Author Topic: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)  (Read 123366 times)

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Offline Journeyman

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #625 on: June 22, 2017, 09:55:08 »
The Conference of Defence Associations Institute has produced a well-reasoned assessment of the new Defence Policy.

HOW DOES CANADA'S NEW DEFENCE POLICY MEASURE UP?
A Benchmark Analysis by Col Charles Davies (Ret'd)
June 2017


Overall, Strong, Secure, Engaged  is a good document that generally stands up well in comparison with the four benchmark policies.  It shows a level of breadth and maturity of thought not always evident in previous defence policies produced by governments of either stripe.  Most importantly, it breaks the national mold and provides more deeply rational, pragmatic, and comprehensively costed policy direction to departments than we have seen before.   

That said, it does have weaknesses and represents but one important milestone in a longer journey towards sound and comprehensive defence policy development and management in Canada.  Future iterations, whenever they occur (a major issue in itself), will need to further address the mismatch between the defence needs of the nation and funding.  They will also need to institutionalize the integration of defence policy development with that of national security and foreign policy.  These policy areas have different characteristics and time horizons, but they require careful alignment and need to be done together if each is to be effective.  Perhaps more importantly, future processes will need to include much more substantive consultation and discussion with other political parties in Parliament, and in particular the Official Opposition (the most likely eventual successor government).  Failure to improve long-term political consensus-building on Canadian defence policy makes yet more hugely wasteful redirects following future elections likely, and the nation simply can’t afford them.

Recapitalization of large high-cost capabilities represented by complex platforms such as warships, submarines, and fighter aircraft needs to be planned over long time horizons because of the technical, industrial, and other challenges associated with their development, design and construction.  To the government’s credit, the new defence policy addresses all of the Canadian Armed Forces’ big-ticket capabilities in one way or another, going so far as to finally publish realistic and accurate cost estimates for the Canadian Surface Combatant program and commit full funding for 15 ships. 

However, while the policy provides for modernization of the equally important submarine fleet to keep it combat-capable through the medium term, the fact remains that these platforms will be 40 years old by 2030 (i.e. only 13 years from now) and will need to be replaced beginning around that time. Active planning for this needs to be happening now, a fact that should have been acknowledged and provided for in the new defence policy.  Canada cannot afford to continue repeating the strategic failures of the past, for example the retirement of the Oberon submarine fleet in 2000 without replacement, or the more recent similar loss of the Royal Canadian Navy’s at-sea replenishment capability – both events being the direct result of prolonged political neglect. 


There's more in the document; it's only 8 pages.   ;)

Offline PPCLI Guy

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #626 on: June 22, 2017, 13:46:42 »
There's more in the document; it's only 8 pages.   ;)

8 Pages?  I suppose you expect me to read ALL of that, as well as at least the Executive Summary of the Policy, if not the document itself? 

If I do that, I won't have time to post my unformed, uninformed and uniformed opinion!
"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #627 on: June 22, 2017, 14:11:55 »
Too blatant an attempt to encourage informed opinion?  ;D


There are pictures too, for those tiring of all those  ewwww  words and stuff......   :nod:

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #628 on: June 22, 2017, 15:28:11 »
... If I do that, I won't have time to post my unformed, uninformed and uniformed opinion!
The Three U's of online discussion  ;D
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Offline MCG

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #629 on: June 22, 2017, 15:29:38 »
8 Pages?  I suppose you expect me to read ALL of that, as well as at least the Executive Summary of the Policy, if not the document itself? 
Because I can be helpful and a smartass in the same instance:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/web-reader-text-to-speech/id320808874?mt=8
[:D

Disclaimer: I have never attempted to use linked app, so I cannot confirm it works.

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #630 on: July 14, 2017, 10:38:08 »
Commentary on Canada's Defence Budget

Quote
Canada Pledges to Increase Defense Spending
7/13/2017

By Yasmin Tadjdeh   

Over the next decade, the Canadian government intends to increase its defense spending by 70 percent, its defense minister announced recently.

“Years of under-investment have left our military in a financial hole,” said Harjit Sajjan during a speech in June.

Canada’s new defense policy, titled “Strong, Secure, Engaged,” will help the nation emerge from that hole, he noted. Its annual cash funding for defense will increase from nearly $14.7 billion in 2016-2017 to $25.4 billion in 2026-2027.

“For the first time, National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces will have a 20-year funding commitment,” he said. “This transparency will enable long-term planning and effective management of public funds, more than ever before.”

Canada will recapitalize its air force with a fleet of 88 advanced fighter jets, he said. The policy also funds the building of 15 surface combatant ships, new equipment for its ground forces and the acquisition of remotely piloted aircraft.

Shaun McDougall, an analyst at Forecast International, a Newtown, Connecticut-based market consulting firm, said the NATO member nation currently spends around 1 percent of its GDP on defense.

NATO alliance members have a stated goal to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense by 2024, but few countries currently meet it. That has been a sticking point for President Donald Trump, who has consistently pushed for allies to invest more.

“With this increase they’re not going to even be close to the 2 percent mark,” McDougall said. “If Canada was going to meet its 2 percent NATO requirement, they would have to basically increase their budget to around $40 billion Canadian dollars, and they’re talking about $32 billion dollars almost a decade from now.”


While rhetoric and pressure from the Trump administration likely contributed to Ottawa’s bump in defense spending, it is mostly due to the realization by government officials that its modernization plan would require more money than was being budgeted, McDougall said.

“Almost all of those programs are existing requirements or are existing planned programs,” he said. “This new funding is being geared toward paying for modernization that has already been planned because they’ve been underfunding a lot of their programs.”

One major change, however, is the number of jet fighters the country plans to purchase. Previously, Canada had said it would require 65 platforms, but bumped that to 88 in the new policy, he said.

The procurement of a new fighter has been a point of contention for the country. When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party came into power, it shucked plans to purchase the Lockheed Martin-built F-35 joint strike fighter to replace its aging fleet of CF-18s.

Ottawa planned to have companies compete for the fighter jet contract, and in the interim purchase 18 Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets to fill any capability gaps. However, a trade disagreement between Boeing and Bombardier, a Canadian aerospace company, has complicated the effort.

“Boeing issued a trade dispute against Bombardier over government subsidies and … the Canadian government has kind of taken that as a personal insult,” McDougall said. “So the F-35 acquisition had become politicized and now the Super Hornet has become quite politicized.”

Canada will need to make a decision soon about how it will replace its fighter fleet, he noted. “They really can’t afford to wait for too long.”

http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2017/7/13/canada-pledges-to-increase-defense-spending

As I noted earlier, both Trudeau's and Harper's estimates of what is necessary to create a useful military is comparable in dollars and cents.  Something like 450 BCAD.  The difference is that Harper could skate on the spending because he was given relief on two fronts:  The projects would take time to deliver so little money needed to be spent initially.  The Bureaucracy was unable/unwilling to spend as fast as Harper was.

The result is the creation of a bow wave of funding that keeps getting bigger and bigger the more that it moves ahead.  The problem with bow waves is that they can swamp you and sink you.

I said that I really like the Finn's accounting system for the F35 that essentially treats the project the way that you might buy a car or a house, with a dedicated loan.

To eliminate that bow wave we should have been doing something similar and start paying deposits on the loans immediately, separate from the purchase of the vehicle.  Put the money into an escrow account or pay it to the financial institution of your choice that is loaning the money regardless of the vehicle being purchased.

That would even out the payments plan and eliminate the bow wave.

It would also commit the funding and eliminate the uncertainty associated governments changing their minds.

Managing everything from general revenues on an on-going as-needed basis is not getting the job done for Canadian defence.




« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 10:52:09 by Chris Pook »
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Offline jmt18325

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #631 on: July 14, 2017, 11:07:09 »
The budget is actually already done that way in terms of accounting - that's why there's a cash basis accounting, and an accrual basis accounting.

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #632 on: July 14, 2017, 11:21:59 »
The budget is done that way.  But the commitment is not.
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #633 on: July 14, 2017, 12:18:52 »
Actually, the budget is not even done that way.

The policy document plans to spend money that way, but budget is an annual thing and, other than signed contracts and compulsory program pay outs that are binding on the government, any government of the day can put or not put whatever else it wants in each annual budget without regards to any previously "promised" funding.

The track record of all past promises of funding by ALL political parties in that regard is definitely not something to crow about, nor does it give any member of the CAF any warm feelings.