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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2022 12:22 pm
 


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been widely condemned in Canada and around the world. Ukrainian-Canadians and others are travelling to Ukraine to join its fight, while the governments of many countries, including Canada, are providing Ukraine with everything from money to equipment. Unfortunately, the Russian invasion shows an unpleasant truth about the world. Countries still need to be able to defend themselves against military aggression and be ready to fight when necessary.

Canada is no exception to this, especially since we’re close neighbours with Russia too. If Vladimir Putin had decided to attack to Russia’s east, Alaska would be the first place he struck, but the Yukon would be a close second. How would we be able to defend ourselves? The Americans would be rightly furious if we didn’t do anything to help them, and it would be embarrassing for us as a country.

These debates are nothing new in Canada. The issue of how exactly Canada should defend itself, particularly in alliance with the United States, has been a recurring debate since the end of the Second World War. In the 1950s and 60s, many Canadians were upset at the presence of American missiles on our soil and how much we cooperated with the U.S. on defence. More recently, we debated whether to join the U.S. invasion of Iraq and its proposed missile defence shield. In these cases, public opposition led to Canada not joining either one.

During the Cold War, the Canadian, U.S. and other governments did a lot of appalling things, but they faced a Communist bloc that was infamous for killing or enslaving anyone who dared to question it. The U.S. and Canada have both always had far more room for criticism and condemnation than most Communist societies, even to the point of subsidizing them through arts grants, tax breaks and academic funding. We were in real danger from Communism and needed all the help we could get. Working with the U.S. was our best hope of surviving.

On the other hand, our staying out of the U.S.’s harebrained invasion of Iraq and refusing to join the missile defence shield were the right decisions. Iraq wasn’t a threat to us, and missile defence would have been a staggeringly expensive failure. When we do provide help, we should probably only do it when the locals actually ask for our aid, the way Britain did in the World Wars, Kuwait did in the early 1990s or Ukraine is now.

Canada’s response to these kinds of conflicts has changed over time, but the basic principle is the same. We need to be able to defend ourselves, as Ukraine is now, but we can’t afford the risk of wasting our defence resources on things that don’t actually benefit us. It also means having a military that’s well-equipped to do the job. Judging by all the stories of sexual misconduct and procurement screw-ups in our military, Canada doesn’t compare well to Ukraine.

At all.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2022 6:18 am
 


What are you, some kind of radical?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2022 2:29 pm
 


Yeah we're close neighbours to Russia. We'd never notice them moving their invasion fleet 4300km to Little Diomede Island, then battling their way 1300km through central Alaska to get to the Canadian border. Or taking the direct 6300 km route to hit Haida Gwaii.
Maybe take the shorter 2200km route over the ice from Archangel to Ellesmere Island. Or invade Spitsbergen first.
Maybe they'd just blow up all the icebergs and trees with $2,000,000 hypersonic missiles until we surrender because their Navy's even more useless than their land forces invading Ukraine.
Or perhaps everyone will figure out from VietNam, Iraq, Afghanistan & Ukraine that all you can do is blow shit up if the locals don't want you there....


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2022 2:42 pm
 


Thank god we have 3 wet boarders and a friendly sole superpower on the 4th. We need to look to countries like Poland and Norway as a viable template on what we should be doing with our ground forces and not fool ourselves that the North is all that secure.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2022 5:09 pm
 


Continental defense really isn't the problem. As they've graphically shown, by their failure in Ukraine, the Russians are not capable of projecting their conventional power over a long distance. If they ever tried anything so stupid the could quite literally have their entire force annihilated before a single Russian set foot on North American soil. There is no reason to believe the Chinese are capable of a long-distance invasion of any sort either. Their entire history is nothing but instances of them bedeviling their immediate neighbours, and that is something that will probably never change.

The obvious problem right now is that Canada doesn't have the force anymore that can concretely help anyone in peril overseas. Diplomacy, cheerleading, and rallying others to deploy their soft power, like economic sanctions or banking prohibitions on an aggressor, is really all we can do. Until the national conversation shifts towards the military in a meaningful manner this situation is unlikely to ever change. Or at least it will never change for as long as Canadians avoid dealing with the question of "what kind of military do we want & need?".

As of right now I'd concentrate the most effort on cyber-warfare. Not just for the likes of the Russians & Chinese and their online shenanigans. It's also important to be able to trace, stop, and then retaliate against the sort of hackers working for the likes of Trump and the hardcore right-wingers in the United States. After the revelation of where the trucker convoy, and far too many Islamic terrorists and terrorist-supporters on Canadian soil, were getting their money from it's obviously essential to have some sort of cyber weaponry on hand to combat these kinds of ratfuckers. Drying up any foreign support, like from the US, is vitally essential. Allowing anyone out there to flood Canada with money in order to cause us domestic disruption is simply unacceptable. Cut their cash off beforehand and most of the time the situation gets solved pre-emptively. And it would also be hella cool to have a way on hand to do something really fun & provocative, like enter a code that simultaneously empties the bank accounts of every single one of the Russian oligarchs in one swift stroke.

There's things we can do, and things we can contribute to. The longer we avoid the situation though the more it makes us look like we're quite content to half-ass our way through both foreign crises & protecting ourselves.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2022 3:16 pm
 


herbie herbie:
Yeah we're close neighbours to Russia. We'd never notice them moving their invasion fleet 4300km to Little Diomede Island, then battling their way 1300km through central Alaska to get to the Canadian border. Or taking the direct 6300 km route to hit Haida Gwaii.
Maybe take the shorter 2200km route over the ice from Archangel to Ellesmere Island. Or invade Spitsbergen first.
Maybe they'd just blow up all the icebergs and trees with $2,000,000 hypersonic missiles until we surrender because their Navy's even more useless than their land forces invading Ukraine.
Or perhaps everyone will figure out from VietNam, Iraq, Afghanistan & Ukraine that all you can do is blow shit up if the locals don't want you there....


Russia was just an example. The bigger point I was trying to make is that we've been a military joke for decades now sponging off Uncle Sam. We need to be able to actually back up our claims to sovereignty and independence, especially in the north, instead of talking shit and hiding behind our "big brother" if somebody ever calls our bluff.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2022 3:55 pm
 


$1:
During the Cold War, the Canadian, U.S. and other governments did a lot of appalling things, but they faced a Communist bloc that was infamous for killing or enslaving anyone who dared to question it. The U.S. and Canada have both always had far more room for criticism and condemnation than most Communist societies, even to the point of subsidizing them through arts grants, tax breaks and academic funding.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2022 4:04 pm
 


Yes we are "sponging off Uncle Sam." But to be clear, as a so-called middle power, we have to rely on treaties for security, a spot underneath a nuclear umbrella. And the US does not want an independent, militarily strong neighbour; they prefer a vassal state.

The plague on our poor military lies with the voters of Canada. We have accepted the starvation of the military. I can't even remember the last time it was an election issue. We have accepted the criminally bad procurement process that prevents our soldiers from getting anything decent. Like Russia, we're beguiled by fables from WWII about the prowess of the Canadian military, with little regard to the situation on the ground today.

The good news is that this will be an election issue now. The bad news is that I don't think Trudeau, Singh or presumptive incomer Poilievre will have anything other than Pablum to offer on that front.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2022 4:38 pm
 


I can see the NDP/Liberals putting money into CAF, my concern is what will be procured. Seeing the effectiveness of drones and remote anti-tank weapons in Ukraine I wouldn't at all be surprised that they announce a major contract to roll out more of them in large numbers.

Drones don't require food, training or extraction. Politically on its face its a winner with no downsides. In reality we are abdicating the human role in conflict and the further we drift from that responsibility the more we will see warfare as a viable tool of statecraft.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2022 4:57 pm
 


If an increase in the possibility of leaders, especially criminals and warmongerers, occurs due to an increase of automated drone warfare I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. Like Tywin Lannister indicated after the Red Wedding, why are the deaths of ten thousand men on a battlefield seen as something good & noble but wiping out the leadership of the enemy is evil and unforgivable? The common man & woman have suffered for thousands of years at the hands of totally evil shits hiding safely behind walls and far behind the lines and ordered the masses of regular folk out to their dooms. Maybe it's long past due for the elites to lose that safety & security. Might teach them a lesson in not taking the lives of others for granted if their own lives, and that of their children, were put in the same type of jeopardy.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2022 11:09 am
 


Like Thanos said, continental defence isn't the problem. As I've said many times on CKA, nobody in the world has enough power projection capabilities to attack us, and the only one I would have given any chance of was the Russians, but they been sown to be a paper tiger and even our atrophied forces would crush them if they tried to invade northern Canada. Our only risk right now is an ICBM targeting us, and the reality is that nobody has perfect defences to deal with that threat, which for that threat, are the only kind worth investing in.

However, because of our low defence spending for the past five decades, we've slowly but surely cut our ability to support coordinated allied operations around the world like we used to. When the first Gulf War happened, we sent a naval task force and a squadron of CF-18s to support our allies. We had issues, but helped in freeing Kosovo from Serb genocide in 1999. We sent troops to Afghanistan, but famously sent them green CADPATs because we didn't have enough desert CADPAT uniforms for them. Once we got there, we realized our helicopters couldn't be effective support units and we were forced to rely on our allies for airlift (including the Dutch whom we sold our Chinook helicopters to). It then took so long to convince the government to buy replacements that we didn't get them until AFTER our troops left Afghanistan.

Today our CF-18s are too obsolete to operate with most of our allies, and even if they could participate, the lack of spare parts and PGMs means they'd spend most of the time in a hangar instead of over an enemy. Our Navy has rusted out, losing its supply and air-defence vessels, and now in any real conflict, any ships we could send would be a liability, not an asset to an allied operation. It took us two decades to get our subs operational, but they are now nearing the end of their service life and will need replacement in a decade at most.

The CAF needs a huge investment to get them up to snuff, but now that Trudeau has an agreement with the NDP, that less likely to happen. Singh himself said;



Last week when the agreement was made public, Singh said;

$1:
"The priority is to recognize that the Canadian Armed Forces deserve the resources and tools they need to do their work. But what is our priority is that the government not cut health-care measures and other assistance measures to people."


Let's not also forget that just last year, the NDP voted on whether or not to completely abolish the armed forces at the national convention (it failed to pass). Some may deflect and say that it failed to pass, but then by that same virtue, we cannot hold the CPC to their failed policy questions on climate change. Th fact is that like the Conservatives and their widespread acceptance of climate change denial, there is a large core of NDP politicians who hate the armed forces and want to see their budget spent on the green transition or social programs.

So now Trudeau has a 'reason' to explain why he can't hit 2%, so I'm guessing we'll see some modest increases (a billion or two), but it's not going to be anywhere near what the CF needs, and odds are the time frame will be so far in the future that it won't make any difference in the short term.

However, instead of bitching, I'll say what I think we need in a perfect world.

We'd buy the 15 CSC vessels we have planned, but would augment it with half a dozen FREMM frigates. We'd buy a minimum of 20 ASW patrol aircraft, depending on their capability. If we don't want to buy P-8s from Boeing, then we can buy 30 DASH ASW aircraft from DeHavilland Canada, and augment those with a few dozen Global Hawk (or similar long range, long duration patrol drones) for use on all three coasts. Eight to ten U212 AIP subs would also be ordered to replace the Victoria SSKs, and by the time we got them, the Victorias would be out of service. We would also look at developing our own long range USVs to patrol the Arctic and our coasts.

We should buy a minimum of 100 fighters as a stopgap until drones replace fighter aircraft in a decade or two. Ideally these would be twin engine Rafales or Typhoons, however to get these, we'd have to waive the industrial offsets we originally required. A few dozen drones capable of air-to-ground support would also be bought, either Bakyatal or something similar. Our UAV capabilities would also be upgraded with other newer drone options (Switchblade, etc.).

For the Army, we'd invest in better anti-armor and anti-air weapons, such as Javelins, Stingers, and proper vehicle mounted SAM systems to protect our battle groups, which currently have very little SAM protection.

Finally, we'd invest in serious cyber warfare capabilities, both offensive and defensive.

It's time the CAF entered the 21st century in a big way.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2022 12:53 pm
 


You think the NDP is gonna carry on over increased defence spending?
You must think the Party is as stupidly butt stubborn as the Cons!

There's an entire history of compromise to achieve their objectives and if you think opposition to the military is a major platform of the NDP, you've been drinking the Tory KoolAid for far too long. The latest agreement will show that. Of course if even two NDP MPs so much as grumble at having to make such a compromise it will fill the National Post front page until the 2025 election is over.
There's no fucking debate about boosting our military, the debate needs to be on how.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2022 3:05 pm
 


Singh is technically not wrong. The overall social system shouldn't be deprived of funding and we are decades overdue to have an official commission determine exactly what kind of military we should have. That though doesn't eliminate the immediate and obvious need - to have a military capable of engaging overseas in a meaningful way the defense budget for the next two to three years would need an additional $75 to 100 billion per year added on to the already existing $40 to 50 billion defense already receives.

That's the reality. The Germans figured it out this past month when they put an immediate $100 billion into their own defense in the wake of Russia attacking Ukraine to take as much of their system as possible out of mothballs in the shortest amount of time. Canada though? Big Brother next door in the US is still there though as our eternal security blanket, which means we're just going to hem & haw & bullshit & yap & porkbarrel our way through this issue the way we always do in our endless pantomime that lets us pretend we're actually doing something about it. :|


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2022 4:09 pm
 


FFS give up with singing thew same song.
The US chose to be the defender of the Americas since the days of the Munroe Doctrine. Last time the shit really hit the fan was over Cuba.
The wars always break out in Europe and Asia, we're not on the front lines like Germany or S Korea. We're half a world away and too new to be 'tribal' like those idiots.

Like I've said before, all they can do is shoot missiles and drop bombs on us and nobody in Canada wants to be a world power. All we can do is help somewhat.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2022 4:48 pm
 


After the revelations of the death toll at the residential schools I'm pretty sure that Canada permanently lost it's self-proclaimed status as the outstanding paragon of all things good. There's no particularly innate or beautiful wisdom to be found in this country, especially not in any of our political parties. The military crisis is just another hallmark of the post-WW2 generations not taking their obligations all that seriously simply because someone else (even if they're doing it in their own best interest) in the United States has been picking up the cheque for us for fifty-odd years.


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