Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What Canadians want their military to do

Pace my last post on the Harper government’s approach to defence and foreign policy comes an Ipsos poll that says Canadians may not be quite in tune with their government:
... Disaster relief in Canadian communities selected the top priority mission by 73 per cent
... followed by search and rescue, selected by 68 per cent,
... patrolling Canada's air space, land and maritime areas by 66 per cent.
... Enforcing sovereignty in the Arctic ... 52 per cent while
... fighting the war o[n] terrorism came last at 51 per cent.
That’s back-asswards to the military’s actual set of priorities which are defence and sovereignty followed by peacekeeping, search and rescue and lastly aid-to-the-civil-power (eg. disaster relief and riot control).

But hey, let’s look on the bright side. Maybe the Canadian penchant for “disaster relief in Canadian communities” can be turned to military advantage. If we’re going to do it properly (Canada’s a big country) a doubling of uniformed personnel is called for. Also whatever equipment is bought should be dual-roled for disaster relief and defence operations. That calls for a lot more tanks fitted to accept a snowplow blade and more APC’s fitted to accept street-sweepers (cleanup after riots) and even a Zamboni kit for special hockey emergencies. And we’ll need a much bigger fleet of CC-177 Globemasters to get the snowplows and cleanup equipment to where it’s needed. That’s just my back-of-the-envelope estimate of equipment possibilities - think what real military planners could come up with.


Anonymous said...

If canadians want some pissy-assed, goody-two-shoes, no balls, peace corps army then fine fuck it. Let them have it. It will cost less.

Canadians will get what they deserve.

I live in an area that will not suffer a riot or terrorist attack or insurrection of any type. So if the Shit hits the fan in Toronto or a large number of canadians get killed abroad I'll be sitting on my ass on my couch saying "who cares? Not my problem." and switchiung the channel.

JR said...

After decades of Liberals in power this poll result isn't too surprising. After a few decades of Conservatives maybe Canadians will figure out what the military is really for.

Alain said...

People who answered this way clearly have no understanding of the military or its role. That is the kind of response one can expect from the metrosexuals and chattering class. I suggest that polling Canadians from outside the centre of major urban areas would give a very different result.

Patsplace said...

What we have here is a Liberal mental illness thing. What "should be" is reality.

We do not have civilians running the military and that's not about to change anytime soon. Canada has a war fighting military that is capable of other things, but the bottom line is they are soldiers.

AMS said...

Okay, once again I am wondering if people actual understand the concept of democracy and respect for opinions of others.

Many Canadians do not want to try to be "enforcers" and would instead rather be an "example" in terms of international cooperation.

This doesn't mean they want a spineless military -- it just means they don't want to throw soldiers into risk all the time.

Some questions:

- How does our military compare to countries of a similar population as ours?

- How does our military budget compare to countries of a similar population as ours?

- Is there any amount of affordable military spending that would make our military comparable to that of the US?

And, finally, I can't stand the thought of considering the use of our military to be dealing with snowfall in Toronto or anything stupid like that.

I have to agree -- we should be using our military for military purposes (though this is not synonymous with war).

JR said...

Alain, "metrosexuals" and "chattering classes" :) (add "wusses") certainly describes the left/lib media, politicians and academia who are most responsible for shaping Canadians' view of the military. A pox on them all.

Pat, One diagnoses of lib/left mental illness is "pathological altruism".

Your " an 'example' in terms of international co-operation" would fall under the Liberal/Axworthy notion of "soft power" in which military capability is sacrificed in favour of "diplomacy". Diplomacy is worthless if not backed by real power. It is not taken seriously by anyone much less thug regimes of the likes of Iran, Syria and Ghaddafi's Libya (not to mention Russia and China).

Anyway the first responsibility of our military is "defence" of Canada and it's sovereignty. Given our huge territory and coastlines we have done that on the relative cheap through military alliances like NORAD and NATO. In reality we, and the rest of the free world have been happily letting the USA foot most of the bill (by a factor of about three). It's partly why we've deluded ourselves (USA not-so-much) into thinking we can afford our expensive nanny-state social programs.

"...don't want to throw soldiers into risk all the time Make that "unnecessary risk" and I'd agree. But don't worry, most soldiers understand the risks and it's why many join up in the first place. But that said they're generally the last ones who want to get into a war.

Lastly, Military spending of other countries.