Being responsible

My friend Chris Pook has posted a very interesting article on from The Cipher Brief, a US based online newsletter.

The article explains that “At a time of increasing global uncertainty, the Norwegian government is in the process of upgrading its Armed Forces – across the various services – as outlined in a Ministry of Defense white paper, The Long Term Plan, or LTP, which was released in June 2016 … [and] … The LTP builds on the recognition that NATO and the transatlantic security community remain the cornerstone of Norwegian security and defense policy. As part of that effort, Norway is in the process of making significant military upgrades. By purchasing mostly U.S. state-of-the-art military technologies for its across-the-board defense upgrades, Oslo intends to use its enhanced capacities to remain relevant for NATO, as it seeks to provide cutting edge intelligence and situational awareness of the North Atlantic region.

The key element, the one which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should ~ but will not ~ emulate is that “The white paper also serves as a necessary correction that reverses decades of underfunding of the Armed Forces. It represents a historic increase in defense spending. In total, the government recommended increased funding over the course of the coming 20 years of $18.7 billion.

Canada needs a 20+ year defence renewal plan which, also, promises annual real budget increases, after inflation, so that the defence budget more than doubles over the 20 year time frame, by, say, 2040. By 2040 the OECD predicts that Canada’s GDP will be somewhat over $3 Trillion ($(US)2.28 Trillion) so a target for defence spending in 2040 should be about $60 Billion, having climbed, steadily, year after year after year, from less than $20 Billion.

Renewed armed forces should include:

  • A streamlined and “lean” command and control (C²) superstructure;
  • New ships (20± first rate, “blue water,” ocean going combat vessels and a dozen coastal patrol vessels or corvettes) and fleet support ships and modern dockyards and support facilities;
  • An enlarged, modern and properly organized and equipped army ~ probably of five or six brigades, two or three of them being near full, combat strength;
  • New aircraft for NORAD and for expeditionary force employments, long range (especially maritime) surveillance and patrol, and a “global reach” transport force; and
  • A suitable, efficient and effective supporting base, including a logistics (supply and maintenance) system and training schools.

I suspect this will require a Conservative government because defence is never on the agenda of the Laurentian Elites.


Published by Ted Campbell

Old, retired Canadian soldier, Conservative ~ socially moderate, but a fiscal hawk. A husband, father and grandfather. Published material is posted under the "Fair Dealing" provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act for the purposes of research, private study and education.

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  1. I agree with you, Ted, but the Conservatives haven’t done all that much better. It’s hard to know what it would take to make a Canadian government of any stripe to take defence seriously.

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