Mark Collins – Experts’ Submissions to Canadian Defence Policy Review (note Prof. Saideman)

At the official website:

Read submissions from Canadian defence, security and other experts who participated in a Defence Policy Review roundtable. Learn more about these issues and see how your views compare to these opinions and recommendations…

Note this one June 27 by Canadian Global Affairs Institute Fellow Prof. Steve Saideman, with focuses on NATO, readiness, personnel costs and the size of the Forces (maybe need to be slimmed), and the strengths and weaknesses of the services (already “specialized”). His cogent conclusions:

I do think that the best decision would be for Canada to spend more on its military, but I recognize that this is probably a non-starter. Whatever increases will probably not catch up to inflation. I also recognize that Canada will continue to spend more and get less due to the insistence on buying Canadian built equipment even when better/less expensive kit is available [see, e.g.: “The Extravagant Lunacy of Building RCN and Canadian Coast Guard Vessels in Canada“]. Given these trends, the CAF is in for hard times ahead (although calling a new decade of darkness is a bit much)–expected to keep up the pace of operations while avoiding hard decisions about priorities. Perhaps the Defence Review will lead to some difficult decisions actually being confronted.

One suspects that final sentence may be a tad optimistic. Still…

More here on the review. Plus an excerpt on defence policy from a post of mine in February 2013:

…The [Conservative] government has said it will announce a redo of the CFDS [never happened] some time after the budget…But if each service tries to go on being as all-singing and all-dancing as possible each is likely to end up not performing all that well. The government needs to make some some very difficult choices to focus the services, and abandon some capabilities so as to be able to afford and maintain others. That means the government must decide what types of missions/roles each service must be able to perform (as opposed to “nice to have”) and how much it is willing to pay for the personnel and equipment so that those missions/roles can be carried out effectively and efficiently [e.g. should the RCN focus again on ASW in the North Atlantic with the new Canadian Surface Combatants? Are our four subs very useful for this purpose?]. But I doubt this government is capable of–or our services willing to–engage in such a serious review…

Now up to the Liberals.

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


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