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kEiThZ

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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.

During my time on exchange, one of the few Canadian capabilities that Americans genuinely had respect for was Radarasat. Something they've not been able to replicate on the civil side and probably have spent a ton replicating on the military side. The Constellation is absolutely a huge leap. But like so many things, government support has been rather anemic. It's a real question whether we maintain our lead.

Maybe we should also consider dual-use for Telesat's Lightspeed as well?

Absolutely. One of stories of this war that never got enough coverage was the impact of Starlink. Musk literally saved Ukraine's military communications overnight by shipping Starlink transceivers to Ukraine. The Russians attempted all kinds of cyberattacks and electronic warfare and failed. It's the first time we've seen a private space entity have such a decisive impact on the course of the war. Lightspeed could have equal geostrategic relevance.


Between all these and just our vast geography, Canada could actually be a major space power if it chose to be. But....space can't really be separated these days from cyber and missile defence. So if we want to play the game, it's going to take more than buying a few satellites.
 

kEiThZ

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I have nothing against Poland; its simply a discussion of geo-political power projection over time.

Worth noting though, the near term projection by 2030 is a fall of 3M or 10% of population.

That's the equivalent of the US losing 34M in 8 years.

All those projections are pre-war. Let's see them redone after the current war with all the refugees and the coming influx of economic growth.

Also, the assumption of 100M by 2100 is based on absolute immigration rates Canada has never sustained in its history, being maintained for the better part of a century. I don't know how anybody can assume that the political consensus to pull that off is a given. Heck, we can't build enough housing and infrastructure for the immigration we get now.

At some point when Canada surpasses all the European countries in population and GDP we need to start acting like a real country instead of a coattail rider.

Implicit in these assumptions is that population growth provides clout. That's not true at all. Mexico is about 3x our population. How much global clout do they have? Germany is about double our size. I wouldn't say they have double our influence.

The middle power class is really about developed non-nuclear weapon states. Since nukes aren't on the table, really it's about how a combination of conventional military power, diplomacy, economic power and development aid is used. The DIME model of national power. And we do struggle with this. For example, Europe was looking at us to save them from the energy crisis. Best we could do was some hydrogen developments in 2025. Had we shown up with enough LNG to displace a chunk of Russian gas, we'd be seen as saviours of Europe. Instead, we're on the receiving end of pleading from NATO to not cede the Arctic to the Russians.
 
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kEiThZ

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Canada does still culturally have 'small country' thinking. Despite being top ten-ish in GDP.

A result of defining our self image largely through the lens of how we're different and better than the Americans. It's why we brag endlessly about not being like those warmongering Americans while functionally being an American protectorate.

If we had to actually get our hands dirty trying to secure our own national interests, instead of asking daddy to do it, we'd quickly find out the rest of the world doesn't actually care about our do-gooder self-image.

There's a reason why China took Canadians hostage. And not British, Americans, French, Japanese, Korean or even German nationals. In the real world, countries know who they can pick on. And we're lower on the pecking order than most Canadians think. And we'd be lower still if Uncle Sam didn't think it was in his interest to help us avoid getting picked on.

Personally, I don't expect any of this to change, even if our population grows. It's cultural. If it's hard to imagine us fielding a military, intelligence services and diplomatic corps on par with Australia, the idea that we'll be up there with European powers is pretty laughable.
 

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During my time on exchange, one of the few Canadian capabilities that Americans genuinely had respect for was Radarasat. Something they've not been able to replicate on the civil side and probably have spent a ton replicating on the military side. The Constellation is absolutely a huge leap. But like so many things, government support has been rather anemic. It's a real question whether we maintain our lead.

Absolutely. One of stories of this war that never got enough coverage was the impact of Starlink. Musk literally saved Ukraine's military communications overnight by shipping Starlink transceivers to Ukraine. The Russians attempted all kinds of cyberattacks and electronic warfare and failed. It's the first time we've seen a private space entity have such a decisive impact on the course of the war. Lightspeed could have equal geostrategic relevance.


Between all these and just our vast geography, Canada could actually be a major space power if it chose to be. But....space can't really be separated these days from cyber and missile defence. So if we want to play the game, it's going to take more than buying a few satellites.

Cyber we already have, and have to potential beef up more given our output; missiles I don't see happening unless it's piggybacked on the US, and it's always a sensitive area. Though I think geopolitical considerations probably have shifted things a bit.

AoD
 

kEiThZ

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Cyber we already have, and have to potential beef up more given our output

We do okay. Protecting a space complex would take more. Cyberattacks are basically the go to vector to take down space assets these days.

missiles I don't see happening unless it's piggybacked on the US, and it's always a sensitive area. Though I think geopolitical considerations probably have shifted things a bit.

We've now had two, maybe three Prime Minsters refuse to extend NORAD to include BMD, which is really all the Americans wanted from us.

But on an operational level, we have zero air defence in the CAF since the ADATS was retired. There's a project underway to field low level defences. But this was mostly based on Afghanistan requirements of low volumes of rockets, mortars and artillery fired by insurgents. It's already being superceded by technology (the rise of lasers for CRAM defence). And we have nothing in the pipeline to protect from the kind of ballistic and cruise missiles seen in Ukraine. We need to get back to thinking about air defence in all its layers. Sadly, like many things, not sure where the appetite is for these things in Canada.

To be fair, a lot of NATO cut air defences after 9/11. It was thought that air defences weren't needed for counterinsurgency and counterterrorism. I don't know anybody else that went as far as Canada though in pretty much ditching the capability entirely.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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We've now had two, maybe three Prime Minsters refuse to extend NORAD to include BMD, which is really all the Americans wanted from us.

But on an operational level, we have zero air defence in the CAF since the ADATS was retired. There's a project underway to field low level defences. But this was mostly based on Afghanistan requirements of low volumes of rockets, mortars and artillery fired by insurgents. It's already being superceded by technology (the rise of lasers for CRAM defence). And we have nothing in the pipeline to protect from the kind of ballistic and cruise missiles seen in Ukraine. We need to get back to thinking about air defence in all its layers. Sadly, like many things, not sure where the appetite is for these things in Canada.

To be fair, a lot of NATO cut air defences after 9/11. It was thought that air defences weren't needed for counterinsurgency and counterterrorism. I don't know anybody else that went as far as Canada though in pretty much ditching the capability entirely.

Honestly though at this point what is the basis of our opposition? That it will somehow tarnish our non-proliferation reputation? Does anyone still give a sh*t about that anymore? It is patently clear that the cyber and space domain will be essential in future conflicts.

AoD
 

lenaitch

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Honestly though at this point what is the basis of our opposition? That it will somehow tarnish our non-proliferation reputation? Does anyone still give a sh*t about that anymore? It is patently clear that the cyber and space domain will be essential in future conflicts.

AoD
In terms of the Canadian public, I don't see it so much 'opposition' as 'ambivalence'. Matters of national security and the military simply aren't on the mind of Canadians and, therefore, by extension, our politicians. No politician is going to expend political capital on something their strategic analysis (with a horizon no further than the next election) determines will result in no 'votes' for them.

Our government can give us free dental - the Americans can give us security. Win-win. 😄
 
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kEiThZ

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One thing I've sort of been surprised by is that we don't make a play for more energy intensive industry from Europe. I wonder if it's because the government has decided that climate targets Über Alles? But I'd much rather that steel be made in Canada than China. And the Europeans are going to lose those industries either way.
 

afransen

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There is already a lot of industry reshoring to NA. China specializes in the dirtiest party of steel-making, which is producing pig iron. That often gets exported to mills in NA and Europe to make high quality steel. I'm not eager for us to rebuild Stelco to its former glory. There's bound to be a fair amount of evolution in steelmaking as it transitions to decarbonized processes. I'd hate for us to subsidize the last fossil fuel powered steel smelters that get built.
 

lenaitch

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There is already a lot of industry reshoring to NA. China specializes in the dirtiest party of steel-making, which is producing pig iron. That often gets exported to mills in NA and Europe to make high quality steel. I'm not eager for us to rebuild Stelco to its former glory. There's bound to be a fair amount of evolution in steelmaking as it transitions to decarbonized processes. I'd hate for us to subsidize the last fossil fuel powered steel smelters that get built.
That will be an interesting evolution since carbon is literally part of the recipe. It strikes me as making little sense to mine iron here to ship it thousands of kilometers only to ship it back. Are we doing the world any favours when we simply relegate so-called 'dirty' things we consume to other countries? Why shouldn't we make the rails for all the transit everybody wants built?
 

Northern Light

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There is already a lot of industry reshoring to NA. China specializes in the dirtiest party of steel-making, which is producing pig iron. That often gets exported to mills in NA and Europe to make high quality steel. I'm not eager for us to rebuild Stelco to its former glory. There's bound to be a fair amount of evolution in steelmaking as it transitions to decarbonized processes. I'd hate for us to subsidize the last fossil fuel powered steel smelters that get built.

What about this:

 

kEiThZ

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There is already a lot of industry reshoring to NA. China specializes in the dirtiest party of steel-making, which is producing pig iron. That often gets exported to mills in NA and Europe to make high quality steel. I'm not eager for us to rebuild Stelco to its former glory. There's bound to be a fair amount of evolution in steelmaking as it transitions to decarbonized processes. I'd hate for us to subsidize the last fossil fuel powered steel smelters that get built.

They iron has be made somewhere. I'd rather it'd be made in Canada in electric blast furnaces powered by hydro and nuclear and some natural gas than in China with coal entirely. But it's an interesting conundrum. In our zeal to avoid emissions growth locally, we're basically encouraging energy intensive industries to move to jurisdictions with substantially lower controls.

Also, the industry moving from Europe isn't pig iron. It's steel needed to supply their other industries. Particularly auto, machinery and aerospace. It's high end glass manufacturing. Etc. I would like to see this industries move to Canada.



The Europeans (particularly the Germans) made an unholy deal for Russian energy paid for with Ukrainian blood despite being warned. I don't see why they should be protected from consequences.

And it's particularly ridiculous that we will see natural gas prices rise in North America (particularly in Canada) to bail them out. This is the part not a lot of people are talking about. We have ridiculously low natural gas prices in North America (and particularly Canada). Because a lot of it can't be exported. The more LNG terminals that are built, the more local natural gas prices will close the gap with final global prices.

The government had three options here:

1) Try to ship Europe more energy to help them out. This will see us pay in the long run as the price gap closes.

2) Make a play for energy intensive European heavy industry to move to Canada and enjoy cheaper energy.

3) Tokenism.

They sort of chose #3 with a vague pledge of hydrogen half a decade from now. A shark would have chosen #2 and told them to send the CEOs of steel companies instead of politicians. Personally I see no obligation to help the Europeans beyond keeping their homes warm and their citizens fed. Saving their industry from the terrible choices they made, isn't for us.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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They iron has be made somewhere. I'd rather it'd be made in Canada in electric blast furnaces powered by hydro and nuclear and some natural gas than in China with coal entirely. But it's an interesting conundrum. In our zeal to avoid emissions growth locally, we're basically encouraging energy intensive industries to move to jurisdictions with substantially lower controls.

Also, the industry moving from Europe isn't pig iron. It's steel needed to supply their other industries. Particularly auto, machinery and aerospace. It's high end glass manufacturing. Etc. I would like to see this industries move to Canada.



The Europeans (particularly the Germans) made an unholy deal for Russian energy paid for with Ukrainian blood despite being warned. I don't see why they should be protected from consequences.

And it's particularly ridiculous that we will see natural gas prices rise in North America (particularly in Canada) to bail them out. This is the part not a lot of people are talking about. We have ridiculously low natural gas prices in North America (and particularly Canada). Because a lot of it can't be exported. The more LNG terminals that are built, the more local natural gas prices will close the gap with final global prices.

The government had three options here:

1) Try to ship Europe more energy to help them out. This will see us pay in the long run as the price gap closes.

2) Make a play for energy intensive European heavy industry to move to Canada and enjoy cheaper energy.

3) Tokenism.

They sort of chose #3 with a vague pledge of hydrogen half a decade from now. A shark would have chosen #2 and told them to send the CEOs of steel companies instead of politicians. Personally I see no obligation to help the Europeans beyond keeping their homes warm and their citizens fed. Saving their industry from the terrible choices they made, isn't for us.

Except not bailing them out have consequences as well - their economic decline is a recipe for the simmering far right (AfD, etc) and that has unfortunate geopolitical implications as well. I have no issues of making them pay for LNG on a cost-plus basis.

AoD
 

kEiThZ

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The problem here is that the more LNG export capacity we build the more we will have to pay for gas at home. The Canadian consumer is substantially subsidized by our lack of export capacity. Our gas prices are literally a third of what it is in Europe. Build enough LNG export terminals and our gas bills will double or triple.
So effectively exporting LNG to Europe results in us paying a lot more to bail out Europe for decades of bad choices (Germany's policy goes all the way can to the Cold War and Ostpolitik). I think it's sort of colonialist to relegate Canada to providing natural resources to Europe because of fear of social disruption there.

Also, it's far easier to ship rolls of sheet metal to Europe than it is to ship LNG. There's a lot of Canada that could reindustrialize and our economy could move up the value chain.

In the long run if Ukraine joins the EU, the Europeans will finally have energy security and lose their dependence on Russia. So there's not much point in building lots of export capacity to possibly see it underutilized. But we do have an energy advantage that will remain for a long time. And we should exploit it.
 

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