The Defence Review (20)

I see that DND is now seeking public inputs for the Defence review …

Screenshot 2016-05-09 08.30.17

… I’m afraid I still believe that the outcome is preordained by the PMO campaign team (I cannot call it a government, yet) and that submissions are sought to support that outcome, but I have gone over my own “little list” of capabilities that I believe are required and I have refined them a bit. Here they are, as a reminder:

Slide1

They can be divided, I think, into two broad groups …

Slide2

… and:

Slide3

Satellite based surveillance, for example, might be shared by DND, Fisheries and Oceans, the Natural Resources department and so  on, and intelligence gathering and strategic planning are national responsibilities two which the military makes some contribution.

How can we prioritize those things? here is my guess:

Slide4

… and …

Slide5

Finally, what are the budget implications? My guess, again:

Slide6

Now, it will be tempting for readers of my blog to want to get “down and dirty” and tell the Defence Review to restore the Canadian Airborne Regiment or buy this or that class of frigate or corvette or put 81mm or 120mm mortars back into the infantry battalions or buy the F-35, or not, but I would counsel against offering that advice. Unless you are one of a very small handful of people ~ a senior serving military officer, a highly specialized engineer. or a civil servant with current, in depth knowledge of the government’s strategic and fiscal imperatives ~ then, in my opinion, you, like me, are not qualified to make those suggestions. Of course we all have opinions but I am 100% sure that mine are not well enough informed to count and I am 99% sure that 99% of my readers are in the same boat.

What is “right” for DND is something that:

  • Meets (most of) the military validated (by government) operational requirements;
  • Meets all of the governments strategic and political objectives; and
  • Is affordable ~ a political calculation.

What we can, and should offer as reasoned advice is:

  1. The capabilities, broadly defined, that we, citizens and taxpayers want out military to have; and
  2. Some sense of how much we think is “affordable.”

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