Canada deserves better

 "We will render you every assistance short of actual help". (Reputed to have been said by Robert Kennedy when describing Canada's position during the Cuban Missile crisis.) That appears to be the new, Liberal foreign policy, at least that's what I think I heard Stéphane Dion say yesterday, in response to a question from Conservative …

Ships

I see some great pictures on the internet of Conservative leader Rona Ambrose visiting the Irving Shipyard in Halifax ... ... she's meeting workers and talking to executives. That's a good thing. It's good that a Conservative leader is taking an interest in the business of building warships. There's a problem. The last Conservative government …

A “holistic” approach to “fighting” ISIL

A report in today's National Post says that International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau confirmed that the Trudeau government will, within days, will "announce a holistic approach and this includes all our contributions in terms of military, in terms of diplomacy and in terms of humanitarian assistance and development." She added that "it’s important for us …

Everyman’s Strategic Survey: The Middle East

There are, it seems to me, four different, contending visions for the future of the Middle East, each based on a largely imaginary remembrance of times past and ambitions for the near to mid-term future. Each, I suspect, is based on the notion that a historical empire or caliphate should be restored, for the good, …

It goes without saying (two)

One of my qualitative measures of a "good" military is that the people in it are tough and well trained. Frequently being tough means have suffered through and overcome adversity and some of that may need to occur during military training, especially during the all important junior NCO and junior officer training courses where the …

Why I Care

As this particular week wears on my thought turn, more and more to February 6th ... Back Then On February 6th, 1943, the Canadian corvette HMCS Louisburg was sunk by German torpedo bombers in the Western Mediterranean while she escorted an allied convoy, with many troopships carrying, mostly, US soldiers, from Britain to North Africa. …

A Thankless Task

A couple of days ago I said I was perplexed by all the excitement (and hope) surrounding Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. I pointed out that he's not, by far, the first military man to be appointed minister of national defence and he is far, far from the most distinguished. In fact, compared to say, Andrew …

Thinking About Defence (for a third time)

When most of us do most of our thinking about our national defences we tend to do it in terms of numbers: so many sailors, soldiers and air force members, so much money in the budget, this or that many ships, tanks and airplanes, and so on ... ... indeed, when Vice Admiral Norman and …