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Sexual Misconduct Allegations in The CAF

Brad Sallows

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Canadians do not pay attention to the CAF beyond the big stories of the day. Few would know what the points of going to Rwanda or the Balkans were if there had been no major massacres. Few would have paid any attention to matters in Afghanistan if there had been no bodies coming home. Many just want to brag on the achievements of others - Canadian soldiers wearing blue hats, Olympic athletes winning medals. They don't want to hear about war crimes, failures, scandals, reprehensible behaviour.

For the past 50 years, Canada has been governed roughly 60% of the time by a party that, during that time, has ranged from indifferent through hostile to spending federal revenues on defence. The other party isn't hostile but its stated intentions founder on its apathy.

The long game seems to be to slowly bleed away capability. A loss or weakening of capability then becomes an excuse for stepping back and contracting a bit more. Excuses to shift the culture from soldiery to HR-centric uniformed civil service are also welcome. Every crisis or scandal is a chance to promote a couple more items from that job jar, and for politicians to jockey for promotion.
 

daftandbarmy

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Canadians may not be as used to seeing military uniforms as our neighbours to the south. They had a draft until 1973. Our last one was 1945.

Or, veterans wearing identifying clothing and insignia. How often do we see older guys wearing RCL jackets anymore?

Even now I think their National Guard may be more visible than our PRes. ( I am sure someone with more up to date experience will correct me, if I am wrong. )

Also, wearing ANY public service uniform off-duty in public ( while going to and from work, funeral etc. ) can be a little awkward when something, or somebody, goes down. :)

As the PRes has assumed the role of 'Mini-Me' to the Reg F, aping many of its worst social distancing type behaviours even before COVID, they are just as distant and disconnected from the civilian worlds in which they live.

So no worries there :)
 

shawn5o

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Historically resigning to protest government policy hasn't worked in the slightest in Canada. A plethora of GOFOs resigned during the unification of the armed forces of Canada, didn't change the direction of the government at all. Since then there have been several officers who have resigned for one reason or another. VAdm Chuck Thomas comes to mind (yes, the father of the current DM) and his actions barely registered. Canadians don't care about the CAF, we could self immolate and most Canadians would barely notice.
My experience is that the Canadian public does care for the CF, no matter some inappropriate actions taken by some.
 

Remius

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My experience is that the Canadian public does care for the CF, no matter some inappropriate actions taken by some.
I think it is the type and level of "care". My time in recruiting and doing many public events representing the CAF has opened my eyes to just how much the general population does not actually know or care to know. Basic stuff we in the CAF take for granted.

  • that we are a peacekeeper army
  • confusion about us being in Iraq vs Afghanistan
  • the difference between the branches
  • our military history
  • what we actually do vs what they think we do
  • that everyone in green is infantry
  • that everyone in blue is a pilot
  • that everyone in the navy is a commissionaire or vice versa (that we actually even have a navy)

Just a few examples.

They care about how we are treated, when soldiers die etc. but that's it. It doesn't go much deeper. While most CAF types know who General Rouleau is and his reputation, I am sure his name escapes most Canadians and that he's just another general stepping down from an organisation that is looking more and more effed up.
 

QV

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Canadians do not pay attention to the CAF beyond the big stories of the day. Few would know what the points of going to Rwanda or the Balkans were if there had been no major massacres. Few would have paid any attention to matters in Afghanistan if there had been no bodies coming home. Many just want to brag on the achievements of others - Canadian soldiers wearing blue hats, Olympic athletes winning medals. They don't want to hear about war crimes, failures, scandals, reprehensible behaviour.

For the past 50 years, Canada has been governed roughly 60% of the time by a party that, during that time, has ranged from indifferent through hostile to spending federal revenues on defence. The other party isn't hostile but its stated intentions founder on its apathy.

The long game seems to be to slowly bleed away capability. A loss or weakening of capability then becomes an excuse for stepping back and contracting a bit more. Excuses to shift the culture from soldiery to HR-centric uniformed civil service are also welcome. Every crisis or scandal is a chance to promote a couple more items from that job jar, and for politicians to jockey for promotion.
Almost like decades of influence by adversaries of the West is slowly bearing fruit.
 

QV

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Destabilize the CAF, demoralizing our forces, sounds like psyops to me.


To be honest I think we are our own worst enemy at times.
It's naive to think in those limited parameters. You're only partly right when you state we are our own worst enemy. We are, because we've allowed years of foreign influence by adversaries to shape our current situation. We've known it this whole time but did nothing to fix it.

For example this has been going on for the better part of three decades maybe more, no significant scandals since then, no dismantling... what do you think could be achieved in 30-40 years of soft but prolific influence by our adversaries? Do you think we would be stronger or weaker as a result?


Apologies for the tangent...
 

OldSolduer

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Not sure I understand what that means. Do you have concrete examples?
From what I saw in 38 years service a lot of people were wrapped up in projects, surveys, and the administrative nausea those things entail that weren't really helping the CAF focus on its primary mission. A lot of people seem to have thought the role of the CAF was to peace keep and we all know that is not the primary mission.
 

Remius

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It's naive to think in those limited parameters. You're only partly right when you state we are our own worst enemy. We are, because we've allowed years of foreign influence by adversaries to shape our current situation. We've known it this whole time but did nothing to fix it.

For example this has been going on for the better part of three decades maybe more, no significant scandals since then, no dismantling... what do you think could be achieved in 30-40 years of soft but prolific influence by our adversaries? Do you think we would be stronger or weaker as a result?


Apologies for the tangent...
No apology needed. But you should know I said “at times”
 

Remius

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From what I saw in 38 years service a lot of people were wrapped up in projects, surveys, and the administrative nausea those things entail that weren't really helping the CAF focus on its primary mission. A lot of people seem to have thought the role of the CAF was to peace keep and we all know that is not the primary mission.
this ^^
 

Haggis

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I understand your point, but LCol Taylor isn't as high profile as the VCDS.
So, do we wait and see what happens if one or more of the 30-odd female GO/FOs decide to publicly resign in protest?

Will that make a difference?

Probably not.
 

SupersonicMax

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From what I saw in 38 years service a lot of people were wrapped up in projects, surveys, and the administrative nausea those things entail that weren't really helping the CAF focus on its primary mission. A lot of people seem to have thought the role of the CAF was to peace keep and we all know that is not the primary mission.
So, we should bin any new ideas and embrace the status quo? If not, what is the threshold for good enough idea (without the benefit of hindsight)?

FWIW, peace keeping is one of the primary roles of the CAF defined within Strong, Secure, Engaged, our current defence policy along with the protection of Canada and North America, and the participation to NATO operations.
 

Haggis

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From what I saw in 38 years service a lot of people were wrapped up in projects, surveys, and the administrative nausea those things entail that weren't really helping the CAF focus on its primary mission. A lot of people seem to have thought the role of the CAF was to peace keep and we all know that is not the primary mission.
When I worked at NDHQ, we handled a ton of "surveys", RFI's reports and "administrative nausea" that seemed unimportant to those completing them but were used to inform political decision makers and guide defence policy. Many were legislated requirements and many were not.
 

Good2Golf

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FWIW, peace keeping is one of the primary roles of the CAF defined within Strong, Secure, Engaged, our current defence policy along with the protection of Canada and North America, and the participation to NATO operations.
Which is why we committed to strongly to MINUSMA.

…oh, wait…
 

SupersonicMax

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Which is why we committed to strongly to MINUSMA.

…oh, wait…
The lack of commitment is not proof that it isn’t one of the primary missions envisioned by the Government. Just look how committed to the defence of Canada (and much required NORAD modernization)... Yet, no one can argue it is not one of our primary mission, arguably the most important one....
 
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