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Old 27 November 2001, 04:45
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Snake Snake is offline
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Trouble in the Northern Socialist Paradise?

Centre for Military and Strategic Studies report on CF readiness:

A call to arms for Canada

U of Calgary think tank pleads for overdue review: Report says 'soft power' policy is obsolete; country should emphasize allies over UN

Michael Friscolanti
National Post

Nikolas Giakoumidis, The Associated Press


Canada must increase defence spending, reduce its commitments to the United Nations and form a closer strategic partnership with the United States if it is to meet the security requirements of the new century, according to a report that examines the "holes" in the nation's military.

The 38-page study, to be released this morning by the University of Calgary's Centre for Military and Strategic Studies, calls for a "badly needed review" of defence policies, and suggests that without one Canada will be marginalized and increasingly incapable of meeting the emerging threats of the 21st century.

The report's 27 recommendations cover everything from recruitment and living conditions for men and women in uniform, to the entire structure of the armed forces and the pressing need to restore Canada's credibility within NATO.

A core finding of the report is that Canada's armed forces increasingly lack combat capability, and their weakness can no longer be ignored.

Taken together, the recommendations amount to a demand for root-and-branch reform of Canada's defence posture, and the junking of the Liberal government's "soft power" policy.

"There is a deep divide between the rhetoric of a grandiose foreign and defence policy and a decline in resources that threatens to discredit Canada's commitment to common security," the report reads.

Canada is "almost unique" in not having undertaken a recent official defence review, the report says, adding: "The status quo is unacceptable."

The last major synopsis of Canada's military thinking was the 1994 Defence White Paper. The authors of today's report, obtained by the National Post, say most of the recommendations made seven years ago are now obsolete.

"A lot of the assumptions that were made in 1994 have proven to be no longer valid," said David J. Bercuson, the report's project co-ordinator and director of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies. "We want a lot of new things to be looked at that weren't looked at in 1994. And the best way to do that would be to have a full security review."

The White Paper did not discuss the structure of the country's armed forces, Dr. Bercuson said, and it grossly overestimated the importance of Canada's role in the United Nations.

"Our experience with peacekeeping through the '90s was a very mixed one to say the least," he said.

"We did some good, I think, but we also learned some very hard lessons about the inability of the United Nations to function as a proper international peace enforcement organization. We simply can't be committing ourselves to UN operations any longer the way we once did," Dr. Bercuson said.

The report, titled To Secure a Nation: The Case for a New Defence White Paper, is the culmination of dozens of policy papers submitted during the past eight months by experts across the country.

In addition to imploring the government to re-examine its defence and security tactics, the paper offers suggestions to improve the country's military capabilities, including deepening Canada's strategic partnership with the United States, developing a national policy on ballistic missile defence, re-emphasizing the country's place in NATO, and making the military more attractive for new recruits.

"North America is becoming increasingly vulnerable to a wide range of covert and asymmetric threats," the report reads. "Canadians can no longer take solace in a belief that these threats are directed solely against the U.S. and its interests. Canadian foreign and defence policies that do not take this reality into account will inevitably lead to a Canada that is a security liability."

The report says Canada should also decide once and for all whether it will participate in a ballistic missile defence plan. The report implies, but does not say explicitly, that Ottawa should support the Bush administration's proposed missile shield, arguing that if Canada is not on board, it will be sidelined by Washington.

On top of that, Ottawa must display a renewed commitment to NATO and NORAD operations to ensure the country's international credibility.

"The idea has always been that there is no threat to Canada, and if there is, the Americans will protect us," said Douglas Bland, the chairman of Queen's University's defence management studies program and a contributor to the report. "That is not the case anymore."

Most of the report's recommendations hinge on increased defence funding, which the authors say must begin immediately.

Between 1993 and 1998, the defence budget fell by 23%. The government has promised an additional $1.7-billion during the next three years -- expenditures in 2001-2002 will reach $11.2- billion -- but the Auditor-General estimates the military will be short $4.5-billion during the next five years.

Budget shortfalls, the report says, have translated into rusting equipment, less research and development, and a system in which potential recruits shy away from joining the military because salary and pension benefits do not match those in the private sector.

The report says without an immediate increase in funding -- as well as contingency funding for unforeseen missions -- the armed forces will continue to dwindle, along with Canada's reputation abroad.

The recommendations, which will be unveiled at an Ottawa press conference today, also include improving Canada's relationship with Russia, becoming more open with the public, and ensuring Canadian Forces members have the opportunity to continue their educations.

Although the papers suggest intensifying homeland defence, Dr. Bercuson stressed the report was well underway before the terrorist attacks against Washington and New York.

"This is not a Sept. 11-driven document," he said. "We need to be ready for threats that have never arisen before and we were proven dramatically correct -- unfortunately and tragically -- on Sept. 11."


Just thought you guys ought to see this.

Snake
A/1/504th PIR
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  #2  
Old 27 November 2001, 06:35
Infanteer Infanteer is offline
At the sharp end
 
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Angry

Tell us something we don't know.

I posted the link at another canuck hangout. http://www.stratnet.ucalgary.ca/ccs/default.htm

The school looks like it has a decent graduate program though.

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Old 27 November 2001, 06:51
farseer farseer is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: calgary
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i go to the U of C and i'm also a member of the CMSS (like it actually counts for anything). they are pretty switched on when it comes to mil-history courses. I just hope this high profile report actually accomplishes something other than more CF bashing. I couldn't belive my eyes when i saw in the new Chretien address CF troops, it was laughable.
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  #4  
Old 27 November 2001, 13:38
andyboy
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This article falls into the "no-shit" category. Defence analysts in Canada as well as our allies have been telling our government for years that our Forces are underfunded, understrength etc. Unfortunately our government thinks defence is something you sit on.
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  #5  
Old 27 November 2001, 15:54
Enfield Enfield is offline
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Canada
Posts: 469
I thought Chretien rallying the tropops was pretty laughable as well. Stick 'em at attention so they can't actually mov eor make a noise - because soldiers nicely at attention looks a lot better than a crowd of sullen, pissed off, and very quiet soldiers. If you watched the speech, you could tell Jean knew he was hated there.

The Liberal head of the defence committee wants to form a joint rapid-reaction brigade with the Americans. hahahahahahahaha......
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Old 27 November 2001, 19:33
Snake's Avatar
Snake Snake is offline
COL Quaritch is my CO
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Italy
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Sorry guys,
but thanks to your Government, the terms "Canadian" and "Rapid Reaction" dont exactly jump into our minds at the same time...
Why dont you just invest all political power to the Queen? I'd rather her running my Country than Clinton or Chretien...

Snake
A/1/504th PIR
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Old 27 November 2001, 20:30
farseer farseer is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: calgary
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Unhappy

i have an image in my mind of 900 soldiers by the side of the road with there thumbs out and a sign saying "afghanistan or bust",
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Old 27 November 2001, 23:47
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garett garett is offline
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I'm surprised they didn't hijack an Air Canada airplane in true Patricia fashion.
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  #9  
Old 28 November 2001, 15:14
enderr enderr is offline
....so can i dig myself deeper?
 
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if there is a campaign medal involved and a few rounds of golf i bet the air force would fly them over no problem. Except you can't take any ammo, pyro, pol, or glowsticks, or peak 1 mountain stoves. And each airforce member must have[free of charge] 2 concubines, a mercedes benz, and a government of canada credit card.
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  #10  
Old 28 November 2001, 21:22
farseer farseer is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2001
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damn, i joined the wrong service!!!
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