Author Topic: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)  (Read 117227 times)

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Offline dglad

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #25 on: October 25, 2004, 09:32:37 »
I think I stated once before, on some other thread, that we probably need something like a US Marine Expeditionary Brigade, integrating land, sea and air in a true joint capability package.  No, it doesn't have to replicate a MEB one for one, but that would be the idea.  Such an organization would give Canada the opportunity to project varying types and amounts of force, depending on the need--whether a non-combatant overseas evacuation op, a humanitarian assistance op, or a war-fighting op.  This requires ships and aircraft that can haul and fight, a balanced ground force that has a reasonable degree of capability in any security environment, and doctrine and C2 infrastructure for the whole thing that is complete in itself, yet truly interoperable with our likely allies.

More fundamentally, however, is the need to back up and get this thing right in the first place, based on what Canada wants its military capability to be able to do.  This does require debate.  Right now, the military, and especially the army, are carrying the can for Canada on the global stage.  International aid is way down, and doesn't achieve much in terms of domestic visibility anyway.  We lack the economic oomph to be big players in the global market-place.  And our diplomatic corps has withered even more than our military.  So our military is doing too much--and not just militarily!
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Offline PPCLI Guy

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2004, 12:47:26 »
This link might help to show where the Army plans to be for Tomorrow and the Future:

http://armyapp.dnd.ca/dlsc-dcsot/doc.asp

Great link - thanks.  I encourage others to have a boo at this one.

Dave
"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."

Karl von Clausewitz

Offline bossi

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The argument for policy review/overhaul
« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2004, 10:25:46 »
Seems to me this is a good overview of why we need to review Canadian Foreign Affairs policy first, before Defence.   Having said that, it's ridiculous how the bureaucrats will drag it out as long as they can (as an aside, I find it amusing when a liberal-leaning newspaper refers to "Martins Liberals", implicitly insuating they're not "real" Liberals ... like "Papa Doc Crouton's" ... but, I digress).

This editorial offers it in point form, and for the sake of argument ... it's not too shabby:

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_PrintFriendly&c=Article&cid=1099000209076&call_pageid=null

(oh, Good Grief!  There's an equally compelling editorial in the National Post, too)
http://www.canada.com/national/nationalpost/news/comment/story.html?id=288802ab-4cdd-4334-8f75-5529dff8536f

Defining Canada's role in the world

Canadians aspire to a "very ambitious role in the world," Prime Minister Paul Martin declared during the election campaign. And so we should.

Our $1.3 trillion economy puts us in the elite Group of Seven club of wealthy democracies. We are a principal power, if not a major one, with wide interests. No country is closer to the United States, with its huge impact globally. Americans buy more than 80 per cent of our exports, and we buy 25 per cent of theirs. As friends, neighbours and allies, we understand Americans as few others do, and share values and interests.

And their perils. Osama bin Laden has named us as a target.

Canadians have similar ties of affection, too, with many other parts of the world, including Britain, China, Southeast Asia, Italy, Portugal, the Caribbean, Poland, the Philippines and Latin America. We can use them to make the world freer, safer, healthier.

To do that, Martin favours a "three-D" approach and an "integrated national agenda" combining diplomacy, defence and development. He promises better Canada/U.S./Mexico relations. A more coherent war on terror. A stronger effort to fight AIDS. And more.

But while Canada's interests are broad, our resources are finite. We spend more than $18 billion on diplomacy, defence and aid. That's $1.7 billion on our diplomatic corps in 2004/05, $13.6 billion on the military and some $3.3 billion on aid. Yet we could double our spending in these areas and still lag behind our allies, in relative terms. Had we done so by now, Canada's submarine fleet might not be in drydock today. And Martin might not have to suffer through lectures from allies, as well as critics at home, that we should spend more on aid.

Redefining Canada's sense of global purpose, as Martin proposes to do, will involve costly, wrenching change. And tough choices. After tightly managed consultations with bureaucrats, politicians and academics, Martin promises an International Policy Statement, the first since 1995, by late fall. A defence policy statement, the first since 1994, is to follow.

The timing of these reviews is ideal. Given the Liberals' minority status, this is a chance to define a role for Canada that embodies a broad national consensus, and that will far outlive the current government.

Typically, policy reviews produce checklists of priorities. In 1970, Pierre Trudeau put economic growth and social justice ahead of peace and security. By 1985 Brian Mulroney made national unity and sovereignty his main themes. In 1995, Jean Chrétien put prosperity first, then security.

This process of ranking matters to a government. It led Trudeau to screen foreign investment and redistribute oil wealth. Mulroney squandered energy on go-nowhere constitutional reform. And Chrétien favoured Team Canada trade missions over human rights.

What should Martin focus on?

First, coherency is key. Canada/U.S. relations are run out of the Prime Minister's Office, while the foreign affairs and trade department has been split in two. The potential for policy confusion, drift, and sending mixed signals to allies is evident. That would scupper Martin's ambitions.

Second, a focus on the North American hemisphere, with our American and Mexican partners, makes political and economic sense.

Third, we must stand by the United Nations and our other allies as required, and go our own way when necessary, as we did by not joining the Iraq war. Polls suggest Canadians are confident enough to disagree with allies and expect the government to speak boldly when need be.

How to define Canada's core interests? Here is a proposed list:

Promoting prosperity, and economic growth.

Affirming our sovereignty and independence.

Assuring our security in a world shaken by instability and terror.

Projecting our values: Democracy, peace, justice, compassion.

This ranking differs markedly from those of our our allies. The Americans put military supremacy first. So do the British. The French highlight independence. The Germans freedom, peace and prosperity. The Italians promote Euro-Atlantic relations. The Australians focus on Asian ties. New Zealanders focus on Australian ties. Each nation spends accordingly.

This ranking gives Canada/U.S. relations pride of place, but within a regional framework, and in the context of a sturdy nationalism. It also puts a higher priority on thwarting threats to this continent than on humanitarian concerns elsewhere. It reflects a 9/11 world dominated by the U.S., bound by a globalized economy and shaken by instability and terror.

In such a climate, Ottawa will have to be sovereignty-conscious, proactive and assertive to promote our interests even with friends.

Since 9/11 "the principal aim of American foreign policy is to integrate other countries and organizations into arrangements that will sustain a world consistent with U.S. interests and values," said Richard Haass, former head of policy planning for the State Department. "We are doing this by persuading more and more governments ... to sign on to certain key ideas as to how the world should operate for our mutual benefit."

Canada will continue to feel this pressure whether President George Bush or Sen. John Kerry is elected on Tuesday.

Also, Canadians must juggle other priorities: Arctic sovereignty, foreign overfishing, the softwood lumber spat and beef exports. Africa's economic crisis and pandemics. United Nations reform. Martin's push for a broader Group of 20 club of nations to address pressing issues. Building stability in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Haiti. The Mideast conflict. Saving lives in Darfur and other regions. Peacekeeping. Arms control.

However the Martin Liberals define our priorities, after due Parliamentary and public consultation, Canada's spending must be upgraded to match our ambitions. Otherwise the reviews will be sham exercises. Parliamentary committees and experts have called, credibly, for a defence budget of $20 billion or more, and for $8 billion in aid, within a few years.

Why spend so much, so fast? Because we must reverse a generation of decline. Martin's ambition to "build Canada's influence in the world" and to "take the lead" cannot be realized on the cheap.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2004, 10:34:40 by bossi »
Junior officers and NCOs who neglect to guide the thinking of their men are shirking a command responsibility.
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Those who appreciate true valour should in their daily intercourse set gentleness first and aim to win the love and esteem of others. If you affect valour and act with violence, the world will in the end detest you and look upon you as wild beasts. Of this you should take heed.
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2004, 16:53:39 »
And in line with this thread, and reading from PPCLI Guy's own preferred, leftist pinko liberal rag, (I just love stereotypical labels) ;D

We have this from the Toronto Star - an editorial calling for an upgrade in the defence and diplomacy budgets from 18 BCAD to at least 28 BCAD with DND's budget going from 13 BCAD to 20 BCAD in short order.

     
 
 
Oct. 30, 2004. 01:00 AM
 
Defining Canada's role in the world



Canadians aspire to a "very ambitious role in the world," Prime Minister Paul Martin declared during the election campaign. And so we should.

Our $1.3 trillion economy puts us in the elite Group of Seven club of wealthy democracies. We are a principal power, if not a major one, with wide interests. No country is closer to the United States, with its huge impact globally. Americans buy more than 80 per cent of our exports, and we buy 25 per cent of theirs. As friends, neighbours and allies, we understand Americans as few others do, and share values and interests.

And their perils. Osama bin Laden has named us as a target.

Canadians have similar ties of affection, too, with many other parts of the world, including Britain, China, Southeast Asia, Italy, Portugal, the Caribbean, Poland, the Philippines and Latin America. We can use them to make the world freer, safer, healthier.

To do that, Martin favours a "three-D" approach and an "integrated national agenda" combining diplomacy, defence and development. He promises better Canada/U.S./Mexico relations. A more coherent war on terror. A stronger effort to fight AIDS. And more.

But while Canada's interests are broad, our resources are finite. We spend more than $18 billion on diplomacy, defence and aid. That's $1.7 billion on our diplomatic corps in 2004/05, $13.6 billion on the military and some $3.3 billion on aid. Yet we could double our spending in these areas and still lag behind our allies, in relative terms. Had we done so by now, Canada's submarine fleet might not be in drydock today. And Martin might not have to suffer through lectures from allies, as well as critics at home, that we should spend more on aid.

Redefining Canada's sense of global purpose, as Martin proposes to do, will involve costly, wrenching change. And tough choices. After tightly managed consultations with bureaucrats, politicians and academics, Martin promises an International Policy Statement, the first since 1995, by late fall. A defence policy statement, the first since 1994, is to follow.

The timing of these reviews is ideal. Given the Liberals' minority status, this is a chance to define a role for Canada that embodies a broad national consensus, and that will far outlive the current government.

Typically, policy reviews produce checklists of priorities. In 1970, Pierre Trudeau put economic growth and social justice ahead of peace and security. By 1985 Brian Mulroney made national unity and sovereignty his main themes. In 1995, Jean Chrétien put prosperity first, then security.

This process of ranking matters to a government. It led Trudeau to screen foreign investment and redistribute oil wealth. Mulroney squandered energy on go-nowhere constitutional reform. And Chrétien favoured Team Canada trade missions over human rights.

What should Martin focus on?

First, coherency is key. Canada/U.S. relations are run out of the Prime Minister's Office, while the foreign affairs and trade department has been split in two. The potential for policy confusion, drift, and sending mixed signals to allies is evident. That would scupper Martin's ambitions.

Second, a focus on the North American hemisphere, with our American and Mexican partners, makes political and economic sense.

Third, we must stand by the United Nations and our other allies as required, and go our own way when necessary, as we did by not joining the Iraq war. Polls suggest Canadians are confident enough to disagree with allies and expect the government to speak boldly when need be.

How to define Canada's core interests? Here is a proposed list:

Promoting prosperity, and economic growth.

Affirming our sovereignty and independence.

Assuring our security in a world shaken by instability and terror.

Projecting our values: Democracy, peace, justice, compassion.

This ranking differs markedly from those of our our allies. The Americans put military supremacy first. So do the British. The French highlight independence. The Germans freedom, peace and prosperity. The Italians promote Euro-Atlantic relations. The Australians focus on Asian ties. New Zealanders focus on Australian ties. Each nation spends accordingly.

This ranking gives Canada/U.S. relations pride of place, but within a regional framework, and in the context of a sturdy nationalism. It also puts a higher priority on thwarting threats to this continent than on humanitarian concerns elsewhere. It reflects a 9/11 world dominated by the U.S., bound by a globalized economy and shaken by instability and terror.

In such a climate, Ottawa will have to be sovereignty-conscious, proactive and assertive to promote our interests even with friends.

Since 9/11 "the principal aim of American foreign policy is to integrate other countries and organizations into arrangements that will sustain a world consistent with U.S. interests and values," said Richard Haass, former head of policy planning for the State Department. "We are doing this by persuading more and more governments ... to sign on to certain key ideas as to how the world should operate for our mutual benefit."

Canada will continue to feel this pressure whether President George Bush or Sen. John Kerry is elected on Tuesday.

Also, Canadians must juggle other priorities: Arctic sovereignty, foreign overfishing, the softwood lumber spat and beef exports. Africa's economic crisis and pandemics. United Nations reform. Martin's push for a broader Group of 20 club of nations to address pressing issues. Building stability in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Haiti. The Mideast conflict. Saving lives in Darfur and other regions. Peacekeeping. Arms control.

However the Martin Liberals define our priorities, after due Parliamentary and public consultation, Canada's spending must be upgraded to match our ambitions. Otherwise the reviews will be sham exercises. Parliamentary committees and experts have called, credibly, for a defence budget of $20 billion or more, and for $8 billion in aid, within a few years.

Why spend so much, so fast? Because we must reverse a generation of decline. Martin's ambition to "build Canada's influence in the world" and to "take the lead" cannot be realized on the cheap.




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Offline PPCLI Guy

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2004, 18:17:31 »
And tomorrow's piece wll be specifically about the Defence Policy.
"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."

Karl von Clausewitz

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2004, 18:24:58 »
That's right, Santa put $100 million in the bank accounts of certain "Liberal friendly" ad agencies for little or no work. Since Santa was the Minister of Finance and president of the Quebec Caucus at the time, his protestations that he didn't know anything about this indicates he is totally clueless or a shameless lier.

Since all these fine words never lead to action, we should continue to hope the United States feels it is worth their time and effort to take on the bulk of Canada's defense. We can continue to fill the niche roles (bitter rant ends)
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #31 on: October 31, 2004, 11:50:12 »
And here's part 2, just like PPCLI guy promised.  (If this keeps up I may have to consider revising some of the labels I apply to this paper ;D)

Quote
     
 
 
Oct. 31, 2004. 01:00 AM
 
Canada's military lacks focus, funds



Canadians were shocked to see the submarine HMCS Chicoutimi rolling helpless this month in the stormy North Atlantic, crippled by a fatal fire.

They shouldn't have been.

Just last year, an antique Sea King helicopter crashed on the deck of the vintage destroyer HMCS Iroquois. During Canada's peacekeeping airlift to East Timor in 1999, a defective Hercules transport was forced back to base by mechanical failures â ” three times. In 2000, the skipper of an American cargo ship held $223 million worth of Canadian military equipment at sea for six weeks, in a contract dispute. Lacking transport, Ottawa had hired the ship to bring the materiel home from a peacekeeping mission. Our navy had to board the ship.

These fiascos are reminders that the sadly rundown Canadian Forces lack the personnel, funding and equipment to defend our interests in a post-9/11 world where American "pre-emptive" wars, Rwanda type massacres, regional instability and terror are ugly realities.

In recent years, the forces have been busier than at any time in the past half-century. Today, more than 1,600 Canadian troops are serving abroad in Afghanistan and the Arabian Gulf, in the Balkans, in the Middle East and in Africa. The pressure isn't likely to abate any time soon.

Prime Minister Paul Martin promised in the throne speech earlier this month to invest more in the military. He has ordered Defence Minister Bill Graham to develop a new defence policy statement early next year, soon after Ottawa unveils a fresh foreign policy. Regrettably, the defence review will take place largely behind closed doors, to satisfy secrecy-loving bureaucrats who fear public "meddling" in this area. Taxpayers would be better served by a full public consultation and debate. Instead, Parliament will be called on to give Ottawa's plans close scrutiny.

For his part, Martin seems to understand that the Canadian Forces' chief duties are the defence of Canada, the defence of North America in co-operation with the United States, and contributing to global security.

Canada has earmarked $8 billion to bolster continental security after 9/11, and rightly so. Osama bin Laden has named this country as a target.

At the same time, the Canadian Forces must be sufficiently "robust" to comfort our American allies that we are doing what we can to prevent attacks on them from here. That can only enhance our sovereignty. We must maintain sufficient modern warplanes, warships and surveillance aircraft to help secure approaches to this continent. We must be able to project credible force over large distances.

Ottawa is also looking, rightly, to expand Canada/U.S. air defence co-operation to include the navy and cross-border assistance. And to join the U.S. missile defence system.

Further afield, the Canadian Forces must be equipped to mobilize rapidly deployable battle groups with lethal firepower to trouble spots overseas. While our forces need not be huge, they must be high-value.

The "Canadian difference" that Martin intends to make means helping the United Nations support democracy, keep the peace, shore up weak states, thwart genocide, promote development and battle disease. These roles contribute to global stability. Characteristically, they involve the army, airlift and generous aid. Most Canadians strongly support them.

While Canada has one of the world's 20 strongest military forces, it is nowhere as strong as it should be, given our national interests, the endless calls on Canadian troops to serve in places like Afghanistan, the Balkans, Haiti, Somalia and East Timor, and the size of our economy.

We must spend more than the $13.3 billion we do now, refit warships, aircraft and armour, and boost our military beyond the 60,000 mark, and our effective army strength past 15,000. Since 2000, Ottawa has added $2 billion to the base budget. And Martin plans to spend $7 billion on major equipment like the Sikorsky H-92 helicopters, naval supply ships and search-and-rescue aircraft. He has also pledged 5,000 more regulars and 3,000 reservists. It's a welcome start, but not more than that.

Parliamentary committees have urged a base budget in the $18 billion-plus range, just to offset past cuts and to support current missions. We could easily spend $24 billion a year and field 80,000 personnel, and still lag far behind most of our North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies in relative spending terms. When inflation is taken into account, we spend less today than a decade ago.

Can Ottawa spend smarter? Yes, definitely. We can replace Cold War-era destroyers and tanks, close some military bases and thin out the military bureaucracy, while making better use of the cost-efficient reserves.

But we must also spend more. So far, Martin has shrunk from doing that. Yet Canada's relations with the U.S., the U.N. and key allies hang in the balance. Ultimately, so does our sovereignty

I continue to believe in Santa Claus a_majoor.  I believe there is a once in a generation confluence of events happening just now. 

Security interests, economic interests, sovereignty - all register high on the governments lists of concerns.   

The opposition parties, all of them, have either a pro-defence or at least not anti-defence position and are interested in maintaining Canada's ability to be perceived as not-American (much as I personally dislike that position - I prefer pro-Canadian rather than anti-anything). 

The Minority Government gives all parties power and all parties cover - consensus politics on this issue is possible.  If they can't get this one right then there ain't much hope for anything else.

Finally one of the side effects of all of these longterm "deals for a generation", regardless of how effective the deals are, is that the Canadian Public is becoming used to hearing about not hundreds of million dollar projects, nor even billion dollar projects but tens of billion dollar projects.  As well the projects are funded over long periods, at least a decade.

This last observation is the most critical for the CF and DND.  For Canada to do what Australia did, define a 60 Billion Dollar programme over 10-15 years, Canadians have to be brought to believe two things: 

1 - that these types of numbers are commonplace and affordable

2 - that these types of numbers, or better, higher numbers, have been applied to their priorities (health, equalization, daycare, aboriginals) before they have been applied to sending Canadian troops overseas with the right kit.

As to the "number" that might eventually be applied to the CF, that will depend on political will and election spin I think.  For instance an aggressive position could be to add up all of the funds supplied to the "priority" programmes,  likely to be in the 100 billion dollar, or greater, range over a 10-15 year period and then use the combined value as the bench march for justifying an Australian type 60 billion dollar project.   An alternate position could be to look at one project, for example the 41 billion for health, as an upper limit.  In between there are multiple variations allowing the government to choose a marketable benchmark and adjust the period of the programme.

I really believe, (OK maybe I just want to believe) that the ground work is in place to get the job done right for the CF.  Now whether it does get done right........................................
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

Offline PPCLI Guy

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #32 on: October 31, 2004, 22:41:21 »
Quote
I really believe, (OK maybe I just want to believe) that the ground work is in place to get the job done right for the CF.  Now whether it does get done right

I too believe that the stars and planets may be lining up.
"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."

Karl von Clausewitz

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #33 on: October 31, 2004, 23:56:32 »
Hope springs eternal, and I want to believe just as much as the other readers here, but considering I trained and deployed to Bosnia on ROTO 13 without sufficient TCCCS, NVGs or even support weapons (we had to raid war stocks to get 1XC-9 per section, and never received the SF kit for the GPMG), my belief is wearing thin.

Many of the events like the helicopter crashes and inability to get to Zaire, East Timor or Afghanistan on our own have been widely publicised, with little result. Now that Osama bin Laden has resurfaced, we might get a little more attention, but only a real demonstration of enemy power like a 767 crashing into the CN tower will lift people out of their lethargy, and then of course is too late. If John Kerry is elected, the sudden pullback of American power might make the anti-American crowd happy, but who is considering the fact that someone will fill the vacuum left by the Americans, and they well might be a hostile power or power block.

I once wrote in the ADTB that the real choice isn't wether to have missile defense or unconventional forces, but rather how much of each we will need. The one thing I cannot find the answer to is how to "sell" that to the Canadian public....
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Infanteer

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #34 on: November 01, 2004, 04:28:45 »
Quote
The one thing I cannot find the answer to is how to "sell" that to the Canadian public....

Osmosis.

Get more Canadian youth to willingly commit to a basic engagement.   There, they will learn that the military is an active and essential part to the vitality of the state.

One of my favorite ideas for doing so is a much advertised, easy to use eduaction program akin to the Montgomery GI Bill.  A program like this would have to be universally recognized as a suitable way of earning a good portion of continually increasing post-secondary education costs.  This isn't conscription; three years good service will be expected and the GI Bill will be simply one of the options that a soldier has on completion of the BE - but if it is "sold" right at highschools, it should be one that will draw more people into the Forces.  Since Canada spends so much money on subsidization of education, I'm sure there would be no problem with getting the funds and essentially killing two birds with one stone (filling up the ranks of the Forces and offering alternative forms of education subsidization).

When you got a sizable chunk of people going into university, trade schools, and the public service with three years voluntary service and perhaps (more then likely) some operational experience, I honestly believe their will be a shift in perception.   I think the benefits of a shift like this would far outweigh any disadvantages conferred from having a good percentage of Privates being "short-timers" - from recent studies a something that is already a reality (ie: I'm in for three and then college for free - I just made that up too... 8)).
« Last Edit: November 01, 2004, 04:34:37 by Infanteer »
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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #35 on: November 01, 2004, 20:17:33 »
One of my favorite ideas for doing so is a much advertised, easy to use eduaction program akin to the Montgomery GI Bill.

I don't know if that was intentional, but it's good.

Acorn
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #36 on: November 01, 2004, 21:30:19 »
While I support the idea of a "GI bill", this will start to run into a problem outlined in a few other threads: the narrow training base we now have. An infusion of funds and fresh recruits would have a negative effect if it isn't backed by sufficient resources to train these people.

Case in point, the influx of recruits who were taken on a few years ago to halt the "death spiral" (effective strength dropping below the 48000 mark) ended up being stranded in a "holding battalion" in Borden. There were no courses, no instructors, no kit...and so many of them sat for almost the entire initial engagement. Think of what sort of impression they got of military virtues and values.

Since we have a minority government, there is a "left flanking" option available; convince the Opposition party to sponsor a private members bill supporting the writing of a new White Paper which recognizes the new security environment and ensures the proper resources are devoted to the job. With some careful planning, there should be enough votes to pass the bill. Stephen Harper, are you a guest on this board?
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Infanteer

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #37 on: November 02, 2004, 03:10:47 »
Quote
I don't know if that was intentional, but it's good.

Touche; 60-70 wpm (and failure to use the spell check) has its drawbacks.... :)

Quote
While I support the idea of a "GI bill", this will start to run into a problem outlined in a few other threads: the narrow training base we now have. An infusion of funds and fresh recruits would have a negative effect if it isn't backed by sufficient resources to train these people.

Agree; that's why I find the notion that we'll mobilize the reserves when we need them about as absurd as the Government saying "we'll get 5,000 more soldiers!" (Try getting 5,000 bodies through CFRC quickly....)  Any buildup of numbers needs to be gradual and needs to take into account increased infrastructure requirements - my idea is a long-term proposal to encourage a broader understanding of the professional military in Canadian society while at the same time meeting the requirements for more filled boots.  Obviously, to work, it needs short-term solutions (like the one you presented).
"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 E.R. Campbell

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #38 on: November 02, 2004, 10:43:16 »
Can we still talk about foreign policy?

I think we, Canadians, need to take a good, medium term look at the world around us as part of the process of reviewing, revising and enunciating our foreign policy.

The transitional era of one, lonely hyper-puissance will come to an end ... we will return to a bipolar world in which superpower status will be shared by America and China.   It will take China several decades to grow into a full fledged global superpower with global military, economic, political and even social powers, but it is, now, a major power - and not just a regional power.

The two superpowers will be 'attended' by other major powers: the European Union might overcome some difficult demographic, economic, social and political problems and emerge as a cohesive global power; Japan and, especially, India will be major regional powers - sometimes with global reach in some areas.   Brazil, too, will, eventually, get its act together and will be an important 'power.'

What about Canada?

We must accommodate the reality that we will, likely, 'decline' from being - as we are now by almost every sensible measure - one of the world's top ten[/b] to being one of the top twenty ... probably 'behind' America, China, Britain, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan and, perhaps, Spain but still 'ahead' of Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, etc.

What shall we do?

The answer is simple and must be made clear by Canadians to politicians: we must pursue, promote and protect our interests; we must do so efficiently and effectively.

We can sum up (and grossly oversimplify) our interests in two words: Peace and Prosperity.   Neither is a as simple as one word might appear and we have known, since Roman times, that the two are interdependent.   Peace is more, much more than the absence of war and prosperity is only valuable when we can use it to improve the commonwealth of our families, communities, nations and communities of nations.

It may be easier to say what we need to avoid rather than to try to specify desired foreign policy outcomes.   What we want to avoid, above all, is a global war between an American led West and a Chinese led East.   We must use our 'good offices' to convince our American friends - and they are our friends, our best friends whether some Canadian s like it or not - and our Chinese trading partners that they can have a competitive, even antagonistic relationship without slipping through adversary and into enemy status.

The first requirement is that we actually have some 'good offices' to use for that worthy purpose.   These 'good offices' are earned and must be maintained through a combination of political actions, economic measures - including foreign aid and investment and defence 'muscle' - muscle which is used.   This should be the first of series of explicit requirements for defence capabilities which need to fall out of our foreign policy.

We must, also, strive to maintain close, non-adversarial contacts in the emerging bi-polar world.   We have several unique advantages which we must be willing and able to exploit:

"¢   First, and I repeat: we are America's closest friend and they are ours - all the breast beating by a substantial minority of Canadians will not change that and must not be allowed to tarnish the relationship;

"¢   Second: we have good, historically friendly ties with China.   We can and should disagree with China on various issues without prejudicing our overall 'friendly' relationship - the Chinese, like all major powers, including America, have neither use nor respect for lapdogs;

"¢   Third: we have good, historically, friendly ties with India and the European Union - two of the key 'second tier' players.   Further, we have good relations with two important subsets -

o   Globally: with the so called Anglosphere which consists of America, Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Singapore, and

o   Regionally: with the smaller Northern Europeans - Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

This is an impressive base from which to pursue, promote and protect our interests - but it is a base which needs a bit of shoring up ... especially regarding its military foundation.   We may wish to revise some alliances - like NATO - to emphasize our strengths and interests and pay more attention to smaller, more exclusive bodies like the Anglosphere where our voice is a bit louder - where we are a bit more 'equal' than in other, larger, fora.   We should consider that our Atlantic and Pacific interests are, at least, equal albeit secondary to our North American ones.   Our military resources should   be applied, in order, to:

"¢   Continental issues;

"¢   Atlantic, Caribbean and Pacific (including Indian Ocean) issues, equally; and

"¢   Other areas - including Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia

We should, explicitly, announce our willingness to join coalitions of the willing which, serve our interests and preferably, serve and include (but, at least, do not offend) our traditional partners, allies and friends.   We should pronounce ourselves willing to be a regional actor - able and prepared to help in, especially, the Caribbean and Central America and, to a lesser extent, throughout the Commonwealth and la fracophonie.   Such help will, of necessity, have a military component and our foreign policy must require that we have the defence capacity to give military weight to our foreign policy initiatives.

Canadians like Lloyd Axworthy's human security agenda: it seems reasonable that middle powers like Canada - and Australia, Ireland, Norway and Sweden should be able to intervene when people are being starved and slaughtered.   Canadians seem less able (or willing) to understand that such interventions require military muscle - expensive military muscle which we, as a nation, must be willing and able to use, in accordance with international law, when the situations requires.   Our foreign policy must remind us, and our elected leaders, that we have ambitions in the world and that policy must remind us that our ambitions come with a price tage.

Above all: we must be free and fair traders.   We must be proponents of globalization because it is abundantly clear that globalization works.   The evidence, the hard data, is clear: there are fewer, many, many fewer really poor people than there were 30 years ago ... most of humanity is measurable better off because of freer, fairer trade and globalization ... the WTO does more for suffering humanity than the United Nations.   We should argue, on the world stage, for global free trade, using a rules based system with a dispute resolution mechanism and we might even wish to argue that the WTO should, gradually, usurp the UN's roles in many areas - for example: some UN members agencies like the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Labour Organization and the International Telecommunications Union would be 'better' under the WTO's jurisdiction.

More to follow, later ...

 
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)
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #39 on: November 05, 2004, 11:51:44 »
You will find another, expert view at: http://www.cdhowe.org/pdf/benefactors_lecture_2004.pdf

This is Allan Gotlieb's very, very recent (3 Nov 04) address to the C.D. Howe institute.

Gotlieb and I disagree on several areas but, very broadly, if you want to doable, affordable, politically possible foreign policy then his views are better than mine.

Gotlieb does want more military spending - but not as much as most, many in the defence community believe is necessary.   Gotlieb suspects, almost certainly correctly, that, given the current state of affairs, Canadians will support some, small, steady increases in defence spending but the idea that we might jump to 2% of GDP in, say, five years is, in his mind, a pipe dream and will remain so unless or until one or more of our ships is sunk or one of units is savaged in operations.

It is a good read, I highly recommend it.
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)
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #40 on: November 06, 2004, 15:50:05 »
Good read ROJ.

If we are to be taken seriously by our peers as Gottlieb suggests and we want a realist foreign policy then we will have to invest more money.   Stipulated.

But perhaps we can still flatter ourselves by appealing to our "compassionate" "non-American" "do-gooder" nature by adopting different balance between Defence and Aid than the US adopts while still improving the Defence side of the house, not a difficult proposition

These two charts show what Canada would be spending on Defense and Aid if it spent like the listed countries. Data is take from CIA World Fact Book.

These are our peers.  

They do not aspire to superpower status but the do aspire to a more stable world.

To achieve that stability they are spending money and going out into the world.

You will note that everybody outspends us on their combined Defence and Development budget, including Luxembourg, and outspends us by a wide margin.

I don't happen to like Luxembourg's balance and it looks like they are still not pulling their weight despite the fact they may be the richest bunch of people on the planet.

Belgium isn't bad but the Netherlands is where we could and should be.   That's 1.6% of GDP on Defense and Pearson's 0.7% on Aid.

If we had that kind of budget then how about this for a plan.   Set up two permanent garrisons, smaller in scale but similar in concept to 4 CMBG in Germany.   One in Haiti and one in Afghanistan â “ assuming the locals want us.   They would contribute stability to the countries, be a source of foreign investment and jobs and be sally ports for Canadian operations in the regions.

We don't want to be like Americans.   We want to be different.   We want to act independently.

OK then, so prepare to act independently.   If we think we have a better way to stabilize regions then let us go to it and try.   I don't think the Americans will stop us.   They apparently like what we have done elsewhere.

The Americans do what they do because they want to sleep secure in their beds at night and want to be able to travel widely and make lots of money.   They need a peaceful, secure world.   They see threats coming from areas where the borders aren't secure and governments don't control their populations.   They might prefer democratic governments but order and security are more important than good government.

If we think that we can do a better job, if we think that we can supply security, peace, order AND good government then shouldn't we be doing it rather than just carping on at the Yanks about how they are doing it all wrong?

I am sure the Yanks would be ecstatic if they woke up one morning and Ottawa called to say that they could send their troops home from Afghanistan, that Canada will guarantee the stability of the country and it will be brought under the rule of law and a democratic government â “ with public health care for all.

By the way one of the borders they would like to see more secure would be our borders.  

We make them happy, they will keep the back door open.   We don't make them happy they are quite within their rights, and it is their responsibility to themselves and their kids, to close the door, lock it, and only invite in those people they know.   If we secure our borders and they come to trust our judgment on guaranteeing the character of the types of people we invite in then they will be more inclined to keep that door open.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2004, 15:55:00 by Kirkhill »
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #41 on: November 07, 2004, 09:27:00 »
I think we need to keep in mind that our foreign policy describes what we do about or to or, sometimes, even for the world around us, in pursuit of our own self interest.   A policy which does not, always, item-by-item, page-by-page and line-by-line keep our self interest as its highest priority is a failure.

We must understand what our self interest is: I have offered peace and prosperity as a shorthand description.   Allan Gotlieb says that, traditionally, our realist foreign policy "has three broad goals over time: control over territory and resources, national unity, and more secure economic access to foreign markets, in particular the United States ...â ?

I would argue that Gotlieb is enunciating a national policy which, I agree, exists and needs to be enunciated because it should 'drive' foreign, defence, economic and sundry domestic policies.

I believe that what Gotlieb describes as the romantic tendency in Canadian foreign policy has secured pride of place for two main reasons:

"¢   Pearson and, specially, Trudeau gave it intellectual respectability - mainly in the Trudeau/Head 1969 foreign policy white paper (a series of little booklets, actually, designed (with great care) to be 'easy' for grammar school children to understand and accept); and

"¢   Chrétien adopted and 'sold' it out of a combination of economic necessity and respect for Pink Lloyd Axworthy's hard left idealism.

The romantics are not interested in defence spending comparisons - "less is more,â ? they say; less defence spending means that more resources can be applied to the human security agenda - allocated to NGOs who, unlike the military, routinely and without fanfare, serve (and bravely and effectively, too, I hasten to add) where human security is most at risk.  

Realists should, also, be wary of spending charts and tables.   One of the main 'outputs' from a successful foreign policy ought to be the capability to reduce defence forces and defence expenditure because our policies - and our military muscle - should have created a safer, more peaceful and prosperous world - one in which we can trade our goods and services without the aid of frigates, battalions and bombers.

Both realists and romantics should[/b] be able to agree on a common strategic survey or overview.   Both 'wings' should be able to 'see' the world through a common, Canadian lens - they should, in other words, agree the factors which bear on our aims and interests and objectives even if they cannot agree on what those aims and objectives might be.   It stands to reason that, despite a common, Canadian world view, the deductions which the realists and romantics draw from their analysis of the commonly agreed factors will be quite different and the courses open and plan will be wildly divergent.

An acceptable Canadian foreign policy must, as Gotlieb suggests, be based upon a number if requirements.   He suggest that they are:

"¢    transcendent U.S. power is the dominant feature of the contemporary international order;

"¢   Canada's role as a middle power can never be regained;

"¢   Canadians
[must] liberate themselves from the belief that the UN is the sacred foundation of our foreign policy;

"¢   we must also abandon our fixation with international rule-making;

"¢   Utopianism, millenarianism and visionary crusades should have no place in Canadian foreign policy;

"¢   
[we must have a] willingness to commit significant resources to achieving Canada's goals; and, most important for Gotlieb

"¢   recognition that our destiny as a sovereign nation is inescapably tied to our geography.



I disagree with his second requirement (expanded on pps 32/33).   I do not think the concept of middle powers is passé ... I think, in fact, that a Western middle power based alliance may be vital to securing Canada's interests (and America's and Australia's and Britain's and ... too) in the re-emerging bipolar world.   The functionalism to which Gotlieb bids us return rests, firmly, on the idea of middle powers.   Our 'top ten' status does not obviate the fact that we are not a great power ... I said, elsewhere, that we are not in the major leagues we need to be a middle power with Triple A political, economic, foreign and military prowess.

With regard to the United Nations and rules based world government, I would go farther than Gotlieb.   I believe that Martin should pursue his G-20 idea - but with strict membership limits: members are invited to join because they are important or reasonably important and because they are responsible, respectable actors on the world stage.   There must be room in the G-20 for countries like Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Denmark, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Russia Singapore, South Korea and Thailand but not for the likes of Armenia, Burkina Faso, Chad or Djibouti and so on.   This should be a league of great, large, middle and even small powers and Canada should aim to lead the middle powers.

Canada should start, soon, to distance itself from the United Nations because it is highly unlikely that the institutional reforms which are essential can be made under the current Charter.   Canada should insist - and it will achieve much support - that many, many UN agencies - like the International Civil Aviation Organization, International Maritime Organization, International Telecommunications Union, and World Intellectual Property Rights Organization should be transferred to the World Trade Organization.   The WTO should be reinforced with a .security council' based on the OECD or, perhaps better, the G-20 which should be able to enforce the WTO's dispute settlements.   The WTO is a 'rules based' organization and Canadians can indulge their fixation with international rule-making through it, if it is reformed and rebuilt.

I believe we must have a realist foreign policy, rooted in a national policy, supported by economic and defence policies which promotes and protects our vital interests around the world; I also believe this realist policy must be well camouflaged in romantic words.




« Last Edit: November 07, 2004, 09:29:46 by Rusty Old Joint »
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)
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #42 on: November 07, 2004, 10:50:41 »
I would like to address Gotlieb's two most important requirements for a return to a principled, realist foreign policy for Canada:

"¢   transcendent U.S. power is the dominant feature of the contemporary international order; and

"¢   recognition that our destiny as a sovereign nation is inescapably tied to our geography.

The question which our foreign policy must answer is: how to we exploit these two factors to protect and promote our vital interests?

How, in other words, do we help to focus the US' use of its own transcendent power so that it, preferably, supports our interests or, at least, does them no serious harm?   How do we ensure that the US' use of its power does not sideswipe us and our interests?   How do we exploit our geographic proximity to the US?

The latter is easier than the former.   We must, without fail, do a full and fair share in continental defence - including the defence of the US strategic forces.   This is more than NORAD - this involves more than just the defence department.   All of our 'security' services - including, especially, customs and immigration - must be on side[/i] with the Americans; the operative word for all of our security services in continental.

Our merchants - large and small - are, already, exploiting our geographic advantage by broadening and deepening the integration of North America.   This is not a matter of government policy - no one cares what Canadians, broadly, or Canadian political 'leaders' think; this is business and it has been going on - in earnest - for a century and will continue to go on.   It is not a policy, it is a fact; those who cannot see the fact cannot understand Canadian policy - not economic policy, not social policy, not environmental policy, not defence policy, not security policy and not foreign policy; all Canadian policies are tied, inescapably, to our geography.   (Parenthetically: Even our national unity is tied to geography - French speaking Canadians are an insignificant, minor league minority in North America; Spanish is North America's second language - black and brown are its second skin colours.)

There are a few answers:

First and foremost we are, we must remain and we must work at always being America's best friend and most trusted ally.   That does not mean we are or should ever be America's toady - we can, we do, we will disagree with our friends - we must do so as good, best friends do: respectfully.   The Anti-Americanism which, as Gotlieb notes, the Chrétien government made part and parcel of our policy base was an error which must be eradicated - quickly and thoroughly.   For a start, Prime Minister Martin must - as a matter of important national policy - expel Carolyn Parrish from the Liberal caucus and he must firmly and forcefully disavow her views and those of her followers.   This is politically difficult, especially in a minority government but there are many, many things which are far, far more important than the future of Paul Martin and his government - proper, useful, advantageous relations with the US is one of them.

Second, we must cooperate, effectively, in securing our shared continent - sealing the borders and access points to the outside world so that we can unseal our internal borders.

Third, we must work to strengthen the so called Anglosphere - that group of traditional allies and democracies consisting of: America, Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Singapore.   The Anglosphere allows us to deal with our neighbour and friend with the support of others - multilateralism has a long and honourable history in Canadian foreign policy because it works.   It has, since 1945, worked especially well with the United States - President Bush may say that he is content to act unilaterally but his government wants (and probably needs) allies and partners and friends.   We can, and should, exploit our existing bonds with our traditional allies, including the United States, to pursue our own vital interests.

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)
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #43 on: November 07, 2004, 17:15:20 »
Gottlieb promotes â Å“Realismâ ? vs â Å“Romanticismâ ?.

Which of these two Principles of War should we consign to the scrap-heap?

Selection and Maintenance of the Aim, or Maintenance of Morale?

While it seems that some of our defence bureaucrats, and I hope it is only the civilian side and not the uniformed side, are willing to neglect morale as an issue it doesn't seem from the comments on this board to be an issue that the uniformed members of the CF are unconcerned with.

Morale is implicity and explicitly a â Å“Romanticâ ? notion.  It is about how people feel about themselves and about how other people feel about them. It is reinforced by everything from Caubeens, Balmorals, and Busbys, CoveraBusbiesilts and trousers, to tanks and frigates.

Most of the details of uniform that are so cherished by the CF, especially in the Reserves, find their origins in the Napoleonic period.  This period is the transitional period of the Rationalists of the Enlightenment to the rise of the Romantics like Lord Byron, the Brontes and Sir Walter Scott, author of the novel Ivanhoe.  Sir Walter Scott actually has a direct connection to my beloved kilt because it was he that convinced King George IV, a great ladies man and lover of fancy dress balls, to wear a philabeg (small kilt) complete with ribbons, feathers and flash buttons on the occasion of his visit to Scotland in 1824.  That  cemented the modern image of what a Scotsman is supposed to look like.  The image endures because of romantic sentiment.  There is very little of practical rationality in a feather bonnet.  These romantic images, like the 3 white stripes on RN collars for Nelson's three great victories, these symbols are the things that bind units to themselves and to their pasts.

However morale is not bought only with flash and high sounding mottos.  It also has practical needs.  â Å“Let the deed shawâ ? or â Å“Show me the moneyâ ? are also critical factors in building morale.  Those in uniform need to feel that they are doing the right thing, that their leaders and their nation support them and trust them and that their actions will benefit others.  Jean Chretien disparagingly referred to the need to feel like â Å“Boy Scoutsâ ?.  As much as he himself found this laughable he wasn't wrong.  Every serving member on this board, past and present feels that his or her service is service in a good cause, even if it service that benefits him or her personally.

One way that they want the support of their nation to be demonstrated is in being supplied with, and trusted to use correctly, the tools that they feel are necessary to do the job.  There are many examples but I will just cite Tanks.  The Tanks debate is as much about Maintenance of Morale as it is about Selection and Maintenance of the Aim.  Soldiers feel they need Tanks to support them.  Without them they feel insecure in the field.  There may be some point in the future where Tanks are demonstrated to have no tactical value (in my mind that day has not yet come).  Until that day comes it behoves the Government, representing the nation, to give the troops the tools necessary not just to perform the tasks in the manner  they see fit, but also the tools necessary to demonstrate support, trust in judgment and to make them feel more secure.  There may come a day when the military voluntarily wishes to give up Tanks but that will only happen when one of two things occurs. When a rich country that has Tanks chooses not to use them and wins without casualties regardless, or a poor country without Tanks defeats a force with Tanks.  That day happened for horses and elephants, for longbows and pikes.

Morale is a critical factor in the maintenance of an effective military force.

Likewise it is a critical factor in the life of a Nation.

Hitler's Germans did not support him just out of a mindless hate of the rest of the World.  They were setting right the injustice of Versailles.  They were saving the Germans of the Alsace and the Saar, the Rhineland and the Sudetenland, of Prussia and Russia from the yoke of oppression.  They were, hideously and wrongly, saving the world from the economic tyranny of the Jews (and before anyone gets self righteous on me here remember Liberal Prime Minister William Lyon MacKenzie King turning away a cruise liner full of Jewish refugees with the comments in his administration â Å“None is too manyâ ?).    Hitler's Germans supported him in abominable acts for all the right reasons.  For the good of humanity and the German race and themselves individually.

The appeal was not an appeal to reason. It was an appeal to emotion. It was a romantic appeal.  Rational arguments were used to buttress that emotional appeal.  It was rationalized.

Pierre Elliot Trudeau successfully appealed to Canadian romanticism and still has a hold on a large chunk of Canadians today.  Pearson appealed more to rationalism and is accorded respect but does not move Canadians like Trudeau.

If we, the CF and its supporters, want to secure the necessary resources for the CF then we can not ignore the â Å“Romanticâ ? needs of the community at large.  We will not suddenly convert Canadians by appealing to jobs or dollars.  We must somehow figure out how achieve our ends while at the same time working within the â Å“Romanticâ ? self image of Canadians.

Like Ralph Klein says, the secret to success is to figure out which way the parade is going and get out in front of it.

We have to build capabilities that not only serve the legitimate war-fighting and security needs of both the CF and the Nation, even if the Nation doesn't share the perception, they also bolster, or at least conform to the National self-image of, in Chretien's derisory but accurate phrase,  â Å“Boy Scoutsâ ?.  Canadians see themselves as Boy Scouts, good kids with good morals helping deserving old ladies across the street.  Rightly or wrongly, realistically or romantically that is the way the see themselves. And until the Nation gets out more into the world and discover that not all old ladies want to cross the street and they certainly don't want any help, especially from nice Christian boys; until they discover that every decision results in making at least on side of the argument unhappy â “ if a compromise is achieved it is likely that both sides will feel aggrieved; until they discover that just as â Å“to govern is to decideâ ? to decide is to make enemies, they will continue to let their Romantic instincts rule over their Realistic appraisals.

We have to work with that situation, not work against it.  We have work through the seams and not try to attack strongpoints.

I had a similar discussion some years ago with a Danish woman on the occasion of Norway voting to join the EU.  She was arguing that the Norwegians would see the light and vote to join because rationally it was in their economic self-interest (markets etc).  I argued that Norway had just achieved its independence from Denmark in 1905 and the people that were voting were the children and grand-children, not to mention some of the self same people that had seen that day after 1000 years or more of dynastic struggles.  I felt that they would feel to attached to their independence, that the emotional ties were too strong, raw and relatively new, that they would vote their emotions over their pocket-books.  Hearts over Minds if you will.  Norway voted not to join.

Scotland has a parliament 300 years after the last one was dissolved and after many attempts to subdue the Scottish character.

In Quebec, they remember, â Å“Ils se souvientsâ ? 245 years after the loss on the Plains of Abraham in 1759 and the Acadians have not forgotten Evangeline.

We need a Rationalist foreign policy but we cannot devise an effective and long lasting one unless it carries the spirit of the Nation, unless it has a Romantic appeal.

In practical terms that means, and here I agree with ROJ and Gottlieb, an emphasis on Sovereignty, Control of the Approaches and Control of the Borders, because these things are seen as serving our self-interests and unfortunately can also be characterized as necessary to distinguish ourselves from the Americans.  On the plus side the Americans would be happy to accept a secure, democratic, independent  Canada on their border as long as it is non-threatening and not a haven for threats.

In terms of international engagement capabilities that allow us to act independently of the US, and occasionally ahead of the US, that allow us to act to bring stability to nations and regions before trouble flares up into a high intensity conflagration those are the types of capabilities we should seek.  The old British colonial maxim was better a battalion in time than a division too late.  If we were able to do act in this fashion, act to stabilize, we would be acting in the best interests of ourselves, the region in question, the international community at large and the interests of the US.

The US acts to reduce threats.  It seeks security and safety.  It desires "Peace, Order and Good Governance" so that its kids can sleep securely at night and so that commerce can proceed and bread can be put on the table. 

It is more concerned about security and order than good governance in foreign lands.  On the other hand it is not against democracy and good governance overseas.  If Canada thinks it can assist in supplying a secure environment while doing a better job at supplying "Good Governance" I am sure that the Americans will not object if we go ahead and try.
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

Offline sheikyerbouti

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #44 on: November 07, 2004, 18:25:55 »
 Just my 2 cents worth, but why  hasn't there been a greater emphasis on supporting the Cadets across Canada as a means of both educating and recruiting a new generation of men and women?

 Tens of thousands of kids have joined Cadets but how many  have continued their commitment to a higher degree. Not once in my years as a cadet did anyone from the corps come in and even explain when or if we could join. It seems that the simplest approach would be to rebuild confidence with the traditional groups that have supported the forces and then explore new ways of educating the public.




 

 

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #45 on: November 07, 2004, 18:38:34 »
Kirkhill's argument is valid if you accept that the romantic tendency in Canadian (and American) foreign policy is, somehow, morally superior to the realist tendency.   I do not.

As a broad generalization (and all broad generalizations are wrong, even this one) I find the romantics to be grounded in greed, envy and timidity â “ the base instincts of too much of our nation.

I believe, as I said, in response to Infanteer â “ up above, 18 Oct 04, â Å“that   our interest might be best served, perhaps can only be served when some of our ideological values are satisfied.   Are our interests 'served' if we, and perhaps a very few others, are the only liberal-democracies in the world?   My own observations would suggest that peace and prosperity (a pretty fair, albeit grossly oversimplified, abbreviated version of our national interest) is enhanced when more and more nations are also liberal democracies, more interested in commercial competition than in militaristic expansion.â ?     Those ideological values mean that while I agree 100% with Gotlieb that â ?Utopianism, millenarianism and visionary crusades should have no place in Canadian foreign policyâ ? we must insist that our basic values: individual liberty, democracy, the rule of law â “ Roosevelt's freedom from fear, or peace, order and good government if you like, should be what we try to export to others â “ that's what I mean when I insist that foreign policy is what we do about foreign countries â “ we try to make them more like us because we believe that countries like Canada and our traditional allies are, really, honestly, peaceful and peace loving and responsible.

We want one and all, friend and foe, to prosper through free trade because we understand that people who are busy improving their lot in life are, except in very, very rare circumstances, unlikely to want to wage aggressive wars, etc.

There is no doubt, for me, that our national policy ought to be grounded in our best moral values - and that should 'drive' our foreign policy.   I do not believe that it is morally acceptable to bleat about Axworthy's human security agenda and then blanche at the prospect of using force â “ not even necessarily Canadian force â “ to implement it.   At its base, however, that is what our Canadian foreign policy does, it does so because extensive and intensive polling tells politicians and senior bureaucrats that Canadians don't want to be moral, they just want to believe they are a moral superpower - without having to spend any money.   Perhaps the first goal of our foreign policy ought to be the reform of our national public education system â “ maybe we should understand 'values.'

I agree with Kirkhill that Trudeau appealed to our romantic nature but he did so with a policy which made no sense, not little sense - none at all, and which, in its implementation, did far more harm to Canada than it did good for anyone.   Trudeau had charisma but no appreciable brains.

« Last Edit: November 07, 2004, 19:30:49 by Rusty Old Joint »
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)
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #46 on: November 07, 2004, 19:36:53 »
I don't take a position that Romanticism is morally superior to Realism, Rusty Old Joint. 

I am referring to what motivates people.  Hitler's Germans were certainly not morally superior to their enemies although they were motivated by romantic notions of doing good.  I don't think that many members on this forum would be motivated to kill for the sake of oil, although oil is critical to the success of ourselves, our allies and our neighbours.  They will do it if ordered but not with the degree of enthusiasm they would have if they were doing to defend their families or to liberate others.

I agree that our policy needs to be a policy that addresses our real needs. In that sense it needs to be a rational policy.  We need to be able to secure our oil, our diamonds, our gold, and silver, our farmlands and ranchlands, our trade routes and our fishing grounds.  But does that sell as well as protecting our families and our home and native land.  One sounds greedy and materialistic.  The other sounds patriotic and worthy of sacrifice.

However, rationally, it also needs to be a policy that is accepted by the Canadian public.  It needs to appeal to their sense of what is important. What is important to them, as well as jobs and trade, as well as security, is the need to feel good about themselves, that their values are not being compromised.

Politicians can't just sell steak.  They have to have sizzle that they can sell as well.  And the CF is reliant on the politicians to sell it and its needs to the Canadian public. 

As to the observations on greed, envy and timidity, that may be the motives that drive some part of the electorate, but you are not going to win much support by telling people that they are a bunch of mean, nasty, vindictive cowards and that they need to become morally upright and develop a spine like us.    In any event the rational man would run away from a fight on the grounds that he is more likely to survive to raise kids and prosper that way.  Not the action of a hero.

I agree with the rest of your comments that romantic visions of utopia can't be allowed to prevent us from acting, Axworthy is a twit and Trudeau did make no sense on foreign policy.  Trudeau  however did motivate people, a whole generation, and unfortunately they haven't all retired yet.  Worse perhaps they have had 30 years to educate our children.  We can't redirect the population's world view over night.  We have to work within the context of the situation on the ground.  And the situation on the ground is that for good or ill many Canadians believe in their bones that Axworthy and Trudeau are right.  As well many of the people most convinced of the correctness of this position are the most activist inclined and most inclined to become politicians, teachers, journalists, United Church ministers and Green Peace members.  We won't win many battles trying to tell these people that they are wrong.  And we can't get through their barrier to communicate to the population at large because they control the message.  What we have to aim to achieve is convincing people that the judicious use of force is compatible with their self-image and part of being a responsible liberal democracy.  No different in fact from accepting that police can act to prevent or stop crime domestically and enlightened parents can act to prevent or stop their children from acting in dangerous or vile fashions at home.

I am simply saying that while the rational objective of selecting and maintaining the aim is paramount to mission success, the mission likewise will not succeed unless morale is maintained by appealing to the non-rational, romantic impulses of the community.

And just to repeat, I am fully in agreement that it is cowardly and unhelpful to both national interest and international interests to fail to act, especially if it is out of fear of the consequences.


Cheers,  :) :salute:
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #47 on: November 07, 2004, 22:15:55 »
Here is another case where education is really needed before we can progress as a military or as a nation.

The centre of most Canadians universe seems to be their navels. Unlike us (who have at least seen some of the seamy underside of the planet), most Canadians who I know well enough to comment on are rather oblivious to the world that surrounds them. Think about the sort of mentality which seems to thrive on the idea that our national identity is defined by healthcare. (I suppose exploring and settling a large and climacticly hostile continent really has nothing to do with how we live and work today. Let's not even get into our historical interactions with other peoples). Even a declarative statement like "80% of Canada's trade is with the United States" seems really meaningless to these people. They feel quite free to make judgmental or rude or ignorant remarks about Americans without stopping to think these are people with their own goals and agendas.

We as a notion also forget the nations that make up the United Nations also have goals and agendas of their own, most of which do not coincide with our own.

Most of the posts on this thread have identified or quoted policy experts who have made a case for certain ideas or agendas to drive our foreign policy and thus our military. We need to find every means possible to hammer this home to our fellow Canadians, otherwise we will wither and die on the vine due to lack of support and coherent policy.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #48 on: November 07, 2004, 23:25:41 »
a_majoor:

It sounds like you are describing a notional nation that can be easily swayed but is lacking leadership. 

Any leaders on the horizon?
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Defining Foreign and Defence Policy (and hence our Military Force)
« Reply #49 on: November 08, 2004, 09:41:26 »
In my more P/O'd moments, I start raving about running for Mayor here in London...(not rich enough to aim higher)
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.