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Lets get real, Canada and talk defence.

ArmyRick

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We do a lot of discussions on here on how, why and what are our Armed Forces should be doing/organized/equipped, etc. For me, I will be on here lots. I badly injured my patella this week and I am in a leg cast for 4-6 weeks. So you will hear lots more from me.

These discussions make more sense than Joe Civy commenting on CTV news pieces on "How Canada should get rid of its aircraft carriers..." because we have real world EXPERIENCE here. Combat arms, logistics, navy, fighter jets, rangers (canadian kind not the Hu-ah American), british, US, submarines, the guy who probably does secret comms stuff, etc. We have loads of experience.

So rather than discussing what systems we should have, or how many people or what we should be involved with specifically, lets talk basic defence policy. I want to put forward some questions and thoughts. Think like a Prime Minister or Defence Minister. That actually gives a shit about defence.

1. What do you think our most realistic priorities should be for the Armed Forces (No more than 4 if possible)?
2. Should Canada get involved in international Affairs or strictly go neutral? If yes, stay in NATO? UN? Coalitions?
3. What percentage of the GDP do you think we should be at? And how do you sell it to the Canadian public?
4. Do we encourage a stronger and more robust home defence industry? If so, how?
5. Do we consider conscription for home defence only? I know wild car.
6. Do we keep the primary reserves? If so, how do we fix it or improve it?
7. List the biggest threats to Canada you see NOW

If you only want to tackle a part of this problem, list the questions you want answered.

I'll go first
1. The Monitoring and Defence of Canada land, sea and air space from foreign threats and non-state actors, Assistance to the civilian authorities upon request and approved by parliament, assist key allies and NATO upon request
2. Yes, however very limited. NATO yes and only coalition with strongest allies. I would like to see NORAD grow to include US/Can air bases and radar stations here in Canada.
3. Start with 2% and graduate up to 3%. Lets expand the Armed Forces and sell it to the public as more career opportunities for future generations with pay and benefits. Lets implement a GI bill style post secondary training/school support.
4. Not sure. I think it seriously is wiser to sign an agreement and piggyback directly off US orders for lots of their kit. Possibly for higher tech stuff, combine shools and training.
5. Not at this time.
6. Yes, but I feel we should limit how much training they require, boost their numbers and truly focus on home defence first and plug into reg f units second.
7. Biggest threats I see are China has been waging a war on the entire west for at least 20 or more years, we don't recognize it because we only think war is troops shooting, aircraft bombing, Navy launching missiles, etc. China has been on an economic, cultural and social war for some time IMO. Russia is still a threat but has lost considerable might due to losses in Ukraine. Pretty much most of the Fanatical Islamic world probably doesn't have much love for us. I also see large foreign corporations as a threat but not in a military manner.

Thoughts?
 
Briefly....

1. CAF priorities:
-Defence of Canada.
-Defence of North America.
-NATO.

To enable those priorities:
-Be one of the worlds top naval powers (we have a huge coastline and three oceans, holy fuck shouldn't we be good at water stuff?)
-Be one of the worlds top air powers (huge airspace over country and leading to it, should have state of the art air capability)
-Be highly specialized in niche capabilities (highly developed SOF, cyber etc. We have a small population and can't support a big navy, air force and large army formations, but would still need a well equipped ground force, not sure what that looks like). If large formations of ground troops is required - that is where PRes comes in.

2. Remain a part of NATO and other coalitions. for certain. Contributions vary.

3. 2.5% - 4% GDP. We need a fundamental shift in Canadian thinking -> defence is important, that Canada's contribution to the security of the nation and the world is a noble and necessary cause that we can't leave up to someone else alone. Agree on a GI Bill equivalent. Need a complete re-write on how CAF buys and spends (we can't spend the money we do have).

4. Yes, we need to develop sectors that can provide for and sustain the CAF. More investment inside Canada. Reliance on world supply chains has proven costly in other areas.

5. Conscription is something that can be enacted by law at the time of need (WW III and Canada losing territory) so I don't think it needs to be "on the books" right now. But we need to foster a more patriotic and loyal population that brings the country together (not this post nation state BS). I'm not sure I am articulating this in my haste, but what I mean is the same mindset Israel, or the Nordic country's have with respect to defence of the nation. Not sure how to achieve that in the soft west. Ultimately we need to cooperate as a planet and species (there is a whole universe to explore) but we need to get the world under control first.

6. Yes. Focus on basic soldier skills and ensuring excellent training in that space. Small team movements up to platoon level, mostly dismounted, but interesting shit not just section attacks. Militia only. No navy or air force Pres as I state above Canada would have a large robust Navy and Air power capability already. Militia would augment the small fulltime army in times of urgent need and provide the 'bodies' of troops.

7. Biggest threat to Canada is the unseen war. Economic, cultural, etc. China/Russia are the lead antagonists. Fortress North America is likely impenetrable from the outside and needs to remain so. But it's weak on the inside due to our very liberal society which is being used against us. We need to protect that at all costs while maintaining a very liberal society. We need robust laws on foreign interference in state or electoral matters, as well as to somehow protect our industries at risk.
 
1. NATO, NORAD, US interoperability, Reg/Res restructure.
2. Stay in; much, much cheaper to prevent war than to wage it.
3. Maximum of whatever is demanded of any alliance (so NATO 2%); we are a trading nation, we therefore depend on peace to prosper, we therefore ought spend to promote, impose, and maintain peace.
4. Yes; allow commercial arms sales.
5. No.
6. Yes; might as well be thirteenth task of Hercules.
7. Indirect - conflict abroad disrupting international trade.
 
Okay.

1) CAF Priorities:
A) Canadian Territorial Sovereignty, of which NORAD, I would put under that.
B) NATO and NATO Support Missions
C) Democratic Worldwide Stability

To allow for that increase in CAF Uniformed Members
100k Regular Force, 80k Reserve (and reworking CT and Benefits to eventually grow Res to 200k to be able to reduce Regular Force to 70k)
Larger RCN and RCAF and rework of the CA to leverage PRes into formations effectively.
-I have a napkin Army for this BtW.

2) Remain in NATO and become a better partner and player.

3) 3% for 5-10 years to refit the CAF. Selling it to the Cdn Public by everyone gets a Military, yours or someone else’s… Eventually lowered to 2.5% and perhaps 2% as long as the modernization programs and training and operational capabilities aren’t impacted.

4) Tie Canadian Military Industry to US DoD, by buying into the larger US programs at their onset to get national offsets, as well as IP sharing agreements and surge production capability domestically

5) I don’t see a need to address conscription at all, it’s a non existent issue currently and if Canada was invaded, there isn’t enough equipment to make it viable anyway.

6) Total Revamp of the Service Models of both Reg and Res to make them as seamless as possible.

7) Russia being bolstered by China, North Korea and Iran.
 
Okay.

1) CAF Priorities:
A) Canadian Territorial Sovereignty, of which NORAD, I would put under that.
B) NATO and NATO Support Missions
C) Democratic Worldwide Stability

To allow for that increase in CAF Uniformed Members
100k Regular Force, 80k Reserve (and reworking CT and Benefits to eventually grow Res to 200k to be able to reduce Regular Force to 70k)
Larger RCN and RCAF and rework of the CA to leverage PRes into formations effectively.
-I have a napkin Army for this BtW.

2) Remain in NATO and become a better partner and player.

3) 3% for 5-10 years to refit the CAF. Selling it to the Cdn Public by everyone gets a Military, yours or someone else’s… Eventually lowered to 2.5% and perhaps 2% as long as the modernization programs and training and operational capabilities aren’t impacted.

4) Tie Canadian Military Industry to US DoD, by buying into the larger US programs at their onset to get national offsets, as well as IP sharing agreements and surge production capability domestically

5) I don’t see a need to address conscription at all, it’s a non existent issue currently and if Canada was invaded, there isn’t enough equipment to make it viable anyway.

6) Total Revamp of the Service Models of both Reg and Res to make them as seamless as possible.

7) Russia being bolstered by China, North Korea and Iran.
I think we see very close on defence kit/procurement. We just don't have a domestic market for ourselves. The LAV ACSV too me could have been filled with Stryker variants as an example. We end up with a non-existent helicopter capability because we dither that too death. Sea King could have been Sea Hawks long time ago. Griffons could have been Black Hawks. Chinooks never should have left.
Our small arms are already very close (except for the M14 revival ala NGSW)
 
1. What do you think our most realistic priorities should be for the Armed Forces (No more than 4 if possible)?
  1. Defense of Canada
  2. As the defense of Canada is priority then supporting those partner countries who defend Canada (E.G. NORAD)
  3. NATO
  4. To provide a federal capacity to law and order in times of extreme emergency (civilian defense/emergency response)
2. Should Canada get involved in international Affairs or strictly go neutral? If yes, stay in NATO? UN? Coalitions?
  1. My priorities on involvement should be based upon the first 4 priorities above.
3. What percentage of the GDP do you think we should be at? And how do you sell it to the Canadian public?
  1. Start with 3% on major purchases and 2% to maintain
  2. I believe that the support missions - water patrols, fishery protection, transportation to the north, engineering challenges - are underfunded and represent a "soft" opportunity that supports both Canadian national interests and allows the potential redeployment of resources in times of need. Who has ever said I have too many transport aircraft...especially at a multi-national level...and we're not going to be providing a North Korea type army of conscripts. DART capacity, MAFF modular air tankers, Long range patrol, northern access....these are military but also represent the ability to assist Canada as well.
  3. For those commitments we embrace...show it with pride. Show the linkages between Op Carribbe drug introduction taskings and why the Navy is involved in this. Why a CP-140 detecting illegal fishing can be used to direct DFO/CCG for protection of maritime resources. Recognize involvement on domestic ops and not just "war".
4. Do we encourage a stronger and more robust home defense industry? If so, how?
  1. An honest discussion on what is realistic capacity and what should be done.
    1. Good example - F35...be a trusted partner and supplier of parts but we're not going to be designing planes
    2. Mixed example - National ship building strategy. The lead time is too long to "switch on" unless the capacity exists.
    3. Poor example - any thoughts of designing subs/tanks/artillery.
  2. My thoughts go to the consumables and industries that can be ramped up.
    1. Ammunition - bullets and artillery production is needed in Canada
    2. APC - LAV production should be continued to support REG force but I look at the UKR Sentinal APC based upon the F550 chassis and go "there's a lower cost maintaince frame for Reserves that can be surged"
5. Do we consider conscription for home defense only? I know wild car.
  1. Not worth the discussion at this point....we're talking that we're in a MAJOR situation.
6. Do we keep the primary reserves? If so, how do we fix it or improve it?
  1. Keep yes - Change yes...
    1. The reserves are to be expected to be a short term employment for most individuals. Don't think 4-8 years...think 2-3...
    2. Published, locked in schedule for basic training minimum 1 year in advance. If each Brigade/Division needs to be slightly different then so be it.
    3. It's a contract. Mandatory attendance 50% of time if trained. 75% if untrained. Must attend annual summer exercise unless excused in writing in advance.
      1. To support this establishment of an employer compensation program where employers are able to claim back the wages (both base and/or overtime required for coverage) for individuals to attend either parade or annual exercise or deployments.
    4. Emphasis is upon small scale leadership and small unit tactics. Company level+ only at annual exercise.
      1. If I can have rookie wildland firefighters working as crew leaders by their second or 3rd year and dealing with small situations with confidence why can't Canada. This means however acknowledging the need for a higher level of experience/training (REG force) being effective to either form the skeleton of large scale deployment and/or taking over until such time as experience is developed (i.e. state of war situation).
    5. Emphasis upon squad level weaponry and tactics. This means Stinger/Javelin/Machine Gun/ Rifle and command/control/communications. Basic drone awareness and maybe basic usage...not "drone operators as USAF goes".
    6. Equipment sufficient to allow for expansion and doubling. This means enough boots, basic fatigues, and field gear to allow for changes in personnel or at least initial surging of recruitment. Vehicle needs are to be based upon civilian models that can be handled by ANY standard dealership.
  2. Convert almost everything to basic infantry, support battalion (i.e. logistics), or medical.
  3. Expansion of units (company level only) to support the changes in population growth and/or cities.
    1. Focus upon areas with post secondary schools and moderate sized cities.
  4. Changes needed on credentials
    1. Work with post secondary schools to ensure that CAF trades are credible for red seal trades hours/certification
    2. Establish post secondary credentials for key courses in languages, technology, leadership. For the average student these might mean the electives are taken care of reducing academic workloads.
    3. Priority hiring for federal and provincial jobs if qualified
    4. Pension for time served regardless of Reg/Res
    5. Dust off the post WW2 compensation - educational credit to school of choice or start up loan for establishing small business. In the words of my grandfather (RCAF Flight Engineer) the BCATP was the biggest educational boost the country every saw and provided a college education in 8 months.
  5. Linkages to community and province.
    1. A Canadian flag is important for all. But also rename the regiments to reflect ideally the province/territory and/or region. Unit traditions can be carried forward on a company basis. For example BC units become part of the British Columbia Regiment or Rocky Mountain Rangers. Yukon gets their regiment "stood up" for shoulder bars.
    2. Units are to deploy, train and be visible in the community. Local parade...you better be there if you only have one main event a year. Train in the neighborhood on situations like road maneuvers. Promote the successes of soldiers who honorably leave the unit for other goals and the employers who support the unit. Comms comms comms.
    3. Use of reserve units should be like the USNG. A state of emergency publicly declared at a provincial level will allow for the Premier to request mobilization of reserve units at published compensation rates (i.e. CAF comes first and not as a free labor force) whose deployment can be authorized by the head of the CAF.
      1. This is similar to how annual exercises will be run with units "mobilized" for the training period via Federal order.
7. List the biggest threats to Canada you see NOW
  1. Russia is in the news but China is what scares me.
  2. Economic warfare is warfare by other means. Look at England and the Napoleonic wars...it's not new
  3. Extremists are increasing as people feel pressured. Not just religious but also ideology.
  4. Increased regionalism in both politics and demographics means we're more disconnected than every despite easier communication means than ever.
  5. Water and natural resources are a strategic international priority. And if you can't defend your lands you get a new flag that will...
 
Step One - Define Canada and Canada's Interests

I need a map. Actually a collection of maps.

Sovereign Canada - those area we claim with right of free passage for our citizens to exploit.

Canada's Land and its Ecozones
310px-Terrestrial_ecozones_and_ecoprovinces_of_Canada%2C_2017.gif


Canada and its Economic Exclusion Zone
9zsjt0lfibi61.jpg


Canada and its UNCLOS Continental Shelf Claim
geomat-2019-0023f2.jpeg


835503_orig.jpg
canadaclaim-2022.jpg






Cooperatively managed commons our citizens exploit in conjunction with our neighbours


NAFO (North Atlantic Fisheries Organization - Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Area)
Jointly operated by Canada, the US and Denmark on behalf of Greenland and the EU.
nafo.jpg


North Pacific Fisheries Council and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission
Members are Canada, China, the European Union, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Chinese Taipei, the United States of America, and Vanuatu are all members of the NPFC. Panama is a Cooperating Non-contracting Party. Not sure how the EU and Panama got invites.

north-pacific-fisheries-commission---figure1_650_2022.png


In return for benefits from all these claims we are expected to supply Search And Rescue to allcomers within these boundaries.

Canadian-SAR-Regions.jpg




The Neighbours - with whom it is always a good idea to maintain relations - especially when it looks as if your neighbour with the longest fence line (Russia) is being obnoxious and may end up vacating the premises in a disorganized manner.

The Arctic Council and the Arctic Circle Nations
United States, Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia (Russia suspended indefinitely)

62845f08c2988.image.jpg


Defence obligations

NORAD to defend Canada and its Neighbour - the US.
63593facdf4492001945187e


NATO to defend Canada and its Neighbours - the US, Greenland (Denmark), Iceland and Norway as well as the High Seas.
NATO also includes the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Luxembourg and Belgium.

NATO-Member-States.png


Intertwined associations are the European Union, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Joint Expeditionary Force nations of Denmark with Greenland and the Faeroes, Iceland, the UK, Norway with Svalbard and Spitzbergen, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania together with the Netherlands. JEF has been very aggressive in supporting Poland's lead in Ukraine. Poland also works well with Czechia and Slovakia and occasionally Hungary, together with Romania and Bulgaria.

A new set of trade obligations are created by Canada's association in the Pacific with the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is a free trade agreement (FTA) between Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam which the UK is likely to be joining momentarily.
These are in addition to Canada's interests in assisting in the maintenance of Peace, Order and Good Governance in our NAFTA partners and in the Caribbean.

It is also in Canada's interests to maintain all the higher level global organizations that allow for jaw-jaw rather than war-war.

So the UN, the IMF, the OECD, the WHO and the multitude of specialized talking shops spawned by that "liberal order".


So my first question is - given all those claims and obligations held on behalf of 38, 622,188 sovereign Canadians earning, on average, 75,452 USD per year per household (2.51 people per household so approximately 15, 400,000 households). Each household contributes 1.3% of income to defence to maintain access to those claims and benefits - or US$995 each per year, or US$19.15 per week, or US2.73 per day.

Our associates are asking that we increase that $US2.73 per day to a minimum of US$4.21 per day per household. This being Canada, and us using Canadian dollars at 1.36 CAD per USD then the actual ask is $5.72 CAD per day. Up from $3.71 CAD per day.

An increase of $2.01 CAD per day per househould of 2.51 people earning $102,615 CAD.

I attach Starbuck's menu for cross reference.


That is my situation estimated or my estimation situated - your choice.


Rick's answers will follow shortly.
 
1. What do you think our most realistic priorities should be for the Armed Forces (No more than 4 if possible)?
  1. Defense of Canada
  2. As the defense of Canada is priority then supporting those partner countries who defend Canada (E.G. NORAD)
  3. NATO
  4. To provide a federal capacity to law and order in times of extreme emergency (civilian defense/emergency response)
2. Should Canada get involved in international Affairs or strictly go neutral? If yes, stay in NATO? UN? Coalitions?
  1. My priorities on involvement should be based upon the first 4 priorities above.
3. What percentage of the GDP do you think we should be at? And how do you sell it to the Canadian public?
  1. Start with 3% on major purchases and 2% to maintain
  2. I believe that the support missions - water patrols, fishery protection, transportation to the north, engineering challenges - are underfunded and represent a "soft" opportunity that supports both Canadian national interests and allows the potential redeployment of resources in times of need. Who has ever said I have too many transport aircraft...especially at a multi-national level...and we're not going to be providing a North Korea type army of conscripts. DART capacity, MAFF modular air tankers, Long range patrol, northern access....these are military but also represent the ability to assist Canada as well.
  3. For those commitments we embrace...show it with pride. Show the linkages between Op Carribbe drug introduction taskings and why the Navy is involved in this. Why a CP-140 detecting illegal fishing can be used to direct DFO/CCG for protection of maritime resources. Recognize involvement on domestic ops and not just "war".
4. Do we encourage a stronger and more robust home defense industry? If so, how?
  1. An honest discussion on what is realistic capacity and what should be done.
    1. Good example - F35...be a trusted partner and supplier of parts but we're not going to be designing planes
    2. Mixed example - National ship building strategy. The lead time is too long to "switch on" unless the capacity exists.
    3. Poor example - any thoughts of designing subs/tanks/artillery.
  2. My thoughts go to the consumables and industries that can be ramped up.
    1. Ammunition - bullets and artillery production is needed in Canada
    2. APC - LAV production should be continued to support REG force but I look at the UKR Sentinal APC based upon the F550 chassis and go "there's a lower cost maintaince frame for Reserves that can be surged"
5. Do we consider conscription for home defense only? I know wild car.
  1. Not worth the discussion at this point....we're talking that we're in a MAJOR situation.
6. Do we keep the primary reserves? If so, how do we fix it or improve it?
  1. Keep yes - Change yes...
    1. The reserves are to be expected to be a short term employment for most individuals. Don't think 4-8 years...think 2-3...
    2. Published, locked in schedule for basic training minimum 1 year in advance. If each Brigade/Division needs to be slightly different then so be it.
    3. It's a contract. Mandatory attendance 50% of time if trained. 75% if untrained. Must attend annual summer exercise unless excused in writing in advance.
      1. To support this establishment of an employer compensation program where employers are able to claim back the wages (both base and/or overtime required for coverage) for individuals to attend either parade or annual exercise or deployments.
    4. Emphasis is upon small scale leadership and small unit tactics. Company level+ only at annual exercise.
      1. If I can have rookie wildland firefighters working as crew leaders by their second or 3rd year and dealing with small situations with confidence why can't Canada. This means however acknowledging the need for a higher level of experience/training (REG force) being effective to either form the skeleton of large scale deployment and/or taking over until such time as experience is developed (i.e. state of war situation).
    5. Emphasis upon squad level weaponry and tactics. This means Stinger/Javelin/Machine Gun/ Rifle and command/control/communications. Basic drone awareness and maybe basic usage...not "drone operators as USAF goes".
    6. Equipment sufficient to allow for expansion and doubling. This means enough boots, basic fatigues, and field gear to allow for changes in personnel or at least initial surging of recruitment. Vehicle needs are to be based upon civilian models that can be handled by ANY standard dealership.
  2. Convert almost everything to basic infantry, support battalion (i.e. logistics), or medical.
  3. Expansion of units (company level only) to support the changes in population growth and/or cities.
    1. Focus upon areas with post secondary schools and moderate sized cities.
  4. Changes needed on credentials
    1. Work with post secondary schools to ensure that CAF trades are credible for red seal trades hours/certification
    2. Establish post secondary credentials for key courses in languages, technology, leadership. For the average student these might mean the electives are taken care of reducing academic workloads.
    3. Priority hiring for federal and provincial jobs if qualified
    4. Pension for time served regardless of Reg/Res
    5. Dust off the post WW2 compensation - educational credit to school of choice or start up loan for establishing small business. In the words of my grandfather (RCAF Flight Engineer) the BCATP was the biggest educational boost the country every saw and provided a college education in 8 months.
  5. Linkages to community and province.
    1. A Canadian flag is important for all. But also rename the regiments to reflect ideally the province/territory and/or region. Unit traditions can be carried forward on a company basis. For example BC units become part of the British Columbia Regiment or Rocky Mountain Rangers. Yukon gets their regiment "stood up" for shoulder bars.
    2. Units are to deploy, train and be visible in the community. Local parade...you better be there if you only have one main event a year. Train in the neighborhood on situations like road maneuvers. Promote the successes of soldiers who honorably leave the unit for other goals and the employers who support the unit. Comms comms comms.
    3. Use of reserve units should be like the USNG. A state of emergency publicly declared at a provincial level will allow for the Premier to request mobilization of reserve units at published compensation rates (i.e. CAF comes first and not as a free labor force) whose deployment can be authorized by the head of the CAF.
      1. This is similar to how annual exercises will be run with units "mobilized" for the training period via Federal order.
7. List the biggest threats to Canada you see NOW
  1. Russia is in the news but China is what scares me.
  2. Economic warfare is warfare by other means. Look at England and the Napoleonic wars...it's not new
  3. Extremists are increasing as people feel pressured. Not just religious but also ideology.
  4. Increased regionalism in both politics and demographics means we're more disconnected than every despite easier communication means than ever.
  5. Water and natural resources are a strategic international priority. And if you can't defend your lands you get a new flag that will...
Really well thought out
 
1. What do you think our most realistic priorities should be for the Armed Forces (No more than 4 if possible)?
  1. Defense of Canada - in all its sovereign territories, marine estates, air space and those international commons we benefit from exploiting
  2. As the defense of Canada is priority then supporting those partner countries who defend Canada (E.G. NORAD) - agreed
  3. NATO - There is a debate to be had here with respect to the roles of NORAD (as a part of NATO), JEF and the Arctic Council.
  4. To provide a federal capacity to law and order in times of extreme emergency (civilian defense/emergency response) - agreed
Explicitly I would make Disaster Response part of Emergency Preparedness with its own separate budget increase.

I do think there is room for a civil/military transportation and logistics programme that would assist both military and non-military deployments domestically and abroad. (Ships Taken Up From Trade, Civil Reserve Airfleet, Royal Fleet Auxilliary, civilian subsidization of active carriers to ensure surplus capacity that could be made available in time of crisis.) Also increase resources to civil security - Police, Fire, EMS, Environmental Hazard Response Teams.

All separate from the Canadian Armed Forces budget.


2. Should Canada get involved in international Affairs or strictly go neutral? If yes, stay in NATO? UN? Coalitions? - Yes. There is no option. You have to engage the neighbours.
  1. My priorities on involvement should be based upon the first 4 priorities above. - agreed as per stipulations
3. What percentage of the GDP do you think we should be at? And how do you sell it to the Canadian public?
  1. Start with 3% on major purchases and 2% to maintain -

Alternate plan of downloading responsibilities from the CAF to Emergency Preparedness, civil authorities and the CIMIC transportation and logistics system. Boost the budget as necessary (1 to 3% of GDP) to accomplish domestic and diplomatic goals

Allocate and Spend 2% on the Canadian Armed Forces Regular Force.


  1. I believe that the support missions - water patrols, fishery protection, transportation to the north, engineering challenges - are underfunded and represent a "soft" opportunity that supports both Canadian national interests and allows the potential redeployment of resources in times of need. Who has ever said I have too many transport aircraft...especially at a multi-national level...and we're not going to be providing a North Korea type army of conscripts.

Agreed, see above.

  1. DART capacity, MAFF modular air tankers, Long range patrol, northern access....these are military but also represent the ability to assist Canada as well.

Equally they are non-military capabilities that have both domestic and diplomatic uses. Foreign employment operations could be funded from the 0.7% of GDP that is supposed to be targeted to Foreign Assistance

  1. For those commitments we embrace...show it with pride. Show the linkages between Op Carribbe drug introduction taskings and why the Navy is involved in this. Why a CP-140 detecting illegal fishing can be used to direct DFO/CCG for protection of maritime resources. Recognize involvement on domestic ops and not just "war". - Agreed.


4. Do we encourage a stronger and more robust home defense industry? If so, how? - Yes. In so far as we can. We shouldn't run away from our "branch plant" history. We should embrace it. Other countries call that foreign investment and seek it.

  1. An honest discussion on what is realistic capacity and what should be done.
    1. Good example - F35...be a trusted partner and supplier of parts but we're not going to be designing planes
    2. Mixed example - National ship building strategy. The lead time is too long to "switch on" unless the capacity exists.
    3. Poor example - any thoughts of designing subs/tanks/artillery.
  2. My thoughts go to the consumables and industries that can be ramped up.
    1. Ammunition - bullets and artillery production is needed in Canada
    2. APC - LAV production should be continued to support REG force but I look at the UKR Sentinal APC based upon the F550 chassis and go "there's a lower cost maintaince frame for Reserves that can be surged"
No disagreements.

5. Do we consider conscription for home defense only? I know wild car. - Short form. NO.
  1. Not worth the discussion at this point....we're talking that we're in a MAJOR situation.

Agreed.

6. Do we keep the primary reserves? If so, how do we fix it or improve it?
  1. Keep yes - Change yes - Agreed ...
    1. The reserves are to be expected to be a short term employment for most individuals. Don't think 4-8 years...think 2-3... - yes, kind of, see below.

No comment on the following

    1. Published, locked in schedule for basic training minimum 1 year in advance. If each Brigade/Division needs to be slightly different then so be it.
    2. It's a contract. Mandatory attendance 50% of time if trained. 75% if untrained. Must attend annual summer exercise unless excused in writing in advance.
      1. To support this establishment of an employer compensation program where employers are able to claim back the wages (both base and/or overtime required for coverage) for individuals to attend either parade or annual exercise or deployments.

  1. Emphasis is upon small scale leadership and small unit tactics. Company level+ only at annual exercise.
    1. If I can have rookie wildland firefighters working as crew leaders by their second or 3rd year and dealing with small situations with confidence why can't Canada. This means however acknowledging the need for a higher level of experience/training (REG force) being effective to either form the skeleton of large scale deployment and/or taking over until such time as experience is developed (i.e. state of war situation).

Agreed

  • Emphasis upon squad level weaponry and tactics. This means Stinger/Javelin/Machine Gun/ Rifle and command/control/communications. Basic drone awareness and maybe basic usage...not "drone operators as USAF goes".

Agreed

  • Equipment sufficient to allow for expansion and doubling. This means enough boots, basic fatigues, and field gear to allow for changes in personnel or at least initial surging of recruitment. Vehicle needs are to be based upon civilian models that can be handled by ANY standard dealership.

Agreed

  • Convert almost everything to basic infantry, support battalion (i.e. logistics), or medical.

Agreed

  • Expansion of units (company level only) to support the changes in population growth and/or cities.
    1. Focus upon areas with post secondary schools and moderate sized cities.

Exploit the spirit of the unpaid volunteer - even if that means raising a couple of separate, unpaid volunteer sub-units in each unit that are not on the notice-to-move schedule.


  • Changes needed on credentials
    1. Work with post secondary schools to ensure that CAF trades are credible for red seal trades hours/certification
    2. Establish post secondary credentials for key courses in languages, technology, leadership. For the average student these might mean the electives are taken care of reducing academic workloads.
    3. Priority hiring for federal and provincial jobs if qualified
    4. Pension for time served regardless of Reg/Res
    5. Dust off the post WW2 compensation - educational credit to school of choice or start up loan for establishing small business. In the words of my grandfather (RCAF Flight Engineer) the BCATP was the biggest educational boost the country every saw and provided a college education in 8 months.

Saw an interesting video on line. 15 second snippet. US Marine in blues interviewing a Marine Reservist in blues. The Reservist was a civilian electrical contractor. Through his status as a Marine Reservist he qualified with a higher security clearance that allowed him to take on government jobs that paid better than most of his civilian clients.

Sell the perqs.


  • Linkages to community and province.
    1. A Canadian flag is important for all. But also rename the regiments to reflect ideally the province/territory and/or region. Unit traditions can be carried forward on a company basis. For example BC units become part of the British Columbia Regiment or Rocky Mountain Rangers. Yukon gets their regiment "stood up" for shoulder bars.
    2. Units are to deploy, train and be visible in the community. Local parade...you better be there if you only have one main event a year. Train in the neighborhood on situations like road maneuvers. Promote the successes of soldiers who honorably leave the unit for other goals and the employers who support the unit. Comms comms comms.
    3. Use of reserve units should be like the USNG. A state of emergency publicly declared at a provincial level will allow for the Premier to request mobilization of reserve units at published compensation rates (i.e. CAF comes first and not as a free labor force) whose deployment can be authorized by the head of the CAF.
      1. This is similar to how annual exercises will be run with units "mobilized" for the training period via Federal order.

Agreed

7. List the biggest threats to Canada you see NOW
  1. Russia is in the news but China is what scares me.
  2. Economic warfare is warfare by other means. Look at England and the Napoleonic wars...it's not new
  3. Extremists are increasing as people feel pressured. Not just religious but also ideology.
  4. Increased regionalism in both politics and demographics means we're more disconnected than every despite easier communication means than ever.
  5. Water and natural resources are a strategic international priority. And if you can't defend your lands you get a new flag that will...

Only addition I would make would be that lack of internal cohesion, that lack of internal security and law enforcement makes it more likely that foreigners will engage in warfare by other means. Ultimately that increases the likelihood of the CAF having to get involved domestically on the security front.


Summary

  • Broad agreement
  • Reduce the CAF's scope of employment by off loading missing capabilities that have dual civil-military roles to the civil Emergency Preparedness side of things
  • Budget the Militia Reserves separately from the Regulars and their released Reserves.
  • Ensure the Regular CAF is fully funded to the 2% level specifically to meet enemy forces engaged on domestic or foreign territory.

Thanks for making that easier Foresterab.
 
1. What do you think our most realistic priorities should be for the Armed Forces (No more than 4 if possible)?

a. NORAD- Ensure we have the air supremacy, GBAD, and surveillance ability to ensure anything coming within 100 NM of North America is tracked, identified, and if needed destroyed before anyone is Canada or the U.S. is the wiser.

b. Naval Approaches - if it would be at all feasable, expand NORAD into a NORSeaDef agreement as well. We lack the ships, subs, sailors and industry to maintain the kind of Naval presence needed. Share the load.

c. NATO - Like it or lump it, if we want to have the protection of the collective, we need to do our fair share. We should be able to field a full doctrinal CMBG with Combat Support Groupings somewhere in Europe on a permanent basis.

d. Everything else - if we can cover off those first three in depth, then... and only then... do we take on UN peacekeeping, random TF in Haiti, "vanity" projects.

2. Should Canada get involved in international Affairs or strictly go neutral? If yes, stay in NATO? UN? Coalitions?

Canada is de facto involved in international affairs by nature of our position in major international alliances and organizations. Where we suck is we talk louder than everyone else, while not backing it up with presence or posture. Neutrality would require MORE defense spending, as all those friends we have made along the way disappear, and we're left in the rain without a poncho. NATO, ofcourse, UN.... I'd be veerry selective... coalitions... depends on the reason and justification (I agreed with us staying out of Iraq in 2003).

3. What percentage of the GDP do you think we should be at? And how do you sell it to the Canadian public?

I have long said you could give us 5% GDP and you wouldnt see a lick of difference in the CAF. What needs to change is where and how that GDP is spent. I would recommend that we move to 3% GDP with at least 1.5% dedicated to rearmament. Provide CAF an exemption to various procurment regulations and just buy the kit needed to kit out and sustain the forces needed to fulfil our obligations. Sell it to Canadians as the "This is how Calgary doesnt become Kherson" in what we are buying. Make every cent a matter of prevention and not one of vote buying or stimulus. New kit in hamd is a lot easier to sell than projects on a ledger.

4. Do we encourage a stronger and more robust home defence industry? If so, how?

I would say we do what we have done well in the past: team up with the industry in the U.S. and provide incentives to produce in Canada. If we don't have the capacity or industry in Canada to make an effect, do not allow Canadian industry to bid with "once we retool and develop tlproduction lines..." if the CAF can't have the item from bid to the hands of Cpl Bloggins in 5 years, look OUTCAN.

5. Do we consider conscription for home defence only? I know wild car.

I know I might get flamed for this, but I feel as though having kids do a SYEP style program the summer of Grade 11 would be as far as I would go with conscription. Provide folks with the exposure to the CAF, basic military skills, first aid, marksmanship, etc. and that would be it. If and when SHTF, either globally or domestically, you have folks who arent atarting from scratch at the onset of the next conflict. I'm pretty sure the Ukranians would be completely euchred right now if the TDF folks didnt have a baseline knowledge of "point weapon towards enemy."

6. Do we keep the primary reserves? If so, how do we fix it or improve it?

The P Res as it stands is a dichotomy of "same as Reg F" and "but on our terms.." I would personally draw the line between Class A (Inactive or Supp Ress) and Class C (Active Reserve) with Class B moving along a spectrum (Make more Active Reserve positions and lessen REO and backfill temp jobs).

I would also collapse and reorg understrength "Regiments" into bigger ones. Congrats Broken Rifles, you're now H(Brockvile Rifles) Coy, Eastern Ontario Regiment (along with the Hasty Ps, PWOR, and SDG). Less overhead, more mission command, and everyone is equally pissed off that they turned the page on their respective regimental histories.

7. List the biggest threats to Canada you see NOW

Right now our biggest risk to Canada are our complacency and indifference to the world around us. We have been infiltrated and subjugated politically by both the Russians and Chinese, and it's a blip on the nightly news beside housing prices and the cost of groceries. Canadians have tuned out political bumbling, inaction, and indifference to our National Security and Defence Policy.

The biggest risk we have to our nation is the faulty belief that we have no risks to our nation. And I'm not talking about Climate Change. We will either be chipped away piece by piece by the Chinese or Russians, or the U.S. will bring us into the fold fully, either by suggestion or by tightening the leash.
 
Explicitly I would make Disaster Response part of Emergency Preparedness with its own separate budget increase.

I do think there is room for a civil/military transportation and logistics programme that would assist both military and non-military deployments domestically and abroad. (Ships Taken Up From Trade, Civil Reserve Airfleet, Royal Fleet Auxilliary, civilian subsidization of active carriers to ensure surplus capacity that could be made available in time of crisis.) Also increase resources to civil security - Police, Fire, EMS, Environmental Hazard Response Teams.

All separate from the Canadian Armed Forces budget.



Alternate plan of downloading responsibilities from the CAF to Emergency Preparedness, civil authorities and the CIMIC transportation and logistics system. Boost the budget as necessary (1 to 3% of GDP) to accomplish domestic and diplomatic goals

Allocate and Spend 2% on the Canadian Armed Forces Regular Force.



Agreed, see above.



Equally they are non-military capabilities that have both domestic and diplomatic uses. Foreign employment operations could be funded from the 0.7% of GDP that is supposed to be targeted to Foreign Assistance







No disagreements.



Agreed.




No comment on the following





Agreed



Agreed




Agreed



Agreed



Exploit the spirit of the unpaid volunteer - even if that means raising a couple of separate, unpaid volunteer sub-units in each unit that are not on the notice-to-move schedule.




Saw an interesting video on line. 15 second snippet. US Marine in blues interviewing a Marine Reservist in blues. The Reservist was a civilian electrical contractor. Through his status as a Marine Reservist he qualified with a higher security clearance that allowed him to take on government jobs that paid better than most of his civilian clients.

Sell the perqs.



Agreed



Only addition I would make would be that lack of internal cohesion, that lack of internal security and law enforcement makes it more likely that foreigners will engage in warfare by other means. Ultimately that increases the likelihood of the CAF having to get involved domestically on the security front.


Summary


  • Broad agreement
  • Reduce the CAF's scope of employment by off loading missing capabilities that have dual civil-military roles to the civil Emergency Preparedness side of things
  • Budget the Militia Reserves separately from the Regulars and their released Reserves.
  • Ensure the Regular CAF is fully funded to the 2% level specifically to meet enemy forces engaged on domestic or foreign territory.

Thanks for making that easier Foresterab.
I'm a civvie though so I know I'm missing some stuff, and some critical internal REG forces stuff. But when I look at other jurisdictions in the wildfire world I see some opportunities.

The USAF-NG maintains two squadrons of C-130's (used to be 3) that are equipped with a MAFF's modular air tanker assembly. They basically have to be placed on National service to deploy (which is good) and only activate after the US Forest Service/State tanker capacity and civilian surge capacity has been taken up. Same context on when you their military helicopters in use...it's only after hiring all the available civilian ones or its a fire started on a military base.

In Europe though air tankers are considered part of the air force of many jurisdictions and NATO partners - Portugal, France, Spain, Italy, and Greece come to mind. I do not believe the primary use of the CAF is emergency response so I tend not to favor this position but it does allow for an additional resource to occur if needed....is this an Air Force reserve role that is seasonal in nature? Maybe....but probably not. Also note that Parks Canada is considered a separate resource pool from the provinces...so the Feds already have some emergency response teams.

How often has the CAF been called out for emergency evacuations....civilian pilots often can not do it due to the lack of night vision avionics/no-vis training and yet the call on the Twin Otters, Hercs, and C-17s is steady. Even the C-146 which you folks might hate as a combat transport aircraft I love on wildfires due to the intelligence role it can play flying in low vis conditions.

On several incidents I've been on or had peers involved with the CAF have been part of the solution. They are a visible, relatively large numbers force that comes with integral command/control, comms and internal logistics support...so as a security situation (High River Floods in 2013) or wildfire response (in SK or BC) or PQ ice storms they augment the existing provincial support available. I do want the CAF to be less of "strong backs and weak minds" pool of bodies and more of critical support needed - a mobile field hospital? Communications being re-established? emergency road engineering which are skilled tasks.

I do agree with the general who said though that the CAF have become the "easy button" for response and should only be a last call....at least for REG force usage. Every deployment comes at an opportunity cost and if that means that CAF members are protecting Canadians from threats due to internal natural events they are also protecting Canadians as the primary goal....which means less to deal with overseas.
 
Some of these questions could be interpreted in more than one way, so I'll take a stab at answering some of them perhaps from a different angle...

1. Priorities
- completely rethink how we acquire capital equipment. Get rid of the current model completely, and start from scratch. The new model should factor in equipment in use by our allies, common sense, avoid orphan fleets, and have a MUCH simplified process from first idea, to IOC. Develop a formula that Industry Canada & Treasury Board are both satisfied in the end
- Acquisition of a modern, effective air defense system capable of shooting down enemy fighter aircraft, helicopters, drones, and has a C-RAM capability. (Deployments don't seem to be winding down, yet actors with access to weaponized drones seem to be everywhere)
- Fast track replacement of the RADARSAT constellation of satellites, to keep watch over the North & enhance our contribution to NORAD. Even if they just build 3 more to the exact same design specs. (They are to be replaced with a new constellation of sats, but nothing official on the go as of yet. Just build 3 more of the same, or 4 if the architecture allows for it)

2. Yes we should. Evil prevails when good people do nothing, so let's do something effective.

Stay in NATO so our collective capabilities can be leveraged. The UN is kind of mandatory by virtue of just being a country, isn't jt?


3. Don't crucify me here folks, but I don't think our GDP contribution to defense should increase by a single penny until we can spend the money we get more efficiently.

Should we shoot for 2%? In theory, yes... but right now we are at 1.4% and don't seem to get as much bang for our buck as others do.

Since our personnel costs are already taken care of with the 1.4% currently spent, any increase should go towards capital equipment & facilities. (Increase capacities & depth)

4. Yes, we should encourage a more robust defense industry here af home.

How we do that is grasp as a nation that we should have the ability to manufacture our own ammunition - everything from 5.56 to 155mm. Build the facilities to do that, they'll hum along in peacetime just fine with our training needs.

Tell Bombardier to get off their ass & earn their keep.

Canada usually takes a long time to decide on defense purchases, with capability gaps being known for decades sometimes. Take the initiative to design & build a product you know the government is going to need to buy in the near future, so it is an option.

Possible Example - if they had a product suitable for SAR, the GoC could have gone with that other than the Kingfisher.

Everybody knew that eventually we'd be buying new fixed wing SAR aircraft. The design specs were fairly well known, even if they were tweaked from time to time.

Design something, or partner up, and have a viable option available. Make sure it has a ramp, architecture for sensors and radars, good travel time & good loiter time, etc

If Brazil take the initiative & find the balls to give military aircraft a shot...


5. National service does bring together nations, as it gives a vast majority of people something in common with each other.

A national service of some sort would be good. Whether that's military service, I honestly don't know.

6. Yes keep the primary reserves. Discussed plenty in other threads,, but maybe introduce terms of service & structure it similar to the US National Guard.


One thought is that perhaps we need to focus on a niche or 3, and excel at those niches. Given CURRENT personnel issues & equipment issues, perhaps we should focus primarily on a few niche things and be among the best in the world at those things?

Australia strives to have the best small army in the world, for example. Maybe that's a mindset we should take on?
 
The one thing that keeps coming back to my mind is just how much of a junior partner in all of this is the Canadian Army.

It falls well behind the other security needs of Canada and Canadians - specifically policing by civilians, emergency management and maintenance of infrastructure especially communications of all sorts. And I suggest that cyber is primarily a civilian preoccupation. In strictly military terms it falls behind the need to provide satellite coverage (arguably another civilian responsibility given the absence of "hard kills"), defence of the maritime approaches (and commons), and defence of the airspace over those approaches and our home and native lands.

That leaves the Army as an intervention force looking for places to intervene. And domestic intervention, with associated "hard kills" is not desired by Canadians, their government and, in large part, by the military in general and the army in particular.

The makes the Army a subset of Canadian Foreign Policy.

But the Canadian Foreign Affairs community finds its priorities are convening (and as much as we chuckle at that word it is a primary function of diplomacy to try and resolve disputes before resorting to the army), maintaining secure embassies and consulates as listening posts and trading centers, and dispensing funds to buy favour.

After all those priorities are considered

we have the Canadian Army.

And then we have the part time army.
 
If we want to get serious, it starts at home with the most basic thing, infrastructure. You cannot train, house, maintain, and feed an army with sub standard facilities. In 2023 I shouldn't be walking on bases and hearing building XYZ is condemned due to black mold. That's a failure to maintain a building, and when it's still standing and not replaced after a few years, that's a failure on the system to address the problem in a timely manner.

It would take tens of billions to rebuild bases to any Kind of modern standard so that vehicles are stored correctly, training facilities have what we need today, not 30 years ago, and troops are properly housed. If we do not do it though we will continue to struggle, and infrastructure spending goes directly back into the Canadian economy.
 
If we want to get serious, it starts at home with the most basic thing, infrastructure. You cannot train, house, maintain, and feed an army with sub standard facilities. In 2023 I shouldn't be walking on bases and hearing building XYZ is condemned due to black mold. That's a failure to maintain a building, and when it's still standing and not replaced after a few years, that's a failure on the system to address the problem in a timely manner.

It would take tens of billions to rebuild bases to any Kind of modern standard so that vehicles are stored correctly, training facilities have what we need today, not 30 years ago, and troops are properly housed. If we do not do it though we will continue to struggle, and infrastructure spending goes directly back into the Canadian economy.

I'm shocked by your presumption...

... think of the historically valuable role the Militia is playing in bringing ancient Canadian history to life through continuing to use hundreds of ancient armouries across the country as primary training venues to prepare for war in the 21st C, viz:

Image.aspx


The armoury was constructed in 1906-07, to plans prepared by the federal Department of Public Works under the direction of architect T.W. Fuller.
It was designed to serve as the regimental headquarters of the local militia and continues to operate as a Canadian Forces armoury. The custodian is the Department of National Defence. See FHBRO Building Report 90-155.

 
I'm shocked by your presumption...

... think of the historically valuable role the Militia is playing in bringing ancient Canadian history to life through continuing to use hundreds of ancient armouries across the country as primary training venues to prepare for war in the 21st C, viz:

Image.aspx


The armoury was constructed in 1906-07, to plans prepared by the federal Department of Public Works under the direction of architect T.W. Fuller.
It was designed to serve as the regimental headquarters of the local militia and continues to operate as a Canadian Forces armoury. The custodian is the Department of National Defence. See FHBRO Building Report 90-155.

Time has come to burn the sacred cows, the forces as a whole cannot continue using 100 year old historical buildings that require double or more the upkeep to maintain. Make them a museum or something, but we need modern facilities for all elements of the forces.
 
Time has come to burn the sacred cows, the forces as a whole cannot continue using 100 year old historical buildings that require double or more the upkeep to maintain. Make them a museum or something, but we need modern facilities for all elements of the forces.
The problem that exists is that the turnaround time doesn't match well with the op tempo.

Vimy Barracks (CFSCE) in Kingston was constructed between 1927 and 1937. Some of the "newer" buildings built on the campus were 1950s. They are crumbling at their foundations, but alas, the school is still cranking out roughly 100 new C&E folk a month. Why? Digitization needs tech savvy folks trained up. To rebuild the campus would take a complete relocation of all training labs, accommodations, logistics facilities, network infrastructure, etc. for at minimum and ad hopium 20 years for demolition, surveying, and construction. We have the land, but we lack everything else across Canada to facilitate that endeavor without it costing billions.

When all is said and done, the CAF still requires those 100 pers a month to be churned out. Which takes priority? Price infrastructure upgrades or keeping the op tempo going?

I am certain Elroy Forde would be pissed to see the high point of his legacy decay to such a sad state, but I also would have to think a man of innovation and forward thinking would be more pissed that no one thought to revamp as needed over time.

"Hold on a second.... you can get real time pictures of a battlefield across the globe by sending RF signals into SPACE, but you're still teaching it out of the horse stables in the basement? Good God man.."
 
Time has come to burn the sacred cows, the forces as a whole cannot continue using 100 year old historical buildings that require double or more the upkeep to maintain. Make them a museum or something, but we need modern facilities for all elements of the forces.

But

100x this

New $55M armoury opens in Halifax​

armoury2-INSIDE-mainweb-1024x576.jpg



5.5 BCAD for Reserve Infrastructure
 
Looking at this thread, I see some common themes

Canada HAS to grow the F up, identify what it wants, no, NEEDS and make it a priority. A priority.

I agree we need Health, Justice, education, etc. However Defence has to be on the top of that list.

Its like the guy who looks at a raging house fire 2 doors down and says "nah, don't worry about it", 3 hours and a few gust of wind later, now his house is on fire. Too little, too late.

I get it, this country (which is morally and ethically weak, I mean badly so) will not take defence seriously, ever.

Well, Canada, decide between Russia, USA, the WEF, China, etc which one should be our "knows best for us" masters and overlords?
 
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