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Canada's tanks

OldSolduer

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I don't have a lot of formal education other than high school, and some military courses.

Our CAF -despite government neglect, its own ongoing leadership issues, and the ignorance of the general public - the reputation is still pretty good. Canada needs a credible military to participate in international alliances and remain credible and relevant. Even a crayon eater like me knows that.
 

CBH99

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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.

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We dither on every major decision - whether internal or international. Whether it is domestic pipelines, supporting local industries, military programs, formalizing 5G data networks, or common sense economic development - Canada dithers when it comes to any meaningful decision or commitment.

And while the rest of the world probably doesn’t notice it as much as we do, for obvious reasons - they are starting to notice. And that isn’t good.

A bandaid can only cover so much before people start to realize the wound is bigger than the bandaid. And we can all smile and pretend we aren’t hurt, to an extent… until we are in so much pain we can’t hide it behind a strong face anymore.


By delaying decision after decision, time and time again, the only people we are hurting are ourselves. Both in terms of economic stability and growth, and international reputation.


Do we deserve a seat at the big boy table? Historically, yes. Currently? No.


The rest of the world doesn’t care about the virtue signalling, social Justice warrior nonsense our federal government seems to radiate. (While ironically enough covering up scandals, and at times, blatant criminality.)

The rest of the world doesn’t care if half of a committee in Ottawa are female, or whether the font different between English and French is adequate on some letterhead. The rest of the world doesn’t care about the virtue signalling rubbish spouted in one day, while no firm commitment can be generated the next.


Why would companies like Bell Helicopters continue to have a factory here, if our government sabotages sales for them? (And a whopping 15 utility helicopters at that…).

Why would GDLS built IFV type vehicles here if they know the government may interfere and ban a sale to Saudi Arabia, when the USA would help facilitate the sale AND tax them less?

Why would large companies continue to propose projects that would employ thousands of local people, develop economic robustness, increase GDP, etc - if they know they will be told “No”, but only after waiting until the last minute?

If a developing country gave millions of dollars to folks who are friends of their national leader to support companies they own, yet dithered when it came to companies who applied for funds or permits via a proper process, we would call it corruption. But according to dipshit & co, that isn’t the case when they do it.


And for what? Votes? From a general public that doesn’t pay attention to anything the media isn’t shoving in their faces?



I do love Canada. I miss the vibrancy and spirit that used to exist here, at least more noticeably.

But do we deserve a seat at the big boy table? Maybe we need a timeout until we can start making big boy decisions?

<rant off, sorry!>
 

Underway

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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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OK.

The glaciers that are melting that supply the vast majority of water to the Kashmir valley will begin dry up in the next 10-20 years. No amount of desalinization will help stop Pakistan from going to war against India to keep access to that water. Its access or death as those rivers water/feed the vast majority of Pakistani's.

The conflict in Syria is in part exacerbated (some would argue started) by a five-year drought. No amount of desalinization would have stopped that water war.

Desalinization may work in some places but it's a drop in the bucket (see what I did there) and is actually very very expensive and industrially intensive compared to free water falling from the sky or flowing in a river.
 
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Underway

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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:



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.

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Not to pick on you...

That policy document is a choice. Most countries in the world don't get to choose the military they want. They get the military they need for either internal political suppression or to deal with their own geopolitical realities.

The original question was about tanks. We have the tanks we need for the army for the job the army does based on our own geopolitical realities. What we need is to provide a baseline of professional competence to train foreign forces, assist in NATO missions, do the odd peacekeeping mission and support too disaster response in Canada. Also for the framework of making the military bigger should that be required. The army is not for the defense of Canada (except maybe defence against help).

What we on this board want is what that policy document states. That's unfortunately an aspirational document instead of a plan.

Others have pointed out WW1 and WW2 or the Cold War as examples where Canada needs a bigger military. I would argue that aside from WW1 where we did not control our own foreign policy those other situations were choices. WW2 we chose to help the UK and didn't have to. We could have remained isolationist like the US or neutral like Sweeden. There was no direct threat to Canada.

We're in a great place to live. We have choices. Unlike almost every other country in the world our military decisions are not forces on us by external factors.

That's for the army, however. The airforce and navy do have external pressures as they operate in a civil environment with roles outside of the "break in case of emergency" nature of the army. We have the army we need, but certainly not the navy or airforce we need.
 

FJAG

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The original question was about tanks. We have the tanks we need for the army for the job the army does based on our own geopolitical realities. What we need is to provide a baseline of professional competence to train foreign forces, assist in NATO missions, do the odd peacekeeping mission and support too disaster response in Canada. Also for the framework of making the military bigger should that be required. The army is not for the defense of Canada (except maybe defence against help).
IMHO this begs the question. What we need today is not necessarily what we need tomorrow and if all you do is look at the Army as the toolbox that you have in hand to fix a drippy pipe that you already have rather than the toolbox you need if the pipe ruptures then you are only dealing with a small part of the issue.

I've compared the Army to an insurance policy before. You don't buy an insurance policy when your house is on fire, you buy it well ahead of time before the fire starts. With an Army you need even more lead time because its an insurance policy that takes a long time to put together and ensure that it covers all of your needs.

You've minimized the term "assist in NATO missions". What does that mean? The most fundamental and superficial research would make it clear that the #1 mission for NATO is once again deterring Russia from destabilizing its bordering neighbours. That means fully equipped and highly capable troops and equipment on the ground in those areas of potential conflict. And while we may argue until we're blue in the face about what weapon systems we need for that, its equally clear that none of the weapon systems that we need for that are in our hands. A demi battalion forming the framework for a battlegroup may sound nifty in theory but is, at best, a modern equivalent of C Force in Hong Kong. Militarily it won't survive; politically it shows a significant commitment by Canada. The problem with a trip wire symbol, is that it needs to be backed up by a solid military response that the government can call on, if required.

That's really where I have a problem with the Army. SSE points in the direction of a high-intensity, peer-to-peer capable force. That is aspirational. The task for Army leadership is to put flesh on those bones with a sound plan that will provide a capable and meaningful force that will firstly, be part of a credible deterrent, and secondly, if the government so chooses, be part of a capable force fit for its mission. Right now the Army denies the government that choice because it provides neither a credible deterrent nor a force capable for high intensity combat. In short, it is not fit for the government's purpose, and, quite frankly, in many ways is a waste of a tremendous amount of money. Foreign assistance training and traditional peacekeeping and even disaster assistance are merely rationalizations used to keep $ flowing into the coffers. It's a pale justification. Canada could do those missions with a tenth of the cost, infrastructure and personnel that keep the military bureaucracy shuffling along. It's the NORAD (RCAF) and NATO (CA and RCN) roles that are the foundation of why we spend $26 billion each year now.

One thing that I agree with in that statement is that we need a framework for making the military bigger. In fact that is my main issue with our current Army priorities. The vast bulk of its $ goes to forces-in-being (i.e the Reg F) for day-to-day operations which are not greatly challenging or demanding to the country while committing very little to creating a stand-by force (ie predominantly Res F) to which one can turn to in an emergency.

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SupersonicMax

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That's really where I have a problem with the Army. SSE points in the direction of a high-intensity, peer-to-peer capable force. That is aspirational. The task for Army leadership is to put flesh on those bones with a sound plan that will provide a capable and meaningful force that will firstly, be part of a credible deterrent, and secondly, if the government so chooses, be part of a capable force fit for its mission. Right now the Army denies the government that choice because it provides neither a credible deterrent nor a force capable for high intensity combat. In short, it is not fit for the government's purpose, and, quite frankly, in many ways is a waste of a tremendous amount of money. Foreign assistance training and traditional peacekeeping and even disaster assistance are merely rationalizations used to keep $ flowing into the coffers. It's a pale justification. Canada could do those missions with a tenth of the cost, infrastructure and personnel that keep the military bureaucracy shuffling along. It's the NORAD (RCAF) and NATO (CA and RCN) roles that are the foundation of why we spend $26 billion each year now.
Being part of a credible deterrent (through our alliances) doesn’t imply having all capabilities required to deter. We need to provide capabilities that, when put together with NATO’s capabilities, present an effective deterrent. I would argue that buying 100 or even 200 tanks will not do much when NATO countries in Europe have more tanks and attack helicopters, closer to the threat (even not including US Forces in Europe). The logistics involved in moving tanks from Canada to a location that will actually contribute to deterrence is just too much for Canada. Same thing with having a training base oversea.

What we need to do is look where our allies have gaps or weaknesses, and invest in capabilities that will fill those caps and strengthen the weak areas of the coalition. The last thing we need is another platform only capable of doing CAS, for example. There is more than enough to go around. That’s our best bet to be invited to the show and to be seen as a meaningful contributor. Our ability to wage war in all spectrums of warfare is gone and we need to come to terms with that fact. We need to embrace our role of contributor to a larger coalition.
 

FJAG

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I beg to differ.
Being part of a credible deterrent (through our alliances) doesn’t imply having all capabilities required to deter. We need to provide capabilities that, when put together with NATO’s capabilities, present an effective deterrent.
Not all, but the ones critical to operating an ground force efficiently and successfully. Certain types of support needs to be guaranteed. If Afghanistan should have taught us anything it's that you can't always count on an ally to be there when needed.

I would argue that buying 100 or even 200 tanks will not do much when NATO countries in Europe have more tanks and attack helicopters, closer to the threat (even not including US Forces in Europe).
They do not have the number of tanks that you imagine. Heavy armour was one of the first gods sacrificed to the high alter of peace dividend divestitures in the 1990s.

The logistics involved in moving tanks from Canada to a location that will actually contribute to deterrence is just too much for Canada. Same thing with having a training base oversea.
This is part of the transformation myth that permeated Canada at the turn of the century as we were steered helter skelter to a medium level force. Its one thing when you do not know where your heavy force may be deployed, its quite another when you have a good idea where your most likely AO will be. Both the US and Brits (the other two off-shore partners in NATO) are heavy into prepositioning because they have to be. So do we. Prepositioning equipment and training overseas costs significantly less that the costs of not having done so.

What we need to do is look where our allies have gaps or weaknesses, and invest in capabilities that will fill those caps and strengthen the weak areas of the coalition.
Our allies are working hard and fast at closing their capability gaps. None of them are stupid enough to wait for Canada to fill the bill somewhere a decade from now; maybe. From an army point of view, their current weaknesses are a lack of tanks, long range precision strike artillery, air defence, unmanned combat aerial vehicles, and more soldiers. (See for example "Reinforcing Deterrence on NATO's Eastern Flank") We don't fill those gaps very well and don't have a plan to do so for the immediate future.

The last thing we need is another platform only capable of doing CAS, for example. There is more than enough to go around.
Actually we do need platforms capable of only doing CAS that we can count on to be there when the ground forces need them; they just shouldn't be manned jets: armed UAVs and even attack helicopters will still do nicely.

That’s our best bet to be invited to the show and to be seen as a meaningful contributor. Our ability to wage war in all spectrums of warfare is gone and we need to come to terms with that fact. We need to embrace our role of contributor to a larger coalition.
SSE still demands that we do wage war in all spectrums. The only reason we can't is because the military has chosen to give up too many necessary capabilities or pretends that it can do so when the ability to do so is gone. It's not that we need to embrace being a contributor to a larger coalition - we've been that for well over a half of a century - what we need to be is a useful, capable and credible contributor.

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Brad Sallows

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Canada doesn't need more tanks right now so much as it needs more people who know how to employ them.

If we have 9 (nominally) infantry units, it'd be nice to have, say, 3 (nominally) tank units. (Comparatively, they're less manpower-intensive.)

Go through the doctrine, SOPs, etc and identify everything that ties us to 4x4, disprove its necessity, and switch to 3x3 (3 squadrons of 3 troops). (Should not be hard; most nations with serious armour manage it.) Bring the number of tank units up to 3 (people, not major equipment). Co-locate the tank units where they share the limited inventory of toys, along with other arms to make up a brigade group (eg. one each inf, arty, engr, etc), and stagger the tank units at different phases in the readiness cycle.

I don't see how Canada stays credible among its allies and as a trainer of foreign forces when we have one (?) tank unit framework for training and exercising tankers.
 

MilEME09

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Canada doesn't need more tanks right now so much as it needs more people who know how to employ them.

If we have 9 (nominally) infantry units, it'd be nice to have, say, 3 (nominally) tank units. (Comparatively, they're less manpower-intensive.)

Go through the doctrine, SOPs, etc and identify everything that ties us to 4x4, disprove its necessity, and switch to 3x3 (3 squadrons of 3 troops). (Should not be hard; most nations with serious armour manage it.) Bring the number of tank units up to 3 (people, not major equipment). Co-locate the tank units where they share the limited inventory of toys, along with other arms to make up a brigade group (eg. one each inf, arty, engr, etc), and stagger the tank units at different phases in the readiness cycle.

I don't see how Canada stays credible among its allies and as a trainer of foreign forces when we have one (?) tank unit framework for training and exercising tankers.
Also move through school, seriously, if we are going to have all of our tanks move to LdSH(RC) in Edmonton, it makes no logistical, or economical sense to keep the school on the other side of the country, 4,400 Km away.
 

FormerHorseGuard

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Strange place to keep the tanks, but it offers the largest training areas to roll thru Wainwright and Sheffield ( not sure if Canadians can train there or just British tank forces as they are the renters). I do not think Edmonton is on the planned invasion access , so the tanks would have to be trucked to the battle if it happens in Canada.
 

suffolkowner

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Like in the Force 2025 thread it just looks like the army is constantly stuck in limbo land unsure of what it's job is and how to do it, lacking the will and commitment to carry through with anything
 

MilEME09

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Strange place to keep the tanks, but it offers the largest training areas to roll thru Wainwright and Sheffield ( not sure if Canadians can train there or just British tank forces as they are the renters). I do not think Edmonton is on the planned invasion access , so the tanks would have to be trucked to the battle if it happens in Canada.
We have touched on that before, the difference by rail transport is measured in hours to days to get the tanks to a port. Insignificant amount of time in the grand scheme, Edmonton, Suffield and Wainwright all have rail heads for loading and uploading tanks, and vehicles.
 

SupersonicMax

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We have touched on that before, the difference by rail transport is measured in hours to days to get the tanks to a port. Insignificant amount of time in the grand scheme, Edmonton, Suffield and Wainwright all have rail heads for loading and uploading tanks, and vehicles.
Getting it to port is one thing, transporting it overseas is a much different matter.
 

Jarnhamar

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I am just saying that if we were attacked then attitudes would change.
If the military has taught me anything its that even lessons learned in blood can quickly be forgotten.

I don't see how Canada stays credible among its allies and as a trainer of foreign forces when we have one (?) tank unit framework for training and exercising tankers.

Actually training troops is probably a tertiary consideration. Primary being handshakes, shoulder rubbing, and pictures (including plaque issuing).




Do our tanks even have active protection system's like TROPHY?
 
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FJAG

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Getting it to port is one thing, transporting it overseas is a much different matter.
other-shipping-methods-no-container.jpg


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Kirkhill

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OK.

The glaciers that are melting that supply the vast majority of water to the Kashmir valley will begin dry up in the next 10-20 years. No amount of desalinization will help stop Pakistan from going to war against India to keep access to that water. Its access or death as those rivers water/feed the vast majority of Pakistani's.

The conflict in Syria is in part exacerbated (some would argue started) by a five-year drought. No amount of desalinization would have stopped that water war.

Desalinization may work in some places but it's a drop in the bucket (see what I did there) and is actually very very expensive and industrially intensive compared to free water falling from the sky or flowing in a river.

On the other hand, much of the population of the deserts are moving to places where there is water - whether it be desalinated ocean water, ponded fresh (like the Great Lakes) or glacier fed (like the Prairies).

The deserts won't be abandoned. Their excess population will relocate until the residual population matches the carrying capacity.
 

Kirkhill

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Agreed.

Now make a plan and work it. You can base it on this federally funded fleet.


Or contract it out to this company


Or get this company to build more



Forget about budget efficiencies - the military and insurance policies are inherently inefficient. As is any Just In Case capability.

Ultimately the issue is do we buy kit - tanks, LAVs, HIMARs, ships, helicopters - that we hope we will never have to use? Or do we just hope we will never need them?
 

Humphrey Bogart

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If we want status quo, aka we remain a satrapy under American Hegemony with increasingly little say in our affairs, we continue on the path we are on.

Look at this map of light pollution in the World:


All I see when I see that map and look at Canada is that we are America's strategic reserve.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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If the military has taught me anything its that even lessons learned in blood can quickly be forgotten.



Actually training troops is probably a tertiary consideration. Primary being handshakes, shoulder rubbing, and pictures (including plaque issuing).




Do our tanks even have active protection system's like TROPHY?
Does the Army still even teach 5-20 drill still?
 
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