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Def Min's "Architect" Statements (split fm Walts et. al.)

The Bread Guy

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HB_Pencil said:
... The Minister has allowed the government to ride completely roughshod over the military in areas that it believes should be its prerogatives. Senior Military staff have been completely sidelined and their advice disregarded on a wide range of issues. Marc Norman is the proverbial tip of the iceberg. The decisions being made by this government are having deleterious consequences for the current and future CAF ...
And part of that comes back to the "loyalty up vs. loyalty down" question:  which is the correct pick?  And if the right answer is officers publicly disagreeing with political decisions one disagrees with, it also has to be correct for GO's disagreeing with political decisions one  agrees with.
 

The Bread Guy

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And it's never really explained unless there's the hidden motive ...
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan is being accused of falsely downplaying his role in Afghanistan in an attempt to thwart an investigation by the ethics commissioner, just days after he publicly apologized for falsely embellishing his role.

Ethics commissioner Mary Dawson questioned Sajjan regarding why he refused to open an investigation into the torture of Afghan detainees transferred by Canadian soldiers. Sajjan served as an intelligence officer in Afghanistan at the time and, were such an investigation to take place, he could potentially be called as a witness.

Conversations with the ethics commissioner typically remain private, but in a Feb. 27 letter obtained by the National Post, Dawson summarizes her conversation with the defence minister: “Mr. Sajjan informed me that he was deployed as a reservist to Afghanistan where he was responsible for capacity building with local police forces. At no time was he involved in the transfer of Afghan detainees, nor did he have any knowledge relating to the matter,” she wrote.

In public, Sajjan has described his time in Afghanistan in significantly different terms. He told military historian Sean Maloney he was involved in intelligence gathering and worked regularly with the the governor of Kandahar and the head of the National Directorate of Security, both of whom have been accused of organizing the torture of suspected Taliban fighters in violation of international law. In a 2006 letter Sajjan’s commanding officer in Afghanistan, brigadier general David Fraser, described him as an intelligence officer who “singlehandedly changed the face of intelligence gathering and analysis in Afghanistan.”

After questioning Sajjan, Dawson decided there was insufficient evidence and closed her investigation ...
Holy "wheels within wheels", Batman ...
 

Humphrey Bogart

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mariomike said:
Regarding,

"Commission Upon Release"
https://army.ca/forums/threads/123348.0
OP: "What happens to your commission when you release? Are you "de-commissioned"? Do you "relinquish" your commission?"

My point stands, you do not relinquish your commission.

There are actually two cases that deal with this:  Vertue v. Lord Clive (1769) 4 Burr 2472
per Lord Mansfield and R. V. Cuming (1887) 19 Q.B.D. 13

Just because you are discharged from the Armed Forces does not mean you relinquish your commission, you've merely been discharged from service.  You can be granted leave from a commission but this decision rests with the person that issued the commission (i.e. the Crown)

Michael Drapeau is using this to argue that certain HR policies the CAF has are illegal i.e. Imposed Compulsory Occupational Reassignment (specifically when an Officer fails training).  His argument is only the Crown may strip someone of a commission (i.e. the Governor General) http://mdlo.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/22-1-Law-Order-Feb2015-Devaluation-of-a-once-proud-act.pdf

HB_Pencil said:
I think you see a similar discussions in theory emanating in the US over Mattis's appointment as SecDef. However I think the problem actually has manifested consequences that are the opposite of what the concerns are in the United States. This minister has presided over one of the poorest periods of senior civil-military relations since at least the mid 1990s (Jean Boyle, Somalia and the CAR), if not earlier. The Minister has allowed the government to ride completely roughshod over the military in areas that it believes should be its prerogatives. Senior Military staff have been completely sidelined and their advice disregarded on a wide range of issues. Marc Norman is the proverbial tip of the iceberg. The decisions being made by this government are having deleterious consequences for the current and future CAF. I think part of the reason why the response on this has been so vicious is because of what Saideman has said: there are other issues that should be raised, but in absence of the Canadian public actually caring whether they will have a fighter fleet in five years' time, this is their way to plunge the knife and turn the handle. The only problem is that many people predict who will likely come after him, and envision the situation will become a whole lot worse than better.

:goodpost:

This is my point.
 

HB_Pencil

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milnews.ca said:
Good question, but I think officers publishing papers via an academic review system (and there are a number of military academics who can straighten me out on this around these parts) is quite a different beast than someone in uniform talking off the cuff criticizing the government and its policies.

So to answer your question, I can't think of an instance where a serving CF personnel member wrote an academic paper that was heavily critical of existing government policy. I can think of a couple of cases where an individual wrote a paper that emphasized a particular policy preference, or offered mild advice to improve an existing policy position, but really nothing hard hitting. Furthermore many pieces have the pro forma disclaimer:

Opinions expressed remain those of the author and do not represent Department of National Defence or Canadian Forces policy. XXX may not be used without written permission.

So certainly there is a level of self censorship that occurs.


milnews.ca said:
And part of that comes back to the "loyalty up vs. loyalty down" question:  which is the correct pick?  And if the right answer is officers publicly disagreeing with political decisions one disagrees with, it also has to be correct for GO's disagreeing with political decisions one  agrees with.

Oh I think the Loyalty up versus Down is a not a major struggle that many of them are having: many are focused more on their subordinates. Rather it is the second half of your comment is where the complexity resides.

This government has basically placed an unusually strong grip on controlling the department, which may be the result of a number of factors: the experience early on of the CSC leaks, their own policy preferences on the military's role and them capitalizing on the image of Sajjan as a steady hand on the file. Internally you had a strong crackdown on dissent, with the Norman investigation and then the gag order placed on procurement staff. This has limited the option available to many to try to manage the situation.

I think some are staying because they believe that given no alternative, they need to stay in to avoid these potential disasters from occurring. They see how ineffective public criticism has been on glaringly bad decisions (like when 13 Air Staff Chiefs complain about the Super Hornet Decision and the most they got was a blog post by a reporter almost mocking them), and think that a resignation would have little effect. So while they may hold stronger views towards protecting their subordinates, they have little choice but to stay in. That's not a hard and fast rule, but I do believe that it is a dynamic that is at present in many senior officials' minds.
 

The Bread Guy

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HB_Pencil said:
... I think some are staying because they believe that given no alternative, they need to stay in to avoid these potential disasters from occurring ...
I've heard that before as a rationale for staying with a ship whose direction you're not keen on -- better to manage the crap hose output than just abandon ship and who knows what would happen.

Meanwhile, not too many surprises in the House so far ...
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Harjit Sajjan has his "full confidence" amid a growing controversy over the defence minister's exaggerated claim he was the "architect" of a major assault on the Taliban in 2006.

Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose accused Sajjan of "stolen valour" and called on Trudeau to fire him for dishonouring himself and the military. "Will the prime minister remove the minister of defence?"

But Trudeau said Sajjan has served his country in a number of ways, as a police officer, a soldier and now as a cabinet minister. He made a mistake, apologized and took responsibility for it, the prime minister said.

Sajjan briefly met with reporters before entering the House of Commons, again apologizing and saying he was "not here to make excuses."

"I'm owning it. I'm learning from it and I'll be a better person for it," he said.

He reiterated his apology in the House ...
 

Humphrey Bogart

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HB_Pencil said:
So to answer your question, I can't think of an instance where a serving CF personnel member wrote an academic paper that was heavily critical of existing government policy. I can think of a couple of cases where an individual wrote a paper that emphasized a particular policy preference, or offered mild advice to improve an existing policy position, but really nothing hard hitting. Furthermore many pieces have the pro forma disclaimer:

Opinions expressed remain those of the author and do not represent Department of National Defence or Canadian Forces policy. XXX may not be used without written permission.

So certainly there is a level of self censorship that occurs.


Oh I think the Loyalty up versus Down is a not a major struggle that many of them are having: many are focused more on their subordinates. Rather it is the second half of your comment is where the complexity resides.

This government has basically placed an unusually strong grip on controlling the department, which may be the result of a number of factors: the experience early on of the CSC leaks, their own policy preferences on the military's role and them capitalizing on the image of Sajjan as a steady hand on the file. Internally you had a strong crackdown on dissent, with the Norman investigation and then the gag order placed on procurement staff. This has limited the option available to many to try to manage the situation.

I think some are staying because they believe that given no alternative, they need to stay in to avoid these potential disasters from occurring. They see how ineffective public criticism has been on glaringly bad decisions (like when 13 Air Staff Chiefs complain about the Super Hornet Decision and the most they got was a blog post by a reporter almost mocking them), and think that a resignation would have little effect. So while they may hold stronger views towards protecting their subordinates, they have little choice but to stay in. That's not a hard and fast rule, but I do believe that it is a dynamic that is at present in many senior officials' minds.

I agree, Minister Sajjan is the MND and I will not critique him for that.  I will; however, question him as a Commissioned Officer (he still has a commission) and whether he is acting ethically and with integrity?  If we are truly profession, this should be well within our rights.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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To follow up on earlier comments I'll leave you with this Samuel Huntington quote as good for thought:
Politics is beyond the scope of military competence, and the participation of military officers in politics undermines their professionalism. The military officer must remain neutral politically.  The military commander must never allow his military judgement to be warped by political expediency. 

The Soldier and State, Samuel Huntington, pg. 71
 

FJAG

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Humphrey Bogart said:
I agree, Minister Sajjan is the MND and I will not critique him for that.  I will; however, question him as a Commissioned Officer (he still has a commission) and whether he is acting ethically and with integrity?  If we are truly profession, this should be well within our rights.

I think some of us are making a bit much out of the commission bit. He's been released from the Forces and is no longer subject to the CSD (other than for things done while in the CF) and is no longer subject to the CF standards for ethics etc. He's retired and the commission is really just a red herring. He's a civilian plain and simple and just because he had been given a commission his obligations and standards do not rise beyond those of your run of the mill civilian politician.

I'm not a lover of the Liberals by any stretch of the imagination but I find such things as the NDP's allegations that because of his former service and now these statements he's in a conflict of interest because of the Afghan torture allegations as just petty politics at their worst.

Quite frankly when I see the words that Fraser wrote about him

... his hard work, personal bravery, and dogged determination undoubtedly saved a multitude of Coalition lives. ... tirelessly and selflessly devoted himself to piecing together the ground truth on tribal and Taliban networks in the Kandahar area, and his analysis was so compelling that it drove a number of large scale theatre-resourced efforts, including OPERATION MEDUSA, a large scale conventional combat operation that resulted in the defeat of the largest TB insurgent cell yet identified in Afghanistan, with over 1500 Taliban killed or captured. ...

I can see that while the word "architect" is a bit of a stretch it is not a far jump or a totally unsubstantiated claim that he made. He might have chosen his words better and gotten the same audience impact without any stretch of the truth.

As a card carrying Conservative, I think it's time to accept his apology and give the guy a break on this issue. Let's see how he performs in the Defence Review and let's not forget that the biggest albatross that he has hanging around his neck is that he has to work in a Liberal cabinet headed by a Trudeau.

:cheers:
 

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I don't see his performance as an issue one way or another.

I do see his credibility, however, as an issue.

I am not sure that even the most sincere apology can overcome loss of credibility.

I am not upset by this, just saddened. An excellent reputation has been ruined, and completely unnecessarily.
 

the 48th regulator

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dileas

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Humphrey Bogart

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FJAG said:
I think some of us are making a bit much out of the commission bit. He's been released from the Forces and is no longer subject to the CSD (other than for things done while in the CF) and is no longer subject to the CF standards for ethics etc. He's retired and the commission is really just a red herring. He's a civilian plain and simple and just because he had been given a commission his obligations and standards do not rise beyond those of your run of the mill civilian politician.

I'm not a lover of the Liberals by any stretch of the imagination but I find such things as the NDP's allegations that because of his former service and now these statements he's in a conflict of interest because of the Afghan torture allegations as just petty politics at their worst.

Some would disagree with you.  By saying the commission is a "red herring" what you've done is devalued the document.  I think Huntington would also disagree with you as would many others, most recently former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Dempsey:

"The American people should not wonder where their military leaders draw the line between military advice and political preference," Dempsey wrote in a letter to the Washington Post. "And our nation's soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines should not wonder about the political leanings and motivations of their leaders."
http://www.npr.org/2016/08/03/488442470/gen-dempsey-to-fellow-officers-stay-off-the-political-battlefield

Quite frankly when I see the words that Fraser wrote about him

I can see that while the word "architect" is a bit of a stretch it is not a far jump or a totally unsubstantiated claim that he made. He might have chosen his words better and gotten the same audience impact without any stretch of the truth.

As a card carrying Conservative, I think it's time to accept his apology and give the guy a break on this issue. Let's see how he performs in the Defence Review and let's not forget that the biggest albatross that he has hanging around his neck is that he has to work in a Liberal cabinet headed by a Trudeau.

:cheers:

I agree on accepting his apology but I stand by my original statement that politics is no place for a military officer.  He's using his military service to advance his political career and that's wrong.  I'd say the same thing about Andrew Leslie, Gordon O'Connor, etc.
 

FJAG

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Humphrey Bogart said:
Some would disagree with you.  By saying the commission is a "red herring" what you've done is devalued the document.  I think Huntington would also disagree with you as would many others, most recently former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Dempsey:
http://www.npr.org/2016/08/03/488442470/gen-dempsey-to-fellow-officers-stay-off-the-political-battlefield

Not at all. I'm quite proud of mine and think that while I was a serving officer it defined who I was. I just don't think that it defines me now that I'm retired. At this point I'm the product of my total existence and experience, not just one facet.

The fact that others might disagree with me is not a new thing and I don't have n issue with that.

Humphrey Bogart said:
I agree on accepting his apology but I stand by my original statement that politics is no place for a military officer.  He's using his military service to advance his political career and that's wrong.  I'd say the same thing about Andrew Leslie, Gordon O'Connor, etc.

Would you also say it about Dwight D Eisenhower, James Mattis, Ronald Reagan, John F Kennedy,  Harry Truman, and the 837 members of parliament who since confederation served in the military (see here:
http://www.lop.parl.gc.ca/ParlInfo/Lists/MilitaryService.aspx?Menu=HOC-Bio&Section=03d93c58-f843-49b3-9653-84275c23f3fb)

Would you leave political service to just the lawyers and university professors and the other hoi polloi? I think we both agree that this country needs good leaders so why would you cut out an entire class of citizens who have proven their abilities and their love of country by the fact that they've served?

:cheers:
 

dapaterson

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It may be worthwhile to read the Hansard for the early weeks of 1944 - there were serving members of Parliament who were on the D-Day beaches.

While that may be extreme, I don't think that former military service should preclude being a member of Parliament.

That said, IMHO there are few individuals who can make the transition to become an effective MND; moving from a manager of the force to the Government (big G) is a huge transition that is extremely difficult.  Far better to apply their military experience in other areas, at best as members of committees.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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FJAG said:
Not at all. I'm quite proud of mine and think that while I was a serving officer it defined who I was. I just don't think that it defines me now that I'm retired. At this point I'm the product of my total existence and experience, not just one facet.

The fact that others might disagree with me is not a new thing and I don't have n issue with that.

Would you also say it about Dwight D Eisenhower, James Mattis, Ronald Reagan, John F Kennedy,  Harry Truman, and the 837 members of parliament who since confederation served in the military (see here:
http://www.lop.parl.gc.ca/ParlInfo/Lists/MilitaryService.aspx?Menu=HOC-Bio&Section=03d93c58-f843-49b3-9653-84275c23f3fb)

Would you leave political service to just the lawyers and university professors and the other hoi polloi? I think we both agree that this country needs good leaders so why would you cut out an entire class of citizens who have proven their abilities and their love of country by the fact that they've served?

:cheers:

It's true, there have been great soldiers who were also great statesmen, for that there can be no argument.  Eisenhower, Truman and Kennedy stick out in my mind, it's ironic that the majority of great ones are American.  I would say the difference is a man like Eisenhower never used his military service to show "how badass he was" to the tabloids. 

Interestingly, all the men you named were American.  I would say the United States is fairly unique in that Americans have common views on military service regardless of political affiliation.  I would even argue that the American military is much like the Prussian Army in that what came first?  The Army or the State?

Out of the 837 members of Parliament that have military service, I can't think of one that sticks out in my mind as a great soldier and statesman, certainly not an Eisenhower.  I don't think our political system favours the soldier/statesmen at all. 
 

dapaterson

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Humphrey Bogart said:
I don't think our political system favours the soldier/statesmen at all.

Is it our political system that does not favour them, or our military that does not produce them?
 

Humphrey Bogart

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dapaterson said:
Is it our political system that does not favour them, or our military that does not produce them?

A good question, my personal opinion is that Canadian Society doesn't respect the military as a profession, certainly not to the same extent others do.  In the UK it is very much frowned upon for very senior officers to serve in the House of Commons.  For anyone of General Officer rank, their place is in the House of Lords where it's customary for former Chiefs of the General Staff to receive an appointment.  Right now there are 11 former Chiefs in the House of Lords, providing that sober second thought to House of Commons legislation.

Meanwhile in Canada, we've got Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau  :rofl:
 

the 48th regulator

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Bogey,

I am getting tired of your "What I feel" reasons for your post.  The man is retired, commission is retired.  This is not the lord of the fucking rings where his past totally dictates his future.  Give it a rest.

Humphrey Bogart said:
A good question, my personal opinion is that Canadian Society doesn't respect the military as a profession, certainly not to the same extent others do.

I call bullshit.  Stop pandering for sympathy, as our Country is very empathetic to our Military,a and understand it better than what you portray YOURSELF in knowing.

Humphrey Bogart said:
In the UK it is very much frowned upon for very senior officers to serve in the House of Commons.

Good thing Churchhill never served....

Humphrey Bogart said:
For anyone of General Officer rank, their place is in the House of Lords where it's customary for former Chiefs of the General Staff to receive an appointment.  Right now there are 11 former Chiefs in the House of Lords, providing that sober second thought to House of Commons legislation.

Yes, Tea and Crumpets will be served at 1400 hrs.....

You know we are 2017, and we really look at Canada more than we do other nations.  That Right, Great Britain is another nation,not our lords anymore.  Just in Fancy dress regs.

Humphrey Bogart said:
Meanwhile in Canada, we've got Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau  :rofl:

Look, although Meme's are cute, we can't base our opinion on them.  Can you find the list of Senators?  That will really show me if you are truly an Aficionado on pomp and pagentry when it comes to tradition, and what is right for "Royal" Canadian appointments, including a commission.

dileas

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the 48th regulator said:
I call bullshit.  Stop pandering for sympathy, as our Country is very empathetic to our Military,a and understand it better than what you portray YOURSELF in knowing.

Actually,

I have to agree. The Canadian public is largely apathetic toward the military, military service, and our plight.

If they were empathetic, I think things like our pay, PLD, housing repaired and updated, and veterans benefits would have improved a long time ago and would be adjusted appropriately more regularly; but that's a discussion for another thread.

I did chuckle at the satire of "Sajjan may resign as Prime Minister."
 

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Churchill did serve

Post was made before morning coffee and sarcasm detector was in for a service...lol
 
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