Author Topic: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year  (Read 16544 times)

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Offline MCG

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DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« on: December 03, 2007, 10:04:40 »
Hope this comes with a budget increase ....
Quote
Defence department warned it won't get help with costs of war
GLOBE AND MAIL
03 Dec 07
Murray Brewster

The Department of National Defence has been warned it will have to cover the costs of the Afghan war entirely out of its own budget next year, without any top-up from the federal Treasury Board, a political source has told The Canadian Press.

The directive went out recently from the Privy Council Office as planning for the 2008 budget reaches its peak, said an official who asked not to be named.

  It's part of an increasingly determined effort by the Harper government to assert more civilian control over the military, which has been perceived as having too much leeway in both the conduct of the war and with the public purse, said the official.

  At one recent meeting, the source said, political staff groused openly that the Conservative government has "spent $20-billion plus" on the military in new equipment and seen little political "sizzle" for the effort.

  The head of the Senate security and defence committee said he has also been told the military was warned it will not receive any additional appropriations beyond its budget envelope.

  "They've been told they'll have a flat amount allocated to them and that will include in the cost of Afghanistan, and not to come back for more," said Liberal Senator Colin Kenny.

  The Harper government does plan a modest increase to the defence budget in the coming year, according to the Treasury Board's supplementary estimates.

  Total spending at DND is expected to go to $19.4-billion in 2008-09, from $18.3-billion in the current budget year. But Mr. Kenny's committee has argued that spending should be in the range of $25-billion.

  In the past, the cost of the war in Afghanistan has routinely exceeded the defence department's estimates, forcing officials to go back to Treasury Board to ask for additional operating funds.

In the 2006 budget the additional appropriation added up to $202-million, according to the department's 2006-07 performance report.

  It's unclear what the figure will be in the current budget year because officials were unable to provide details Friday. Mr. MacKay said last week that the total operating cost of the war to the military from 2001 to the present was $3.1-billion - a figure that likely doesn't include capital purchases such as armoured patrol vehicles and other major equipment.

  A wide range of military spending has come under the microscope at the political level, said Mr. Kenny. "Offloading the costs of the war on the department will have a major impact on just about everything," he said.

  Jay Paxton, a spokesman for Mr. MacKay, said in an e-mail that the potential impact of restraining cost overruns is "hypothetical and we won't speculate."   During previous wars, the federal government funded military operations separately from the defence department's annual budget, using special appropriations. It was only during the 1960s and the era of peacekeeping that overseas military operations began coming directly out of the department's budget, say defence analysts.

  Mr. Kenny and many military observers believe the government should return to the traditional wartime funding approach, especially if Canada is to remain in Afghanistan past 2009 as the Harper government suggested in its recent Throne Speech.

  "It's only logical to do that because how else are voters able to evaluate whether the money is well spent?" Mr. Kenny asked.

  "We all know what the cost in lives and wounded are, but we also need to know what the costs are in dollars. And that should be part of equation as we go through the debate about whether Afghanistan is worth it."

Offline PPCLI Guy

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2007, 10:05:44 »
Hope this comes with a budget increase ....

a real small one

Quote
Total spending at DND is expected to go to $19.4-billion in 2008-09, from $18.3-billion in the current budget year. But Mr. Kenny's committee has argued that spending should be in the range of $25-billion.
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Offline MCG

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2007, 10:09:44 »
yeah, I'm hoping for a real one .... something not announced.  But, I've been accused of being too optimistic at times ...

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2007, 10:12:32 »
Quote
The Harper government does plan a modest increase to the defence budget in the coming year, according to the Treasury Board's supplementary estimates.

guess it depends on what Harper thinks is 'modest'
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2007, 10:14:40 »
Until we can get by the $20 Billion barrier which appears to be ingrained in many politicians and senior officials then things can only go slowly, steadily but surely downhill.

Sen. Kenny is, in my opinion, lowballing the real requirement when he says $25 Billion. We can all argue how much is enough but, I think that if we cannot break the $20 Billion barrier by 2010, and then keep growing the budget, then things will get very bad, very quickly. The choices will all be wrong - and we will, Murphy's Law being what it is, make the worst one.
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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2007, 11:53:13 »
The 20 billion+ given to DND for new equipment is not providing enough "political sizzle" for the Harper government.

New equipment to save Canadian soldiers lives or " political sizzle"

Hard choice to make.
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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2007, 11:58:46 »
Well, i find this rather troubling. The money will have to come from somewhere.  I guess forces back in Canada will have to take a hit to make the difference. We can go back to sending the troops home early on fridays so that the lights can be turned off.....

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2007, 12:18:00 »
I just finished reading the latest book by Janice Gross Stein and Eugene Lang on Afghanistan.
In that context this part in the article caught my eye "It's part of an increasingly determined effort by the Harper government to assert more civilian control over the military, which has been perceived as having too much leeway in both the conduct of the war and with the public purse, said the official."

Civilian control OK, but how about having a clue on what and where you want to take the mission?
I get the feeling Harper wants to cool it on Afghanistan and the Manley advisory panel is one way to go about lowering his political risk.
I think Harper knows that he wants the mission to scale back to being "training" and PRT work but it is smarter politically to use Manley, a Liberal, to come forward with that option.



Offline geo

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2007, 13:54:13 »
Funding Afghanistan ops out of our own budget???

WTF is that supposed to mean?
The Fed Gov't has decided to grow the force over the next XX years
We have to pay for, equip and house these troops with waht $$$ ?

We have to pay for all those political junkets to KAF out of the same budget?

Our masters are certainly not delivering a clear and unquivocal message... IMHO!
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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2007, 14:01:41 »
Funding Afghanistan ops out of our own budget???

WTF is that supposed to mean?

One definition:  what you have is what you have, and don't expect requests for mo' $ to be taken kindly (if at all) -- happy to be proven wrong, though.
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Offline geo

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2007, 14:06:24 »
well... if the Fed want the troops out of Afghanistan, they should say so
If they want the troops to stay IN Afghanistan, they should expect a certain price tag....

Else... Conservatives AND Liberals are politicians cut from the same cloth....
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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2007, 14:21:25 »
Can you imagine if any of our past conflicts had this much red tape and crap to surf through.  We probably wouldn't have to buy leopards from the Germans because we would be producing them here.  We might have good Subs too.

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2007, 14:32:40 »
This isn't that big of an issue. The war has been funded out of our budget all along. They're just saying "don't come back asking for anymore", which in reality is just a slap on the wrist. If DND runs over its budget then it will get the money it needs, but the government won't be happy about it.

We're running $6-billion suprluses.. so when we give an extra $200 mil to a department that mismanaged its finances, it's not a real big issue.

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2007, 14:57:43 »
Some (I'm not sure how much) of the money has come from DFAIT - above and beyond DIDA's share.

There is another issue here, an inside the greenbelt story: Kevin Lynch, Clerk of the Privy Council is rumoured to be, still, mightily unimpressed with DND's management. The rumour mill says that he thinks DND cries wolf, over and over again, and then, when it gets some relief, spends some of its money foolishly.

We used to complain, when I was still serving, about being required to fund every fad that came down the (political) road. I learned, later in life, that other government departments (presumably with management teams with balls) didn't bother with all the politically and bureaucraticall mandated nonsense - they spent their money on their core programmes and then said, "Sorry, Minister; we're outta money again this year. Bad luck unless you can find a late year cash infusion."

I have heard (rumour, again) than Lynch thinks as much as 15% of DND's military budget is misapplied on other than real military priorities. In other words he is rumoured to think that some admirals and generals are spending money on plans, projects, training and whatever which are not high enough on the CDS' priority list, and he thinks the CDS is unwilling or unable to control them.

This mistrust (of DND's management by the centre (PCO, Finance, Treasuty Board)) is nothing new. It existed, I can say with near absolute certainty, in (at least) the '80s and '90s, too.


Edit: typo (spacing)
« Last Edit: December 03, 2007, 16:34:35 by E.R. Campbell »
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2007, 15:19:53 »
Do you propose an audit of the CF?
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Offline retiredgrunt45

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2007, 04:33:56 »
Quote
There is another issue here, an inside the greenbelt story: Kevin Lynch, Clerk of the Privy Council is rumoured to be, still, mightily unimpressed with DND's management. The rumour mill says that he thinks DND cries wolf, over and over again, and then, when it gets some relief, spends some of its money foolishly.

Well I must say Mr. Lynch and the privy council naysayers, maybe if we had received better equipment all along, DND wouldn't have to spend, spend and spend to get us up to speed. This is just another example of a bureaucrat entity, trying to justify their existence. Were was he when the Libs were throwing hundreds of millions of dollars away, I didn't hear "boo" from Mr. Lynch then, not one syllable! And he wants to talk about mismanagement. At least everything the military purchases has a purpose and there is a need for it and just doesn't line someones pocket.

All I hear is how smart Lynch is, well if he's so smart I'm sure he can do the math, 30 years of neglect equates to spending alot of the money to reequip and army who's fighting a war and then funding that war, that our government leaders placed us in.

I think it's time someone told Mr Lynch to "STFU" and start paying attention to what's important, instead of causing more unnecessary bureaucratic mayham. Better yet, why doesn't he go over to Afghanistan and see for himself, why we need the money. Everyone else has.

Bureaucratic BS. And then they wonder why nothing gets done. Well when they have a few tons of bureaucratic red tape wrapped around everything its so wonder.

Mr. Lynch get your head out of your *** and have a good look around you. You may find that the world doesn't revolve around the privy council and would go right on without it.



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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2007, 07:24:04 »
The real problem can be seen in the chart at http://www.ploughshares.ca/libraries/WorkingPapers/wp031.pdf  - Chart IV on p. 9. This chart came from a 2003 Project Plowshares paper coauthored by Bill Robinson, then on Plowshares staff, and Dr. Peter Ibbott, then an Assistant Professor of Economics and a member of the Connections Project at King’s College in London, Ontario. Plowshares is a well informed but trusted peace group – no great friend of the military but, generally, careful with facts.

As David Pugliese points out in a CANWEST article, defence spending when Trudeau came to power was still around 2% of GDP.

The data are clear. The precipitous decline in Canadian defence spending began just as the Korean War ended. The decline was only occasionally arrested – circa 1966 (Pearson), 1970-1972 (Trudeau), 1980-1988 (Trudeau and Mulroney), 1990-1993 (Mulroney) and 2000 to (not shown) 2006 (Chrétien, Martin and Harper).

The problem, as I see it, is that we need to move back towards a reasonable and responsible level of spending which I guesstimate as being just above 2% of GDP. Since Canada’s GDP is about $1.5 Trillion and, according to many economists* is, conservatively, projected to continue to grow at 2.5+%. That means that just ten years from now (2018) our GDP will be, near as damn is to swearing, $2 Trillion. By my guesstimate our defence budget, circa 2018 should be around $40 Billion. In other words the defence budget must more than double in the next decade, even as the GDP (and, presumably, the government’s ”take”) grows by about ⅓; spending must exceed income by a ratio of about 3:1. That’s not going to be popular with Canadians!

If the reputed $20 Billion political ceiling, to which I alluded earlier in this topic, remains in place for too long that means we are set firmly on a course of disarmament by stealth.

The issue, for me, is clear: if, big IF prime Minister Harper is, in any way, serious about leading Canada to play a leading role in the world then he must screw up his courage and start growing the defence budget – fast and hard – right now.  But, I suspect that he has taken counsel of his fears – fears based (mainly, but not exclusively) on Québec voters’ traditional antipathy towards defence spending.


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* Just Google Canada GDP projections
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2007, 07:33:12 »

The issue, for me, is clear: if, big IF prime Minister Harper is, in any way, serious about leading Canada to play a leading role in the world then he must screw up his courage and start growing the defence budget – fast and hard – right now.  But, I suspect that he has taken counsel of his fears – fears based (mainly, but not exclusively) on Québec voters’ traditional antipathy towards defence spending.

* Just Google Canada GDP projections


Brings to mind a comment you made a while ago that Harper doesn't present an appearance of truly believing in the Afghanistan mission but is rather playing it for it's strategic political value.

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2007, 08:57:01 »
I'm a card carrying, dues paying Conservative so take what I say with the applicable grain of salt.

I understand that Harper's goal, his sole, political aim in life, is to win the next election – not just win, but win with a majority government so that he can implement a (big ‘C’) Conservative (small ‘l’ liberal) agenda which should include, inter alia, restoring Canada's place in the world.*

In a five party system it will be difficult for any party to achieve a majority. The keys are, as they must be, Ontario and Québec. My guesstimate is that Harper needs to get 30 additional seats in the next election and more than ⅔ of them must come from Ontario and Québec. That's a steep, uphill battle and I'm not surprised (disappointed, perhaps, but not surprised) that everything else takes third place.

Harper's perceived (according to the polls) strengths are:

•   Ability – he appears to be regarded as the most competent leader/prime minister; and

•   Integrity – provided he can avoid the Mulroney/Ouellet/Schreiber tar-brush, he also appears to be seen as being squeaky clean.

His weaknesses are:

•   Trust – for better or worse the Liberals hidden agenda campaign works. Canadians do not trust Harper or, at least the Harper led Conservatives, to not bring in a Refoooooorm platform; and

•   Attitude – Harper is not an easy man to like, I guess, and Canadians do not (cannot?) warm to him.

Somehow Afghanistan appears, for now, anyway, to reinforce his weaknesses. The opposition (official and media) have managed to move it from the plus to the minus column. Early in 2006 Harper was well regarded for his handling of Afghanistan but, by various means, he managed to make it his war, rather than Canada's war – he had help: thank you media.

So, I'm not surprised that he's trying to avoid paying too much attention to Afghanistan and, consequently, the military.

Disappointed: YES; Surprised: NO.


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* It ought, also, to include, lowering taxes until the feds ‘take’ just enough to pay for properly national programmes and services and manage the fiscal situation. That means extracting the feds from areas of exclusive provincial jurisdiction while, simultaneously, transferring tax room to the provinces.


Edit: spelling - Mulroney/OuletteOuellet/Schreiber tar-brush ...
« Last Edit: December 04, 2007, 09:48:14 by E.R. Campbell »
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
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Offline GAP

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2007, 09:00:15 »
Quote
The issue, for me, is clear: if, big IF prime Minister Harper is, in any way, serious about leading Canada to play a leading role in the world then he must screw up his courage and start growing the defence budget – fast and hard – right now.  But, I suspect that he has taken counsel of his fears – fears based (mainly, but not exclusively) on Québec voters’ traditional antipathy towards defence spending.

Question: If the DND budget gets extraordinary $ for supplementing the Afghanistan conflict for x years, and once Afghanistan conflict is stabilized/over/etc. and the $$ stays in the DND budget, is that not result in an increase by default? People are already used to the DND having this many billions, and it just never changes, in fact they ask for normal COLA increases to maintain spending levels.
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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2007, 09:06:51 »
Question: If the DND budget gets extraordinary $ for supplementing the Afghanistan conflict for x years, and once Afghanistan conflict is stabilized/over/etc. and the $$ stays in the DND budget, is that not result in an increase by default? People are already used to the DND having this many billions, and it just never changes, in fact they ask for normal COLA increases to maintain spending levels.

Forgive me for sounding like Bill Clinton, but I guess it all depends on what the definition of increase is.

I'm happy to be corrected, but it's not clear to me that the extraordinary increases are even sufficient to keep place with military capital inflation. I contend, based on old experience I hasten to add, that inflation for military hardware, especially, but also for some O&M activities, is greatly in excess of the established, general inflation rates.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
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Offline MCG

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2007, 11:07:03 »
Well, i find this rather troubling. The money will have to come from somewhere. 
That's the problem.  Through the '90s there were several important infrastructure & capitol projects which were left to wallow while funding was used to conduct operations in the FRY or domestically.  This encouraged the force to atrophy in order to fund operations.  Foreign & domestic operations should be funded with their own money given by the government (and not raked out of DND funds).

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2007, 11:52:42 »
The part of the article that upsets me the most is the line about political staff complaining that the money Harper has spent on the military has been rewarded with little 'political sizzle.  How stupid can one get, the military is not a vote winning machine it is a war winning machine.  How do these political staffers expect terrorists to be fought, with slingslots, how do they propose we patrol Arctic waters being coveted by Russia, with rowboats?  Leopard II's, C17's, Chinooks, modernized frigates and arctic patrol ships are not extravagances.  If anything they are just a small start to repairing the neglect that prior idiots with their mentality inflicted on the CF.  The purpose of new equipment is to allow our fighting men and women to do the best job possible and to give them a fighting chance of getting in and out of harms way victoriously and alive, not to provide sizzle for some retard in Ottawa.  If you want sizzle go buy a steak.
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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2007, 12:16:55 »
The part of the article that upsets me the most is the line about political staff complaining that the money Harper has spent on the military has been rewarded with little 'political sizzle.  How stupid can one get, the military is not a vote winning machine it is a war winning machine  ....  If you want sizzle go buy a steak.

As ERC put it so well:  "Harper's goal, his sole, political aim in life, is to win the next election – not just win, but win with a majority".  The prime imperative of Political support staff is to get their Minister the best possible profile so s/he:
1) will continue to be in the good books of follow the strategy laid out by the PM (with appropriate nudging by PMO and PCO); and
2) will get relected.

One of the phrases I've heard to describe this staff is "politically oriented, but operationally aware" - getting/keeping power first and foremost, knowing the rules/policies way, way, way down the list.

- edit to add emphasis from ERC quote -
« Last Edit: December 04, 2007, 12:25:26 by milnewstbay »
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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2007, 12:19:22 »
The part of the article that upsets me the most is the line about political staff complaining that the money Harper has spent on the military has been rewarded with little 'political sizzle.  How stupid can one get, the military is not a vote winning machine it is a war winning machine.  How do these political staffers expect terrorists to be fought, with slingslots, how do they propose we patrol Arctic waters being coveted by Russia, with rowboats?  Leopard II's, C17's, Chinooks, modernized frigates and arctic patrol ships are not extravagances.  If anything they are just a small start to repairing the neglect that prior idiots with their mentality inflicted on the CF.  The purpose of new equipment is to allow our fighting men and women to do the best job possible and to give them a fighting chance of getting in and out of harms way victoriously and alive, not to provide sizzle for some retard in Ottawa.  If you want sizzle go buy a steak.

See Ruxted's Shame on ... Unnamed Official; there's the problem.

It's not unique to the Conservatives; it's not even worse, today, than it was. Do you remember when Gen. Baril, then the CDS, slagged his own people in order to protect Jean Chrétien in his lie that he was unable to attend the funeral of King Hussein (Jordan) because the Air Force couldn't make the flights work? That was crap and Baril lied – said his own people were at fault when he knew full well they were not – to serve the partisan political interests of the government of the day.

What's somewhat different is that the PMO is flexing its muscle in public.
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Offline cameron

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #25 on: December 04, 2007, 19:40:34 »
Unfortunately it seems that the old attitude in Canada that the military is nothing more than an irrelevant afterthought is still alive and well, despite the heroic actions of our men and women at home and abroad.
"All men dream: but not equally.  Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out their dream with open eyes, to make it possible."

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Offline retiredgrunt45

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #26 on: December 05, 2007, 00:12:09 »
Quote
Unfortunately it seems that the old attitude in Canada that the military is nothing more than an irrelevant afterthought is still alive and well, despite the heroic actions of our men and women at home and abroad.

Yes and guess who's leading the charge. Lynch and his cronies from the privy council. I can just picture them now, smirking as they tightened another screw in DND.

They don't give a rats behind about our people in Afghanistan, they've shown this time and again. If it was left upto Lynch, we would be throwing rocks at the taliban. Lynch is about as anti military as you can get and with this new stance on the budget, he just proved it beyond a doubt. If Lynch has his way after we pull out of Afghanistan in either 2009 or 2011, I think military spending will be cut back so much that it will make the "decade of darkness" look like a walk in the park.

 
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Offline DetectiveMcNulty

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #27 on: December 05, 2007, 00:17:38 »
On that note, how long until the military falls out of favour again? I'm worried it will happen far too soon for me.

I guess theres always CBSA and the RCMP to serve Canada through.  ;D

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #28 on: December 05, 2007, 06:29:53 »
Yes and guess who's leading the charge. Lynch and his cronies from the privy council. I can just picture them now, smirking as they tightened another screw in DND.

They don't give a rats behind about our people in Afghanistan, they've shown this time and again. If it was left upto Lynch, we would be throwing rocks at the taliban. Lynch is about as anti military as you can get and with this new stance on the budget, he just proved it beyond a doubt. If Lynch has his way after we pull out of Afghanistan in either 2009 or 2011, I think military spending will be cut back so much that it will make the "decade of darkness" look like a walk in the park.

I think you're being a bit unfair.

I doubt Kevin Lynch is anti-military, per se. Rather, I suspect he holds an old, traditional view that the military is expensive, but, rather like a fire department or an insurance policy, a necessary expense which must be there but which, equally, must do its job at the least possible cost.

Lynch is well known and equally well regarded for a firm focus on good management. He is, also, just the latest in a series of PCO Clerks, DMs of Finance and Secretaries of the Treasury Board who have expressed frustration at DND’s internal management.

According to what I've heard (a nice way of saying rumours, again) the unease with DND’s management is not purely or even mainly financial. Rather it is that the money allocated is hardly ever spent on what DBD itself says are its core priorities.

In fairness to DND, the thing is huge and diverse and the priority list goes on and on and on ... There is, also, a bugger's muddle at the top – thanks to Donald Macdonald (MND (Trudeau) in the early ‘70s) who oversaw the reorganization which left strategic management adrift. (See: http://www.cda-cdai.ca/library/bland.htm )

So, DND is, thanks to its own, internal misorganization, appears (maybe is) unable to plan in a good management manner, and the centre (PCO, Finance, TB) grows increasingly frustrated.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #29 on: December 05, 2007, 07:04:40 »
Right so let's review, DND is poorly managed ? and much of Ottawa believes this. My understanding is Harper believes in Canada "regaining" it's international reputation as a responsible active world player. Hillier wants our military to be small and smart, able to respond to international crisis with a properly equipped professional force. Why isn't the man at the top [Harper] making it happen ?
Plus ca change, plus le meme.  :(

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2007, 08:17:55 »
....... Hillier wants our military to be small and smart, able to respond to international crisis with a properly equipped professional force.

A couple of problems here.  A small, smart and High Tech CF is fine, as long as you DO NOT have to respond to any kind of International Crisis.  Once you commit troops overseas in large numbers as we see today, the Training System is neutered.  You don't have the Instructors to train new people.  'Small and Smart' will lead to 'Stagnation and Decay'.
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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #31 on: December 05, 2007, 08:52:47 »
Right so let's review, DND is poorly managed ? and much of Ottawa believes this. My understanding is Harper believes in Canada "regaining" it's international reputation as a responsible active world player. Hillier wants our military to be small and smart, able to respond to international crisis with a properly equipped professional force. Why isn't the man at the top [Harper] making it happen ?
Plus ca change, plus le meme.  :(

I’m not sure I know why Harper fails to do what he seems to say he wants to do, but ...

In my opinion:

1.   We need a small, smart military, but small ≥ 85,000 full time people with several tens of billions of dollars worth of new equipment;

2.   The defence budget must rise to ≈2% of GDP, in other words to about $40 Billion, by about 2020; and

3.   The HQ – civil and military components – must be reorganized, yet again, to more clearly delineate the proper duties, responsibilities and powers of the DM/civil service and the CDS/military. This means, inter alia, that the MND must work for a living – helping to resolve the inevitable divisions which should, must occur when the two parts are properly separate and competing.

Further, in my opinion, anything less will lead to the slow, inevitable disarmament of Canada and our weight in world affairs will fall to, even past, irrelevant.

Why doesn’t Harper follow my excellent advice? Because, I repeat, he needs (just as Dion, Duceppe and Layton need) to win elections. Winning elections depends, mostly, on getting the people behind you or, more properly, figuring out where the people are headed, on their own, and then rushing to the front to lead them there. The people of Canada, most of them, anyway, do not want the military I believe we must have. Most Canadians care little and think less about Canada in the world. They want their pogey, etc, and they object to governments spending wasting their money on the cruel and lascivious soldiery.

It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
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Offline PPCLI Guy

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #32 on: December 05, 2007, 09:15:46 »
A couple of problems here.  A small, smart and High Tech CF is fine, as long as you DO NOT have to respond to any kind of International Crisis.  Once you commit troops overseas in large numbers as we see today, the Training System is neutered.  You don't have the Instructors to train new people.  'Small and Smart' will lead to 'Stagnation and Decay'.

Unless the small comes from streamlined bureaucracy, slimmed-down HQs, fast-track procurement policies, reduced training tempo (just in time vice just because training), and a toolbox of incentives to stay in.  Then you can manage with a small smart force without mortgaging the training establishments - or our ability to respond domestically and internationally.
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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #33 on: December 05, 2007, 11:02:04 »
What exactly are the "top-ups" at fault, in what amount, and for what purposes?

Is there any significant amount of money at issue here?  Is the Department guilty of bloated procurement of bullets, beans, and benzene?  What are the past overruns?

If the government (or, as the case may be, the unelected bootlicking political weathervanes whose jobs depend on the elected party gravy train) is going to make some political hay for itself by cracking down on DND/CF at a time when some people feel DND/CF has gotten a little big for its britches, I'd like to see government (or the political operatives) state some specific factual points instead of smearing the windshield and walking away.
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Offline geo

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2007, 11:28:30 »
Heh... more of a case where you are considered guilty... unless you can prove that you are innocent.
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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #35 on: December 05, 2007, 11:48:22 »
What exactly are the "top-ups" at fault, in what amount, and for what purposes?

Is there any significant amount of money at issue here?  Is the Department guilty of bloated procurement of bullets, beans, and benzene?  What are the past overruns?

If the government (or, as the case may be, the unelected bootlicking political weathervanes whose jobs depend on the elected party gravy train) is going to make some political hay for itself by cracking down on DND/CF at a time when some people feel DND/CF has gotten a little big for its britches, I'd like to see government (or the political operatives) state some specific factual points instead of smearing the windshield and walking away.

Dunno, but, as I understand them, the main complaints are:

1. DND cries wolf and cries poor and then, whenever it suits them, they magically come up with enough troops, kit and money to conduct whatever (desirable, to DND) operation the government wants. This proves that, either: DND doesn't know what/how much it has or DND is playing fast and loose with the truth;

2. DND fails to apply its (limited) resources to its own, established, priorities; or: DND's priority list is so big and so broad as to be meaningless. Either is a sign of poor management; and

3. DND talks out of too many sides of too many mouths. Who is in charge?
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
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Offline MCG

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #36 on: December 05, 2007, 12:13:01 »
This proves that, either: DND doesn't know what/how much it has or DND is playing fast and loose with the truth;
.. or the CF is regularly being exposed to unnecessary risks toward its soldiers lives while consistently managing to achieve barely in reach objectives.

... or, drawing on its military ethic, the CF (out of necessity) sacrifices from simply sustaining its future in order to achieve the government's objectives of the day.

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #37 on: December 05, 2007, 12:47:42 »
DND has a habit of not saying no at the cost of everything else.
Apparently infamous for his one liners.
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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #38 on: December 05, 2007, 12:54:31 »
Dunno, but, as I understand them, the main complaints are:

1. DND cries wolf and cries poor and then, whenever it suits them, they magically come up with enough troops, kit and money to conduct whatever (desirable, to DND) operation the government wants. This proves that, either: DND doesn't know what/how much it has or DND is playing fast and loose with the truth;

2. DND fails to apply its (limited) resources to its own, established, priorities; or: DND's priority list is so big and so broad as to be meaningless. Either is a sign of poor management; and

3. DND talks out of too many sides of too many mouths. Who is in charge?


1. Or it proves that politicians, bureaucrats and soldiery don't talk to each other enough except even in times of crises.  

Left to their own devices the soldiery posits the "worst case scenario" and plans accordingly.  This ultimately results in visions of Corps 2000 and Air Armadas.

The politicians on the other hand work from the principle of "what is the minimum I can get away with?" in all circumstances.  Ultimately their yardsticks are established by what they have to do to get good headlines at home.  So any effort is a satisfactory effort.  An extraordinary effort is better. After all the news cycle is driven by the extraordinary, not the ordinary. Arguably a small CF has to exert extraordinary efforts more often than a large CF therefore a small CF generates favourable headlines for less dollars more often than a large CF.

As to the bureaucrats' guiding principle?  "Whatever. When do I qualify for my pension?"

2.  The issue is NOT the DND's priority list.  The issue is that the Politicians, Bureaucrats and Soldiery don't share the SAME priority list.

3.  As to too many people speaking?  It is an institution of people.  People speak.  To argue that people speaking is indicative of a lack of control is in the same league as arguing that people who survive in a controlled communist economy by barter don't understand capitalism and trade.  Communication, trade and barter:  It is who we are and what we do.  You can't change human nature.  You just have to work with it.

And routinely, for politicians, that means finding the head of the parade stampede and then directing the flow from the edges.  Standing in the way of the flow? Well if you want to practice for that career you can start by standing in front of an oncoming Leo2.

Unfortunately we don't live in a society that responds well to directives from on high. Or is that fortunately?  

Hard to know.

Edit:  Just looking at this and the use of the "Worst Case Scenario" as a planning tool.  Is that any more justifiable than the "Precautionary Principle" cited by the eco-nuts as a planning device to stop development and impose regulation?  Both seem to me to run toward the reductio ad absurdum end of the spectrum of debate - useful for defining what ISN'T necessary or possible.

« Last Edit: December 05, 2007, 13:12:09 by Kirkhill »
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #39 on: December 05, 2007, 13:08:17 »
...

2.  The issue is NOT the DND's priority list.  The issue is that the Politicians, Bureaucrats and Soldiery don't share the SAME priority list.

...

But, Kirkhill, I suggest that is exactly the problem: DND is, simultaneously:

1. A political portfolio - with a seat at the cabinet table;

2. A large, big spending department of government; and

3. The Canadian Forces.

That being said, it is not, must not be, I suggest, unreasonable to expect that DND will have one, single, relatively short and clear priority list (for each of policies and expenditures) which reflects, in some sensible order, political, bureaucratic and military priorities. It is equally reasonable, in my universe, to expect DND to put most of its efforts (time and money) into most of the items at/near the top of its list.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #40 on: December 05, 2007, 13:15:37 »
...

3.  As to too many people speaking?  It is an institution of people.  People speak.  To argue that people speaking is indicative of a lack of control is in the same league as arguing that people who survive in a controlled communist economy by barter don't understand capitalism and trade.  Communication, trade and barter:  It is who we are and what we do.  You can't change human nature.  You just have to work with it.

...

I have, gradually shifted position away from my long held view that the military (the CDS and his most senior henchmen) should be seen but not heard. I accept, albeit reluctantly, that:

1. The senior military staff has a duty to -

a. Tell the men and women in the CF what's going on, and why. The media is the best (most efficient and effective) way to do that. I may wish for the good old days when we stood around in cold, windy hollow squares to hear a few words from some old general, but I'm convinced Rick Hillier is doing the right thing the right way, and

b. Speak, through parliamentary committees or press briefings, to all Canadians - about what the CF is doing, how it does it, how much it all costs, and so on - but not why, that's a politician's job; and

2. The senior bureaucrats have a duty to explain defence policy and strategy and the concomitant financial and procurement matters to Canadians - through parliament and the Auditor General.

I see it as the duty of politicians to tell Canadians why they send our sailors, soldiers and aviators here and there to do this or that.

I don't object to many voices, nor should the PCO, but I hope each stays in his own lanes, as we say here.
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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #41 on: December 05, 2007, 13:23:10 »
But, Kirkhill, I suggest that is exactly the problem: DND is, simultaneously:

1. A political portfolio - with a seat at the cabinet table;

2. A large, big spending department of government; and

3. The Canadian Forces.

That being said, it is not, must not be, I suggest, unreasonable to expect that DND will have one, single, relatively short and clear priority list (for each of policies and expenditures) which reflects, in some sensible order, political, bureaucratic and military priorities. It is equally reasonable, in my universe, to expect DND to put most of its efforts (time and money) into most of the items at/near the top of its list.

I think that most Canadians would see the DND as a collection of Soldiers first and foremost.  Bureaucrats are either there to serve the soldiery (co-opted and untrustworthy) or the politicians and the PCO (evil buggers intent on preventing Soldiers doing their jobs).  It may be true that DND IS actually just another Grey Flannel organization in Ottawa but the perception is decidedly Green.

Beyond that, I agree entirely, it is NOT unreasonable to expect a short, succinct, mutually acceptable list of priorities.  However, equally, it should not be impossible (although history suggests the contrary) to devise a short, succinct list of capabilities that are mutually acceptable to the soldiery, politicians and bureaucrats.  And I also agree that once priorities are established then, commonly, the joint effort is focused on the priorities.

Edit:  With respect to people staying in their lane - as you say we can only hope.  The remedy round about here seems to a large number of very loud voices yelling "Get back in your lane".
« Last Edit: December 05, 2007, 13:25:49 by Kirkhill »
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Offline retiredgrunt45

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #42 on: December 05, 2007, 13:38:29 »
The job of the privy council on defence matters as stated below. I got it from the privy council website itself.

http://www.pco-bcp.gc.ca/default.asp?Language=E&Page=InformationResources&Sub=publications&doc=Role/role2007_e.htm#6.1

Quote
8.0 FOREIGN AND DEFENCE POLICY ADVISOR TO THE PRIME MINISTER
The Foreign and Defence Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister supports the Prime Minister in his or her dealings with other heads of government and heads of state. This involves a variety of tasks ranging from providing policy advice to handling correspondence and arranging visits to Canada and foreign travel. The Advisor also communicates directly, on behalf of the Prime Minister, with foreign government representatives in Canada and senior officials of foreign leaders’ offices.

The Foreign and Defence Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister provides advice to Cabinet on major foreign policy and defence issues. In addition, he or she shares accountability with the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister for the effective operation of the Cabinet Committee for Foreign Affairs and National Security. Two secretariats (Security and Intelligence and the International Assessment Staff) report through the Foreign and Defence Policy Advisor to the National Security Advisor.

The Foreign and Defence Policy Secretariat works with the Department of Finance, the Treasury Board Secretariat, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, the Canadian International Development Agency and National Defence on key policy and related funding issues. It also participates in or coordinates interdepartmental work on issues related to Canada’s international relations.


The PM gets advice right from Mr. Lynch and I will uphold my previous observation in saying that the privy council wants to put the brakes on military spending. I think that the biggest fear here to the council is giving the military what they need, "not what they want". There's a big difference. Giving the military what they need will cost plenty, but given the neglect over the past 30+ years, the council have no one to blame but themselves. After all it was they who gave advice to previous PM's on defence spending. That's not to say the PM has to follow that advice, but history shows us they most likely did. Some of the blame here also has to be with the PM. He being a economist himself, is probably reading from the same page as Lynch. So to quote Mr. Lynch's own words "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler". To this end the simplest thing would be to shut of the tap on defence spending.
Mean while the EI fiasco has a surplus of $54,000,000,000.00 "yes that's 9 zero's" of our money in a bank account. Isn't this also the privy councils responsibility as the head of the public service to monitor these matters. I haven't heard "Boo" about this from the council. I'd say they need to stop complaining about military mismanagement and start looking at the "quagmire" which is the public service and start by getting the rest of their house in order, before they go pointing fingers at the military for mismanagement. Because it would seem, their is an ample supply of mismanagement within the public service itself to go around. I state again that Lynch is targetting the military, because he would rather see it than hear it. With the war in Afghanistan, it is no only seen but heard, in a large part, thanks to a vocal CDS. This is what Lynch doesn't like, he would rather to see the by gone days, when the military took what they were given and were silent. Sorry Mr. Lynch but those days are hopefully gone.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2007, 13:44:01 by retiredgrunt45 »
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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #43 on: December 05, 2007, 14:08:18 »
I don't want to be put in the position of being Milnet.ca's defender of the political centre because, heaven knows, I've been a pretty verbal critic of the centre - here on Army.ca and elsewhere. But, I think we ought to recognize that there is an organizational/management malaise within DND, too. There has to be a reason that the mistrust of DND has been going on for so long that it is, for all intents and purposes, institutionalized.

I think there is some merit in all three of the complaints to which I referred a bit ago.

Because this is Milnet.ca, not Civilservice .ca, I feel more comfortable focusing on reforms which DND might make to itself rather than reforms someone might wish to make to the PCO.
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #44 on: December 05, 2007, 15:16:09 »
I don't want to be put in the position of being Milnet.ca's defender of the political centre .....

I think you have a ways to go before you need worry about that.  ;D



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Offline retiredgrunt45

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #45 on: December 05, 2007, 15:33:53 »
I agree in part that DND is mismanaged to a point. But my point is this; it's no worse mismanaged than any other sector of the PS. This is what gets me hot under the collar when the council continues to point there dirty little fingers at DND, when many other sectors of the PS are no better managed than DND, but they don't get put under a microscope. Until some one can give me a definitive answer why this is, I rest my case.

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #46 on: December 05, 2007, 15:37:36 »
Just start laying off base workers and decide to close some bases, I am sure the funding will be reviewed shortly theafter.

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #47 on: December 05, 2007, 15:54:20 »
Well, not really. We used to joke that the baseline organization of the CF was 1R22eR in CFB Summerside. Summerside is no more. Ditto places from Moncton to Naniamo. The government can find the courage to be efficient, now and again.


Edit: typo - fixed superscript
« Last Edit: December 06, 2007, 07:14:25 by E.R. Campbell »
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Re: DND will fund Afghan mission out of its own budget next year
« Reply #48 on: December 05, 2007, 20:46:49 »
Well, not really. We used to joke that the baseline organization of the CF was 1R22[supe[/sup]R in CFB Summerside. Summerside is no more. Ditto places from Moncton to Naniamo. The government can find the courage to be efficient, now and again.

Well I was in Summerside during a number of attempts to close it down. Minister flies in, makes big base closure announcement, PEI Premier and MP's get on plane and fly to Ottawa, decision is reversed. I agree it was finally closed down but it was kept alive for years for purely political reasons and serves as a good example of the standard inefficiencies that DND is saddled with.
The fact that we were able to buy the C-17 off the shelf stands out as a rare rational move.