Canada First defence strategy

Discussion in 'Canada' started by whitecity, Jan 29, 2006.

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  1. With our increased involvement in Afghanistan within a joint UK/Canada force structure, I thought I'd gen up a little on what direction Canadian forces are likely to be going in the coming years. Leading up to the recent elections, the PM designate, Stephen Harper gave an introduction as to where CAF are likely to be heading under his stewardship.

    The 'Canada First' defence strategy is designed to "enhance Canadian sovereignty by acquiring strategic lift aircraft, creating a new airborne battalion, and doubling the size of Canada’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART)." Harper also goes on to describe enhancements to border security and force projection into the Arctic region.

    What I find interesting, is that this policy is specifically designed to enhance Canada's independance; it becomes less reliant on others to determine when, where and how it operates. The first measure is to aquire new strategic and tactical airlift, and to form a rapid response battalion. In effect, it is striving for deployability for 'expeditionary' forces, just as HMG pronounces. However, where HMG clearly sees their drive for expeditionary forces within the framework of a larger (ie US lead) structure, the Canadians are making the argument for greater independance/sovereignty.


    The full implications for the 'Canada First' strategy have yet to be announced, but initial ideas can be obtained from media reports of Conservative Party briefings and from the Conservative Party website itself. Here's a good starting point: and I also suggest watching the video which is linked here:
  2. I think there's a subtext here that Dogface has missed.

    With regard to force projection in the Arctic region, one of the main parties with whom they have been arguing with is the US. As RC Signals has mentioned on another thread, the CF have long been looking to get hold of a couple of new icebreakers to patrol disputed EEZs.

    Secondly, despite some protects from members of the CF on this site about their numerous deployments to seemingly here there and everywhere on various missions, it is entirely in Canada's national interest to take such an active role in PSOs etc. It has allowed Canada an ample stock of international goodwill and respect and it allows Canada to punch well above her weight from a diplomatic perspective. It is ridiculous from a practical perspective that the CF should attempt to be all things to all people, but the judicious focus of its power and expertise can yield positive results beyond what would otherwise expect from the level of resources committed. Developing strategic airlift and airmobile units, along with DART, would conceivably allow the CF to undertake an even greater role. The near total absence of any of the threats to Canada that Dogface mentions suggests to me that this could well be what Harper has in mind.

    If this is the case, I wish all the CF well. Despite other protests about the CF becomeing less "warry", the CF is seen by others across the world as being second to none in the conduct of PSOs, and if the Iraqi clusterfcuk has taught us anything, it's that overunning a country can frequently be the easy part of a war. One could argue that the path led by the CF is even more important than the warfighting role- where being respected is a lot more valuable than being feared. I just hope that Harper will make good on his promise to give the CF the tools and the manpower to do the job properly instead of trying to do things on the cheap. I won't hold my breath for it though...
  3. I did not allude to any subtext in your post, but rather the ideas put forth by the new Canadian Govt. It's hard to find a subtext in analyses that are about an inch deep.

    I'm sorry, can you explain those ideas to me as you understand them? I'm not really familiar with the terms. While you're at it, can you also explain how such philosophical concepts can be articulated and formulated as a coherent policy framework that also includes Canadas various international obligations, commitments and priorities?

    Many thanks in advance for your insights.
  4. Good thing the canadians are sorting out lift capability, they don't have much militarily in between C130 and Iroquois (huey-bell212) than twin otters and most of those have skis fitted!

    The arctic region security and force projection comments are interesting. with no ICBMs or red hordes likely to pour over the pole to iqualauit, is this an effort to protect as yet untapped/assayed oil reserves?
  5. I'm not getting into this with you here. Check PMs.
  6. Fellows...leave our Canadian cousins to defrost themselves.
    (over electric chicom woks and Je me souviens fondue microwaves)

  7. Weaherman:

    Har De Har Har and way to go in dragging this off topic...

    When the multi-nationals start shoving ships through the Nor'west passage to shave a few quid off their bottom line Canada will be the one having to put up the traffic lights, pull the dumbasses off the ice flows, hoover up the oil spills and put the bandages on the frozen toes.. If we've got to carry the cost [ likle Bush and his ilk would ever pay a bill for ' services rendered '] then we should be the ones calling the shots. If it means sticking a few more Inuit on patrol and floating some more boats, then we will.. Getting the rest of the boys to accept it is the tough part.
  8. You are the typically blind anti-American Canadian.

    The US has paid billed for services rendered in the past, and there is no doubt they would again.

    But really, Weatherman does have a point in his own way.