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The Defence Budget [superthread]

Edward Campbell

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Our friends at the Polaris Institute made a presentation to the Commons Standing Committee on Finance during its ongoing Pre-budget Consultations - http://www.parl.gc.ca/committee/CommitteePublication.aspx?SourceId=125567

This - http://www.polarisinstitute.org/pubs/neverenough.pdf - I believe is their submission.

It is well prepared, factual and incredibly biased against Gen. Hillier's plans.

The Polaris Institute has, carefully and, I fear, accurately, targeted several key Liberal sub-cultures including the unreconstructed anti-capitalist Trudeauites from the '70s, the Carolyn Parrish wing of knee-jerk anti-Americans, the UN über alles Chrétienistas, and the Health care über alles Martinis (the late Paul Martin Sr was, actually, the architect of the modern Canadian nanny state and PM PM is not keen on tampering with his father's legacy).

The argument begins with a firm recommendation:

The Government of Canada should conduct a full, public review of Canadian defence policy and freeze further spending increases pending the outcome of that review.

It ends with an assertion that:

If ... Canada's views of the best means-military and non-military-to deal with the problem of terrorism and to create a more secure world differ from those of that [George W. Bush] administration, then it is essential that Canada seek a role for its armed forces that goes beyond simply acting as a useful cog in its ally's military machine. And there is no reason to believe that such a role necessarily requires the kind of spending increases that the government currently plans.

We can, must, expect more of this - equally well prepared, factual and highly biased attacks on any and all increases in defence spending.  It is the counter-offensive.  It will be long because it is well supported be people who are true believers in their various, only looselyallied  causes, all of which will suffer if money is redirected to DND from any other programmes.
 
Ed, while they do portray their assessment in a nice, neat, logical ::) way, they have always failed in the big picture. I don't say we should blindly follow the US everywhere but to refer to anything done without the almighty UN's okay as bordering on criminal or illegal is typical of the unhealthy devotion that the average Canadian holds towards the UN.
I can honestly see some broken promises on the horizon from the feds in reference to this article as they try to cling to power through whatever means.  :threat:
 
If we aren't going to pay to do defence properly, I'd rather not pay to do anything at all.  I pay taxes for combat-capable forces, not to perpetuate the corrupt privileges and posturing of the UN.  I'll see their "freeze on spending" and raise them one: do away with all of it and put the money back in my pocket.  There's no reason to assume the money should be diverted anywhere else if not to defence.
 
Their own argument of Canada "spending the 7th most" in all of NATO is torpedoed, at least in my opinion, with providing the fact that we are spending 24th on percentage of GDP.

Its a ridiculous argument.
 
It is truly amasing how everyone forgets to consider the Present Value of the dollar. 10 million in 1982 buys a whole lot more than 10 million in 2005.

Brad Sallows said:
If we aren't going to pay to do defence properly, I'd rather not pay to do anything at all.   I pay taxes for combat-capable forces, not to perpetuate the corrupt privileges and posturing of the UN.

As Brad Sallows states, either we pay for a capability with taxes or we don't. I really don't want to waste more tax dollars in the corrupt UN  hallowed halls of wisdom.
 
As far as I can see most serious analysis, unlike this Polaris bit, uses GDP to compare spending on defence, between nations and over time.  In thoses terms their report seems to suggest that Canada could/should spend more on the military without getting out of line with most of our NATO allies.  All in all not a very inspiring effort at serious research
 
The dollar figures are all adjusted to be compared fairly, IIRC.  However, I'd soil myself with embarrassment if I had produced that chart because it thoroughly undermines the suggestion that Canada spends too much, provided one is armed with just a couple of simple extra facts.  Defence spending as a % of GDP in 1980 was 1.9, rose to just above 2.0 or so in the '80s, and rapidly diminished under 1.5 in the mid-'90s and later.  Project that 1.9% forward each year from the "low" total expenditure for '80-'81 and see what that yields over the intervening 25 years between then and now.  There wouldn't be so much pressing need for capital expenditures now if we'd exercised a little constancy in spending as a fraction of our wealth.
 
These jokers don't fool anybody. It isn't defence spending they have a problem with, it's actually the fact that defence activities don't match their little girl attitude towards the world. 
 
Jed said:
It is truly amasing how everyone forgets to consider the Present Value of the dollar. 10 million in 1982 buys a whole lot more than 10 million in 2005.

As Brad Sallows states, either we pay for a capability with taxes or we don't. I really don't want to waste more tax dollars in the corrupt UN   hallowed halls of wisdom.


It's starting to look like the UN is hopeless, so don't worry....
 
I don't understand why this defence spending/GDP ratio comparison  has any meaning at all. Defence spending isn't a welfare program, it is a response to perceived threats from foreign enemies. We buy weapons and train troops to kill our enemies. Instead, Canadians are apparently very concerned about how much money and how many pieces of Leopard track they will each recieve if the army were to be liquidated tomorow.

Countries don't spend more on their armies because there is some kind of magical optimum Defence/GDP ratio that will make everything right in the world, they do it because otherwise they are conqured and subjugated by countries who do.  Do you think the Israelis are much concerned about how much of their GDP goes into defence?  I bet Canada is the only country in the world that gives more than 2 seconds of thought to this nonsense.
 
Last sentence - first paragraph:

"Recently announced spending increases are intended to enhance the capability of the Canadian Forces to be "interoperable" with the military of the United States, not be more effective as a UN peacekeeping force."

Well that's it, that's as far as I read. Is this a factual and accurate article? No. It actually puts it's fictional, in-accurate bias right out there on the table at this point in time within the very first paragraph. We are increasing spending in order to better align ourselves with NATO, not simply the United States. Although their use of "United States" in this instance will certainly gain them the sympathy votes from those who do not agree with the US position on Iraq. Fact of the matter is, Canada is a NATO country, and must do what it can to keep themselves somewhat worthy of being a 'player' within that organization, which has been lacking for quite some time now. Gen Hillier is attempting to rectify that situation. We are officially a part of NATO, we have yet to be officially declared a "UN Peecekeeping Force" as our primary mandate. I don't see it happening anytime soon despite what this bleeding heart institute (read: lobby group for flower children and more monies for their various 'causes') likes to think our primary role is. I'll read their articles once they are accurate and factual. I'm quite sure that General Hillier will be able to rip this apart soundly, as it so richly deserves.
 
I take it you don't approve of our forces becoming more interoperable with the UN brothel-keeping and pandering nations of the world?
 
UN Ops have turned into giant "jug-fucks" as far as I can ascertain. Granted, I haven't had my feet on the ground, but that is the appearance of things.
 
As armyvern pointed out, part of the suggested increase would go to increase interoperability with NATO forces.  Now, who does the majority of the heavy lifting on UN ops?  Starts with an N, ends with an O, and has an "at" in the middle.  The two go hand in hand - if we can work with NATO, we can work with the UN.  Who do we need to be able to operate with other than NATO members?  Uganda?  Bosnia?  Hell, just give us some rusty old rifles and no ROE's.  We'll interoperate with those fellas just fine.
 
"Recently announced spending increases are intended to enhance the capability of the Canadian Forces to be "interoperable" with the military of the United States, not be more effective as a UN peacekeeping force."


<a href=http://www.penny-arcade.com/view.php?date=2005-10-17>I'm not entirely sure he knows what that (UN peacekeeping force) is.</a>

:)
 
Has anyone done any digging to find out who funds them?

Based on some of the things I've read it looks as though some of the funding is actually coming from Government Departments with competing interests....



Matthew.  :eek:
 
When comparing defense spending to other countries , since Canada  is a mid size  country Canada's GDP should be compared to other hundreds in the world (see www.nationmaster.com) not only to NATO nations. If other countries are spending more on defense that should be a concern to Canadians. Please see me blog site http://www.canadianmilitary.blog.ca/main/ . Recently I sent  this  blog letter to the minister of defense. The cost  of selected equipment would be approximately $100 per person over 10 years
 
Has anyone done any digging to find out who funds them?

That's what I was thinking when I was reading this. They probably get funding from a variety of sources, but ultimately whoever funded this specific research paper is of interest.
 
As usual, anti-Americanism is never very far below the skin with these folks, as well-intentioned as they may be.  While I certainly do not advocate mindless hero-worship of the US (or the UK, or France, or Burkina-Faso, even...) it would seem to me that unless we want to pursue the hideouly costly route of true (i.e. "armed") neutrality, we need to coordinate our defence activities and plans with our allies and major economic/security partners. Is the US the biggest and most important of those? Hmmmm....just a sec...let me look in the "Foreign Policy for Dummies"....oh, yeah---they are. Funny that.

While we must be careful to always retain national veto (like we did under the Empire) , the rest of this submission needs to be submitted to the shredder, or shared amongst other like-minded Wilsonites in the various coffee houses, PoliSci lecture halls and other dens of these types.

Cheers.
 
The Polaris Institute is "twisting the numbers" on their assessment on Canada's 7th largest spending in NATO. Polaris Institute should be using worldwide military expenditure based on GDP, using only NATO is not sufficient since there are 164 other countries who spend on military. According to website,,http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/mil_exp_per_of_GDP  ,Canada is ranked 133 in the world for lowest military expenditure based on GDP , if we do the Polaris" twist" then Canada is 32nd "worst" country in the world for military spending. Polaris would be more credible if compared other mid sizes countries like Spain. Also in the report, where is there mention that the prime minister says  we are in "war of terror " which costs billions for national security and new equipment and troop costs for Afghanistan.
 
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