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Canada's tanks

lenaitch

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All we need, politically, is to be capable of defending our sovereign territory (which hasn’t been under credible threat in a long, long time), living up to our NORAD commitment, and living up to our NATO comitment.

For the defence of our territory, you’ll be hardpressed to find an argument to have a modern, near-peer military to do so. We have never been under threat in the recent and not so recent past so a token force is all that is required to be seem as defending our land.

For our NORAD commitment, we need to keep the US happy enough so they don’t back out of the agreement. This has a direct link to the defence of our territory - a lot of it is done through NORAD.

For our NATO commitment, we need to be involved enough to be seen as a plus value and doing out part. There are several ways to do so which do not involve being a top-tier force in all aspects of warfare. The most efficient way politically is to invest in non-kinetic, low risk, low cost capabilities that are in short supply and that act as force multipliers.

Investing in anything else would be foolish from a political point of view.
That sounds a lot like MacKenzie King's view in the approaching and early years of WWII. He envisioned Canada's contribution to be limited to supplies, support and materiel rather than committing troops to another "European war".

We could excel in logistics, transport and all that non-kinetic stuff, but at what point are our contributions viewed as having a very robust and efficient way to bring home the bodies of other nations' combatants?
 

CBH99

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The whole reason we have any defence budget at all is the defense against help.
Unfortunately, especially under our current PM, I think you are right. But those pesky troops sure do come in handy for floods, fighting forest fires, and photo ops!

The more this covid nonsense drags on, the more I think we should press ahead with what is best for Canada - screw what the average person thinks.

The average Canadian citizen doesn’t have a clue about these things, and pay attention to what the media tells them to.

A defence budget allows for 100,000 people to be employed (all in, civilians included) - credibility on the international stage - and should be the seed that starts to grow industries that also employ and educate people, etc.

Spending that money on social programs is like throwing it into the abyss, even if the average citizen thinks it sounds good to suggest it.
 

FormerHorseGuard

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I read thru the posts and understand most of the humour and sarcasm. But it really comes down to this, no one in the near future is going to attack Canada. No one wants our oil ( no one wants to explain how they now have dirty oil from what use to be Canada), no one will want our clean water in the future, that amounts to 7% of the world's supply. Our land is covered in snow and is cold for most of the year. Our vast resources are in the Arctic and we all know that no one wants to dig for diamonds or gold in the cold, no matter how much you are paid.

So if some one did invade Canada and we knew in time to rent a fleet of heavy flat bed trucks to move our fleet of tanks from Alberta or from the training school in Gagetown, we could defend a very small chunk of the country. With the population, and where the population of Canada is located we would be trading land for time anyways, as we are too small of a population to actually support the land mass we take up. 9,984,670 km2 with with a population of some 38 million people. That gives everyone .26 km2, but a lot of it is in the Northern region of the country and no one can live there anyways.
The US is 1.6% smaller and has 10x the population.

I actually believe out biggest threat is the neighbour to the South and North of of BC. They will want to expand someday and see the vast lands in Canada and take it because we cannot defend it. It will be a lot like Russia and the Ukraine. Start with some small annexation of land we do not really worry about and then when the complaints stop they just take a little bit more and more each time, till they have more important lands geographically and Canada is sitting looking at the largest Military power in the world controlling our borders.

Fort Drum was slated to close in the 60s, but with the FLQ, and the FLQ ties to Cuba they decided to keep the base open as a staging ground to invade Quebec if need be to keep Cuba from controlling it with puppet strings going back to the USSR.

So to keep the next invaders happy ( history of this war of 1812) we keep a small army and let winter take care of them. No need for more tanks. Their tanks will freeze and not start during a Canadian winter
 

Spencer100

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I read thru the posts and understand most of the humour and sarcasm. But it really comes down to this, no one in the near future is going to attack Canada. No one wants our oil ( no one wants to explain how they now have dirty oil from what use to be Canada), no one will want our clean water in the future, that amounts to 7% of the world's supply. Our land is covered in snow and is cold for most of the year. Our vast resources are in the Arctic and we all know that no one wants to dig for diamonds or gold in the cold, no matter how much you are paid.

So if some one did invade Canada and we knew in time to rent a fleet of heavy flat bed trucks to move our fleet of tanks from Alberta or from the training school in Gagetown, we could defend a very small chunk of the country. With the population, and where the population of Canada is located we would be trading land for time anyways, as we are too small of a population to actually support the land mass we take up. 9,984,670 km2 with with a population of some 38 million people. That gives everyone .26 km2, but a lot of it is in the Northern region of the country and no one can live there anyways.
The US is 1.6% smaller and has 10x the population.

I actually believe out biggest threat is the neighbour to the South and North of of BC. They will want to expand someday and see the vast lands in Canada and take it because we cannot defend it. It will be a lot like Russia and the Ukraine. Start with some small annexation of land we do not really worry about and then when the complaints stop they just take a little bit more and more each time, till they have more important lands geographically and Canada is sitting looking at the largest Military power in the world controlling our borders.

Fort Drum was slated to close in the 60s, but with the FLQ, and the FLQ ties to Cuba they decided to keep the base open as a staging ground to invade Quebec if need be to keep Cuba from controlling it with puppet strings going back to the USSR.

So to keep the next invaders happy ( history of this war of 1812) we keep a small army and let winter take care of them. No need for more tanks. Their tanks will freeze and not start during a Canadian winter
The Americans would never invade for the resources. They would just buy them as they have always done. The Americans invading for resources has been one of the biggest boogiemans of my life. It will never happen. Much to the chagrin of your socialist's history teacher they don't do that. It is much cheaper to buy it by factors of 10. Even if you use the last wars in the middle east....if they were for resources the ROI is negative by factors of 100. But that goes against the narrative. And if there is one I have learned that the narrative is more important than truth, fact or reason.

Now I do see two situations where the Americans come in. One is Canada becomes a hotbed of antigov and terrorist. The other believe it not is Canada in some super weird way becomes super "conservatives" or freedom loving....that would put them over top. :)
 

Halifax Tar

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I read thru the posts and understand most of the humour and sarcasm. But it really comes down to this, no one in the near future is going to attack Canada. No one wants our oil ( no one wants to explain how they now have dirty oil from what use to be Canada), no one will want our clean water in the future, that amounts to 7% of the world's supply. Our land is covered in snow and is cold for most of the year. Our vast resources are in the Arctic and we all know that no one wants to dig for diamonds or gold in the cold, no matter how much you are paid.

So if some one did invade Canada and we knew in time to rent a fleet of heavy flat bed trucks to move our fleet of tanks from Alberta or from the training school in Gagetown, we could defend a very small chunk of the country. With the population, and where the population of Canada is located we would be trading land for time anyways, as we are too small of a population to actually support the land mass we take up. 9,984,670 km2 with with a population of some 38 million people. That gives everyone .26 km2, but a lot of it is in the Northern region of the country and no one can live there anyways.
The US is 1.6% smaller and has 10x the population.

I actually believe out biggest threat is the neighbour to the South and North of of BC. They will want to expand someday and see the vast lands in Canada and take it because we cannot defend it. It will be a lot like Russia and the Ukraine. Start with some small annexation of land we do not really worry about and then when the complaints stop they just take a little bit more and more each time, till they have more important lands geographically and Canada is sitting looking at the largest Military power in the world controlling our borders.

Fort Drum was slated to close in the 60s, but with the FLQ, and the FLQ ties to Cuba they decided to keep the base open as a staging ground to invade Quebec if need be to keep Cuba from controlling it with puppet strings going back to the USSR.

So to keep the next invaders happy ( history of this war of 1812) we keep a small army and let winter take care of them. No need for more tanks. Their tanks will freeze and not start during a Canadian winter

I tend to agree. Our only credible invasion comes from the USA and we don't stand a snow balls chance in hell against them.

Hence I think we could disband the Army. Mabey reform it as a civil defence corps with no weapons, more for use in disaster relief.

Keep a small SOF cadre, and focus on air and sea defence of NA with robust and cutting edge ASW forces for convoy escort.

We could petition the US to let Canadians join their Army as volunteers as our contribution to any future land conflict.
 

FJAG

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If your only focus is a potential attack against the sovereign land mass that is Canada then some of the views expressed here are understandable.

The reality, however, is that the latter part of the last century was a war between two sets of alliances that was won in large measure by a credible conventional defence force positioned in Europe and including elements from North America. The weakening of that alliance has once again positioned Europe into a situation where one single aggressor, supported by one stooge, is testing the boundaries to see how much low hanging fruit can be gathered before credible opposition forms. At the rate we're going, and considering so many Canadians feel that defence of Canada solely means its territorial integrity, that credible opposition will never arise.

A short reminder of what the SSE says:

The re-emergence of major power competition has reminded Canada and its allies of the importance of deterrence. At its core, deterrence is about discouraging a potential adversary from doing something harmful before they do it. A credible military deterrent serves as a diplomatic tool to help prevent conflict and should be accompanied by dialogue. NATO Allies and other like-minded states have been re-examining how to deter a wide spectrum of challenges to the international order by maintaining advanced conventional military capabilities that could be used in the event of a conflict with a “near-peer.” Deterrence has traditionally focused on conventional and nuclear capabilities, but the concept is also increasingly relevant to the space and cyber domains.

Our defence policy recognizes the value of a credible military deterrent by an alliance at least by way of a policy statement. What is needed now is aligning the force structure to the policy.

🍻
 

FJAG

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it was a hint sarcasm intended. water is the next war
Let's get real. Desalination works and is cheap. Depending on the method used it costs between $0.50 to $1.00 per cubic metre which is peanuts when you consider what we pay for "spring water" and "smart water" in a grocery store.

My last monthly water bill had me using 6 cubic metres of tap water at $5.00 per cubic metre and another $5.00 per cubic metre for waste water disposal for water that comes for free out of Lake Huron. If I had to pay an additional $5.00 per month total to have desalinated water from an ocean it would be a tiny impact considering that all the distribution network is already in place - certainly a significantly lower cost than a war.

People may protest oil pipelines. There won't be any realistic protests to water "pipelines". There are options if we properly incentivize utilities to go in that direction.

🍻
 
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FormerHorseGuard

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The Americans would never invade for the resources. They would just buy them as they have always done. The Americans invading for resources has been one of the biggest boogiemans of my life. It will never happen. Much to the chagrin of your socialist's history teacher they don't do that. It is much cheaper to buy it by factors of 10. Even if you use the last wars in the middle east....if they were for resources the ROI is negative by factors of 100. But that goes against the narrative. And if there is one I have learned that the narrative is more important than truth, fact or reason.

Now I do see two situations where the Americans come in. One is Canada becomes a hotbed of antigov and terrorist. The other believe it not is Canada in some super weird way becomes super "conservatives" or freedom loving....that would put them over top. :)
In my opinion and this only the opinion of a guy who only completed High School, and was a Private in the infantry then a pay clerk , so take it with a grain of sand from the Mattawa Plains.

The US of A has an on going shortage of water in various States, there is a huge need for water. They have looked at moving river flows and changing the natural direction of flow. Very few rivers flow from the US into Canada, a lot of rivers go south. Control the water they are giving power of life to farmers and people who do not have water. ( Votes collected).

They have a population that is growing faster and the need for space to grow and sustain that population is bigger than they have now. Their farms are competing with South American countries where they are close to getting 2 growing seasons as they play with plant DNA and develop crops that require less growing time and less heat units to grow ( I attended a farmers meeting in Iowa in the early 2000s and this was the Federal Agriculture Departments future take on farming on in South America). So they cannot give up more farm land to build on as they will need that land to grow and raise food on. Since they look at the map of Canada they see nothing north of border beyond the 150 mile mark of any importance. The land is prime for the take over. Lots of farm land ripe for the taking.

From things I read over the years the US policy was to fight incoming missiles and bombers over Canadian territory to save their own land we are expendable in their eyes. So a quick take over is very possible and there would be little to no help coming to defend Canadian Soil unless the UK decides to defend us, or unless the the Russian Bear decides that defending Canada is in their interest.

I am a person of history and enjoy Canadian military history facts and events.
Second main reason we do not have a lot of tanks is public relations and the view of tanks in the streets of old Montreal and Quebec City in the 1970s. I have read headlines, such this one from CBC

Troops, tanks roam Quebec streets during the October Crisis https://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/october-crisis-troops-tanks-roam-quebec-streets

I have never seen pictures of tanks in the streets, maybe some one has some but I have never one, I have seen trucks, jeeps and helicopters deployed but no tanks. I have looked for them, seen M113, Lynx APC, ferrets, but no actual tanks.

I did an essay on the FLQ crisis back in Grade 13 Canadian History ( the teacher said it was beyond his knowledge what I researched) so I got good marks on it.

The elected officials on all levels of governments did not like the idea of a tracked vehicles in the old quarters of Montreal and Quebec City, so that lead in part to the start of the AVGP family coming to Canadian Army. For future Social up risings it would look better on the news if the army came on wheeled assets and the wheels did not damage the streets and ruin the cobble stone look. I forget the book that this bit of information came up in. But the government thought wheels would work better for the times and in the future. No tracks, no tanks on the streets. Did not want the look of a 3rd world government trying to control its people thru tanks, to be how Canada was viewed by the world. Think China and Tiananmen Square and the man facing down a tank, it made headlines around the world. No one wants to see that on the front page and it be a Canadian tank inside the walls of Quebec City.

But those of you in the know and would know much better than I .

This might be a good read on Canadian Tanks and the future plans, it was dated 2014 so it might be old news and way out of date but the facts and figures remain the same.

Unless we get more heavy lift aircraft, or ships able to deliver tanks to the location, we will only ever deploy the least number of tanks required and a few spares in case of whatever, breakdowns, or combat losses. Unless things change deploying 20 tanks will be the limit of what we can do just like we did in Afghanistan, 15 plus 5 spares.

Like I said just my views and opinions

Opie out
 

Dana381

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The Americans would never invade for the resources. They would just buy them as they have always done. The Americans invading for resources has been one of the biggest boogiemans of my life. It will never happen. Much to the chagrin of your socialist's history teacher they don't do that. It is much cheaper to buy it by factors of 10. Even if you use the last wars in the middle east....if they were for resources the ROI is negative by factors of 100. But that goes against the narrative. And if there is one I have learned that the narrative is more important than truth, fact or reason.

Now I do see two situations where the Americans come in. One is Canada becomes a hotbed of antigov and terrorist. The other believe it not is Canada in some super weird way becomes super "conservatives" or freedom loving....that would put them over top. :)
IMO The only threat we face from the American's is if Canada becomes too socialist or communist. They would never allow that so close to their borders. When I was younger (in the 90's) the mantra was "Americans biggest fear is communism, Canada's biggest fear is Americanization" I believe that still holds true especially amongst the American right.
Our defence policy recognizes the value of a credible military deterrent by an alliance at least by way of a policy statement. What is needed now is aligning the force structure to the policy.

🍻
I agree 100%. Canada is being left behind by that alliance because politicians have made it quite clear they would rather buy votes using social programmes than meet the minimums of their obligations to the alliance.

I agree also that if the U.S. wants anything we have they just buy it as it's cheaper. The U.S. wants to control the global arms trade so that they always have the best equipment and every single successful Canadian arms maker has been bought buy an American company. I am convinced this is a Pentagon policy.
 

FJAG

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This might be a good read on Canadian Tanks and the future plans, it was dated 2014 so it might be old news and way out of date but the facts and figures remain the same.
Its quite a poor read actually. The article was published before the Russian annexation of the Crimea but was in all probability written before that. If not then the absence of any reference to that situation is a blatant oversight.

The only thing that I agree wholeheartedly with is that a portion of the tank force (and I would add the artillery to this) should be allocated to the reserves to stay at a lower level of readiness as a recurring cost saving. That, however, does not mean that the tanks should not be upgraded and kept in deployable condition, or worse yet, start down the road to divestiture like so much of our warfighting equipment has.

Just a point, you do not need heavy lift air transport to deploy your heavy armoured force if you preposition the force during peacetime to be near the likely theatre of operation. It's far easier to deploy troops to the tanks for training and operations. One C130 or (better yet) one C17 can move a squadron's troops in one lift. That, however, requires planning. Something Canada does not excel at.

🍻
 

Spencer100

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IMO The only threat we face from the American's is if Canada becomes too socialist or communist. They would never allow that so close to their borders. When I was younger (in the 90's) the mantra was "Americans biggest fear is communism, Canada's biggest fear is Americanization" I believe that still holds true especially amongst the American right.

I agree 100%. Canada is being left behind by that alliance because politicians have made it quite clear they would rather buy votes using social programmes than meet the minimums of their obligations to the alliance.

I agree also that if the U.S. wants anything we have they just buy it as it's cheaper. The U.S. wants to control the global arms trade so that they always have the best equipment and every single successful Canadian arms maker has been bought buy an American company. I am convinced this is a Pentagon policy.
Well there really was not a Canadian arms company that was not American (or British) to begin with so they really didn't buy them after the fact. GDLS Canada was GM Canada...American owned. Colt Canada was Diametico but it was American design to begin with. Canadair was GD then Bombardier now imploded. AVRO was British. CAE is the largest Canadian owned of the majors. The shipbuilders are Canadian...Ok...cough cough Sea Span.

Sure there are makers of clothes, kit and meals but that is the small stuff. (important but small stuff)

And there will be no war about water. The globe is water. It just distribution that's the problem. Yes some areas there are shortages. It is such a high school social studies class...Water is the new oil! its utter BS.
 

FormerHorseGuard

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Its quite a poor read actually. The article was published before the Russian annexation of the Crimea but was in all probability written before that. If not then the absence of any reference to that situation is a blatant oversight.

The only thing that I agree wholeheartedly with is that a portion of the tank force (and I would add the artillery to this) should be allocated to the reserves to stay at a lower level of readiness as a recurring cost saving. That, however, does not mean that the tanks should not be upgraded and kept in deployable condition, or worse yet, start down the road to divestiture like so much of our warfighting equipment has.

Just a point, you do not need heavy lift air transport to deploy your heavy armoured force if you preposition the force during peacetime to be near the likely theatre of operation. It's far easier to deploy troops to the tanks for training and operations. One C130 or (better yet) one C17 can move a squadron's troops in one lift. That, however, requires planning. Something Canada does not excel at.

🍻
Questions: where is staging base going to be? how are we going to maintain the tanks in storage? How many tanks are we going to stage overseas or where ever? Do we rent a large building say in Germany and park them like a u store, u lock it site? Once the tanks are in storage it comes back to the same thing, how do we get X number of tanks, that have been in storage to the area of operations? Will these tanks work or require a complete rebuild because they sat for X number of months or years? This brings back the question of closing the bases over in Germany as a cost saving mode with the end of the Cold War . The costs will come back.
 

KevinB

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Well there really was not a Canadian arms company that was not American (or British) to begin with so they really didn't buy them after the fact. GDLS Canada was GM Canada...American owned. Colt Canada was Diametico but it was American design to begin with. Canadair was GD then Bombardier now imploded. AVRO was British. CAE is the largest Canadian owned of the majors. The shipbuilders are Canadian...Ok...cough cough Sea Span.

Sure there are makers of clothes, kit and meals but that is the small stuff. (important but small stuff)

And there will be no war about water. The globe is water. It just distribution that's the problem. Yes some areas there are shortages. It is such a high school social studies class...Water is the new oil! its utter BS.
Diemaco was owned by Heroux DevTek before being spun off and bought by Colt and renamed Colt Canada -- it was going to build whomever won the Weapons of the 80's Competition - not solely the C7/C8 (and also builds the C9 and C-6 under license from FN Herstal).

Canada has shuttered it own government owned small arms capability long before.
 

MilEME09

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Diemaco was owned by Heroux DevTek before being spun off and bought by Colt and renamed Colt Canada -- it was going to build whomever won the Weapons of the 80's Competition - not solely the C7/C8 (and also builds the C9 and C-6 under license from FN Herstal).

Canada has shuttered it own government owned small arms capability long before.
We would have a lot less problems about made on canada if we still had dominion arms around and government run. Corporations don't mind licensing to a government, less so to a competitor
 

FJAG

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Questions: where is staging base going to be? how are we going to maintain the tanks in storage? How many tanks are we going to stage overseas or where ever? Do we rent a large building say in Germany and park them like a u store, u lock it site? Once the tanks are in storage it comes back to the same thing, how do we get X number of tanks, that have been in storage to the area of operations? Will these tanks work or require a complete rebuild because they sat for X number of months or years? This brings back the question of closing the bases over in Germany as a cost saving mode with the end of the Cold War . The costs will come back.
These are small issues which are relatively easily solved once the key decision is made to do it. This is not a "the devil is in the details" matter. Instead it's a risk aversion issue that permeated the decision making process. The issues that you raise are the ones that will be pulled out of the sleeves of all those for whom the risk is too great - and you can bet your bottom dollar that those issues will be touted as monstrously complex deal breakers by those folks.

War and the prevention of war through deterrence is a matter of properly assessing risk. Currently our government's assessment of risk is that we can avoid making a decision while others make the hard choices. How's that working out for us at the UN? at NATO? in our international trade relationships? We've got the world's 9th largest economy by GDP, two spots ahead of Russia, and people are wondering if we should still belong at the Big Boy's table.

🍻
 

KevinB

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We would have a lot less problems about made on canada if we still had dominion arms around and government run. Corporations don't mind licensing to a government, less so to a competitor
Totally agree.
The idea that anyone was going to give Colt Canada their TDP to make something is absolutely ludicrous.
 

quadrapiper

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Questions: where is staging base going to be? how are we going to maintain the tanks in storage? How many tanks are we going to stage overseas or where ever?
Maybe instead of thinking storage, think distant training site. Likely narrows down the options, but gets rid of keep things turning as a separate evolution. If that site's colocated with e.g. the Latvia battlegroup or similar, I'm sure that would broaden both the training options and provide depth for any actual operations.

With reservists, would actual MBTs be most useful at/near the armoury, or would it make sense to have recovery or engineering Leos dispersed around the country? Do they handle similarly enough that, given somewhere to drive the things, reservists could potentially conduct useful training exclusive of gunnery, while also maintaining a vehicle that might be of more use than a gun tank come flood, fire, or earthquake?
 
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