Maclean's Report ~ Why Canada’s military risks returning to a decade of darkness

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Maclean's Report ~ Why Canada’s military risks returning to a decade of darkness

Post by Ex Member on Wed 03 Feb 2016, 19:52

Who would have guessed that, at the time of his most critical decision, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan would be doing a military sample of the 1976 Genesis prog-rock song, Ripples?

“If we want to understand the ripples we are creating, we have to understand the environment we are creating them in,” Sajjan said last week. He was being asked—as he is on an almost daily basis—when he will reveal details about the long promised Liberal plan to pull out CF-18 jets from the mission in Iraq and Syria. Apparently this “ripple effect” theory is the “genesis” of the long delay. “We may not be able to control all the ripples that are out there, but we can control the ripples that we create,” Sajjan said, adding something or other about “negative ripples.”

As there is no formal military theory about “ripple effects,” it’s hard to tell exactly what the minister is talking about. But we get the gist: The decisions he makes now will have an impact on the future. The problem is, the future is already here. The Conservative mandate for the mission is up by the end of March. If the Liberals were not ready with an alternative plan—and clearly they weren’t—why didn’t they just say they would complete the original mandate and then end it? Pulling out now, after more than 100 days of post-election bombing, looks disorganized at best—at worst, it smacks of cheap politics.

But as politically charged as the bombing mission is, it is really nothing compared to the deeper funding crisis facing the military. “There is simply not enough money to buy the military hardware that we need,” says Dave Perry, senior analyst at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. Perry is to military procurement what Nate Silver is to polling, so when he crunches the numbers on the military budget you tend to listen. “There’s three times more demand for procurement dollars than there is budgeted fiscally, which means the Canada First Defence Strategy—the plan to maintain Canada’s military capabilities to protect our interests—is now, essentially dead.”

That’s a big problem. It would cost the government another $2 billion a year for 20 years, on top of what we’re already spending, just to maintain the Air Force, the Army, the Navy—and upgrade our technology for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (the NORAD commander comes to Canada later in February to demand those upgrades). Meanwhile, NATO is asking Canada to fulfill its commitment to contribute two per cent of our GDP to military spending. That would mean another $20 billion this year alone. Not happening, NATO. Because it’s 2016. And we’re still broke.

Fulfilling the military promises Trudeau made in the campaign looks equally unlikely. “The biggest one from the campaign in terms of the budget is the idea of savings tens of billions on the acquisition of new aircraft to devote to ships,” Perry says. “The $9-billion fighter budget was set when the Canadian dollar was worth 100 cents American—and now it’s 70 cents.” We’ve lost close to 30 per cent of our purchasing power. There’s no way to save on planes and still have a viable air force.
The Navy’s needs are even greater. The government has budgeted $26.2 billion over the next 12 years or so to build 15 surface combat ships, destroyers and frigates. Any savings on jets—at best a few billion—won’t make a dent in this.

The status quo alone is fatal. “We’re spending an inadequate share of the defence budget on capital equipment—between 10 to 12 per cent over the last three years,” Perry says. The bare minimum is supposed to be 20 per cent. “That’s the lowest share of the budget devoted to procuring new kit since 1977.”

That leaves Sajjan with three choices, Perry argues. “Invest the $2 billion a year, cut our military capabilities, or cut the size of the military.” That could mean giving up on a blue-water Navy or an expeditionary air force. And the chances of new money coming? “No government of any stripe has ever invested more in the military in a time of fiscal restraint,” Perry says. Given the other Santa Claus-like promises Trudeau has made on infrastructure and health care, more money to defence is about as likely as Stephen Harper asking women to wear a niqab. Cuts, cancellations or constriction.

This is not all the Liberals’ fault. Since 2007, the Conservatives lapsed over $10 billion in military spending. They turned military procurement into a game of freeze tag: whatever they touched stopped moving altogether—from military jets to joint support ships, maritime helicopters to the tactical armoured patrol vehicles. But if the Conservatives—and the Martin Liberals—didn’t spend, at least they did what NATO insiders call “swimming.” They took on tough missions in Afghanistan and Libya. That got Canada to the table, even with a light wallet. Trudeau says he’s out of that game, which is why Perry is not surprised Canada was not invited by our allies to the recent meeting on Syria and Iraq. If we don’t spend and we don’t swim, we get shut out.

Trudeau likes to say Canada is back, but unless he has a big budget surprise for the military, we may be back to the decade of darkness that once defined the military under Jean Chrétien. These aren’t ripples. These are full-size waves.

http://www.macleans.ca/politics/ottawa/why-canadas-military-risks-returning-to-a-decade-of-darkness/

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Re: Maclean's Report ~ Why Canada’s military risks returning to a decade of darkness

Post by Trooper on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 06:19

Looks like the Liberals have their hands full...Tough decisions ahead.
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Re: Maclean's Report ~ Why Canada’s military risks returning to a decade of darkness

Post by Guest on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 07:42

Have to agree with harper on one thing Sharia Law is not a religion but a dangerous cult and it's practices should not be allowed to poison Canadian culture and values if they don't nip it in the a$$ now our grand children are going to be living in the middle east right here in Canada. Freedom of peacefull religion i can tolerate, not a cult like sharia law that preaches hate,rape and dominance. This passive attitude is going to be the death of Canada in the future. Hate it when you have to give up one thing to receive another during elections.

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Re: Maclean's Report ~ Why Canada’s military risks returning to a decade of darkness

Post by bigrex on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 07:56

Yes, but they wouldn't have needed to make those decisions, at least not as many, if Harper hadn't stole all those billions out of the military equipment procurement funds, so that he could balance the budget.
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Re: Maclean's Report ~ Why Canada’s military risks returning to a decade of darkness

Post by Guest on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 08:29

ya trooper I agree . the biggest problem is the Canadian culture of not giving a frack about the military , operationally I mean . we need to be spending AT LEAST 2% GDP on the military as NATO suggests . given our vast borders relative to our population economy I would suggest more like 3% for us but hey given what we are doing right now ill take the 2% any day .

so really unless we are in budget surplus its hard for politicians to increase defence spending . id do it anyway but then again im no politician but I guessed you probably figured that out by now lol.

Pearson was the last prime minister to have a real military budget and P.E. Trudeau was the last one to be spending 2% GDP . so not only has it been a very long time since we have been spending what we should its been a long time since we have been spending the bare minimum .

we are spending about half that right now . easy answer double the budget for starters that's what I would do . ya throwing money at a problem isn't always the best answer but when the problem itself is lack of money wellll........ it just might work . of course given Canadian culture your bordering on political suicide to do that at this time and given our nasty state of politics at this time the opposition parties will hammer on this on an almost daily basis .

I think there is still more infrastructure needs to be built to accommodate building all the ships so pay for that out of the new infrastructure spending to free up more procurement money for the ships .

the best proven fighter out their for us right now is the advanced F-18 super hornet . its a far better fighting aircraft then the 35 BUT it only saves us about a billion . but lets not trade in good old aircraft for a shinny new piece of crap .

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Re: Maclean's Report ~ Why Canada’s military risks returning to a decade of darkness

Post by Guest on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 08:34

I agree bigrex record budget lapses in defence at the time of great need should NOT have been happening .

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Re: Maclean's Report ~ Why Canada’s military risks returning to a decade of darkness

Post by Guest on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 08:43

I know bigrex damned if you do and damned if you don't. Now do we not only have to defend our borders and our north but now we have internal threats. wrong just wrong these people have to fit in or be deported back to their country of ancestral heritage. Don't want my grand children and great grand children living in an isreal lebanon type of culture. Right now we have numbers but they breed like rabbits don't believe in birth control that alone will bankrupt the country in child tax benefits in coming years.

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Re: Maclean's Report ~ Why Canada’s military risks returning to a decade of darkness

Post by johnny211 on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 11:54

Some newbie Vets on here may think I am full of it, but you 80's lads will remember the decade of darkness. One could not even get a pen/pencil out of supply. And I remember on my CLC, doing advanceing on the enemy, in the prone, yelling Bang, Bang..all the while laughing our asses off on how crazy it sounded, but honest truth there..VVV..
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Re: Maclean's Report ~ Why Canada’s military risks returning to a decade of darkness

Post by Rifleman on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 12:41

Yep the good old days changing mags without rounds

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Re: Maclean's Report ~ Why Canada’s military risks returning to a decade of darkness

Post by Trooper on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 12:50

FNC1
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Re: Maclean's Report ~ Why Canada’s military risks returning to a decade of darkness

Post by bigrex on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 13:39

Johnny, those dark days have already returned, well before the Liberals took over. The Army was only allowed to purchase half of their normal amount of live ammunition last year, and I think that simmunition was completely denied, as they cost even more. Plus how the Tories cancelled or cut back almost every benefit for the CF. They cancelled cost moves on release. they cancelled Post Living Differential (PDL) that compensated members who were posted into areas will higher costs of living, like Toronto and Vancouver. They cancelled severance pay. They greatly increased the members portion of the medical and pension plans. Plus there has been a wage freeze since 2013. So, under the Tories, Soldiers had less and less in their pocket at the end of the month, while the costs of living kept going up. So hopefully the Liberals will not only get better equipment for them to do their job, but make just being in the military better overall.
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Re: Maclean's Report ~ Why Canada’s military risks returning to a decade of darkness

Post by Guest on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 14:09

This is what I have been saying, every conservative will say and brag they did so much for the military and veterans but if they had none of this would have occurred. It was a smoke screen and con job. The problem now is I believe our navy is headed the way of a coastal defence force and there is no way we can afford new fighter jets especially the f35 so in reality there is going to be big changes coming and our military will become a territorial force for defence only much like New Zealand and some Europe countries.

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Re: Maclean's Report ~ Why Canada’s military risks returning to a decade of darkness

Post by Guest on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 14:12

Johnny did you lose your voice? and is that a legal claim? LMAO

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Re: Maclean's Report ~ Why Canada’s military risks returning to a decade of darkness

Post by pinger on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 14:16

Man o man memory lane... I be-bopped a few TD's early 80ish. Don't remember bang bang Johnny but we had lots of blanks sneaking up on JLCs. Trooper... adjust your firing pin and pour on the oil. Memories... mine are fracked.
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Re: Maclean's Report ~ Why Canada’s military risks returning to a decade of darkness

Post by Guest on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 16:14

heck we have been in many decades of darkness . ever since Pearson really no matter the party in power .

im a new vet yet I still remember doing A ta C yelling bang bang eventually the troops stopped yelling bang bang and started yelling budget cut budget cut but you know how the troops are lol.

its in are Canadian culture not to spend nerly enough on defence unless there is a world war .

culture my friends is very hard to change .

propat

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