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Justin Trudeau hints at boosting Canada’s military spending

Justin Trudeau hints at boosting Canada’s military spending

Canada says it will look at increasing its defence spending and tacked on 10 more Russian names to an ever growing sanctions list.

By Tonda MacCharles
Ottawa Bureau
Mon., March 7, 2022

Riga, LATVIA—On the 13th day of the brutal Russian bid to claim Ukraine as its own, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is showing up at the Latvian battle group led by Canadian soldiers, waving the Maple Leaf and a vague hint at more money for the military.

Canada has been waving the NATO flag for nearly seven years in Latvia as a bulwark against Russia’s further incursions in Eastern Europe.

Canada stepped up to lead one of NATO’s four battle groups in 2015 — part of the defensive alliance’s display of strength and solidarity with weaker member states after Russia invaded Ukraine and seized the Crimean peninsula in 2014. Trudeau arrived in the Latvian capital late Monday after meetings in the U.K. with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Earlier Monday, faced with a seemingly unstoppable war in Ukraine, Trudeau said he will look at increasing Canada’s defence spending. Given world events, he said there are “certainly reflections to have.”

And Canada tacked on 10 more Russian names to an ever-growing sanctions list.

The latest round of sanctions includes names Trudeau said were identified by jailed Russian opposition leader and Putin nemesis Alexei Navalny.

However, on a day when Trudeau cited the new sanctions, and Johnson touted new measures meant to expose Russian property owners in his country, Rutte admitted sanctions are not working.

Yet they all called for more concerted international efforts over the long haul, including more economic measures and more humanitarian aid, with Johnson and Rutte divided over how quickly countries need to get off Russian oil and gas.

The 10 latest names on Canada’s target list do not include Roman Abramovich — a Russian billionaire Navalny has been flagging to Canada since at least 2017. Canada appears to have sanctioned about 20 of the 35 names on Navalny’s list.

The Conservative opposition says the Liberal government is not yet exerting maximum pressure on Putin, and should do more to bolster Canadian Forces, including by finally approving the purchase of fighter jets.

Foreign affairs critic Michael Chong said in an interview that Ottawa must still sanction “additional oligarchs close to President Putin who have significant assets in Canada.”

Abramovich owns more than a quarter of the public shares in steelmaking giant Evraz, which has operations in Alberta and Saskatchewan and has supplied most of the steel for the government-owned Trans Mountain pipeline project.

Evraz’s board of directors also includes two more Russians the U.S. government identified as “oligarchs” in 2019 — Aleksandr Abramov and Aleksandr Frolov — and its Canadian operations have received significant support from the federal government.

That includes at least $27 million in emergency wage subsidies during the pandemic, as well as $7 million through a fund meant to help heavy-polluters reduce emissions that cause climate change, according to the company’s most recent annual report.

In addition to upping defence spending, the Conservatives want NORAD’s early warning system upgraded, naval shipbuilding ramped up and Arctic security bolstered.

In London, Johnson sat down with Trudeau and Rutte at the Northolt airbase. Their morning meetings had a rushed feel, with Johnson starting to usher press out before Trudeau spoke. His office said later that the British PM couldn’t squeeze the full meeting in at 10 Downing Street because Johnson’s “diary” was so busy that day. The three leaders held an afternoon news conference at 10 Downing.

But before that Trudeau met with the Queen, saying she was “insightful” and they had a “useful, for me anyway, conversation about global affairs.”

Trudeau meets with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Tuesday in Latvia.

The prime minister will also meet with three Baltic leaders, the prime ministers of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, in the Latvian capital of Riga.

The Liberals announced they would increase the 500 Canadian Forces in Latvia by another 460 troops. The Canadians are leading a multinational battle group, one of four that are part of NATO’s deployments in the region.

Another 3,400 Canadians could be deployed to the region in the months to come, on standby for NATO orders.

But Canada’s shipments of lethal aid to Ukraine were slow to come in the view of the Conservatives, and the Ukrainian Canadian community.

And suddenly Western allies are eyeing each other’s defence commitments.

At the Downing Street news conference, Rutte noted the Netherlands will increase its defence budget to close to two per cent of GDP. Germany has led the G7, and doubled its defence budget in the face of Putin’s invasion and threats. Johnson said the U.K. defence spending is about 2.4 per cent and declined to comment on Canada’s defence spending which is 1.4 per cent of GDP.

But Johnson didn’t hold back.

“What we can’t do, post the invasion of Ukraine is assume that we go back to a kind of status quo ante, a kind of new normalization in the way that we did after the … seizure of Crimea and the Donbas area,” Johnson said. “We’ve got to recognize that things have changed and that we need a new focus on security and I think that that is kind of increasingly understood by everybody.”

Trudeau stood by his British and Dutch counterparts and pledged Canada would do more.

He defended his government’s record, saying Ottawa is gradually increasing spending over the next decade by 70 per cent. Then Trudeau admitted more might be necessary.

“We also recognize that context is changing rapidly around the world and we need to make sure that women and men have certainty and our forces have all the equipment necessary to be able to stand strongly as we always have. As members of NATO. We will continue to look at what more we can do.”

The three leaders — Johnson, a conservative and Trudeau and Rutte, progressive liberals — in a joint statement said they “will continue to impose severe costs on Russia.”

Arriving for the news conference from Windsor Castle, Trudeau had to detour to enter Downing Street as loud so-called Freedom Convoy protesters bellowed from outside the gate. They carried signs marked “Tuck Frudeau” and “Free Tamara” (Lich).

Protester Jeff Wyatt who said he has no Canadian ties told the Star he came to stand up for Lich and others who were leading a “peaceful protest” worldwide against government “lies” about COVID-19 and what he called Trudeau’s “tyranny.”

Elsewhere in London, outside the Russian embassy, other protesters and passersby reflected on what they said was real tyranny — the Russian attack on Ukraine. “I think we should be as tough as possible to get this stopped, as tough as possible,” said protester Clive Martinez.
 
I agree entirely. The chain needs to be set up to deal with an end to end factory to gun position system. Currently we don't. We're using much of the same procedures our grandfathers used in WW2 (or even 1). Those become labour intensive at some point and that all to often is at the gun position.

The problem comes about for two major reasons. 1 - we hardly ever need to deal with arty ammo at war time scales. Its dead simple to pick up a hundred rounds for an exercise. As a result we do not train or plan for large rates of usage. 2 - doctrinally ammo handling falls outside the brigade service battalion and instead went from the DISGP via the DISGP's ammunition transport company to the division's CS and GS regiments. Not having a DISGP or an ammunition transport company we are left with, once again, cobbling together a non doctrinal ad hoc agency (like an NSE) to do work which should be done by a dedicated organization trained in the process.

Our peacetime experiences will kill us in wartime.


But you allude to the fact that an Archer with a three man detachment saves manpower. My point is simply that it doesn't. That manpower needs to be somewhere.

Luckily, Taliban rockets weren't that accurate. Still. You do need to have ammo dumps somewhere. Ones like the KAF one won't survive. Again that needs manpower to manage breaking it into smaller areas and hiding it.

We haven't emplaced six guns in one position in an awful long time. We were running disbursed gun positions back in the 70s before we had GPS and other nifty tools. If the question is do we still need a six gun battery (regardless how it deploys) to support a battlegroup, then the answer is yes.

Things that move, die. Things that don't move, die. It's a delicate balance of concealment, protection, relocation, alternate guns providing cover while some are moving. You cannot keep cruising around waiting for a fire mission. Three man crews tire out easily and aren't very 24/7 capable without some rest or shift change.

Are SP guns like Archer and improvement over an M777? - in my view yes except for airmobile operations. Do we need to rethink or fine tune artillery tactics in light of widespread drones and EW and and weapons locating systems and counterfire? - absolutely, but its a complex issue that the CAF hasn't thought about much for 30 or 40 years. We're only digesting that now, and IMHO, in a haphazard manner.

🍻

I'm not arguing for fewer gunners.

I am wondering about putting fewer gunners at risk. Fewer gunners on the gun and more in the rear getting rest and handling ammunition.

In terms of an Artillery Reserve I am suggesting that a small town, or even a village, could supply a pair of guns and half a dozen gunners. And picking up on what @Humphrey Bogart has been laying down, moving ammunition forwards should not have to be a specialized trade with specialized equipment. It should be designed so that any loggie with standard loggie kit could move it.

Inspecting and prepping rounds are a separate issue.


Kind of related....

Somebody recently posted a Matsimus video about the Patria NEMO and it noted that the turret was an autonomous turret but then it showed a loader in the back of the vehicle hand bombing rounds into a caged carousel. I can only assume that that gives the vehicle the ability to pre-load 5 or 6 rounds for a fire mission and then get out of Dodge or, alternately, to load and fire one round at a time in a more conventional application.
 
Somebody recently posted a Matsimus video about the Patria NEMO and it noted that the turret was an autonomous turret but then it showed a loader in the back of the vehicle hand bombing rounds into a caged carousel. I can only assume that that gives the vehicle the ability to pre-load 5 or 6 rounds for a fire mission and then get out of Dodge or, alternately, to load and fire one round at a time in a more conventional application.
I saw that video and it looked to me like it was the loading of a single round and that after a round is fired, the turret and tube had to get back into a very restricted "reload" position that looks to be oriented straight forward and at a roughly 45* angle. It struck me as a very inelegant system from what I could see of it. It is preferable to have a system that allows reloads while the tube stays laid on the target to allow a much more rapid rate of fire.

🍻
 
I saw that video and it looked to me like it was the loading of a single round and that after a round is fired, the turret and tube had to get back into a very restricted "reload" position that looks to be oriented straight forward and at a roughly 45* angle. It struck me as a very inelegant system from what I could see of it. It is preferable to have a system that allows reloads while the tube stays laid on the target to allow a much more rapid rate of fire.

🍻

Seen. Taking another look at that video I believe you are right. Again.
 
There's a lot to like about the Nemo. Same as the Granatkastarpansarbandvagn (Grkpbv) 90. The latter can be loaded with the turret in any position (although it has an interesting loading mechanism in its own right). The Swedes seem to have cleaned up the 90's external loader with an internal one - which is nice. It beats the Stryker version, which is simpler, but needs to be open to fire.

🍻
 
As I said, packaging matters. You could modify the kicker pallet to be configured to accept compartmentalized versions of the above.

You'll never completely eliminate the need for someone to unpackage it at some point but the less time you waste doing things like above, the greater volume of mass/combat power you will be able to sustain.

The Americans are very good at this and it's their logistics excellence that truly makes them a capable Military Force.



How far forwards can CPR and Air Canada deliver?
 
You may not agree with everything this commentator says.
I, as a taxpayer, want to know why I should pay for these products in all government (Crown Corp/Federally regulated business??). Spend your own dime if you need the product.

Why are they doing this to Canada's military?

 
because I am a government employee and thus the taxpayer should pay for everything I want. If I want an automatic open and close toilet that costs a million dollars you will pay for it.
 
You may not agree with everything this commentator says.
I, as a taxpayer, want to know why I should pay for these products in all government (Crown Corp/Federally regulated business??). Spend your own dime if you need the product.

Why are they doing this to Canada's military?

So, GoC washrooms shouldn't have soap, paper towels or toilet paper? If you need those, spend your own dime?
 
So, GoC washrooms shouldn't have soap, paper towels or toilet paper? If you need those, spend your own dime?
I think the safe line was drawn at soap, TP and paper towel. Going anywhere beyond that opens a can of worms.
 
I think the safe line was drawn at soap, TP and paper towel. Going anywhere beyond that opens a can of worms.
Well I’d prefer Cottonell wipes, so I’m already upset.
 
You may not agree with everything this commentator says.
I, as a taxpayer, want to know why I should pay for these products in all government (Crown Corp/Federally regulated business??). Spend your own dime if you need the product.

Why are they doing this to Canada's military?

That is a weird headline (or argument, whatever) for something about menstrual products in all GoC washrooms.

Again - this is not specific to the CAF.
 
That is a weird headline (or argument, whatever) for something about menstrual products in all GoC washrooms.

Again - this is not specific to the CAF.
All washrooms have been supplied at Carling. I’m mildly interested if they are replenished at a better schedule than the First Aid Boxes.
 
The First Aid box where I work is kept locked, the person with the combination works in office only 1-2 days a week...

Wait What Instinct GIF by CBS
 
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