Author Topic: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans  (Read 54343 times)

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Offline MCG

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Re: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans
« Reply #50 on: August 06, 2015, 15:51:39 »
...you want to go toe-to-toe with the USN over arctic sovereignty?

:clubinhand: vs.  :panzer:
No.

But, what happens when a more aggressive Russia requires greater Navy resources in the Arctic?  If we need to ask the USN to do any heavy lifting in our waters when it comes to sovereignty in conflict areas with Russia, then we basically conceded to the US that we cannot secure those areas we contest with them. 

Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans
« Reply #51 on: August 06, 2015, 16:14:05 »
No.

But, what happens when a more aggressive Russia requires greater Navy resources in the Arctic?  If we need to ask the USN to do any heavy lifting in our waters when it comes to sovereignty in conflict areas with Russia, then we basically conceded to the US that we cannot secure those areas we contest with them.

And they disagree with our interpretation of the law we make for our Arctic claims.  So there is no guarantee they would side with us and if they did we would probably need to make concessions. 

Offline Baz

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Re: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans
« Reply #52 on: August 06, 2015, 20:09:49 »
Better to be good at one thing than mediocre at a whole bunch of things. Maybe?

The reason we used to hit above our weight is we didn't just bring a Frigate to the fight.  We brought C2, replenishment, area AD, robust helo support.  Now we bring none of that.

Now we just bring the Frigate, and ask for support.  Our allies notice... 

I was on the vanguard (Halifax) in 2001... nobody cared.  We followed up with two more frigates, a 280, and an AOR; people cared.  We were contributing to the effort, not a drain.

You say we have C2; in 1991 we commanded the replenishment force; can't do that with A Frigate.  We can only C2 ourselves.

I was in NORTH COM for Martina. .. the US had to send a tanker out to bring us in.  Think they were impressed? The one ship they were impressed with was the CCG buoy tender marking channels for them. ..

So what exactly are we good at?
C2: nope, no robust Command ship
Reple ishment: nope
AD: OK, we've put a lot of effort into if over 20 years; it's been our warfare ficus.  But when we lost the 280s a lot of that went poof.
ASW: nope
Soft power projection: we can show the flag with best of them, but deliver an effect?
ASuW: got the missile,  but who targets it.  We're not even interoperable with our own air...
Robust Navel air: nope, not for a while yet.
Mine warfare: not really
Hard force projection: is strike... nope

So what is it we provide our allies.  Sure we're interoperable, so they can support us.  Think that makes them happy???

jollyjacktar

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Re: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans
« Reply #53 on: August 06, 2015, 20:20:56 »
 :goodpost:

If I could give the hand clap gif too I would.  BZ.

Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans
« Reply #54 on: August 06, 2015, 20:36:27 »
The reason we used to hit above our weight is we didn't just bring a Frigate to the fight.  We brought C2, replenishment, area AD, robust helo support.  Now we bring none of that.

Now we just bring the Frigate, and ask for support.  Our allies notice... 

I was on the vanguard (Halifax) in 2001... nobody cared.  We followed up with two more frigates, a 280, and an AOR; people cared.  We were contributing to the effort, not a drain.

You say we have C2; in 1991 we commanded the replenishment force; can't do that with A Frigate.  We can only C2 ourselves.

I was in NORTH COM for Martina. .. the US had to send a tanker out to bring us in.  Think they were impressed? The one ship they were impressed with was the CCG buoy tender marking channels for them. ..

So what exactly are we good at?
C2: nope, no robust Command ship
Reple ishment: nope
AD: OK, we've put a lot of effort into if over 20 years; it's been our warfare ficus.  But when we lost the 280s a lot of that went poof.
ASW: nope
Soft power projection: we can show the flag with best of them, but deliver an effect?
ASuW: got the missile,  but who targets it.  We're not even interoperable with our own air...
Robust Navel air: nope, not for a while yet.
Mine warfare: not really
Hard force projection: is strike... nope

So what is it we provide our allies.  Sure we're interoperable, so they can support us.  Think that makes them happy???





We used to be at least good at this, now we can't even do that anymore!

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Re: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans
« Reply #55 on: August 06, 2015, 20:45:38 »




We used to be at least good at this, now we can't even do that anymore!

Outstanding



We are f-'d
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Offline standingdown

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Re: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans
« Reply #56 on: August 06, 2015, 20:57:14 »
Let's just disband the RCN and spend the savings on social programs!

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Re: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans
« Reply #57 on: August 06, 2015, 21:00:10 »
Let's just disband the RCN and spend the savings on social programs!

Lets disband the RCN and just provide those saved funds to an ally for their Navy in return for Naval services... Wait didn't we contemplate that before ?
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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans
« Reply #58 on: August 06, 2015, 21:30:08 »
Lets disband the RCN and just provide those saved funds to an ally for their Navy in return for Naval services... Wait didn't we contemplate that before ?

I think we are doing it now

Thanks Chile!



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Re: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans
« Reply #59 on: August 06, 2015, 21:30:48 »




We used to be at least good at this, now we can't even do that anymore!

Sadly so true, so true.   We're a floating Billy Graham crusade nowadays  :'(

Offline suffolkowner

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Re: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans
« Reply #60 on: August 06, 2015, 23:21:10 »
It seems that work is underway regarding a stopgap AOR capability so that should remedy/alleviate that issue to some extent.

But a replacement for the Tribals seems a long way off (2025-2030 ?). What possible remedies are there other than a more extensive refit of some the Halifax class?

Online FSTO

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Re: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans
« Reply #61 on: August 07, 2015, 00:04:32 »
Sadly so true, so true.   We're a floating Billy Graham crusade nowadays  :'(

Isn't that the depressing truth. :(

Offline Seyek

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Re: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans
« Reply #62 on: August 07, 2015, 10:05:23 »
It seems that work is underway regarding a stopgap AOR capability so that should remedy/alleviate that issue to some extent.

But a replacement for the Tribals seems a long way off (2025-2030 ?). What possible remedies are there other than a more extensive refit of some the Halifax class?

A 10 year lease on a Burke? Assuming the US was willing to give up a destroyer for that long. Or just buy one of the older models and the US can use the money towards buying adding another Flight III
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Re: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans
« Reply #63 on: August 07, 2015, 10:32:35 »

Scott Gilmore has penned an excellent, passionate cri de coeur that, directly, calls for two things:

     1. Better political/bureaucratic decision making and processes (maybe even a grand strategy for Canada); and

     2. Some popular passion about how we act on the global stage. (Implicit in this is a bigger, better managed defence budget.)

My guess is that there are three groups of very smart people in Ottawa who are interested in this issue.

The first group of really smart (and powerful) people, all of whom wear business suits, none of whom have much, if any, direct experience with the military, agree, very broadly, with Mr Gilmore's analysis; they've been saying much the same thing for years. They have laid emphasis on two elements:

     1. Poor judgement and weak top level leadership in National Defence Headquarters. There is a serious disconnect, they believe, between what the military, especially, says and what it can and will deliver. They are dismayed that admirals and generals routinely cry wolf (rust-out) and then manage to cobble together a response to a political demand. They think that the military either lies to the government, a venial sin, or to itself, a mortal one.

     2. Political realities. These smart people acknowledge that increased defence spending ~ a necessary element of any solution to Canada;'s military dilemma ~ is politically difficult, maybe even impossible, right now. They argue, however, that it is better to spend a bit more (a very few billion more each year) in a controlled manner than to have to spend many of ten of billions more (almost all "off shore") in an emergency situation.

The second group of smart people are younger and have even less contact with or interest in the military. They, however, have their fingers quite firmly on the pulse of public opinion ~ even on fine slices of public opinion. They oppose new defence spending ~ announcements are nice, actual spending is dangerous, they believe, lest it expose the government to a deficit, something which Canadians actually (albeit irrationally) fear. This group's influence is always a (frequently useful) counter balance to the opinions and recommendations of the first group.
 

Mr Campbell, I would like to focus on these two groups of "smart people". In the mid 90's when the Frigate building program was nearing its end, did any of these people look at the amount of money invested, the time it took to get the program up and running and all the political capital spent to receive (from St John Shipbuilding) only 9 ships and wonder; "Is this a good investment of the Crown's Treasure?" Were they not able (even though they had little or no military/naval experience) to look at our fleet in being (not just the RCN but Coast Guard as well) and think; "We already have a shipyard, and experienced and capable workforce and a fleet that needs to be replaced/upgraded at regular intervals. Is it cost effective or even ethical to allow all this to disappear only to have to rebuild it all in 15 to 20 years at a rate of inflation of 2%(low I admit)."
There had to be somebody (an accountant?) who could have crunched the numbers and delivered it to the DM? Right?

If nobody in TB thought to do this I could maybe forgive them for being obtuse, if nobody in PGWGC thought of this I could maybe forgive them for being lazy, if nobody in the Navy did this then they are goddamn cowards and prove your assertions above.

I feel in my bones that Canadians are not as stupid as our people in Ottawa think they are. That if the government of the day would have laid out the costs spent, the future needs of the nation and the projected costs coming down the road if we allow (which we did) the Frigate program to be the last build for a decade or more. I think a majority of Canadians would have supported a reasoned and cost effective process of continuous rebuilds of our government fleets.

I predict that this current attempt at getting a longterm shipbuilding program off the ground will be the last time we try. If this doesn't work then we will certainly be purchasing everything offshore.

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans
« Reply #64 on: August 07, 2015, 11:03:57 »
When those (bad) decisions were being made the second group ~ "younger and have even less contact with or interest in the military. They, however, have their fingers quite firmly on the pulse of public opinion ~ even on fine slices of public opinion" ~ were in near total control and they had one objective: vote buying in Quebec.

I can guarantee you that some eyes (above gold encrusted dark blue uniforms) were blazing with anger, but the first group, the really smart "suits," just shrugged and said, "c'est la vie."

There is, usually, a lot of tension and friction between the policy and political agencies: usually it's both healthy and, sometimes, productive. Sometimes mutually agreeable compromises can be reached; at others times ~ as with the (silly) decision to kill St John Shipbuilding ~ no compromise was possible and one side or the other had to win and take all; in that case it was the political side. The Navy was furious but, by and large, the permanent, institutional bureaucracy accepted their defeat with good grace and went, quietly, along to the next battle.
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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.
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Offline Colin P

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Re: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans
« Reply #65 on: August 07, 2015, 11:20:25 »
Very few politicians think beyond their 5 year term. I deal with bridge permits and when you begin to talk about the effect of a major bridge for the next 60 years, the politicians and senior managers eyes glaze over, what do they care, not their problem. the Reality is that shipyards need a certain number of new builds to recapitalize their yards keeping them up to date. To key is to allow enough protection so they can compete for those new builds, while still allowing enough competitiveness that they don't get lazy and inefficient. I would say Seaspan is in that place, but needed a tad more protection to make offshore bids a bit more costly.   

Offline Lumber

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Re: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans
« Reply #66 on: August 07, 2015, 11:22:25 »
I feel in my bones that Canadians are not as stupid as our people in Ottawa think they are.

I was hanging out with one of my oldest friends (who I only see once or twice a year). He knows damn well I'm in the Navy and even his father was as well (clearance diver who retired when my friend was very young, but still).

So, while hanging out, he asks me if Canada's navy actually has major surface combatants? (I think his words were something like "real, actual, big, warships").

When you're political career might only be 4 years long, and the people you represent know nothing about the Navy, how are you suppose to make it a high priority?
"Aboard his ship, there is nothing outside a captain's control." - Captain Sir Edward Pellew

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Re: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans
« Reply #67 on: August 07, 2015, 11:23:46 »
When those (bad) decisions were being made the second group ~ "younger and have even less contact with or interest in the military. They, however, have their fingers quite firmly on the pulse of public opinion ~ even on fine slices of public opinion" ~ were in near total control and they had one objective: vote buying in Quebec.

I can guarantee you that some eyes (above gold encrusted dark blue uniforms) were blazing with anger, but the first group, the really smart "suits," just shrugged and said, "c'est la vie."

There is, usually, a lot of tension and friction between the policy and political agencies: usually it's both healthy and, sometimes, productive. Sometimes mutually agreeable compromises can be reached; at others times ~ as with the (silly) decision to kill St John Shipbuilding ~ no compromise was possible and one side or the other had to win and take all; in that case it was the political side. The Navy was furious but, by and large, the permanent, institutional bureaucracy accepted their defeat with good grace and went, quietly, along to the next battle.

Thanks for the answer. Not fault to you, but my blood is just boiling at the thought of the amount of money pissed away for no purpose.

Was this battle fought during the Chretien/Martin civil war? If it was then this whole sorry mess was just collateral damage.

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans
« Reply #68 on: August 07, 2015, 11:59:15 »
if nobody in the Navy did this then they are goddamn cowards and prove your assertions above.

Don't blame the Navy. It has been advocating the need to build warships in Canada and at a constant rate to meet what it has ALWAYS propounded as the peace time Navy it needs: A "destroyer" Navy with some attached command, support and mine warfare elements. And, under the "old" Naval Board" and the the Marcom planning cell once re-established after unification and since, it has always planned for all the construction it needed. It is the politicians that have consistently refused these programs or accepted them then cancelled them.

Between the St-Laurents and the 280's, two programs were put up for continuation of the maintenance of the fleet and its shipyard base: The "Vancouver" class frigates and the GP frigates. They were shot down by the government of the day. After the 280's were built, plans for a batch two (improved 280's) and then the first plan for the CPF's went out, both shut down until the CPF were belatedly resuscitated. In the meantime, the subs turn was up and a plan for their replacement put up. Minister Nielsen turn the plan down and insisted that the Navy put up a plan for nuclear subs instead, which the Navy dutifully did and was then shut down again by the same government (Mulroney).

To get the nuclear sub, the Navy had to renounce the six Batch III CPF's, which were to be stretched, carry more and better AAW missiles, better radar and be equipped to take over the C2 role of the 280's they would replace. The Mulroney government cancelled the nuclear sub, but did not reinstate the original plans for diesel subs and the Batch III CPF's.

Reinstating the Batch III would have provided St. John Shipbuilding with eight more years of work, at which time the AOR's turn for replacement would have been up and the mid-life of the CPF's Batches I and II  carried out, providing another 6 years of work until the replacement of the CPF's on a one by one basis would have been up … and so forth.

The Naval Board even agreed to adapt its plans according to the requests of serving Ministers if they made sense and could be incorporated into the real needs of Canada for naval defence. For instance, the general plans, in accordance with our Nato obligations, in the mid 60's was for four ASW groups, including one centred on an aircraft carrier (Bonnie) as hunter-killer support group. When minister Hellyer decide that the forces would be unified and that the Navy would have to do more to support the Army, the Navy obliged and offered to reorganize around three groups, one centred on the carrier, re-equiped to carry aircraft that could provide air cover to the Army, and two groups, each centred on an American Iwo Jima class assault ship. This was accepted by the minister but cancelled before implementation by the new PM, Trudeau.

Offline Lumber

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Re: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans
« Reply #69 on: August 07, 2015, 12:04:25 »
 :goodpost:
"Aboard his ship, there is nothing outside a captain's control." - Captain Sir Edward Pellew

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Re: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans
« Reply #70 on: August 07, 2015, 12:20:04 »
Don't blame the Navy. It has been advocating the need to build warships in Canada and at a constant rate to meet what it has ALWAYS propounded as the peace time Navy it needs: A "destroyer" Navy with some attached command, support and mine warfare elements. And, under the "old" Naval Board" and the the Marcom planning cell once re-established after unification and since, it has always planned for all the construction it needed. It is the politicians that have consistently refused these programs or accepted them then cancelled them.
In my heart I never will. It just so soul destroying to see what might have been if there was just some common bloody sense being used by the people we elect and the people we depend on to make our country's bureaucracy work.

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Re: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans
« Reply #71 on: August 07, 2015, 12:45:44 »
Thanks for the answer. Not fault to you, but my blood is just boiling at the thought of the amount of money pissed away for no purpose.

Was this battle fought during the Chretien/Martin civil war? If it was then this whole sorry mess was just collateral damage.


Yes, but it was not, I believe,  part of that civil war. I think both Prime Minister Chrétien and (then) Finance Minister Martin were in agreement on the politics of the decision.

The decision was made in 2003, after I retired, but the problems started during the Mulroney era and there were rumours in the mid to late 1990s about us having one too many yards. As I (very imperfectly I hasten to point out) understood the debate, in the '90s, the PMO, the main political agency, perceived a need for, only: one East Coast yard and one West Coast yard and one Quebec yard. I think the Mandarins agreed that we had too much capacity although I doubt they would have made the same geographic/political calculation. The Navy, I think, was fed up with Davey ~ after the TRUMP fiasco (which we called "one no trump" when there was serious discussion of paying Davey to not finish the work on the fourth 280) ~ and very much wanted any warship building strategy to be built around Saint John Shipbuilding. Suffice to say that the PMO was focused on national unity, in the late 1990s, not warships, and the decision to, eventually, pay Irving Shipbuilding to close its biggest (and best?) yard was an easy one, I suspect.
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Re: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans
« Reply #72 on: August 07, 2015, 13:00:53 »

Yes, but it was not, I believe,  part of that civil war. I think both Prime Minister Chrétien and (then) Finance Minister Martin were in agreement on the politics of the decision.

The decision was made in 2003, after I retired, but the problems started during the Mulroney era and there were rumours in the mid to late 1990s about us having one too many yards. As I (very imperfectly I hasten to point out) understood the debate, in the '90s, the PMO, the main political agency, perceived a need for, only: one East Coast yard and one West Coast yard and one Quebec yard. I think the Mandarins agreed that we had too much capacity although I doubt they would have made the same geographic/political calculation. The Navy, I think, was fed up with Davey ~ after the TRUMP fiasco (which we called "one no trump" when there was serious discussion of paying Davey to not finish the work on the fourth 280) ~ and very much wanted any warship building strategy to be built around Saint John Shipbuilding. Suffice to say that the PMO was focused on national unity, in the late 1990s, not warships, and the decision to, eventually, pay Irving Shipbuilding to close its biggest (and best?) yard was an easy one, I suspect.

I always suspected that the Quebec question had a massive hand in all the pain and heartache that went into Frigate program (and its aftermath). I just never would believe that it was that overt and all consuming of common sense.
Maybe if the Mulroney and later Chrétien and Martin had delt with Quebec like they delt with the west (benign neglect) then our country would likely be much better off. I know that idea was impossible since those 3 could never ever wrap their heads around the idea of treating Quebec like the rest of the country.

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Re: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans
« Reply #73 on: August 07, 2015, 13:04:30 »
So, two days and 3 pages later, we can conclusively blame the current state of the RCN on... Quebec?

"Aboard his ship, there is nothing outside a captain's control." - Captain Sir Edward Pellew

“Extremes to the right and to the left of any political dispute are always wrong.”
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Re: The Sinking of the Canadian Navy - Macleans
« Reply #74 on: August 07, 2015, 13:14:11 »
Don't blame the Navy. It has been advocating the need to build warships in Canada and at a constant rate to meet what it has ALWAYS propounded as the peace time Navy it needs: A "destroyer" Navy with some attached command, support and mine warfare elements. And, under the "old" Naval Board" and the the Marcom planning cell once re-established after unification and since, it has always planned for all the construction it needed. It is the politicians that have consistently refused these programs or accepted them then cancelled them.

Between the St-Laurents and the 280's, two programs were put up for continuation of the maintenance of the fleet and its shipyard base: The "Vancouver" class frigates and the GP frigates. They were shot down by the government of the day. After the 280's were built, plans for a batch two (improved 280's) and then the first plan for the CPF's went out, both shut down until the CPF were belatedly resuscitated. In the meantime, the subs turn was up and a plan for their replacement put up. Minister Nielsen turn the plan down and insisted that the Navy put up a plan for nuclear subs instead, which the Navy dutifully did and was then shut down again by the same government (Mulroney).

To get the nuclear sub, the Navy had to renounce the six Batch III CPF's, which were to be stretched, carry more and better AAW missiles, better radar and be equipped to take over the C2 role of the 280's they would replace. The Mulroney government cancelled the nuclear sub, but did not reinstate the original plans for diesel subs and the Batch III CPF's.

Reinstating the Batch III would have provided St. John Shipbuilding with eight more years of work, at which time the AOR's turn for replacement would have been up and the mid-life of the CPF's Batches I and II  carried out, providing another 6 years of work until the replacement of the CPF's on a one by one basis would have been up … and so forth.

The Naval Board even agreed to adapt its plans according to the requests of serving Ministers if they made sense and could be incorporated into the real needs of Canada for naval defence. For instance, the general plans, in accordance with our Nato obligations, in the mid 60's was for four ASW groups, including one centred on an aircraft carrier (Bonnie) as hunter-killer support group. When minister Hellyer decide that the forces would be unified and that the Navy would have to do more to support the Army, the Navy obliged and offered to reorganize around three groups, one centred on the carrier, re-equiped to carry aircraft that could provide air cover to the Army, and two groups, each centred on an American Iwo Jima class assault ship. This was accepted by the minister but cancelled before implementation by the new PM, Trudeau.

You've just incisively described why we need to get the politicians out of the military procurement process. Let the military decide what it needs and determine how it will be obtained. The only thing the politicians should be allowed to do is decide how big the annual defence budget will be, and what foreign policy aims the military needs to meet.