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The Defence Budget [superthread]

Kirkhill

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milnews.ca said:
I'm not confident most Canadians have thought to this level of detail about the question "how much military does Canada need and what do you think it should be able to do?"

Although that, or a variation on that theme, might be an interesting polling question as part of the public consultation leading up to the defence review ...

Slow getting back but....

I agree that most Canadians wouldn't know the Cost Rican Orbat from a Tim Horton's menu but I believe that there is a substantial chunk of the populace that just doesn't see the need for a defence force when they have seen no evidence of an attack.

And to have an attack force just doesn't seem the done thing.

Consequently they don't see the need for any force - which essentially brings you down to the Costa Rican standard.

Meanwhile even the supporters of the CAF seem to include a large proportion more inclined to thinking they need an Army, and it needs lots of buttons and bows, with lots of things that make loud bangs, but not much sense of what they would actually do with it.

The people that want an Army so that they can use it are, unfortunately, in my opinion, in very short supply.
 

MilEME09

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Chris Pook said:
Meanwhile even the supporters of the CAF seem to include a large proportion more inclined to thinking they need an Army, and it needs lots of buttons and bows, with lots of things that make loud bangs, but not much sense of what they would actually do with it.

The people that want an Army so that they can use it are, unfortunately, in my opinion, in very short supply.

This is just my opinion, however I believe our Army is at a good size, and numbers just need to get moved around (IE less HQ/overhead), it is our navy and airforce that need to see large increases, especially the navy. In these times of climate change and more and more arctic sea ice is disappearing, the requirement for the RCN to assist in patrolling our northern waters will increase.
 

TCBF

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MilEME09 said:
This is just my opinion, however I believe our Army is at a good size, and numbers just need to get moved around (IE less HQ/overhead), it is our navy and airforce that need to see large increases, especially the navy. In these times of climate change and more and more arctic sea ice is disappearing, the requirement for the RCN to assist in patrolling our northern waters will increase.

- If the arctic ice pack breaks up, it wont just disappear in a year. We will have decades of moving chunks of loose pack ice being moved by the ocean currents - INTO the Northwest Passage, not out of it. As a sea route, the northwest passage will become even less useable than it is now.
 
J

jollyjacktar

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And speaking of our defence spending...

Canada should boost military spending, former NATO commander says

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/nato-commander-trump-comments-1.3559234
 

Journeyman

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From the cited article:
jollyjacktar said:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/nato-commander-trump-comments-1.3559234

... a release from Sajjan said, noting that budget 2016 included predictable funding for the military.
Yep, it certainly was "predictable."  :(
 

Kirkhill

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From Jason Fekete in the National Post

OTTAWA – The federal government is spending millions of dollars on overtime for communications staff as it looks to get out its messaging to Canadians, with the largest tabs in the departments of Environment, Finance, Global Affairs, Defence, and the Privy Council Office.

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/federal-liberals-spending-millions-on-overtime-for-communications-staff-documents-reveal


Good news - Defence it high on the list of things the government considers important.

Bad news - These are the things the government is working hard at messaging.

Cynical me tends to believe that somebody who is working hard at selling doesn't have much to sell.


You and your supporters are important - just not important enough to spend money on actually doing stuff.
 

Kirkhill

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OTTAWA — Like the Harper government before it, the Trudeau government left billions of dollars unspent on everything from national parks to veterans services to economic development grants during the 2015-16 fiscal year.

The so-called “lapsed” funding for fiscal 2016 is $9.7 billion, according to the Public Accounts of Canada. All of those unspent funds were used to pay down the federal debt.

This year’s three-volume public accounts also close the books on fiscal 2016, a year in which the Harper Conservatives controlled the purse strings for the first seven months and the Trudeau Liberals for the final five months.

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/liberals-left-900-million-unspent-last-year-at-indigenous-affairs

Even the Liberals can't spend fast enough......

I don't know whether to be applauding obstructionist bureaucrats or calling for them to be chucked.  Something ain't right.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Part of the problem is that often money is released late in the day and by the time they get regulatory approvals they can't build before fiscal ends. They need to change the rules that once a project is selected for funding and is moving into the regulatory phase, that money is locked in and can only be returned to general revenue if it is denied at the regulatory stage. Fuck the accountants and TB, I have watched this play out far to many times and tried to get Western Economic Diversification Fund to guarantee the money to a group, because we would issue the approval as soon as the environmental assessment was done, but we could not meet the March 31 deadline. another example is giving my program $200,000 in helicopter time to review projects in NW BC, except they sat on the money till November and expected us to spend it by end of March. Flying IN NWBC at that time of the year in that area was generally useless and incredibly dangerous.   
 

Kirkhill

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Here’s a game: guess how many types of battle tank are employed in the defence forces of Europe. As a clue, I’ll tell you that the US uses two. No? Still not sure? The answer is that the nations of Europe, equivalent in size to the entire US, maintain 37 sorts of tank.

...

The only two countries in the EU that fulfill all their Nato defence spending obligations are the UK and Poland. The US footed the bill for more 70 per cent of Nato's defence spending last year. Not only does the EU not spend enough; the little cash it does spend is used appallingly badly.

It’s not just tanks. The EU’s 28 countries also maintain 12 kinds of tanker aircraft and 19 kinds of fighting aircraft, according to Sophia Besch at the Centre for European Reform. In Eastern Europe, many spare parts are still supplied by Russia. Some countries that do spend more, like Greece, fritter defence budgets away on a vast headcount and military pensions, rather than technology

When states do procure hardware, they are overwhelmingly protectionist, coddling their own industries at the cost of effectiveness. As Ms Besch puts it, the whole system is full of “duplication and redundancy”.

...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2016/11/10/trump-throws-the-future-of-nato-into-doubt-europe-must-step-up-t/
 

Colin Parkinson

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Except we have also seen the defense industry when you only have a few "super companies"

What they need to do now is beef up Reserve forces, this reduces your long term personal cost while improving the pool to draw upon. In the army start whittling it down on anything that does not go bang or provides the stuff to go bang or can clear the way for those who go bang. Make everyone potentially deployable. Have a fixed training camp for each reserve Combat arm, they run mostly summer and have modern equipment and they train up soldiers to set standard on that equipment. The units can continue to teach the basics and send as many interested people as they can each year. Keep it the same time and format year after year, everyone can plan around it. A bit like the battle schools run by the German and Brits.
 

Kirkhill

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Agree on the Reserve Force - as it applies to the Army.

But I disagree on its applicability to the Navy, the Air Force and the Special Forces.  Those can never be Reserve Dependent as they are 24/7 capabilities.  The Army is a "break-glass in event of fire" capability.

As to the "Super Companies"  - there used to be fewer - all of them state controlled.

Venice Arsenal
Royal Dockyards
Woolwich Arsenal
Enfield
 

jmt18325

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From the defence review online consultation report, pages 34 and 35:

Contributors overwhelmingly indicated that they
thought the “Canadian Armed Forces are not adequately
resourced to meet current roles and responsibilities”
(Chart 12). This is consistent with the responses
to questions regarding the procurement process and
spending discussed above, as well as the general view
that defence spending should be increased, with some
specifically suggesting that Canada reach the NATO
target of 2% of GDP. Comparisons with the levels of
spending by Canada’s allies, or by other G7 nations,
were also referenced. Considerably fewer advocated
reductions in spending. The level of expenditure was
also viewed as relating to the public’s willingness to
spend on the military.

http://dgpaapp.forces.gc.ca/en/defence-policy-review/docs/reports/public-consultation-online-report.pdf
 

FSTO

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jmt18325 said:
From the defence review online consultation report, pages 34 and 35:

http://dgpaapp.forces.gc.ca/en/defence-policy-review/docs/reports/public-consultation-online-report.pdf

Lots of commentary about emulating or working with Australia, getting a political consensus on the vision for the CAF, even "gasp" getting a Mistral type of ship.

All good things from the public. But will there be a will within Parliament to act on these recommendations? I won't hold my breath.
 

jmt18325

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FSTO said:
Lots of commentary about emulating or working with Australia, getting a political consensus on the vision for the CAF, even "gasp" getting a Mistral type of ship.

All good things from the public. But will there be a will within Parliament to act on these recommendations? I won't hold my breath.

I'm taking this as a signal from the government that they expect to have to do more in the Trump era.  We'll see.
 

Journeyman

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jmt18325 said:
I'm taking this as a signal from the government that they expect to have to do more in the Trump era.  We'll see.
The report was published 24 Oct; Trump wasn't elected until 8 Nov.  I saw no reference in the report to time travel. 

Also, the report is a summary of public inputs (ie - not even the expert input) compiled by Ipsos; it is not any form of government statement.
 

Kirkhill

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I'm willing to go "half-full" on this one.

The Government held a public consultation recently.
It got opinions.

Many of the offered opinions were likely from people like us, if not us.
It probably got contrary opinions as well.

Government prepares to implement its agenda.
It decides which opinions to publicize to support its agenda.


Reality intrudes.
Trump gets elected and frightens the hell out of everybody.
He might actually do the stuff he says he might do.

Government revises its agenda
It decides which opinions to publicize to support its agenda.

Trump has created a great field for negotiating.
He has created uncertainty.  Nobody is sure what he is going to do.
He has created believability.  Everybody is sure he is capable of doing anything.

The US is not taken for granted.

Edit to add:  Interesting "bail-out" clause:

"The summary of the discussion presented in this report
is not representative of Canadians’ views but offers a
thematic overview of what was submitted by contributors."
 

Journeyman

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Chris Pook said:
Government revises its agenda
It decides which opinions to publicize to support its agenda.
I agree.....except......

The government has changed no agenda points that I've seen (we're going to do "peacekeeping" dammit), nor publicized any support (it's 2016 now....and we got elected, so the populace must clearly support whatever it is we eventually decide to do).
 

Kirkhill

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You wrote while I read and wrote JM.

I agree with you.  Apparently our consultations were not reflective of those of real Canadians.

I wonder if that same paragraph appears in reports on pipelines, carbon and electoral reform?
 

MilEME09

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From the online consultations report

under section 5.5, page 29.

Many participants felt that the size of the CAF should
be increased, or at the very least, not reduced (Chart
6).  Some argued that increasing the size of the CAF
was  important  to  counter  fatigue  and  burnout  among 
members.

Chart below it shows 1299 responses thought the CAF should be expanded vs 220 who said it was the right size and 50 who said it should be reduced.

and why do I feel one of you wrote this submission

the Armed Forces are far too small to adequately serve the needs of a
nation of 35 Million.  Small numbers of personnel deploying over and over
again, as in Afghanistan, is a great model for future problems with PTSD, Stress
and Burn Out. Structure.  We have too many HQ’s.  Parliament should pass
laws that regardless of how big the Canadian [Armed] Forces is, only a certain
maximum percentage of the overall strength should be allowed to be employed
in HQs above unit level.  The basic Army, Navy, Air Force and Special Forces
structures should remain, however, there needs to be more authority by the
CDS to direct and control overall Joint Priorities.  The services hinder this,
but do have the expertise within their domains.  The CDS should be able to set
strategic priorities to solve a problem, decide which roles the services should
play in those overall Joint Priorities, and then task the services to deliver their
part of the capability.  Right now the services drive the major projects from the
bottom up, and that is a problem
 

Good2Golf

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Which was precisely what Gen Hillier was trying to do in the early days of CF Transformation back on 2005, but a number of (not all) environmental Commanders resisted (refused, actually)...


...hypothetically...  :whistle:
 
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