the resources we are likely to receive-a challenging task. IMHO this is vital because we cannot remain static: we must stay current with what is going on in the world, since we are so often called upon to be a part of it. So, IMHO, when the Def/ForPol review is finally finished, it may find itself confronted with an Army already well down the transformation road because, money or not, we could not wait. Cheers.
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline PPCLI Guy

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2004, 09:05:34 »
Quote
So, IMHO, when the Def/ForPol review is finally finished, it may find itself confronted with an Army already well down the transformation road because, money or not, we could not wait.


Very true.  Whne Mr MacCallum was MND, he was very taken with the work that the Army had done on Transformation, and had asked the other services whren they were going to get on with their plans.  This lead to the unbalanced distribution of the extra cash that came in 2 years ago - to the chagrin of many (remeber that conversation in the smoking area that I alluded to?).

Having said that, DGSP (Dir Gen Strat Planning - no accident that it is MGen Dempster, former ACLS) has done some work on Force Planning Scenarios (that was then further developed by DGLCD (Dir Gen Land Cbt Development)).  Can't find the whole text, but here is a summary:

http://www.vcds.forces.gc.ca/dgsp/pubs/rep-pub/dda/scen_e.asp

More background coming...

Dave
"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

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Offline NMPeters

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2004, 09:51:29 »
This link might help to show where the Army plans to be for Tomorrow and the Future:

http://armyapp.dnd.ca/dlsc-dcsot/doc.asp

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2004, 23:03:57 »
One thing which has not been touched upon is the need to "go it alone". There will be times when our national interest is not in accordance with our allies or potential allies. Under the current state of affairs, we would simply have to stay home.

This is not an idle threat, we have "stayed home" when it became clear the proposed intervention in Zaire would not be supported by any allies and would be actively opposed by Hutu militias (among others, many of the things I have read are contradictory), and despite the Prime Minister's brave words at the UN about the ongoing genocide in the Sudan, we have no ability to get there either. I can only say "thank God" it wasn't a major or direct threat to our national interest.

Alliances and multinational coalitions should also be treated with caution; what are their national interests? It is interesting that the investigation of the Oil for Food program is turning up evidence of massive corruption in the UN, the body that was supposed to provide "legitimacy" to any actions against Iraq. France and Russia were totally opposed to any actions against Iraq, and were threatening to veto any enforcement actions of US resolutions.  It should be no surprise that France and Russia were recipients of a great deal of Saddam Hussein's favors (in terms of oil allocations and contracts to their State oil companies). In that case, do we follow the UN, preserving a corrupt regime and taking the risk that Saddam Hussein might go back to his expansionist ways backed with a WMD program, or follow the Americans, who perceived their national interest would be threatened should the potential turn into reality?

Whatever you think of these examples, there should be a lot of thought put into the idea that we should always be limited to being a force provider in a larger coalition. Circumstances change, and it would be foolish to discount the notion that we must sometimes go it alone.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Cloud Cover

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2004, 00:22:16 »
Very true.   WWhenMr MacCallum was MND, he was very taken with the work that the Army had done on Transformation, and had asked the other services whren they were going to get on with their plans.  

I thought Leadmark pre-dated the army plan, before Mr. McGoo was even MND. The problem was getting the government to cough up the cash. Almost all of the capabilities currently sought by the other services from the Navy for the purposes of joint operations were part of the Navy vision through the ALSC and it's escorting vessels. [currently referred to as the JSS]. What wasn't envisioned in Leadmark was the idea of tailoring the Navy to meet the needs of a niche armed forces, since such tailoring would almost certainly force the Navy to abandon it's CP- EEZ and SLOC roles.     

I agree with your comments about the minister being taken with the work of the army, since in all likelihood the Navy once again failed to adequately cast it's plans as transformational [which they were/are] and of enhanced, perhaps even critical relevance to the defence of Canada.[The priority of domestic security as noted by all posters in this thread.]

With McCallum ousted, it looks like a more balanced approach to capability planning might return. There is a significant optimism to suggest, not withstanding the submarine problems, that Leadmark will be 90 percent implemented by 2020. If this turns out to be the case, the Navy will also have managed to accomplish and implement a de facto Maritime defence policy that will support whatever direction the higher order defence and foreign policy reviews might logically go. What the Navy probably hasn't planned on is being shoved off by those who erroneously view the Navy's sole purpose as being reduced to hauling a few army trucks and Griffons around and labelling that role as "jointness."

It remains to be seen whether the Navy can regain it's balance after the past month and then exercise some initiative to state it's case to those who might be willing to actually commit to a sound defence policy, backed up a decent set of plans.   Cheers.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2004, 00:24:48 by whiskey 601 »

Offline pbi

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2004, 00:45:16 »
Quote
What the Navy probably hasn't planned on is being shoved off by those who erroneously view the Navy's sole purpose as being reduced to hauling a few army trucks and Griffons around and labelling that role as "jointness."

Whoever thinks this is "jointness" is a nitwit. To me (and to respond to a point raised by a majoor,) our goal should be a Joint Expeditionary Force Package that can project/protect/employ/sustain/recover itself using all Canadian resources. This is not a pipedream. IMHO, this means a Navy that is more than just a barge service for the other two services. It means surface combatants that can escort the JEF, protecting it against likely threats, then contribute to Theatre Air Defense on arrival in the AOO. It means submarines that contribute to the "protect" piece but can operate independently as well, as part of the Maritime Component of a Combined Joint Task Force. It means capable landing support and replenishment vessels. It means the abiltity to C2 all of this while providing the Land Component Commander with an HQ afloat until the ground situation is established. In other words, a balanced, capable and modern Navy. I believe that such a force is within the grasp of our Navy, given adequate resources. Cheers.
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...