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Canadian Defence Policy – November 2003

Reallocating Defence Spending:
Transforming the Canadian Army into a Niche Force?

Speech to the Canadian Defence Industries Association, Ottawa

The Honourable John McCallum, Minister of National Defence

[Ed: The Soviet Union deployed a strategic airlift capability and lots of tanks. Soviet T-55 tank in Afghanistan It didn't help.  The empire fell – partly due to the weight of its own military spending.  The wealth of the Russian people was misspent.  In Canada, we had the opposite problem: too much concern about our personal prosperity,  and not enough concern about our military capability.  Under pressure from both foreign and domestic sources, the Liberals have finally increased the budget for defence spending.  John McCallum, the Minister of National Defence, says now it's time to reallocate resources from low to high priority projects. In addition, there needs to be a profound change in the way that procurement decisions are made at National Defence Headquarters. What follows is an edited version of the Minister's 22 October speech. Following the transcript of the speech is the 29 October DND press release announcing the purchase of the Mobile Gun System, similar to the US Army's Stryker.]

Read edited version of the Minister's speech

Canadian Defence Policy – September 2003

Canadian Forces make the cover of Jane's Defence Weekly:
Worst-managed Forces in the Western World?

Dianne DeMille  –  CASR Editor

For readers who have never seen this periodical, Jane's Defence Weekly is a small part of a very large and lucrative publishing empire based in the United Kingdom. Carefully-researched and well-documented techno-political tidbits are eagerly consumed by procurement officers and policy wonks alike.

Jane's Defence Weekly tracks who is buying what from whom, with all the news and gossip from the latest arms shows. The latter is served up mainly for the delectation of the dark lords who control the morally flexible, globe-spanning defence industry.

So, let's keep in mind the kinds of people who are fingering the pages of this posh little magazine. As one measure of its street value, consider that a year's subscription to JDW costs US$1,100. Few who are not profiting from the arms trade can afford such luxuries. (Fortunately, if one is clever, the contents of the cover story are available online without a subscription.)

Read CASR response to JDW article


July 2003
NORAD, NorthCom, and the Binational Planning Group:
The Evolution of Canada–US Defence Relations

Philippe Lagassé holds a Master's degree from the War Studies Program at the Royal Military College, Kingston

NorthCom is a wholly American command. Inescapably, however, its presence will profoundly influence those other states included within its geographic area of responsibility. Canadian military and political leaders, mindful of historic and continuing military ties to the United States, have engaged in an increasing number of debates regarding the significance of this momentous UCP revision. The formation of NorthCom has revived familiar disputes regarding the need to cooperate with the US in continental defence, weighed against the likely impact of such cooperation on our nation's sovereignty.

Read full article


June 2003
Politics, Procurement Practices, and Procrastination:
the Quarter-Century Sea King Helicopter Replacement Saga

CASR researcher Stephen Priestley reviews the Maritime Helicopter Project to provide a much-delayed replacement for the Sea King.    Read full article


March 2003
'Buy the Best, Kill the Rest'
Minister John McCallum ranks DND's Pet Projects

Dianne DeMille — CASR Editor

From the Minister's speech, 27 February 2003 —  "I have asked the Department to examine existing procurement plans with a view to weeding out low priority projects. Domestically, there are core functions that the Canadian Forces must always carry out. The army must respond to domestic crises like the ice storm, and it must contribute to homeland defence. The navy must patrol our shorelines, and the air force must patrol our skies.

Overseas, on the other hand, since Canada always operates as part of a coalition, we have greater freedom to build on our strengths, to specialize, and to choose among alternative capabilities. ... we will have to make difficult choices, asymmetric, unequal choices. When one is embarking on the path of transformation, the worst policy in the world is to have across- the-board budget increases that are equal for all."

Part 1 — Sorting DND's Major Procurement Plans and Projects

Part 2 — Excerpts of 27 February Speech by Defence Minister McCallum


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