Author Topic: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)  (Read 168771 times)

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Offline Journeyman

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #625 on: June 22, 2017, 09:55:08 »
The Conference of Defence Associations Institute has produced a well-reasoned assessment of the new Defence Policy.

HOW DOES CANADA'S NEW DEFENCE POLICY MEASURE UP?
A Benchmark Analysis by Col Charles Davies (Ret'd)
June 2017


Overall, Strong, Secure, Engaged  is a good document that generally stands up well in comparison with the four benchmark policies.  It shows a level of breadth and maturity of thought not always evident in previous defence policies produced by governments of either stripe.  Most importantly, it breaks the national mold and provides more deeply rational, pragmatic, and comprehensively costed policy direction to departments than we have seen before.   

That said, it does have weaknesses and represents but one important milestone in a longer journey towards sound and comprehensive defence policy development and management in Canada.  Future iterations, whenever they occur (a major issue in itself), will need to further address the mismatch between the defence needs of the nation and funding.  They will also need to institutionalize the integration of defence policy development with that of national security and foreign policy.  These policy areas have different characteristics and time horizons, but they require careful alignment and need to be done together if each is to be effective.  Perhaps more importantly, future processes will need to include much more substantive consultation and discussion with other political parties in Parliament, and in particular the Official Opposition (the most likely eventual successor government).  Failure to improve long-term political consensus-building on Canadian defence policy makes yet more hugely wasteful redirects following future elections likely, and the nation simply can’t afford them.

Recapitalization of large high-cost capabilities represented by complex platforms such as warships, submarines, and fighter aircraft needs to be planned over long time horizons because of the technical, industrial, and other challenges associated with their development, design and construction.  To the government’s credit, the new defence policy addresses all of the Canadian Armed Forces’ big-ticket capabilities in one way or another, going so far as to finally publish realistic and accurate cost estimates for the Canadian Surface Combatant program and commit full funding for 15 ships. 

However, while the policy provides for modernization of the equally important submarine fleet to keep it combat-capable through the medium term, the fact remains that these platforms will be 40 years old by 2030 (i.e. only 13 years from now) and will need to be replaced beginning around that time. Active planning for this needs to be happening now, a fact that should have been acknowledged and provided for in the new defence policy.  Canada cannot afford to continue repeating the strategic failures of the past, for example the retirement of the Oberon submarine fleet in 2000 without replacement, or the more recent similar loss of the Royal Canadian Navy’s at-sea replenishment capability – both events being the direct result of prolonged political neglect. 


There's more in the document; it's only 8 pages.   ;)

Offline PPCLI Guy

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #626 on: June 22, 2017, 13:46:42 »
There's more in the document; it's only 8 pages.   ;)

8 Pages?  I suppose you expect me to read ALL of that, as well as at least the Executive Summary of the Policy, if not the document itself? 

If I do that, I won't have time to post my unformed, uninformed and uniformed opinion!
"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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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #627 on: June 22, 2017, 14:11:55 »
Too blatant an attempt to encourage informed opinion?  ;D


There are pictures too, for those tiring of all those  ewwww  words and stuff......   :nod:

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #628 on: June 22, 2017, 15:28:11 »
... If I do that, I won't have time to post my unformed, uninformed and uniformed opinion!
The Three U's of online discussion  ;D
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Offline MCG

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #629 on: June 22, 2017, 15:29:38 »
8 Pages?  I suppose you expect me to read ALL of that, as well as at least the Executive Summary of the Policy, if not the document itself? 
Because I can be helpful and a smartass in the same instance:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/web-reader-text-to-speech/id320808874?mt=8
[:D

Disclaimer: I have never attempted to use linked app, so I cannot confirm it works.

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #630 on: July 14, 2017, 10:38:08 »
Commentary on Canada's Defence Budget

Quote
Canada Pledges to Increase Defense Spending
7/13/2017

By Yasmin Tadjdeh   

Over the next decade, the Canadian government intends to increase its defense spending by 70 percent, its defense minister announced recently.

“Years of under-investment have left our military in a financial hole,” said Harjit Sajjan during a speech in June.

Canada’s new defense policy, titled “Strong, Secure, Engaged,” will help the nation emerge from that hole, he noted. Its annual cash funding for defense will increase from nearly $14.7 billion in 2016-2017 to $25.4 billion in 2026-2027.

“For the first time, National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces will have a 20-year funding commitment,” he said. “This transparency will enable long-term planning and effective management of public funds, more than ever before.”

Canada will recapitalize its air force with a fleet of 88 advanced fighter jets, he said. The policy also funds the building of 15 surface combatant ships, new equipment for its ground forces and the acquisition of remotely piloted aircraft.

Shaun McDougall, an analyst at Forecast International, a Newtown, Connecticut-based market consulting firm, said the NATO member nation currently spends around 1 percent of its GDP on defense.

NATO alliance members have a stated goal to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense by 2024, but few countries currently meet it. That has been a sticking point for President Donald Trump, who has consistently pushed for allies to invest more.

“With this increase they’re not going to even be close to the 2 percent mark,” McDougall said. “If Canada was going to meet its 2 percent NATO requirement, they would have to basically increase their budget to around $40 billion Canadian dollars, and they’re talking about $32 billion dollars almost a decade from now.”


While rhetoric and pressure from the Trump administration likely contributed to Ottawa’s bump in defense spending, it is mostly due to the realization by government officials that its modernization plan would require more money than was being budgeted, McDougall said.

“Almost all of those programs are existing requirements or are existing planned programs,” he said. “This new funding is being geared toward paying for modernization that has already been planned because they’ve been underfunding a lot of their programs.”

One major change, however, is the number of jet fighters the country plans to purchase. Previously, Canada had said it would require 65 platforms, but bumped that to 88 in the new policy, he said.

The procurement of a new fighter has been a point of contention for the country. When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party came into power, it shucked plans to purchase the Lockheed Martin-built F-35 joint strike fighter to replace its aging fleet of CF-18s.

Ottawa planned to have companies compete for the fighter jet contract, and in the interim purchase 18 Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets to fill any capability gaps. However, a trade disagreement between Boeing and Bombardier, a Canadian aerospace company, has complicated the effort.

“Boeing issued a trade dispute against Bombardier over government subsidies and … the Canadian government has kind of taken that as a personal insult,” McDougall said. “So the F-35 acquisition had become politicized and now the Super Hornet has become quite politicized.”

Canada will need to make a decision soon about how it will replace its fighter fleet, he noted. “They really can’t afford to wait for too long.”

http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2017/7/13/canada-pledges-to-increase-defense-spending

As I noted earlier, both Trudeau's and Harper's estimates of what is necessary to create a useful military is comparable in dollars and cents.  Something like 450 BCAD.  The difference is that Harper could skate on the spending because he was given relief on two fronts:  The projects would take time to deliver so little money needed to be spent initially.  The Bureaucracy was unable/unwilling to spend as fast as Harper was.

The result is the creation of a bow wave of funding that keeps getting bigger and bigger the more that it moves ahead.  The problem with bow waves is that they can swamp you and sink you.

I said that I really like the Finn's accounting system for the F35 that essentially treats the project the way that you might buy a car or a house, with a dedicated loan.

To eliminate that bow wave we should have been doing something similar and start paying deposits on the loans immediately, separate from the purchase of the vehicle.  Put the money into an escrow account or pay it to the financial institution of your choice that is loaning the money regardless of the vehicle being purchased.

That would even out the payments plan and eliminate the bow wave.

It would also commit the funding and eliminate the uncertainty associated governments changing their minds.

Managing everything from general revenues on an on-going as-needed basis is not getting the job done for Canadian defence.




« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 10:52:09 by Chris Pook »
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Offline jmt18325

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #631 on: July 14, 2017, 11:07:09 »
The budget is actually already done that way in terms of accounting - that's why there's a cash basis accounting, and an accrual basis accounting.

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #632 on: July 14, 2017, 11:21:59 »
The budget is done that way.  But the commitment is not.
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #633 on: July 14, 2017, 12:18:52 »
Actually, the budget is not even done that way.

The policy document plans to spend money that way, but budget is an annual thing and, other than signed contracts and compulsory program pay outs that are binding on the government, any government of the day can put or not put whatever else it wants in each annual budget without regards to any previously "promised" funding.

The track record of all past promises of funding by ALL political parties in that regard is definitely not something to crow about, nor does it give any member of the CAF any warm feelings.

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #634 on: January 13, 2019, 07:57:26 »
In the NORAD role that would mean giving USAF primary responsibility for defending within Canadian airspace and its approaches--Canadian politicians willing to accept that help?

Mark
Ottawa

I'm using this to revive an old topic ...

For years decades generations, now, since the mid 1960s, anyway, (I think that, 50+ years, probably qualifies as two generations) the main base for Canadian defence policy has been: "how little must we do before the Americans feel compelled to "help" us in a way that will be a too obvious violation of our sovereignty?

We were never a great 'warrior' state; Canadians never liked wars, not in 1899 and not, over a century later when we first went to Afghanistan ... but we had, in wars large and small, accepted that we had a 'duty' to share some of the burden of what we can, very loosely, call defending the West.

By the mid 1960s we were tired of paying the price of being a 'leading middle power:' defence spending ran at 3% of GDP during the 1960s ~ in fact it started to decline, markedly, in 1952, when the Korean War ended, and did so, steadily for 30 years; in 1952 we spent 8% of GDP on defence, it was just under 4% in 1962 and had fallen to below 2% of GDP in 1972 and, despite a small 'bump' in the mid to  late 1980s (Mulroney) has remained below 2% ever since. Every time Canada has cut its forces political leaders have looked to Washington to check for a reaction. Thus far the Americans have been content to defend us because they needed our territory and the airspace above it as a buffer zone, of sorts.

The nature of the threats to America are changing and so are the means to counter those threats ... I believe that when Canada rejected continental ballistic missile defence, which it has done, implicitly and explicitly, time and time again, American attitudes . began to change. My guess is that President Trump and his top strategic advisors see Canada as a "battle space," within which they might destroy missile headed towards them, not as a trusted ally, kith and kin, in fact, to be defended.

In my opinion , the current government is, shall we say, less that fully focused on grand (hard power based) strategic issues; it has other priorities. But the global strategic calculus is changing as Putin, Trump and Xi juggle their priorities in different ways and Australia, Canada, Europe and Japan and so on are forced to watch and adapt as best they can.

It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #635 on: January 13, 2019, 08:50:31 »
…. President Trump and his top strategic advisors
I assume you mean Hannity... Coulter... Limbaugh.
       

Offline Jed

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #636 on: January 13, 2019, 15:58:29 »
I'm using this to revive an old topic ...

For years decades generations, now, since the mid 1960s, anyway, (I think that, 50+ years, probably qualifies as two generations) the main base for Canadian defence policy has been: "how little must we do before the Americans feel compelled to "help" us in a way that will be a too obvious violation of our sovereignty?

We were never a great 'warrior' state; Canadians never liked wars, not in 1899 and not, over a century later when we first went to Afghanistan ... but we had, in wars large and small, accepted that we had a 'duty' to share some of the burden of what we can, very loosely, call defending the West.

By the mid 1960s we were tired of paying the price of being a 'leading middle power:' defence spending ran at 3% of GDP during the 1960s ~ in fact it started to decline, markedly, in 1952, when the Korean War ended, and did so, steadily for 30 years; in 1952 we spent 8% of GDP on defence, it was just under 4% in 1962 and had fallen to below 2% of GDP in 1972 and, despite a small 'bump' in the mid to  late 1980s (Mulroney) has remained below 2% ever since. Every time Canada has cut its forces political leaders have looked to Washington to check for a reaction. Thus far the Americans have been content to defend us because they needed our territory and the airspace above it as a buffer zone, of sorts.

The nature of the threats to America are changing and so are the means to counter those threats ... I believe that when Canada rejected continental ballistic missile defence, which it has done, implicitly and explicitly, time and time again, American attitudes . began to change. My guess is that President Trump and his top strategic advisors see Canada as a "battle space," within which they might destroy missile headed towards them, not as a trusted ally, kith and kin, in fact, to be defended.

In my opinion , the current government is, shall we say, less that fully focused on grand (hard power based) strategic issues; it has other priorities. But the global strategic calculus is changing as Putin, Trump and Xi juggle their priorities in different ways and Australia, Canada, Europe and Japan and so on are forced to watch and adapt as best they can.

Indeed, a worrisome thought. I don't believe Canada is going to have a peaceful, easy ride in the next couple of decades. Too many big things in play and the general population will just put their heads in the sand hoping and praying that things will work out.
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Offline Rifleman62

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #637 on: January 24, 2019, 14:47:32 »
https://nationalpost.com/opinion/opinion-trudeaus-mali-mission-uses-soldiers-for-symbolism-points?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1548343270

Opinion: Trudeau's Mali mission uses soldiers for symbolism points
- 24 Jan 18 - David Krayden
    A big reason Trudeau sent the contingent to Mali was to demonstrate how gender equity has been so effectively adopted
    by our military


Canada’s United Nations peacekeeping mission to Mali is about half-way near completion but so far the experience indicates that it will probably end more with a whimper than a bang — and that is a good thing, relatively speaking. Many suggested that Mali was among the worst places to send our Canadian Armed Forces to keep a peace that didn’t exist. The idea of inserting Canada’s military in an operational environment that is characterized by Islamic extremism and child soldiers is one fraught with difficulties and potential disaster. Mali could have been — and still could be — the perfect storm of peacekeeping. It was not only a public relations nightmare in the making with Canadians potentially engaging with kids but a military fiasco in the making with our soldiers and airmen surrounded by Muslim terrorists.

Canadians had been there before, what with the “Bungle in the Jungle” mission to Congo, the genocide of Rwanda and the withering pain of Somalia. The Canadian military had no enthusiasm for the mission and it assiduously described the operational pitfalls posed by Mali in a March 2017 joint doctrine note that did not omit the potential for interaction with child soldiers.

Mali could have been — and still could be — the perfect storm of peacekeeping

Still Prime Minister Justin Trudeau persisted, and after several missteps announced the June deployment in support of the UN mission. When he finally visited the personnel there in December, it was all fanfare and cheers — though he quietly but emphatically declared the mission would not be extended beyond its 12-month mandate. Good decision.

But going in the first place was not a good decision and might have and still could have serious consequences. Deploying peacekeepers where there is no peace to keep amounts to poor defence planning, and that error was compounded with the haphazard force that the Trudeau government compiled to fulfill its dubious mission. Canadian deployments, especially under Liberal governments in the past three decades, are often characterized by an effort to produce a force of least risk — or in other words, to give the impression of providing a combat-capable contribution that will likely not have to experience combat. The Mali mission was all about appearances but you can’t bank on appearances in the middle of a violent, bloody civil war.

Canada provided a helicopter squadron to medically evacuate casualties in the conflict (as they did after a recent attack on a UN base). If any of the warring zealots in Mali do decide to make a military point with the Canadian contingent, they are ill-prepared to address any potential attack, under-armed and subject to the vagaries of UN rules of engagement that usually have soldiers consulting their manuals before putting finger to triggers. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres noted last October that security has actually deteriorated since Canada arrived.

Another reason Trudeau sent the contingent to Mali was to demonstrate how gender equity — one of the prime minister’s pet causes — has been so insouciantly and effectively adopted by the Canadian military. Just as he created a cabinet bound by sexual quotas, the Department of National Defence was directed to prepare a Mali team that highlighted the preponderance of women in uniform. It may be one degree of stupidity to run your cabinet with that philosophy but it is entirely beyond justification to send people into battle to celebrate political ideology.

Ultimately, Canada’s mission to Mali encapsulates Trudeau’s defence posture. He pressed the Mali mission because he desperately yearns for Canada to have a seat on the UN Security Council, something that he thinks will provide evidence of Canada being “back.” But back to what, one must ask, since any desire to join this collection of detached, tin-pot dictatorships promulgating UN policy is at best a misplaced one. Yet Trudeau remains a supreme acolyte for the UN and its abject failure at providing anything but profligate spending.

Trudeau remains a supreme acolyte for the UN and its abject failure at providing anything but profligate spending

With his misguided trust in the UN, it is not so much that Trudeau’s defence and foreign policy is intentionally dangerous as it is desultory, but that can be a sufficient danger in itself. Trudeau still believes in something called peacekeeping although the military has ceased to acknowledge such an operation for decades now. The kind of peacekeeping that Trudeau fondly recalls from his childhood — of Canadians in blue helmets and berets who kept the warring factions apart in Cyprus and the Middle East — died with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of the asymmetrical threat posed by rogue states and group terrorism.

I used to joke that the NDP stood for “No Defence Policy” and deserved our opprobrium because it would relegate Canada’s military to some kind of constabulary force, useful for combating forest fires and stacking sandbags in the event of flooding. But despite making grandiose claims of defence spending spiking in three decades from now in a defence policy review that reads like a prophecy instead of a plan, the label is becoming increasingly apt for the current Liberal regime. Trudeau remains both uncomfortable with talking about the military and profoundly inept with knowing what to do with it.

David Krayden is a former Air Force public affairs officer and communications manager on Parliament Hill. He is the Ottawa bureau chief for The Daily Caller, a Washington-based news service.





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Offline Cloud Cover

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #638 on: January 24, 2019, 15:15:26 »



Another reason Trudeau sent the contingent to Mali was to demonstrate how gender equity — one of the prime minister’s pet causes — has been so insouciantly and effectively adopted by the Canadian military. Just as he created a cabinet bound by sexual quotas, the Department of National Defence was directed to prepare a Mali team that highlighted the preponderance of women in uniform. It may be one degree of stupidity to run your cabinet with that philosophy but it is entirely beyond justification to send people into battle to celebrate political ideology.


I can easily think of at least 10 female soldiers who are just as likely to throat punch or double tap* an insurgent with the same degree of spirit as any other form of gender. In fact, I would wager most (if not all of them!!) would not pass on an opportunity to to do the same to some of the political people the author mentions for the simple fact that they are being placed in that position because of their gender, notwithstanding that fact they are just as good as anyone else in the job. The color of their beret and helmet cover doesn't have much to do with that, one can always throw it in the trash when no longer required.

* and I don't mean the urban form of "dancing".
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #639 on: January 24, 2019, 15:39:06 »
I can easily think of at least 10 female soldiers who are just as likely to throat punch or double tap* an insurgent with the same degree of spirit as any other form of gender. In fact, I would wager most (if not all of them!!) would not pass on an opportunity to to do the same to some of the political people the author mentions for the simple fact that they are being placed in that position because of their gender, notwithstanding that fact they are just as good as anyone else in the job. The color of their beret and helmet cover doesn't have much to do with that, one can always throw it in the trash when no longer required.

* and I don't mean the urban form of "dancing".

I agree. And we do these excellent (female) troops a disservice by trying to run 'special' missions or events for them.

I'm pretty sure they hate that too (because several of them have told me that).
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon