One simple question

Yesterday I guessed ~ and it is just an educated guess ~ that Canada needs:

  • 30+ warships of various types and sizes;
  • About 27,500 soldiers in Army field (combat and support) units; and
  • More than the 260± aircraft (of all types, including training aircraft) in the RCAF’s current inventory.

Canada has, right now:

  • The Royal Canadian Navy, which has 25 combat and support ships and four submarines and several training and auxiliary vessels ~ about 8,500 sailors are in ships, in schools and in Navy HQs;
  • The Canadian Army, which has about 23,000 people in uniform but less than half that number are in field formations and units, a few thousand serve in schools and depots and the remainder, about 10,000± along with about 2,000± sailors and 10,000± air force members serve in all the integrated units and bases and other organizations in the Canadian Forces;
  • About 258 aircraft, including nearly 100 tactical (Army support) helicopters, 77 first line fighters, 30± long range transport aircraft, 28 new shipborne helicopters, and  14 long range patrol aircraft and about 15,000 service members who are in the RCAF in flying units and schools and in headquarters; and
  • A fairly large (my guess is 20,000+) command and control superstructure and common support base:


I have one simple question: Is that Appropriate for Canada? Is it appropriate for a country that has a population of 35 Million and is a G7 member and, by most guesstimates, one of the 10% or so of the richest countries in the world?

I said, many, many months ago, that Canada needed Triple A+ armed forces. We are not, I said, one of the “big league” nations like America, China, Russia or even India, but nor, I said, are we in the “little leagues.” We are, like it or not, an important trading nation with global interests. So I ask again: is out current military capacity appropriate for our needs? I know that many will say yes, with a yawn, because they really don’t care even a tiny bit about security and defence, some will say we are too heavily armed and that the only road to global peace and security is through disarmament ~ I respect the second opinion, and I respect the people who hold it, but I would remind them of an old saying:

“Everyone will have an army in his country ~ his own or someone’s else’s.”

Most people will, likely, say that they want an efficient, effective defence but they will side with the first group because it is just too far down their priority list … and there’s a message for politicians in that fact.


2 thoughts on “One simple question

  1. Agreed: the current force, in size, equipment, etc is NOT appropriate. Your target is appropriate, but I’d go further.

  2. No we don’t have enough of the proper people and equipment my thought is if you want a country it needs certain things to be a country and it needs enough to swim in the mainstream of the world other wise, yes, you will have someone else’s army, what with our horrible example from down south we know we don’t want to go that way, so it’s necessary we have a military. Am I anti American, no, their experiment is their problem. Our experiment seems to be working on a more humane level than does others and I, as well as some of my peers see our experiment being better for people. I have thought about the airforce aspect and think that 5 squadrons of Gripen’s 3 squadrons of Typhoons, 1 squadron of Twin Otters, 2 squadrons of Harvards or Super Tucano’s , 3 squadrons of Swordfish, I squadron of Global Eye, plus assorted tankers, transports and helicopters I personally would like to see modified cl 415 amphibians for SAR duties as well as the Twin Otters, Swordfish for Coastal duties, Harvards or Super Tucano’s for ground attack , Typhoons for meet and greet where heavies are needed and the Gripens for Nato commitments as well as meet and greet in Norad, if someone decides to throw a war they can fly out of dispersed locations with less than full facilities which means all those small landing strips up North. As far as the F 35 goes it doesn’t meet our needs for a reasonable price, we don’t usually attack other countries. Does this mean a mixed fleet of course, we haven’t managed at this stage of our evolution to build a Swiss Army Knife aircraft that’s any good, and the bean counters can whine but truth will out. With the small northern fields some improvements will be needed but I think the major one will be more and better SAR coverage which will help the small communities as well. I could say more but time for a break.

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