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Military can't staff all missions

GAP

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Military can't staff all missions
Personnel crunch prompts review of deployments, but even that is on hold because of staff shortage
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The military has put up to a dozen international missions on the chopping block as it struggles with a massive personnel shortage, the Toronto Star has learned.

From a five-soldier team training the Kosovo Security Force to the single officer monitoring the 1974 ceasefire in Cyprus, to the 30 personnel deployed on peacekeeping operations in Sudan, all is up for review as Canada juggles the demands of Afghanistan, the Olympics, and the G8 and G20 meetings of world leaders this summer.

"Political will exists to accept downsizing or deactivation of missions whose effects are no longer required, are not meeting their intent, or who can no longer be conducted owing to force generation pressures," according to an internal report last year laying out the criteria for continuing or cutting the international deployments.

The personnel pinch was first identified by Gen. Rick Hillier, then chief of defence staff, in May 2008. He warned that the Canadian Forces would need to "continuously and ruthlessly rationalize our operational demands."

But one huge assumption turned out to be spectacularly wrong: that there would no humanitarian disasters in need of the military's specialized Disaster Assistance Response Team in the real crunch period of January through March 2010.

The Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti, followed by the deployment of some 2,000 Canadian soldiers, sailors and air crew, which the military is beginning to slowly withdraw, stretched the already taut Canadian Forces fabric to the ripping point.

Besides that recent surge, there are only a few hundred soldiers deployed on operations other than the Afghanistan mission, down from well over 1,000 in the 1990s.

Many of those are key positions, including in Haiti, where a Canadian officer is the chief of staff to the UN mission, and in the Congo, where a Canadian is the deputy chief of staff.

The mission review was launched in the spring 2009.

It has been put on hold, but not cancelled, because the officials tasked with making the final recommendations to chief of defence staff Gen. Walter Natynczyk were required for other duties, a military spokesman said.

"It's on hiatus," said Capt. John Dacombe.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is also involved in reviewing the decision to axe Canadian participation in foreign missions. Its job is to make sure the recommendations fall into line with the government's political priorities.

The documents suggest that deployments to politically sensitive or strategic regions of the world could be spared.
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HavocSteve

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Gives me lots of hope to hear this news that I have a good shot at making it into the military :) I could only wish to be in Haiti and giving my helping hand in that, or out in Vancouver protecting everyone  :cdn:

Think they will increase the budget? or was that suppose to be a joke? >:D
 

Dog

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I know the solution! They should slash the budget, starve the military for a decade, until we are physically incapable of conducting any kind of large scale mission, then whoever hasn't released yet, we can send them out on 5-man deployments to Haiti, and single-man deployments to Israel, and hundreds of other countries without actually doing anything controversial.... That way the Canadian public can delude itself into thinking that we are deployed in meaningful causes all over the world without any fuss over silly things like "achieving objectives." We can paint all our helmets blue, and instead of carrying weapons we can deploy with triwalls of toys and flowers!

I'm a genius, I'm going to start drafting the proposal right away so I can submit it to my chain of command, MP, and any newspaper willing to print it and make the public aware of what the military is REALLY all about!
 
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