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Thread: Canadian Military Priorities

  1. #1

    Default Canadian Military Priorities

    In light of the discussion on the new jet fighter and the current events in Africa, the middle east etc I thought a conversation about what the forumites here think the Canadian Military priorities should be would be appropriate.

    In my world the priorities would be:
    1) Defense and Patrol of Canada's borders to protect and defend
    a) Sovereignty
    b) Fisheries and environmental
    c) Illegal activities (human and other smuggling, dumping etc)

    2) Search and rescue in all areas of Canada land, sea and arctic

    3) Domestic emergency services and relief
    a) Floods,ice storms, earth quakes etc.
    b) Assistance to civilian authorities as requested

    4) Humanitarian aid to other countries in time of disaster

    5) NORAD, NATO and UN commitments within our treaty obligations

    6) Education, trades and other training for serving members of the armed forces.
    (beyond military training)

    so there is a place to start...your thoughts

    In my highly biased personal opinion

  2. #2

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    Artic Sovereignty
    I have conversed with the worst kind of hectoring, bully pulpit smart-a**e*; dripping with virtuous self-aggrandizing sanctimony.................. and that's just on this forum.

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    1) a) Sovereignty is a pretty vague priority. What exactly is the military doing under the large banner of "Sovereignty"? To what end? Currently, Sovereignty Ops are great opportunities to refresh skills related to surviving in an arctic environment in the greater context of conducting combat operations. Are you looking for something beyond that?
    b) & c) Why is the military a better tool for these tasks than say law enforcement personnel, the associated departments, and the coast guard? Soldiers, sailors and airmen are not law enforcement personnel and have no authority as such.

    2) Many countries have delegated their search and rescue tasks to civilian agencies. Why should this be a military task?

    3) & 4) The military does possess a large logistical capability that is extremely valuable during large scale disasters relief. Other than that it doesn't provide much value, especially in the long-term. It's a blunt instrument. Smaller agencies have shown they are much more efficient at providing aid.

    6) What training are you talking about "beyond military training" and why is it on the list? Why would the military spend money on training that isn't military related?

    What is a military? Wikipedia says:
    ... an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats.
    Does this definition fit in with the priorities you've listed? Or maybe there are other organizations better suited for them? Perhaps you see the military as something other than what I do. It is a versatile force, a tool, that *can* fill a variety of roles. But at the end of the day its purpose is to prepare for war.

  4. #4

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    Militaries are usually for war but militaries have also been know to go on peace keeping missions and for snow removal (only if you live down east) or floods. As for artic sovereingty. It has been mentioned that with more resources being sought after the artic will be a point of interest for a lot of exploration. If Canada does not assert it's right over what land is theirs and how to protect it resources that are in our territory could be exploited. How much money has the government invested in a plan to protect is waters?

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/...he-arctic.html
    I have conversed with the worst kind of hectoring, bully pulpit smart-a**e*; dripping with virtuous self-aggrandizing sanctimony.................. and that's just on this forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    Militaries are usually for war but militaries have also been know to go on peace keeping missions and for snow removal (only if you live down east) or floods. As for artic sovereingty. It has been mentioned that with more resources being sought after the artic will be a point of interest for a lot of exploration. If Canada does not assert it's right over what land is theirs and how to protect it resources that are in our territory could be exploited. How much money has the government invested in a plan to protect is waters?

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/...he-arctic.html
    Yes, as I said, the military is a versatile force and I see no problem using the military in these capacities. BUT if this ia a thread on military priorities then that's a different question. Priorities shape procurement. If you say the the priority is for peacekeeping & snow removal then the procurement will match that. So what do we spend our military procurement dollars on? Blue berets and snow shovels? A combat capable force can conduct (and excel at) peacekeeping & aid to civil power operations. A force built around non war fighting tasks cannot conduct combat operations (and ceases to be a military IMO).
    Last edited by Carbon-14; 14-01-2013 at 10:47 PM.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbon-14 View Post
    1) a) Sovereignty is a pretty vague priority. What exactly is the military doing under the large banner of "Sovereignty"? To what end? Currently, Sovereignty Ops are great opportunities to refresh skills related to surviving in an arctic environment in the greater context of conducting combat operations. Are you looking for something beyond that?
    b) & c) Why is the military a better tool for these tasks than say law enforcement personnel, the associated departments, and the coast guard? Soldiers, sailors and airmen are not law enforcement personnel and have no authority as such.

    2) Many countries have delegated their search and rescue tasks to civilian agencies. Why should this be a military task?

    3) & 4) The military does possess a large logistical capability that is extremely valuable during large scale disasters relief. Other than that it doesn't provide much value, especially in the long-term. It's a blunt instrument. Smaller agencies have shown they are much more efficient at providing aid.

    6) What training are you talking about "beyond military training" and why is it on the list? Why would the military spend money on training that isn't military related?

    What is a military? Wikipedia says:
    ... an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats.
    Does this definition fit in with the priorities you've listed? Or maybe there are other organizations better suited for them? Perhaps you see the military as something other than what I do. It is a versatile force, a tool, that *can* fill a variety of roles. But at the end of the day its purpose is to prepare for war.
    Well we will disagree somewhat

    Sovereignty patrols (Land, sea and air) are about protecting and monitoring your borders so you
    1) know what is happening on many levels
    2) can protect against unwanted intrusion
    3) are seen to maintain the borders you claim
    4) the excercises provide training in all environments of the country.
    5) When appropriate defend against and stop unwanted intrusions

    To fisheries and environmental...if they are already there doing the patrols it is appropriate they be equipped to monitor these issues. Good use of assets.

    In addition the training the personnel recieve for maritime military work prepares them well for the job.

    To Illegal activities (human and other smuggling, dumping etc)...As with the above they are already there and have the training to search and monitor.

    In addition they have the equipment and firepower to deal with some of the maritime criminal activity that takes place. Think of the Turbot conflicts and confrontations on the east coast about 10 or so years ago with the Spanish. The coast guard is not equipped for this type of confrontation, nor armed for it.

    Bear in mind, the military must report and receive authorization prior to acting (unless fired upon or similar).

    Search and Rescue
    I have yet to read of a for profit SAR operation that is as effective as a Military operation. Again, the same training, expertice, equipment used in other operations translate to SAR.


    Domestic emergency services and relief
    Yes we have a decent fast reaction logistical capability, but in large scale disasters (Quebec ice storms, Winnipeg floods a few years ago and other instances) the military hs the ability to put large numbers of personnel on the ground fast. In the cases I note above this made a huge difference in how bad things got and how quickly things came under control.

    Humanitarian aid
    In addition to providing logistical aid they also provide protection, emergency medical services, water purification and more. Our military has an international reputation of being among the best in this role.

    The other thing often forgotten is the military is trained to work as a team and follow orders. And they have to. This becomes a huge advantage in crisis.

    Do smaller agencies do a better job in the long haul, yes I agree. But it is the crisis the military is trained to deal with, not the long haul.


    What training are you talking about "beyond military training" and why is it on the list? Why would the military spend money on training that isn't military related?

    Historically (till roughly the mid 70s) the military was part of meeting our social obligations. It was a way out of remote areas, unemployment, poverty and lack of opportunity for thousands of Canadians from have not provinces and areas. It was also a way to get some on to an acceptable path.

    Service was, and should be, a two way street as it was. In exchange for your service to the country got you an education (for some University including doctors, nurses etc) at least to a high school level. You were trained in a trade. Aero tech, Electornics, Heavy Duty mechanic and many, many more. Yes some chose combat only trades, but most ended up cross trained in other fields.

    Now we sub contract which in the long term has to led to trade shortages in the private sector, expensive stand alone programs and increases in EI. We spend more, get less and the opportunity for many is reduced.

    It also taught team work, discipline, citizenship, responsibility and in the past those that were headed in an unacceptable direction were on occasion given the choice of service or incarceration...most that served ended up doing alright.

    So that too is part of what the military should be doing IMO.

    Definitions...
    While the Wiki definition is correct as far as it goes the military is and should be more as I grew up with it and see it.

    Perhaps you see the military as something other than what I do. It is a versatile force, a tool, that *can* fill a variety of roles. But at the end of the day its purpose is to prepare for war.
    Yes we obviously see the military differently and the differences are more than what we should go into here.

    But in the end we should never make it's sole duty to prepare for war, defend yes, but that is different than preparing for war.

    In my highly biased personal opinion

    Sorry for the extended post
    Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 14-01-2013 at 10:55 PM. Reason: Clean up, shorten

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Search and Rescue
    I have yet to read of a for profit SAR operation that is as effective as a Military operation. Again, the same training, expertice, equipment used in other operations translate to SAR.
    I said "civilian agency". No where did I say a for-profit organization. Marine SAR is mostly the responsibility of the Canadian Coast Guard which is not a military organization.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbon-14 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Search and Rescue
    I have yet to read of a for profit SAR operation that is as effective as a Military operation. Again, the same training, expertice, equipment used in other operations translate to SAR.
    I said "civilian agency". No where did I say a for-profit organization. Marine SAR is mostly the responsibility of the Canadian Coast Guard which is not a military organization.
    Excuse my misinterpretation

    Having recently toured the facilities in Victoria (Sidney) I would argue the Coast Guard is mostly responsible for maritime SAR. In shore yes, but at sea the military with its helicopters and patrol aircraft are primary from what I have seen.

    The Coast guard is another great example of great people that need the equipment and resources to do their job...but are not getting it.
    (Note the relatively recent closure of the Coast guard station in BC in spite of the demonstrated need for the area)

    Inland it is the military for missing aircraft and many other needs, often being the only available method in cases of mountain or remote rescue.

    Again, military equipment and training are already there...it is also an effective means of using that training for when conflict comes.

    In my highly biased personal opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    What training are you talking about "beyond military training" and why is it on the list? Why would the military spend money on training that isn't military related?

    Historically (till roughly the mid 70s) the military was part of meeting our social obligations. It was a way out of remote areas, unemployment, poverty and lack of opportunity for thousands of Canadians from have not provinces and areas. It was also a way to get some on to an acceptable path.

    Service was, and should be, a two way street as it was. In exchange for your service to the country got you an education (for some University including doctors, nurses etc) at least to a high school level. You were trained in a trade. Aero tech, Electornics, Heavy Duty mechanic and many, many more. Yes some chose combat only trades, but most ended up cross trained in other fields.

    Now we sub contract which in the long term has to led to trade shortages in the private sector, expensive stand alone programs and increases in EI. We spend more, get less and the opportunity for many is reduced.

    It also taught team work, discipline, citizenship, responsibility and in the past those that were headed in an unacceptable direction were on occasion given the choice of service or incarceration...most that served ended up doing alright.

    So that too is part of what the military should be doing IMO.
    The military is certainly not a social program to find jobs for the destitute. But it should never indiscriminate based on economic/social backgrounds. Ideally, the military should represent the complete spectrum of Canadian society (And it has work to do in that regard).

    Teamwork, discipline, citizenship, responsibility are essential military skills (in fact team work and discipline are part of the Military Ethos along with accepting unlimited liability and fighting spirit: http://www.cfd-cdf.forces.gc.ca/site...asp?page=10831)

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbon-14 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    Militaries are usually for war but militaries have also been know to go on peace keeping missions and for snow removal (only if you live down east) or floods. As for arctic sovereignty. It has been mentioned that with more resources being sought after the arctic will be a point of interest for a lot of exploration. If Canada does not assert it's right over what land is theirs and how to protect it resources that are in our territory could be exploited. How much money has the government invested in a plan to protect is waters?

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/...he-arctic.html
    Yes, as I said, the military is a versatile force and I see no problem using the military in these capacities. BUT if this ia a thread on military priorities then that's a different question. Priorities shape procurement. If you say the the priority is for peacekeeping & snow removal then the procurement will match that. So what do we spend our military procurement dollars on? Blue berets and snow shovels? A combat capable force can conduct (and excel at) peacekeeping & aid to civil power operations. A force built around non war fighting tasks cannot conduct combat operations (and ceases to be a military IMO).
    Well you have shot down my suggestion as to where I think the military needs to spend money. Your dickering with Tom over technicalities. You have done everything except tell us where you think they should spend money. Now I am hoping it's not blue berets and snow shovels.
    I have conversed with the worst kind of hectoring, bully pulpit smart-a**e*; dripping with virtuous self-aggrandizing sanctimony.................. and that's just on this forum.

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    The Priorities should be as they currently are:

    -Protecting Canada and defending our sovereignty.
    -Working with Canada’s closest ally, the United States, to defend North America.
    -Contributing to international peace and security through operations around the world, most often in partnership with allies from other countries.

  12. #12

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    -Protecting Canada and defending our sovereignty, including the artic.
    I have conversed with the worst kind of hectoring, bully pulpit smart-a**e*; dripping with virtuous self-aggrandizing sanctimony.................. and that's just on this forum.

  13. #13

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    Protecting everything Domestic. Hold our borders.

    Nothing outside our borders IMO
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  14. #14

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    Komrade it depends on what you mean by that.

    Peace keeping usually gives Canada a good name not to just the outside community, but also to the country we are peace keeping in.

    War in Afghanistan, well if everything went according to plan...

    War in Iraq...

  15. #15

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    I dont really believe in "Peace Keeping" myself

    I think Canada has enough problems domestically we need to address before we try and be hero to the world
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  16. #16

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    Just abolish our military already.

    Does nothing at home a properly funded civil works agency wouldn't do.

    Can't intervene abroad unless supported by forces ten or a hundred times bigger than what our politicians send.

    Couldn't repel an actual invasion if it came by land, sea, or air, from the north or south or east or west.

    But boy does it ever give us all something to be unctuously sentimentally patriotic about.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbon-14 View Post
    The Priorities should be as they currently are:

    -Protecting Canada and defending our sovereignty.
    -Working with Canada’s closest ally, the United States, to defend North America.
    -Contributing to international peace and security through operations around the world, most often in partnership with allies from other countries.
    Well Carbon-14

    As far as you go we are pretty much in agreement.

    The difference is I remember a time when the military was more and would like to return to those traditions.

    That is not a criticism of today's personnel, I believe that today's military personnel are as good, dedicated and working to do the best with what they are given.

    But it is a criticism of what a generation of politicians and political policies have done to the military.

    BTW...I get the impression you are military (past or present) or have a military connection...if am correct...thanks.

    AShetsen
    Just abolish our military already.

    Does nothing at home a properly funded civil works agency wouldn't do.

    Can't intervene abroad unless supported by forces ten or a hundred times bigger than what our politicians send.

    Couldn't repel an actual invasion if it came by land, sea, or air, from the north or south or east or west.

    But boy does it ever give us all something to be unctuously sentimentally patriotic about.
    As much as I find your opinion misinformed and abhorrent I respect your right to it and defend your right to have it.

    In my highly biased personal opinion
    Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 15-01-2013 at 07:57 PM.

  18. #18
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    1. Arctic, arctic and arctic- cannot over-emphasize this enough (the right denies GW, the left dreams of reversing it, yet no one talks about adapting to it!)

    2. Disaster relief and a bit of UN peacekeeping.

    3. Minimal NATO commitments.

    4. Absolutely no more combat troops on foreign soil (never again!!)

    5. North American security is a crock (notice how they never ask Mexico to contribute yet Mexico is a bigger trade partner for the US), the sooner we realize it the better (no, it is not Anti-Americanism or anything- just common sense in a complex and multi-polar world).

    Just my $ 0.02

  19. #19

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    Be nice if Canada could pre-position some more resources in the event of a major air disaster in the Arctic. But I suppose it's not just having the machinery in place. You have to get the SARtechs up there too.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbon-14 View Post
    The Priorities should be as they currently are:

    -Protecting Canada and defending our sovereignty.
    -Working with Canada’s closest ally, the United States, to defend North America.
    -Contributing to international peace and security through operations around the world, most often in partnership with allies from other countries.
    I agree 100 percent. This respects the militaries history, and the important role Canada can perfom in protecting inocent people. Just because someone isn't Canadian, doesn't make them unworthy of our attentions. We will never be a world police force, but we can play a valuable role with allies. For example, if a terrorist group took over Haiti (who we have historical, French, and recent ties to - former GG), I'd like to think we would have the military force to be able to go in and restore peace (and yes, that would mean having the capability to do what militaries do, use deadly force).

    I also agree with you that the idea of making the forces a glorified coast guard and civil defence team, is essentially just eliminating it. That disrespects the history of our forces and the purpose of having one. IMO its important also our forces stay 'sharp'. More was learned about modern warfare and logistics in the first few weeks of Afghanistan than would have been in a decade trudging through the arctic (not that we shouldn't do more there). Our CF18s performed admirably in the middle east, our Navy in the gulf including protecting international shipping lanes for trade from modern pirates off the coast of East Africa, and various members of the Canadian forces serve in seconded roles to NATO members and UN roles. The last Liberal government understood this, e.g. The decision to send troops to Afghanistan (although they did shortchange funding, except for the executive air fleet which was abused by politicians way more than today), and I think a Trudeau government one day will as well.
    Last edited by moahunter; 18-05-2013 at 01:50 PM.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cal76 View Post
    3. Minimal NATO commitments.

    4. Absolutely no more combat troops on foreign soil (never again!!)
    So what would have happened if Americans and Canadians hadn't fought on European soil in WW2? Quite frankly I'd rather fight a war on foreign soil than fight it here. Never again is optimistic, but the reality is we might have to again someday.
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  22. #22

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    Whatever the priorities are, there is less money for them now. Gotta love the spin "we aren't cutting military spending by 3.7 billion, we are just deferring it for us to spend it if you vote us in next time, maybe...".

    Ouch... when everyone is getting a spending increase, interest rates are low, and the economy is growing, this is pretty painful for the military (although veterans will be happy re their programs):

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...ticle29352298/

    I guess I'm fairness, we all knew that military spending is not a Liberal priority, less important than, for example, more than half a billion more to the CBC...
    Last edited by moahunter; 23-03-2016 at 07:04 PM.

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