War Aims: Doing the Right Thing

OK, kudos to the Liberals in Ottawa, someone is finally getting the right words into some mouthes … sometimes, according to an article in the Globe and Mail. Global Affairs* Minister Stéphane Dion is quite right to emphasize that we ought to be somewhat less concerned with Iraq and Syria, both of which are very likelyContinue reading “War Aims: Doing the Right Thing”

Do The Easy Stuff First, Minister Sajjan

In June of 2012 then Prime Minister Stephen  Harper sent a letter to the then Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay telling him that even more savings had to be found in the defence budget but, additionally, telling him where to make the cuts, specifically to some surplus property and to headquarters staff. Not evenContinue reading “Do The Easy Stuff First, Minister Sajjan”

Left out again.

Canada has been “left out” of yet another high-level meeting of the “grownups” in the anti-ISIL coalition according to a report in Defense News. The report says that US Secretary of Defense Ash “Carter will join defense ministers from Australia, Britain, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands at the three-hour conference” hosted, in Paris, by French DefenceContinue reading “Left out again.”

Securing our firm base

There is a pointed reminder, in this morning’s Globe and Mail, that our strategic firm base (to use an army tactical term) is, in this dangerous world, North America and Michael Kergin, former Canadian ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhan, former Mexican ambassador to the United States, and  Anthony Wayne, former U.S. ambassador to MexicoContinue reading “Securing our firm base”

More on grand strategy … and why we don’t have one

The winter of 1915/16 was “quiet” on the Western Front … a brief respite between Ypres (Spring and Summer of 1915) and Mont Sorrel (Spring of 1916). But a century after that “quiet” spell is a good time to look at how we got into the unholy mess called the First World War and whereContinue reading “More on grand strategy … and why we don’t have one”

Winning the War We’ve Got, Not the One We Want

Retired US Army Lieutenant General Jim Dubik, Ph.D, is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for the Study of War in Washington. he has written an interesting essay that appears in ARMY, The Magazine of the Association of the United States Army, entitled “Winning the War We’ve Got, Not the One We Want.” General DubikContinue reading “Winning the War We’ve Got, Not the One We Want”

Punching above our weight

A couple of days ago I linked to and quoted from a speech given in Singapore by Major Choy Yong Cong, an officer in the Army of Singapore. One of the things Major Choy said stuck in my mind: “… small countries like us have to punch above our weight just to stay relevant.” ThereContinue reading “Punching above our weight”

Get it Right, Minister

David Akin, writing in the Toronto Sun, takes a critical look at what Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and been saying and concludes that, when addressing the question of “why” withdraw the CF-18s from combat in the Iraq, the minister’s answer: “seems unsatisfactory and it’s the kind of answer that has even some Liberals in Ottawa aContinue reading “Get it Right, Minister”

The Challenge

Europe, in general, and Germany in particular, was the source of much pain, for much of the world, in the first half of the 20th century and the source of much hope and inspiration ~ as, by leveraging the unparalleled and unprecedented generosity (and good sense) of the Marshall Plan and the famous German workContinue reading “The Challenge”

Happy Australia Day, Mates!

Canada has, fortunately, few enemies … but we have, even more fortunately, some good friends, and none is firmer than Australia. We have fought beside Australians in South Africa, in Europe, in the Pacific, in Korea and, most recently, in Afghanistan. They are great people to have on our side, in war and in peace.Continue reading “Happy Australia Day, Mates!”