Author Topic: We’ve given up on Canada’s military, so let’s abandon it altogether  (Read 31312 times)

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Offline Old Sweat

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I don't know if Edward will recall this, but back in the early seventies we were going through a really hard time. The rest of the federal government was enjoying expanding budgets, lots of growth and promotions and a wage gap had opened between the public service and the forces. Someone was quoted, and I can't recall if it was speculation, punditry or authoritative, as stating that the defence cuts were designed to make any attempt to rebuild the forces so prohibitively expensive that no government could afford to do so, while still maintaining the welfare state. Ultimately the forces would shrivel up and disappear.

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Yep! That was the Trudeau senior "defence fixed budget" method: Maintain the defence budget exactly at the amount it is, "frozen", in an era where we had anywhere between 7 and 12 % inflation from year to year. OEM and acquisitions were gutted by almost 90 % during the period, and the reserves raided by the reg. force just to keep ongoing ops, such a Europe and peacekeeping  going.

It finally ended when, in more diplomatic terms (but barely) Trudeau was told at a NATO meeting to basically shut the heck up, go play by yourself in the corner and you can come back to the adults table when you start paying your way like everybody else.

jollyjacktar

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And even though you aren't supposed to visit the sins of the father on the son, I'll never trust or feel comfortable with the son as PM.

Offline Old Sweat

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Slight sidetrack, but the economic mismanagement was mind-boggling. Oil prices had sky-rocketed following the 1973 Yom Kippur War, but the Canadian government had instituted a made in Canada oil price that was substantially lower than the world price. So Alberta was forced to sell its oil to Canadian refiners at well below the going rate. So far, so bad, but it gets worse. Oil consumed in Eastern Canada was purchased from foreign suppliers at the world rate, but Canada then borrowed money to subsidize the price so that it was at the made in Canada rate. Imagine what that did to the deficit and the national debt.

I hope Junior doesn't think that was a good idea.

Offline garb811

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If there's one thing we've done right, it's been maintaining 9 x Reg F Infantry battalions while others (like the British Army) have gone through many hoops of reorging.....
Yeah, but those 9 x Reg F Inf Bns of today are nowhere near what they were in the 80s-90s, just speaking  in terms of numbers of pers and organic capabilities.

Offline Piece of Cake

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Yeah, but those 9 x Reg F Inf Bns of today are nowhere near what they were in the 80s-90s, just speaking  in terms of numbers of pers and organic capabilities.

+1
Policy is more than black and white.  We need to not only understand the spirit of why a policy was written, but also how the policy affects people.

Offline E.R. Campbell

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I don't know if Edward will recall this, but back in the early seventies we were going through a really hard time. The rest of the federal government was enjoying expanding budgets, lots of growth and promotions and a wage gap had opened between the public service and the forces. Someone was quoted, and I can't recall if it was speculation, punditry or authoritative, as stating that the defence cuts were designed to make any attempt to rebuild the forces so prohibitively expensive that no government could afford to do so, while still maintaining the welfare state. Ultimately the forces would shrivel up and disappear.


I recall that very well; I was posted to DLR back then ... the cuts, which began in earnest in 1969 and were "sanctified" in the subsequent Defence White Paper, were, I believe, designed to disarm Canada.

I'm serious.

I have been told on what I think is very good authority that in 1968 Trudeau actually told his cabinet that he wanted to disarm Canada, withdraw from NATO and NORAD and offer us as the "model state" of the future. I was told that it was only when his closest advisors told him that he would split the Liberal Party and, for sure, lose a subsequent vote of confidence in the House that we got the the 1969 decision to cut our NATO commitment in half and make deep, indeed savage cuts to national defence.

At first we were told that there could be no tanks in Canada ~ none. Then, after the famous walk in the garden with the German Chancellor we were told that we could have new tanks in Germany and a few, enough for a training squadron, in Gagetown, but none in Canadian brigades; and that was the origin of the "tank trainer," the Mowag Piranah which became the Cougar (6 wheels and a 76mm gun) and then the Grizzly (8 wheels) and, eventually, was the base for the LAVIII when GMDD took on the project.

Those were tough times ... JayDex* came and spoke to us in the Staff College ~ his remarks were "privileged," of course (and I guess still are) ~ but we listened as a tired man told us about fighting a losing bureaucratic-political battle against an implacable foe ~ and "foe" is, I think, the right word to use when we discuss PET and the Canadian Forces.

The point about inflation is really important ... it wasn't just fuel. Aerospace and high tech weapon systems costs were "inflating" at far above the general rate of inflation in the economy ~ and we were seeing punishingly high inflation rates in the '70s and '80s ~ and we w were, literally, being "priced out of the market" in some areas.

< war story>  [:-[  I remember taking my makeshift but, by our standards, very modern and even sophisticated Army Tactical Trunk Communications System to MGen Herb Pitts for approval ... he was committed to getting it passed and was really, really pleased when I told him that almost all of it was "in stock" and it was only a very few dozen small, automatic, digital multi-line switches (that the US Marines had in stock but hadn't figured out how to use) that were needed and they were available at "fire sale" prices (only tens of thousands of dollars each), including a multi-year stock of spare parts. He asked me three times if I was sure about the costs ... he had come into the briefing expecting me to be asking for tens of millions of new dollars which would have to come from somewhere else in the Army's capital programme; I needed nothing that had not already been approved for a project that, on my tech staff advice, had been cancelled because it didn't actually do much of anything that was needed.  < war story ends >  :surrender:

Anyway, those were, indeed, "hard times."
_____
* General Jacques Dextraze, Chief of the Defence Staff for the youngsters ~ those under 70.
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 Old Sweat

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And for another horror story to illustrate what the government, elected and non-elected, thought about national defence, what follows was related to me in the late seventies by BGen Benny Oxholm, the Commander of Training Systems at the time. According to him, Treasury Board direction to the MND et al in the era Edward and I have been discussing was to maintain a "minimum military capability." However we used to win far more than our share of international competitions and usually did very well on exercises. Rather than, or at least along with, professional pride, this was a cause of considerable angst to the higher priced help. You see, this could be construed as exceeding TB direction, and could lead to further reductions in the defence budget.

I guess the idea was to finish last consistently.

Offline Hamish Seggie

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Yeah, but those 9 x Reg F Inf Bns of today are nowhere near what they were in the 80s-90s, just speaking  in terms of numbers of pers and organic capabilities.

Correct. No means of indirect fire, minor engineering tasks etc. I’m sure the current members can fill in the blanks.
While I’m at it I don’t trust the current PM at all. He’s a lightweight amateur in a cage full of middleweight and heavyweight UFC fighters.
Freedom Isn't Free   "Never Shall I Fail My Brothers"

“Do everything that is necessary and nothing that is not".

Offline Chris Pook

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Correct. No means of indirect fire, minor engineering tasks etc. I’m sure the current members can fill in the blanks.
While I’m at it I don’t trust the current PM at all. He’s a lightweight amateur in a cage full of middleweight and heavyweight UFC fighters.

But he has natty socks!
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

Offline AbdullahD

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Correct. No means of indirect fire, minor engineering tasks etc. I’m sure the current members can fill in the blanks.
While I’m at it I don’t trust the current PM at all. He’s a lightweight amateur in a cage full of middleweight and heavyweight UFC fighters.

Aye but look at all of us young'ins the rough and tough leaders lack curb appeal for a lot of us. He may just be a sign of the times.. I just pray to God he has an steel core if it's needed.

But he has natty socks!


The socks 😍😍😍 totally voting liberal next time 😍😍😂

Online Thucydides

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Another indicator of where our priorities are going: "Canada is taking a ‘feminist approach’ to the military, defence minister says". Slipped in here is another call more women in the Armed Forces (although without a rational as to "why" we should do so).

I hope he calls when they decide to take an "Operational" approach to the military:

https://globalnews.ca/news/4017318/harjit-sajjan-military-feminist/

Quote
Canada is taking a ‘feminist approach’ to the military, defence minister says

Amid the growing fallout from the #MeToo movement in Ottawa, Canada’s defence minister is defending the Trudeau government’s record on preventing sexual assault and harassment in the armed forces.

Harjit Sajjan said he won’t address an ongoing lawsuit against the Canadian military in which complainants allege sexual harassment, assault and discrimination.

But speaking in Vancouver on Friday, Sajjan said the government is taking a “feminist approach” to the military.

“Our defence policy itself didn’t have a gender-based analysis, it was done after the defense policy was written,” Sajjan said.

“It was actually done as we were actually developing the policy. We are actually committed to increasing more the number of women in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).”

Sajjan went on to say that the government wants women to feel confident coming forward with allegations.

“We’ve been setting an example ourselves and from day one when the government was elected — 50 per cent women and 50 per cent men [in cabinet], we have taken a feminist approach as a government,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rajinder Sahota, a lawyer for three former service members suing the federal government, said Ottawa has taken anything but a feminist approach in legal arguments to have the case quashed.

One of those arguments maintains that the federal government doesn’t “owe a private law duty of care to individual members within the CAF to provide a safe and harassment-free work environment, or to create policies to prevent sexual harassment or sexual assault,” she said. 

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he’d asked the federal justice minister to speak with the government’s lawyers and ensure they weren’t making arguments inconsistent with the government’s philosophy.

“Obviously the lawyers’ argument does not align with my beliefs or what this government believes,” Trudeau said.
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 Hamish Seggie

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Another indicator of where our priorities are going: "Canada is taking a ‘feminist approach’ to the military, defence minister says". Slipped in here is another call more women in the Armed Forces (although without a rational as to "why" we should do so).

I hope he calls when they decide to take an "Operational" approach to the military:

https://globalnews.ca/news/4017318/harjit-sajjan-military-feminist/
. Cause it’s 2018!!! That’s all this GoC needs to give for a reason!!
Freedom Isn't Free   "Never Shall I Fail My Brothers"

“Do everything that is necessary and nothing that is not".

Offline Jarnhamar

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We're such a crap show.
There are no wolves on Fenris

Offline George Wallace

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We're such a crap show.

Comparing ourselves to our own standards gives us that impression.  When we work with foreign militaries, we will get a better picture.
I was saying that in the '80's, until I was posted over to 4 CMBG.  Then working with the Americans, Germans, Brits, French, etc. I realized that our trained Ptes and Cpls were better than most of their E5 level ranks in NATO.   One of my favourite compliments was: "We all have the equipment; you all know how to use it." or "You Canadians are crazy."
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Offline EpicBeardedMan

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Comparing ourselves to our own standards gives us that impression.  When we work with foreign militaries, we will get a better picture.
I was saying that in the '80's, until I was posted over to 4 CMBG.  Then working with the Americans, Germans, Brits, French, etc. I realized that our trained Ptes and Cpls were better than most of their E5 level ranks in NATO.   One of my favourite compliments was: "We all have the equipment; you all know how to use it." or "You Canadians are crazy."

This is true, even on the coasts with the Navy doing war games with the Americans.

"If I had Canadian Soldiers, American technology and British officers I would rule the world."
~Sir Winston Churchill
The military isn't really like a James Bond movie where you go for jet training in the morning and then underwater demolitions after lunch.

jollyjacktar

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I was on the gold medal team at the DC Olympics held at the Resolve DC School facilities for Fort Lauderdale Fleet Week 2006.  PRE beat a number of USN teams and repeated the performance two years later.   The Resolve's owner wasn't too pleased.  What really blew their minds in particular was the FF's.  They set record times that were minutes ahead for hose set ups, handling and manouvering through the course.  I was quite frankly not prepared for how well we all did that day.

Offline Jarnhamar

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Comparing ourselves to our own

No sir.

Our defense minister saying Canada is taking a ‘feminist approach’ to the military, is what I'm referring to. And quite retarded  :nod:

There are no wolves on Fenris

Offline EpicBeardedMan

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No sir.

Our defense minister saying Canada is taking a ‘feminist approach’ to the military, is what I'm referring to. And quite retarded  :nod:

What did that even mean? I didn't see what they meant in the article, like do they mean they're focusing on recruiting more women?
The military isn't really like a James Bond movie where you go for jet training in the morning and then underwater demolitions after lunch.

jollyjacktar

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No sir.

Our defense minister saying Canada is taking a ‘feminist approach’ to the military, is what I'm referring to. And quite retarded  :nod:

We're going to be man haters now?   :dunno:

Offline GR66

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We're going to be man person haters now?   :dunno:

FTFY

Offline Jarnhamar

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If we're taking a feminist approach to recruiting does that mean the military will no longer have weaker physical fitness standards for women?

Otherwise I'm pretty sure we already get paid the same.
There are no wolves on Fenris

jollyjacktar

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Offline Remius

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If we're taking a feminist approach to recruiting does that mean the military will no longer have weaker physical fitness standards for women?

Otherwise I'm pretty sure we already get paid the same.


Is that still a thing?  I’m pretty sure the force test is one standard.  Unless something else exists in recruiting I’m unaware of.
Optio

Offline Underway

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Slipped in here is another call more women in the Armed Forces (although without a rational as to "why" we should do so).

I think you should be providing a rationale "why" we shouldn't.  It's pretty obvious if you spend 30 seconds thinking about it from an economic, social perspective.  Not even including the whole values proposition.

If we're taking a feminist approach to recruiting does that mean the military will no longer have weaker physical fitness standards for women?

Otherwise I'm pretty sure we already get paid the same.

I'm guessing you are not paid the same because the FORCE standard is a single standard for years now.  How's retirement going?