As I have often mentioned, one of the primary aims of Team Trudeau seems to be to continuously rewrite history so that nothing Justin Trudeau might have ever said can be seen to be anything but “right.” Nowhere is this more evident than in the CF-18 replacement fiasco. He said …
… now anyone with the brains that the gods gave to green peppers must have known that Justin Trudeau neither new nor cared anything at all about jet fighters or the Air Force or the defence of Canada, for that matter. It was a clever election quip that went hand in hand with his earlier attack on Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s decision to use our CF-18s to bomb Da’esh/ISIL/ISIS in Syria and Iraq. It was good politics, it still appeals to a large number of young and progressive Canadians for whom almost anything Prime Minister Harper did was pure evil. It was pure, pacifist, progressive pabulum … simplistic propaganda, and it worked.
Next, the Trudeau government set its sights on buying a handful of older Super Hornet fighters to fill a “capability gap” that the commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, a seasoned pilot, had, earlier, said, didn’t even exist, because there was a plan, put in place by the Harper government, to upgrade the CF-18s in order to extend their service life until the bureaucrats and politicians could decide which new fighter the RCAF would have. In order to, retroactively, silence him Team Trudeau decided, also (of necessity) retroactively, to change the operational readiness requirements so that there was, suddenly, a capability gap.
Now, however, according to an article in the National Post, a retired Chief of the Defence Staff, General (retired) Paul Manson, and twelve ~ count ’em 12 ~ retired senior Air Force commanders have fired back at Prime Minister Trudeau for making a silly, partisan political decision that is, in their words ““ill-advised, costly and unnecessary.”” The generals go on to explain that “they have serious misgivings about the government’s claim that a “capability gap” exists, justifying the need for an interim fleet of 18 Super Hornets … [and, addressing the prime minister directly, they add that] … “Your government’s newly created policy calling for the Royal Canadian Air Force to meet its NATO and NORAD treaty commitments concurrently does not reflect a real and sudden change in the strategic situation. In our experience, it has been decades since Canada had sufficient aircraft to meet all our commitments simultaneously. Over the years, the air force, by judiciously balancing strategic risks and available resources, has managed its operational contributions reasonably well,” the letter states … [and, further] … Rather than increasing fighter availability, the air force commanders claim the interim fleet would tax resources, because it would require training for pilots and technicians, plus new flight simulators, logistics support and maintenance operations .. [and] … Even that would not be enough, the authors say. “It would be necessary to recruit, train and qualify several hundred new technicians and dozens of pilots. Recent experience suggests the RCAF would face difficulty in achieving this … We forsee that bringing in an interim flight would create serious practical problems of this kind.”“
That’s a pretty damning indictment by a well informed group of real experts who deserve a full, fair and attentive hearing in the media and in public, even though, as the National Post article says, “According to Jordan Owens, spokesman for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, the government has no intention of reversing its decision on the interim purchase.“
The Liberals have, for no good reason, except to protect Justin Trudeau’s shaky reputation, decided to waste money and actually reduce Canada’s military capability. They need to change this silly promise and start making the right choice, for a change. The next Conservative government, which I hope will be led by Prime Minister Erin O’Toole, needs to promise to reserve this nonsense.