Author Topic: The Defence Budget [superthread]  (Read 436849 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline E.R. Campbell

  • Retired, years ago
  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Myth
  • *
  • 456,190
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 18,074
The Defence Budget [superthread]
« on: October 25, 2005, 09:51:40 »
Our friends at the Polaris Institute made a presentation to the Commons Standing Committee on Finance during its ongoing Pre-budget Consultations - http://www.parl.gc.ca/committee/CommitteePublication.aspx?SourceId=125567

This - http://www.polarisinstitute.org/pubs/neverenough.pdf - I believe is their submission.

It is well prepared, factual and incredibly biased against Gen. Hillier's plans.

The Polaris Institute has, carefully and, I fear, accurately, targeted several key Liberal sub-cultures including the unreconstructed anti-capitalist Trudeauites from the '70s, the Carolyn Parrish wing of knee-jerk anti-Americans, the UN über alles Chrétienistas, and the Health care über alles Martinis (the late Paul Martin Sr was, actually, the architect of the modern Canadian nanny state and PM PM is not keen on tampering with his father's legacy).

The argument begins with a firm recommendation:

Quote
The Government of Canada should conduct a full, public review of Canadian defence policy and freeze further spending increases pending the outcome of that review.

It ends with an assertion that:

Quote
If ... Canada's views of the best means-military and non-military-to deal with the problem of terrorism and to create a more secure world differ from those of that [George W. Bush] administration, then it is essential that Canada seek a role for its armed forces that goes beyond simply acting as a useful cog in its ally's military machine. And there is no reason to believe that such a role necessarily requires the kind of spending increases that the government currently plans.

We can, must, expect more of this - equally well prepared, factual and highly biased attacks on any and all increases in defence spending.  It is the counter-offensive.  It will be long because it is well supported be people who are true believers in their various, only looselyallied  causes, all of which will suffer if money is redirected to DND from any other programmes.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
----------
Like what you see/read here on Army.ca?  Subscribe, and help keep it "on the air!"

Offline 2 Cdo

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 13,449
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 863
Re: Defence spending: the counter-offensive opens in earnest
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2005, 11:50:52 »
Ed, while they do portray their assessment in a nice, neat, logical ::) way, they have always failed in the big picture. I don't say we should blindly follow the US everywhere but to refer to anything done without the almighty UN's okay as bordering on criminal or illegal is typical of the unhealthy devotion that the average Canadian holds towards the UN.
I can honestly see some broken promises on the horizon from the feds in reference to this article as they try to cling to power through whatever means.  :threat:
AIRBORNE
2 Cdo 84-88

Offline Brad Sallows

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 50,730
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,459
Re: Defence spending: the counter-offensive opens in earnest
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2005, 14:56:34 »
If we aren't going to pay to do defence properly, I'd rather not pay to do anything at all.  I pay taxes for combat-capable forces, not to perpetuate the corrupt privileges and posturing of the UN.  I'll see their "freeze on spending" and raise them one: do away with all of it and put the money back in my pocket.  There's no reason to assume the money should be diverted anywhere else if not to defence.
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

Omnia praesidia vestra capta sunt nobis.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

"Yet another in a long line of books about how libertarians are plotting to enslave you by devolving power to the individual and leaving you alone" - Warren Meyer, author of Coyote Blog

Offline Baloo

  • For Queen and Country.
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 4,330
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 315
Re: Defence spending: the counter-offensive opens in earnest
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2005, 16:15:11 »
Their own argument of Canada "spending the 7th most" in all of NATO is torpedoed, at least in my opinion, with providing the fact that we are spending 24th on percentage of GDP.

Its a ridiculous argument.
"In Pace Paratus."

Offline Jed

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 42,840
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 980
Re: Defence spending: the counter-offensive opens in earnest
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2005, 17:35:07 »
It is truly amasing how everyone forgets to consider the Present Value of the dollar. 10 million in 1982 buys a whole lot more than 10 million in 2005.

If we aren't going to pay to do defence properly, I'd rather not pay to do anything at all.   I pay taxes for combat-capable forces, not to perpetuate the corrupt privileges and posturing of the UN.

As Brad Sallows states, either we pay for a capability with taxes or we don't. I really don't want to waste more tax dollars in the corrupt UN  hallowed halls of wisdom.
As the old man used to say: " I used to be a coyote, but I'm alright nooooOOOOWWW!"

Offline HDE

  • Member
  • ****
  • 515
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 195
Re: Defence spending: the counter-offensive opens in earnest
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2005, 19:40:23 »
As far as I can see most serious analysis, unlike this Polaris bit, uses GDP to compare spending on defence, between nations and over time.  In thoses terms their report seems to suggest that Canada could/should spend more on the military without getting out of line with most of our NATO allies.  All in all not a very inspiring effort at serious research

Offline Brad Sallows

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 50,730
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,459
Re: Defence spending: the counter-offensive opens in earnest
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2005, 20:32:58 »
The dollar figures are all adjusted to be compared fairly, IIRC.  However, I'd soil myself with embarrassment if I had produced that chart because it thoroughly undermines the suggestion that Canada spends too much, provided one is armed with just a couple of simple extra facts.  Defence spending as a % of GDP in 1980 was 1.9, rose to just above 2.0 or so in the '80s, and rapidly diminished under 1.5 in the mid-'90s and later.  Project that 1.9% forward each year from the "low" total expenditure for '80-'81 and see what that yields over the intervening 25 years between then and now.  There wouldn't be so much pressing need for capital expenditures now if we'd exercised a little constancy in spending as a fraction of our wealth.
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

Omnia praesidia vestra capta sunt nobis.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

"Yet another in a long line of books about how libertarians are plotting to enslave you by devolving power to the individual and leaving you alone" - Warren Meyer, author of Coyote Blog

Offline Cloud Cover

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 13,230
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,204
Re: Defence spending: the counter-offensive opens in earnest
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2005, 20:37:15 »
These jokers don't fool anybody. It isn't defence spending they have a problem with, it's actually the fact that defence activities don't match their little girl attitude towards the world.   
You're right. I Never  Met A Motherfucker Quite Like You, or someone as smart as you.  Never ever will, either.

Offline daniel h.

  • Banned
  • Member
  • *
  • 0
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 159
Re: Defence spending: the counter-offensive opens in earnest
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2005, 20:55:38 »
It is truly amasing how everyone forgets to consider the Present Value of the dollar. 10 million in 1982 buys a whole lot more than 10 million in 2005.

As Brad Sallows states, either we pay for a capability with taxes or we don't. I really don't want to waste more tax dollars in the corrupt UN   hallowed halls of wisdom.


It's starting to look like the UN is hopeless, so don't worry....

Offline Britney Spears

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • -170
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,307
Re: Defence spending: the counter-offensive opens in earnest
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2005, 21:24:16 »
I don't understand why this defence spending/GDP ratio comparison  has any meaning at all. Defence spending isn't a welfare program, it is a response to perceived threats from foreign enemies. We buy weapons and train troops to kill our enemies. Instead, Canadians are apparently very concerned about how much money and how many pieces of Leopard track they will each recieve if the army were to be liquidated tomorow.

Countries don't spend more on their armies because there is some kind of magical optimum Defence/GDP ratio that will make everything right in the world, they do it because otherwise they are conqured and subjugated by countries who do.  Do you think the Israelis are much concerned about how much of their GDP goes into defence?  I bet Canada is the only country in the world that gives more than 2 seconds of thought to this nonsense.
"I'd vote for you."
  -TCBF, whiskey601.

"Britney, if you wern't so young I would kiss you!"
  -a_majoor.

Offline ArmyVern

    is awake.

  • Army.ca Myth
  • *****
  • 201,501
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 15,461
Re: Defence spending: the counter-offensive opens in earnest
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2005, 21:49:05 »
Last sentence - first paragraph:

"Recently announced spending increases are intended to enhance the capability of the Canadian Forces to be "interoperable" with the military of the United States, not be more effective as a UN peacekeeping force."

Well that's it, that's as far as I read. Is this a factual and accurate article? No. It actually puts it's fictional, in-accurate bias right out there on the table at this point in time within the very first paragraph. We are increasing spending in order to better align ourselves with NATO, not simply the United States. Although their use of "United States" in this instance will certainly gain them the sympathy votes from those who do not agree with the US position on Iraq. Fact of the matter is, Canada is a NATO country, and must do what it can to keep themselves somewhat worthy of being a 'player' within that organization, which has been lacking for quite some time now. Gen Hillier is attempting to rectify that situation. We are officially a part of NATO, we have yet to be officially declared a "UN Peecekeeping Force" as our primary mandate. I don't see it happening anytime soon despite what this bleeding heart institute (read: lobby group for flower children and more monies for their various 'causes') likes to think our primary role is. I'll read their articles once they are accurate and factual. I'm quite sure that General Hillier will be able to rip this apart soundly, as it so richly deserves.
Hard by MCpl Elton Adams

If you or someone you love is having difficulty & would like to speak to someone who has been through a similar experience, who understands, & will respect your need for privacy and confidentiality, contact OSISS toll-free at 1-800-883-6094. You can locate the peer closest to you by logging on to www.osiss.ca, clicking on “Contact us” link & then choosing the “Peer” or “Family Support Network”. Help IS out there.

Offline Brad Sallows

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 50,730
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,459
Re: Defence spending: the counter-offensive opens in earnest
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2005, 23:07:42 »
I take it you don't approve of our forces becoming more interoperable with the UN brothel-keeping and pandering nations of the world?
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

Omnia praesidia vestra capta sunt nobis.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

"Yet another in a long line of books about how libertarians are plotting to enslave you by devolving power to the individual and leaving you alone" - Warren Meyer, author of Coyote Blog

Offline Baloo

  • For Queen and Country.
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 4,330
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 315
Re: Defence spending: the counter-offensive opens in earnest
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2005, 23:28:10 »
UN Ops have turned into giant "jug-****s" as far as I can ascertain. Granted, I haven't had my feet on the ground, but that is the appearance of things.
"In Pace Paratus."

Offline 48Highlander

  • Banned
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • -150
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,400
    • Applied Ballistics
Re: Defence spending: the counter-offensive opens in earnest
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2005, 23:38:08 »
As armyvern pointed out, part of the suggested increase would go to increase interoperability with NATO forces.  Now, who does the majority of the heavy lifting on UN ops?  Starts with an N, ends with an O, and has an "at" in the middle.  The two go hand in hand - if we can work with NATO, we can work with the UN.  Who do we need to be able to operate with other than NATO members?  Uganda?  Bosnia?  Hell, just give us some rusty old rifles and no ROE's.  We'll interoperate with those fellas just fine.

Offline Britney Spears

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • -170
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,307
Re: Defence spending: the counter-offensive opens in earnest
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2005, 23:47:36 »
Quote
"Recently announced spending increases are intended to enhance the capability of the Canadian Forces to be "interoperable" with the military of the United States, not be more effective as a UN peacekeeping force."


I'm not entirely sure he knows what that (UN peacekeeping force) is.

 :)
"I'd vote for you."
  -TCBF, whiskey601.

"Britney, if you wern't so young I would kiss you!"
  -a_majoor.

Offline Cdn Blackshirt

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 10,710
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,324
Re: Defence spending: the counter-offensive opens in earnest
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2005, 11:48:50 »
Has anyone done any digging to find out who funds them?

Based on some of the things I've read it looks as though some of the funding is actually coming from Government Departments with competing interests....



Matthew.   :o
« Last Edit: October 27, 2005, 19:57:56 by Mike Bobbitt »
IMPORTANT - 'Blackshirt' is a reference to Nebraska Cornhuskers Football and not naziism.   National Champions '70, '71, '94, '95 and '97.    Go Huskers!!!!

Offline Lancaster

  • Guest
  • *
  • 140
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 15
Re: Defence spending: the counter-offensive opens in earnest
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2005, 12:09:11 »
When comparing defense spending to other countries , since Canada  is a mid size  country Canada's GDP should be compared to other hundreds in the world (see www.nationmaster.com) not only to NATO nations. If other countries are spending more on defense that should be a concern to Canadians. Please see me blog site http://www.canadianmilitary.blog.ca/main/ . Recently I sent  this  blog letter to the minister of defense. The cost  of selected equipment would be approximately $100 per person over 10 years

Offline Pieman

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 8,910
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,027
Re: Defence spending: the counter-offensive opens in earnest
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2005, 12:39:57 »
Quote
Has anyone done any digging to find out who funds them?

That's what I was thinking when I was reading this. They probably get funding from a variety of sources, but ultimately whoever funded this specific research paper is of interest.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2005, 19:58:16 by Mike Bobbitt »
Graffiti in regimental toilet stalls: The official guide to troop moral....apparently.

“Perfectly symmetrical violence never solved anything.” - Professor Farnsworth

Offline pbi

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 32,680
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,641
Re: Defence spending: the counter-offensive opens in earnest
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2005, 12:51:41 »
As usual, anti-Americanism is never very far below the skin with these folks, as well-intentioned as they may be.  While I certainly do not advocate mindless hero-worship of the US (or the UK, or France, or Burkina-Faso, even...) it would seem to me that unless we want to pursue the hideouly costly route of true (i.e. "armed") neutrality, we need to coordinate our defence activities and plans with our allies and major economic/security partners. Is the US the biggest and most important of those? Hmmmm....just a sec...let me look in the "Foreign Policy for Dummies"....oh, yeah---they are. Funny that.

While we must be careful to always retain national veto (like we did under the Empire) , the rest of this submission needs to be submitted to the shredder, or shared amongst other like-minded Wilsonites in the various coffee houses, PoliSci lecture halls and other dens of these types.

Cheers.
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline Lancaster

  • Guest
  • *
  • 140
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 15
Re: Defence spending: the counter-offensive opens in earnest
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2005, 20:01:46 »
The Polaris Institute is "twisting the numbers" on their assessment on Canada's 7th largest spending in NATO. Polaris Institute should be using worldwide military expenditure based on GDP, using only NATO is not sufficient since there are 164 other countries who spend on military. According to website,,http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/mil_exp_per_of_GDP  ,Canada is ranked 133 in the world for lowest military expenditure based on GDP , if we do the Polaris" twist" then Canada is 32nd "worst" country in the world for military spending. Polaris would be more credible if compared other mid sizes countries like Spain. Also in the report, where is there mention that the prime minister says  we are in "war of terror " which costs billions for national security and new equipment and troop costs for Afghanistan.

Offline stevenstaples

  • Guest
  • *
  • 0
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 11
Re: Defence spending: the counter-offensive opens in earnest
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2005, 22:53:31 »
I'm surprised no one has taken up our criticism of useless spending programs taking up valuable resources. Ever wonder why all the defence experts we always see on the news go silent when something goes wrong with the subs?  How many other uses could $150 million U.S. go to instead of the F-35 (isn't this another corporate subsidy consuming limited defence dollars)? Seems to me we could have replaced those Hercs a long time ago if they had been made a priority by the leadership on Colonel By.

 - Steve

Offline Slim

  • Just sliding along...
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 270
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,171
  • Daylight in the swamp
    • Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary
Re: Defence spending: the counter-offensive opens in earnest
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2005, 22:55:09 »
Welocome to the forum Mr Staples.

It will be interesting having you here.

Cheers

Slim
« Last Edit: October 27, 2005, 23:09:12 by Slim »
"The only thing required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

Edmond Burke

Offline Infanteer

  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 118,935
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 14,383
  • Honey Badger FTW!
Re: Defence spending: the counter-offensive opens in earnest
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2005, 23:02:23 »
Welcome to Army.ca Mr. Staples.   We're happy to see you've joined up and offered your thoughts.

Believe me, many of us here tend to be critical of many programs that we perceive to be useless, both inside and outside of Defence.   Considering that the F-35 is an investment for an airpower frame that has a variety of uses, I don't think it could be classified as a "useless" program.

You mention criticism here to specific programs; much of the disagreement here tends to be aimed towards the Polaris Institute's entire outlook on defence, which seems to want to "throw the baby out with the bath water".

Cheers,
Infanteer
« Last Edit: October 27, 2005, 23:13:09 by Infanteer »
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline Slim

  • Just sliding along...
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 270
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,171
  • Daylight in the swamp
    • Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary
Re: Defence spending: the counter-offensive opens in earnest
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2005, 23:35:50 »
Ever wonder why all the defence experts we always see on the news go silent when something goes wrong with the subs?

They know, as do you and I, that buying submarines that have been sitting for an extended period of time, is going to be costly and rather wasteful. It has also turned out to be rather dangerous, as seen by the fire aboard Chicoutami while on her way back from England. That 'lesson' unfortunately cost us a very talented young officer and almost cost us several more serving members as well.

What Canada should have done was to buy ( ot build) a number of new submarines in order to meet the sub-surface requirement for our navy. It would have been cheaper in the long run and a whole lot less dangerous to the crews who man them.

Unfortunately the navy had to move within the fiscal sphere that they were given, and so coud not go the route that they should have been able to in the first place.

Perhaps in future this argument will be rethought out and a more realistic conclusion come to in terms of serious large item procurment.

  
Quote
How many other uses could $150 million U.S. go to instead of the F-35 (isn't this another corporate subsidy consuming limited defence dollars)? Seems to me we could have replaced those Hercs a long time ago if they had been made a priority by the leadership on Colonel By.

 - Steve

Steve

Sadly a national defense is a requirement of the modern independent nation-state. An old saying goes somethig like "Your country will always have a standing army, yours or someone elses." Even though non of us ever hope to fight a war we should always be prepared to defend ourself and, to a certain degree, be able to project our nation's power to other countries that require our assistance in terms of defense or, in the case of A'stan, to remove a sick and despotic regime.

I awaite your comments on my thoughts Sir.

Cheers

Slim
"The only thing required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

Edmond Burke

Offline Brad Sallows

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 50,730
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,459
Re: Defence spending: the counter-offensive opens in earnest
« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2005, 00:03:19 »
>I'm surprised no one has taken up our criticism of useless spending programs taking up valuable resources.

Define "useless".   $100 million for a couple of new passenger jets?   Millions of dollars in operational expenditures for domestic operations which should (in theory) be repaid by the requesting agencies (ie. provincial governments) back to the federal government?   Hundreds of milllions of dollars lining the pockets of corrupt and incompetent native leaders practicing the politics of cronyism and nepotism with federal monies?   You want to sweat over corporate subsidies - how much have Bombardier and the various factions of the auto manufacturing industry in Canada collected in the past few decades?   How much more have we spent on defence acquisitions to place a "Made In Canada" sticker over the "Engineered in Europe/USA" one?

Anyone serious about tackling waste in government spending would go after all government spending, particularly since defence is - relatively speaking - small potatoes.   A fixation on defence spending tends to be dismissable, rightly, as mere ideological posturing.   If you're serious about coming up with 0.7% of GDP - 0.35% for aid, and 0.35% in graft to get the aid past the thugs who make the aid necessary and ensure the situation continues so that noble members of NGOs can ride white Toyota pickups to the rescue and preen indefinitely - then go after the big money in federal spending.

As for the issue of what our armed forces should be doing, I don't need to prop up my self-worth by leeching and trading on the sacrifices and risks taken by our service people, past or present.   I don't need to be able to puff up my chest and say to any foreigner who crosses my path, "I'm Canadian.   Did you know our soldiers are peacekeepers?"   I don't need to vicariously claim our soldiers' achievements as my own.   But more importantly, I realize that while the Greeks and Turks and the Israelis and their neighbours can be mostly trusted not to shoot at people wearing blue baseball caps and not much more armour than a cotton shirt, the thirteen-year old with an AK-47 in Central Africa and the Balkan thugs nursing grudges predating Vlad's tiff with the Turks, can not.   We have to be able to deliver our soldiers and the equipment they need to be more than hostages-in-waiting; we must be able to sustain them without necessarily having the goodwill of someone who owns a nearby port and airfield, and we need to be able to extract them when the locals tire of the interference in their timeless domestic disputes.   That means airlift, sealift, and the requisite air and sea power to face down rogue air defences, fighters, ships, and submarines - because a C-130 full of body bags is a hell of a price to pay for the self-anointed post-modern intellectual elites of Canada to assuage their guilt for being born here and to feel good about themselves.
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

Omnia praesidia vestra capta sunt nobis.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

"Yet another in a long line of books about how libertarians are plotting to enslave you by devolving power to the individual and leaving you alone" - Warren Meyer, author of Coyote Blog