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Canada must spend billions to give its military ‘hard power’ in a world abandoned by U.S., Freeland says

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Ottawa lays out $62-billion in new military spending over 20 years

Post by Loader on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 12:52

Daniel Leblanc and Steven Chase - Last updated Wednesday, Jun. 07, 2017 12:43PM EDT

Ottawa has announced plans for a beefed-up and modernized military that includes tens of billions of dollars in new spending, although the biggest budget increases are years down the road.

The new money in the 20-year plan will be used to add 5,000 regular and reserve personnel, buy a bigger-than-expected fleet of 88 fighter jets, and pay for the ballooning cost of 15 military vessels called surface combatants, among other details announced by National Defence.

Canada’s new defence policy includes $62.3-billion in additional spending over the next 20 years, including a total of just $6.6-billion over the next five years.

The plan would bring Canada’s defence budget to $32.7-billion a year in a decade, up from the current annual budget of $18.9-billion. This represents a boost in Canada’s annual military budget of more than 70 per cent by 2026-2027.

The government has not given a full 20-year breakdown of the existing budget and the ‎new funding under this policy, but has promised to make it public as soon as possible.

Federal officials said the influx of funding will bring defence spending to 1.4 per cent of GDP, still shy of the goal of 2 per cent among NATO allies. As it stands, NATO, a defence alliance of Western countries, estimates that Canada spends 1 per cent of GDP on defence, while Canada estimates it is actually spending 1.2 per cent using a different formula.

The new funding was unveiled with the release of a defence policy entitled “Strong, Secure, Engaged” that builds on the government’s plans announced earlier this week for a more robust and independent foreign policy.

“Strong, Secure, Engaged is fully costed, and it’s fully funded,” Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said in a statement. “It is a sign of the government of Canada’s commitment to providing our women and men in uniform with the care and equipment that they need, and it places the Canadian Armed Forces on a solid footing going forward.”

The new defence policy aims to lay out all spending over the next decade and ensure that the military has access to the necessary funding to grow and modernize its operations.

The document states that the cost of 15 new surface combatants will be in the $56– to $60-billion range, up from previous estimates of $26-billion. The $30-billion increase in the budget for the vessels shows the extent to which major military spending plans have historically been underestimated and unfunded.

The Royal Canadian Navy is not planning to buy new submarines as part of this plan, but rather to modernize its current Victoria-class vessels.

In terms of fighter jets, the plans state the government is still exploring the purchase of an interim fleet of 18 Super Hornet fighter jets to meet short-term needs. However, Ottawa is now embroiled in a commercial dispute with U.S.-based manufacturer Boeing, which has slowed down the process.

Regarding the complete replacement of Canada’s fleet of CF-18s in the 2020s, the government now estimates that it will need to buy 88 new fighter jets to meet all international commitments. This is a significant increase from the 65 fighter jets that were planned under the previous Conservative government.

Officials refused to lay out the budget for the potential purchase of Super Hornets. They said the acquisition of the full fleet of 88 fighter jets will cost up to $19-billion, up from the previous government’s budget of $9-billion for the now-cancelled purchase of 65 Lockheed-Martin F-35s.

As part of the recruitment of new military personnel, the Canadian Armed Forces are planning to add 605 new personnel to their special operations forces, which are deployed in some of Canada’s most dangerous and lethal missions. Overall, National Defence is planning to add 3,500 members to its regular force (currently at 68,000) and 1,500 to its reserve force (currently at 28,500).

The 113-page document is based on a growing and evolving global threat, as well as the potential retrenchment of Canada’s main military ally, the United States, from a number of multilateral institutions.

“Violent extremism is a global scourge that, left unchecked, can undermine civil society and destabilize entire regions. It must be steadfastly opposed through concerted action spanning intelligence, counter-radicalization, development, and the use of hard power,” the policy said. “In the face of hateful ideologies and attacks on our values and way of life, Canada will respond with unwavering strength.”

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-lays-out-62-billion-in-new-military-spending-over-20-years/article35231311/
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Last Liberal white paper on defence came more than 20 years ago

Post by Guest on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 05:53

Last Liberal white paper on defence came more than 20 years ago


By Murray Brewster Jun 07, 2017


Minister of National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said in a speech last month that there were budget shortfalls in terms of necessary equipment programs that had no dollars attached to them

Almost 14 months in the making, the Liberal government is set to deliver what it claims will be a substantive defence policy that will guide the Canadian military for the next generation.

It comes on the heels of Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland's address to Parliament, which among other things laid out the case for a bigger defence budget.

She argued Canada can no longer rely solely on the United States to safeguard the nation's borders and interests and that the "principled use of force" must be an option for future federal governments in an increasingly uncertain world.

The nuts and bolts of how that vision will be accomplished — at least in the defence realm — will be laid out Wednesday.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and the chief of the defence staff will unveil the plan Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. ET.

It has been over 22 years since the last Liberal white paper on defence.

And the last time Canadians saw something akin to a vision for the Armed Forces was in 2008 with the Conservative Canada First Defence Strategy.

"That was meant to be a 20-year document as well. And you saw how far that went," said Richard Cohen, a former senior military officer and adviser to ex-defence minister Peter MacKay.

He helped write the Conservative plan, which promised a parade of new equipment.


Canadian special forces look over a Peshmerga observation post, Monday, Feb. 20, 2017 in northern Iraq. The prime minister has suggested there will be investment in Canada's troops.

Soon after it was delivered it proved to be unaffordable in the context of global economic recession and the deficits clocked by the former prime minister Stephen Harper's government.

The Conservatives promised "stable and predictable funding" in the form of an annual increase in operational spending.

But those hikes were more than offset by deficit-fighting cuts and cancelled programs elsewhere at National Defence, which eventually added up to a $2.1 billion per year reduction in the department's allocation.

The Liberals have insisted the plan on Wednesday will be fully-costed and affordable into the future.

However, analyst Dave Perry, of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, said that will depend on the appetite of future governments, regardless of whether they are Liberal, Conservative, or otherwise, to carry on with the spending plan.

"What's the likelihood it's going to come pass?" Perry asked.

He said one of the most important aspects the public should be watching for on Wednesday is not necessarily how much the Liberals intend to spend, but when.

"When equipment purchases and plans are pushed further into the future, it will give it a far lesser degree of certainty and credibility than something that starts to happen, say, this year," he said.

The Trump administration has been pushing allies, including Canada, boost their defence spending to meeting the NATO benchmark of two per cent of a nation's gross domestic product.

"How much will be new money and how be recycled is something to consider."

- Richard Cohen, former senior military officer and adviser to ex-defence minister Peter MacKay

That would require Canada to literally double its military allocation to just over $40 billion.

The Liberals, like the Conservatives before them, have argued it is not how much a nation spends but how often it shows up when the international community calls.

Regardless of the figure, Cohen said it will be interesting to see where the Liberals get the money for their increase.

During the Conservative years National Defence was unable to spend over $8.7 billion of its allocation from the federal treasury.

"How much will be new money and how be recycled is something to consider," said Cohen.

The Liberals have already laid down some markers on what to expect.

Sajjan, in a speech last month, noted there were major budget shortfalls in terms of necessary equipment programs that had no dollars attached to them.

Also, the prime minister has indicated that there has been an under-investment in troops and support services for them.

Late Friday, the government announced a long-awaited pay increase with retroactive provisions.

"The troops will be happy because they're getting more money," said Cohen. "Of course, the more money that goes into personnel, the less goes into real [operational] capability."

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/liberals-defence-spending-policy-1.4148841









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Re: Canada must spend billions to give its military ‘hard power’ in a world abandoned by U.S., Freeland says

Post by Guest on Tue 06 Jun 2017, 16:10

I'm all for increase in military spending, but I hope that it is spent in the right areas. The politicians always have a way of screwing things up, they are our worse enemy. The politicians need to listen more to the military brass, they are the experts at where the increase should go, they also need to give more control to the military brass on operations. Someone needs to enlighten our government on where the world is today in terms of conflict. Gone are the days of peacekeeping, to send our troops out in this type of atmosphere would be unwise in today's world. Canada needs not to stick our noses in other Countries affairs, we sent those forces to Afghanistan and lost many lives and many have returned only to be disabled, and sadly enough those disable are left to fight the government for benefits. All of this for what?

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Re: Canada must spend billions to give its military ‘hard power’ in a world abandoned by U.S., Freeland says

Post by Loader on Tue 06 Jun 2017, 14:52

Tomorrows Defence Review Policy should make for an interesting day......
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Canada must spend billions to give its military ‘hard power’ in a world abandoned by U.S., Freeland says

Post by Loader on Tue 06 Jun 2017, 14:48

Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press | June 6, 2017 2:12 PM ET


Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland is congratulated by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and party members after delivering a speech
in the House of Commons on Canada's Foreign Policy in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick


OTTAWA — Canadians need to spend billions on “hard power” military capability because they can’t rely on the U.S. or others for protection, says Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.

In a major foreign policy speech in the House of Commons Tuesday, Freeland didn’t mention Donald Trump by name, but made an unabashed pitch for the international rules-based order that the U.S. president’s America First policy is attacking.

The speech is meant to foreshadow the release of Wednesday’s defence policy review, which is expected to make the case for billions in new military spending.


Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland speaks to reporters on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 6, 2017.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld  


To put it plainly: Canadian diplomacy and development sometimes require the backing of hard power,” Freeland said in her prepared text.

“Principled use of force, together with our allies and governed by international law, is part of our history and must be part of our future.”

She said Canada doesn’t need an inward looking “Canada First” foreign policy, but given that the U.S. is now questioning the worth of its global leadership, it is more important than ever for Canada to plot its own course in the world.

Freeland’s speech is the Liberal government’s attempt to define its military, developmental, diplomatic and trade priorities in a turbulent world that has seen the election of Trump and the rise of anti-trade sentiment.


Kandahar, Afghanistan Canadian Forces personnel, completing their tour of duty, sit and await their departure aboard the CC-177 Globemaster  
MCpl Robert Bottrill, CF Combat Camera


Her emphasis on hard military power is a tougher expression of the country’s international interests than Canadians are used to hearing.

She said that notwithstanding the “incredibly good relationship” with the U.S., Canada cannot just rely on American military protection.

“To rely solely on the U.S. security umbrella would make us a client state,” she said.

“Such a dependence would not be in Canada’s interest.”

The speech affirmed Canada’s support for multilateralism and rules-based international systems, human rights, gender equality, fighting climate change and spreading economic benefits more widely.

She said Canada played a major role in shaping the global order after the Second World War because the country — including her own family — suffered heavy losses in two world wars.


A Canadian Forces door gunner keeps watch as his Griffon helicopter goes on a mission, Feb. 20, 2017 in northern Iraq.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz  


The U.S. has been an indispensable nation in leading the world since then, she said, but that is changing and Canada has to adapt.

“It would be naive or hypocritical to claim before this House that all Americans today agree,” she said.

“Indeed many of the voters in last year’s presidential election cast their ballots, animated in part by a desire shrug off the burden of world leadership. To say this is not controversial: it is simply a fact.”

She reiterated the government’s disappointment in the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change.

“International relationships that had seemed immutable for 70 years are being called into question,” she said.

“And new shared human imperatives — the fight against climate change first among them — call for renewed uncommon resolve.

She also addressed the protectionism — again without mentioning Trump by name — that has taken root in the U.S. and elsewhere, suggesting that stance is on the wrong side of history.

“Beggar-thy-neighbour policies hit middle powers soonest and hardest,” she said. “This is the implacable lesson of the 1930s and the Great Depression.”

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/freeland-says-canada-needs-hard-power-to-support-global-order
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