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lenaitch

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Similar to discussions of anomalies with places like Pt. Roberts, Northwest Angle, nobody is going to cede anything. For whatever it's worth, St. P & M are an EU foot in the North American playground. It might look small but their EEZ is still about 12,000 sq km; not bad for 6000 people. A recognized presence has many different meanings these days than it did in the Age of Exploration. Maybe there's gas or oil down there.

I wasn't aware that the so-called Turbot War involved France; I thought it primarily involved Spain and Portugal, but it might have been tied in since it all happened in the early 1990s.
 

kEiThZ

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Poland is increasing its defence budget to nearly 5% of GDP:


Meanwhile, the NATO Chief has to come to Canada to tell us to defend our own Arctic:


Coming after we've been left out of AUKUS, I think it's becoming apparent that everybody else is starting to notice how much we're slacking, despite talk of how much we plan to do years and years from now. If this persists, we will be firmly labelled as a third tier American dependency by the end of the decade. Something like say Belgium. That's okay if this is what Canadians truly want. But I hope we're going to this aware of how the rest of the world actually perceives us.
 

kEiThZ

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I will add that even on situations like Ukraine, we seem to talk a lot and not do nearly as much. We haven't banned visit visas for Russians. Our aid is still rather middle of the road. And we've basically decided not to help Europe at all with natural gas needs any time soon.

Think of all the goodwill and plaudits in the Low Countries from Canadian sacrifices in World War II. Going forward, as Eastern Europe grows in importance, we won't enjoy that reputation in those parts. The US and UK will.
 

lenaitch

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Poland is increasing its defence budget to nearly 5% of GDP:


Meanwhile, the NATO Chief has to come to Canada to tell us to defend our own Arctic:


Coming after we've been left out of AUKUS, I think it's becoming apparent that everybody else is starting to notice how much we're slacking, despite talk of how much we plan to do years and years from now. If this persists, we will be firmly labelled as a third tier American dependency by the end of the decade. Something like say Belgium. That's okay if this is what Canadians truly want. But I hope we're going to this aware of how the rest of the world actually perceives us.
And how other nations operate in our air and sea space if they feel it is in their national security interests, knowing that we can do little about it except write a nasty diplomatic note.
 

kEiThZ

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And how other nations operate in our air and sea space if they feel it is in their national security interests, knowing that we can do little about it except write a nasty diplomatic note.

Absolutely. But the remarkable thing here is that he has to beg for us to do something that is in our own self interest.

Meanwhile, Poland is about to have a defence budget that is 40% larger than us. Australia is 50% larger. There is a clear hierarchy emerging and we're dropping. AUKUS first, supplanting Five Eyes in many ways. And then the emerging relationship between the UK and US with Eastern Europe particularly Poland and the Baltics. And equivalently the Quad in the Pacific. And Canada really doesn't have a place in any of this.

To some extent, I think the Trudeau government does understand this. They gamed out increasing the defence budget to 2%. They decided they could make other contributions. But even that is proving tough. An example of that conflict is the choice between providing more LNG to relieve the insane energy prices in Europe and our own efforts at reining in Oil and Gas sector emissions. So now even our alternative contributions are sort of losing credibility.
 
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Northern Light

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From Paul Wells newsletter, we learn that there is a serious discussion around Chrystia Freeland of her being the next NATO Secretary General.

 

Jonny5

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Poland is increasing its defence budget to nearly 5% of GDP:


Meanwhile, the NATO Chief has to come to Canada to tell us to defend our own Arctic:


Coming after we've been left out of AUKUS, I think it's becoming apparent that everybody else is starting to notice how much we're slacking, despite talk of how much we plan to do years and years from now. If this persists, we will be firmly labelled as a third tier American dependency by the end of the decade. Something like say Belgium. That's okay if this is what Canadians truly want. But I hope we're going to this aware of how the rest of the world actually perceives us.

I mean it's great to have a goal to increase your annual defence spending, but Canada's GDP is 1.643 trillion USD (2020). So a 1% increase in defence spending would be 16.4 billion US dollars per year.
OK, so.. GO! You have 16.4 billion dollars to spend in the next twelve months. What are you buying? How are you procuring it? How is it arriving in that time frame? Better hurry and answer those questions as in another 12 months after that you will have to spend another 16.4 billion US dollars, and if you don't spend all of it each year, every year, forever, you are breaking your commitments and are an internationally embarrasing military loser because of some arbitrary and lazy benchmark.

Want to match Poland? You'll need to come up with a list of 48 billion US dollars per year to spend, this year and every year, forever indexed to GDP growth, of course! Maybe this is how and why the Pentagon spends $10,000 for a screw.

Also, who will be operating all the stuff you buy? This is a problem Germany has run into. You can buy hundreds of tanks, ships, helicopters, and fighter jets, but when you have almost no one volunteering for the military... who will operate those things, and where do you find the tens of thousands of people you need for continuous and basic maintenance.
 
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afransen

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Ramping up procurement takes time. But we aren't even signaling a desire to increase procurement over time to anything approaching the 2% commitment.
 

Northern Light

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Ramping up procurement takes time. But we aren't even signaling a desire to increase procurement over time to anything approaching the 2% commitment.

I'm not opposed to spending more on defense; though I do think there are other priorities to be weighed as well.........

But I must say, I really don't like the 2% target idea.

Its rather bizarre.

I can't think of any other national priority where we assess how much % of our annual capability we would like to spend, rather than asking what we would like to achieve.

The target, for a sum that typically grows slightly faster than inflation (and requiring a large increase to get there) seems more like a sop to the military industrial complex than a logical military or security strategy.

We ought to first decide what capabilities we need and prioritize funding those.

Then write up the 'wish' list and weigh that against competing priorities.

If there's a compelling argument for 1.6% of GDP based on that exercise, great; and if its 2.4% of GDP that's fine too (if pricey).

But we don't start by deciding how much we want to spend on a hospital; we start by asking what procedures we want the hospital to be capable of performing, and at what level of capacity; we
then assess the cost and deliver as much of what is needed/desired as we can, based on fiscal realities.
 

afransen

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I also think we don't have a coherent plan to plug glaring capability gaps.
 

kEiThZ

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Want to match Poland?

Note. Nowhere have I suggested we match Poland. They have a rather unique situation that justifies that level of spending: revanchist Russia next door. Even the 2% NATO target is all but impossible at this point. We are so depleted in bench strength, that we have no ability to even absorb that kind of spending.

My broad argument is:
-slow increase in defence spending to 1.8% over the rest of the decade.
-substantial consolidation in defence infrastructure with reduction in the number of remote rural main operating bases.
-More urban bases that allow for more effective use of reserves and improves disaster response at home.
-Heavy focus on expeditionary capabilities. No more large and heavy tanks. Make it a goal to drop off hundreds of troops with missiles anywhere in the world in 48 hrs.
-increase in developmental aid to the MDG target of 0.7% of GDP by 2025.
-Doubling of intelligence and diplomatic budgets by end of the decade.

Should be noted that the kind of spending I'm suggesting here would basically gets us a military, intelligence service and diplomatic corps on par with Australia. Nothing crazy. Having a larger economy than Australia means that we can spend the same dollars with a relatively lower level of spending. The goal is just enough to make us credible. The above would actually get us back to the sort of relevance we had in the 80s. Maybe we'd get consideration for AUKUS. Maybe. At least we wouldn't be sent to the kids table at NATO. And Americans would actually take NORAD more seriously as a partnership, instead of just giving us lip service.
 
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AlvinofDiaspar

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Note. Nowhere have I suggested we match Poland. They have a rather unique situation that justifies that level of spending: revanchist Russia next door. Even the 2% NATO target is all but impossible at this point. We are so depleted in bench strength, that we have no ability to even absorb that kind of spending.

My broad argument is:
-slow increase in defence spending to 1.8% over the rest of the decade.
-substantial consolidation in defence infrastructure with reduction in the number of remote rural main operating bases.
-More urban bases that allow for more effective use of reserves and improves disaster response at home.
-Heavy focus on expeditionary capabilities. No more large and heavy tanks. Make it a goal to drop off hundreds of troops with missiles anywhere in the world in 48 hrs.
-increase in developmental aid to the MDG target of 0.7% of GDP by 2025.
-Doubling of intelligence and diplomatic budgets by end of the decade.

Should be noted that the kind of spending I'm suggesting here would basically gets us a military, intelligence service and diplomatic corps on par with Australia. Nothing crazy. Having a larger economy than Australia means that we can spend the same dollars with a relatively lower level of spending. The goal is just enough to make us credible. The above would actually get us back to the sort of relevance we had in the 80s. Maybe we'd get consideration for AUKUS. Maybe. At least we wouldn't be sent to the kids table at NATO. And Americans would actually take NORAD more seriously as a partnership, instead of just giving us lip service.

I'd add to that satellite tech - we already have the know-how in SAR, we should aim to deploy a true constellation beyond the current Radarsat one. Maybe we should also consider dual-use for Telesat's Lightspeed as well? Especially since we are putting government money into that already. I also find it a little odd that we don't have anything in Molniya orbit, consider our geography.

AoD
 
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