Mark Collins – Canadian Election and the Military: Who Stands on Guard for Thee?

CGAI Fellow Jack Granatstein and three other Canadians with great knowledge and experience have issued a cri de coeur for the country to spend more on, and do more effectively with, Canada’s armed forces in order that we might play–as they see it–a more proper part in the world.  Their article:

Paul H. Chapin, J.L. Granatstein, Brig. Gen. Don Macnamara & Hugh Segal: A roadmap to a stronger military

I have several quibbles with aspects of some of their proposals (which readers of this blog should readily appreciate, e.g. concerning the F-35–lots more here–and the Royal Canadian Navy–lots more on the RCN here); but I think the simple reality is that no Canadian government, including the Conservative one, will have any interest in seriously working towards the aspirations the authors’ recommend.  Much less the great majority of people in this democracy who appear to be resolutely fatalities-averse amongst other things and also suckers for defence Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! political bribery.

Moreover, unlike say Aussies, Canadians do not think they live in a potentially dangerous neighbourhood and thus need to be militarily prepared.  Finally I would highlight that both Canadian politicians and major media effectively have zero inclination to take defence matters substantively rather than for show of one sort or another (cf. this pitiful current Conservative pledge about special forces involving peanuts spent over seven years).  Woe Canada.


Conservatives and Canadian Forces: Budget, Procurement, Deployment

US-Backed UN “Killer Peacekeeping”: Would Canadians Support Taking Substantial Part?

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds


3 thoughts on “Mark Collins – Canadian Election and the Military: Who Stands on Guard for Thee?”

  1. Dismal realities:

    “Analysis:Canada’s patched-up military: Too few dollars, too many missions
    If there is an election debate needed, it’s on Canada’s military role and what we can afford
    By Brian Stewart

    National defence is a dead zone in our elections, rarely debated in depth in a country where the military and its multiple problems are mostly out of sight, out of mind…”

    As I wrote.

    Mark Collins

  2. Interesting post at

    “Just a point:

    Outside of Afghanistan all of those missions have been accomplished with minimal Canadian Army involvement. They are RCN led. They are RCAF led. They are CANSOFCOM led. They don’t require many bodies. They don’t require a large footprint. They don’t generate many Canadian casualties.

    A massive chunk of the defence budget goes towards recruiting, training, maintaining, supporting and “divesting” soldiers of the Canadian Army that governments of all stripes are increasingly unwilling to use.”,82898.msg1391705.html#msg1391705

    Mark Collins

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