Friday, 16 September 2016

HAVING SUBMARINES, AND THE GOVERNMENT YOU DESERVE


It has been reported that Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has stated that the navy's submarines are “play a critical role for sovereignty”, but that the government has not decided whether to spend more money to keep them for the long term.

This is, on the face of it, an astonishing statement. There is a naval capability that our Minister of Nation Defence has defined as “critical for sovereignty” but the government is not sure if it wants to spend the money necessary to maintain that capability. Is it possible that this government does not understand what it is constituted for? Or is it possible that the minister is engaging in hyperbole for the sake of increasing his department’s budget?

So just how ‘critical’ is our submarine service?


In press reports, Royal Canadian Navy commander Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd described the vessels as “essential” to the navy’s ability to protect the country and help NATO, an assessment that was echoed by defence chief Gen. Jonathan Vance. “As Canadians, I think we want to know who’s operating on, above and below our water from a sovereignty perspective,” Lloyd was reported as sayings. “The one strategic asset that allows you to understand what’s operating below the water is a submarine. Nothing else can replace that.”

It is true that according to internal Defence Department  documents that the navy’s submarine fleet will have to be withdrawn in the next few years unless the federal government opts to spend billions to upgrade the ships.


The documents show that the first submarine, HMCS Victoria, is scheduled to reach its end of service life in 2022. The other three vessels will follow until the last, HMCS Windsor, retires in 2027. The navy estimates that extending their usefulness would cost between $1.5 billion and $3 billion, depending on the upgrades that are made and how long they are to remain in service.

To put this in context it should be noted that Canada has the longest coastline in the world, 202,080 km (125,567 miles) altogether. It is also true that International trade makes up a large part of the Canadian economy and that a huge part of that trade moves by sea. In fact at the end of 2015, Canada’s exports of goods and services were 31% as large as GDP and amounted to $611 billion.

Maritime transport is essential to the entire world's economy as over 90% of the world's trade is carried by sea and it is, by far, the most cost-effective way to move mass goods and raw materials around the world.

It is estimated that foreign trade sustains one out of every four Canadian jobs and one out of five jobs in Canada depends on exports, either directly or indirectly. Even our trade with the United States is dependent on marine transportation, which accounted for almost a fifth of the volume of Canada’s exports to the United States and over 95 percent of the approximately 180 million tonnes of commodities and processed goods Canada exports to other countries annually.

What all this means is that what Canada must have, like most of the other nations on earth, is “a stable, rules-based global order which supports the peaceful resolution of disputes, facilitates free and open trade and enables unfettered access to the global commons to support economic development”, to quote from the most recent  Australian DefenceWhite Paper

That same paper also notes that “the framework of the rulesbased global order is under increasing pressure and has shown signs of fragility. Rules for the global commons of the high seas (emphasis added), cyberspace and space will continue to be challenged by states and nonstate actors, leading to uncertainty and tension.”

What part do submarines play in supporting this hoped for stable, rules based global order? According to the Department of National Defence Canada uses submarines for:
  •  Fisheries patrols
  • Surveillance of all three Canadian coastlines
  • Support to maritime law enforcement and other governmental departments
  • Maintenance of fleet skills
  • Bilateral engagement with continental defence partners
  • Participation in multinational exercises
  • Deterrence of would-be terrorists, smugglers and polluters
That department also maintains that Victoria-class submarines represent the Royal Canadian Navy’s “key contribution to Canada’s deployable strategic military assets.”

So it would appear that Minister Sajjan’s statement may not be an exaggeration. Given the shrinking nature of the RCN it may well be that our submarine fleet does indeed play a critical role in Canada's’ sovereignty.

If this is this is indeed the case then there are two alternative explanations for the Minister’s comment. Either he is attempting to publicly back the Prime Minister and the rest of the cabinet into a position from which they have no alternative but to fund the submarine program, or this government believes that sovereignty, and economic well being, are negotiable and can be disposed of on the altar of political necessity.

It is also possible that the current government has correctly concluded that Canadians have become so indifferent to questions of sovereignty and national responsibility that they do not care what the government does on these issues unless it impacts them personally, in the form of jobs or taxes.

 So is this really about maintaining a Canadian submarine capability or is it about maintaining the kind of government Canada has and wants?



Submarines critical for defence, but no decision on upgrades – Sajjan

Sunk without subs

Submarine Equipment Life Extension

THE CANADIAN ECONOMY AT A GLANCE

Industry Information —Canadian Port Industry

Royal Canadian Navy Submarines: Fleet Status – Overview





Wednesday, 7 September 2016

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL WITH STEALTH?

 The Canadian Fighter Replacement Program continues to move forward at a glacial pace. According to the DND Canada requires a fighter aircraft to contribute to the safety and security of Canadians and protect the sovereignty of one of the largest expanses of airspace in the world. The current CF-18 fighter fleet has been in service since the early 1980s, and even with a number of modifications and upgrades, the fleet is old and running out of life. Through skilled and prudent management the Royal Canadian Air Force is risk managing a gap in meeting Canada’s NORAD and NATO commitments. The Government finds this growing gap unacceptable and will move forward with a replacement as soon as possible”.

One of the main competitors for this replacement program is the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.  The aircraft is described as a “5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.”

For many the most important part of the proceeding description is “stealth”. It is the attribute which seems to set the F-35 apart from all its contemporaries.  So just what is the big deal about Stealth?

It has never been easy to convey what low observable technologies actually do. Understanding them requires some grasp of physics, of radar phenomenology, of aircraft design, and of how missions are planned and executed.  Rebecca Grants’ paper “The Radar Game”, issued by the Mitchell Institute in 2010, is still one of the most accessible discussions of the subject available.

The point of Stealth is to reduce an object’s detectability across the electromagnetic spectrum but most importantly to radar.  In this case the goal is to minimize the electromagnetic energy reflected back to radar so that the signal cannot be used for fire control solutions.

Traditional aircraft are vulnerable to radar detection for all the reasons that increased their aerodynamic qualities and performance in the first place. That is things like metal skins, large vertical control surfaces, and big powerful engines.

There is also a wider electromagnetic spectrum to consider. While radar is the main focus here, survivability can depend on taking measures to reduce visual, acoustic, and infrared signatures as well as minimizing telltale communications and targeting emissions.

Among passive technologies the favorite is infrared search and track. While it is not as often in the headlines as radar, designers of all-aspect stealth aircraft have worked since the 1970s to minimize infrared hotspots on aircraft.

It is also true that electronic countermeasures will have a role to play.  It will always take a combination of survivability measures to assure mission accomplishment.

It is important to remember that the goal of ‘Stealth’ is not to make an aircraft invisible. For example, it may be difficult to prevent a blip on the kinds of long-range, low frequency radars used for initial detection, however it takes much more than a blip on a “Tall King” radar to unravel a well-planned mission. An aircraft designed to be stealthy in relation to radar gains advantages in how close it can come to air defense systems; it does not get a free pass in the battlespace.

Having said all that, it is essential to understand the advantages, and limitations, that radar stealth can grant.

Aviation Week & SpaceTechnology has analysed, using open source material, the relative advantages of various aircraft in relation to radar cross section.

They suggest that, based on figures released by the manufacturer, that the Su-35 can detect a 3-m2 target at 400 km (250 mi.).  Keep in mind that large “fourth-generation” fighters such as the F-15, Su-27 and Tornado have radar cross-sections (RCS) of 10-15 m2. The F-16 and “Gen-4.5” fighters—Typhoon, Rafale, Su-35 and Super Hornet are believed to be in the 1-3-m2 range.  Of course the figure is larger if external stores are carried.

The F/A-18E/F, which Boeing says employs the most extensive RCS-reduction measures of any non-stealth fighter, is reported at 0.66-1.26 m2

Based on these figures, A.W. & S.T. estimates that aircraft such as the F-15, the Tornado or Su-27 would be detected at a range of 335 to 370 miles (540 to 600 kilometers). Aircraft such as the F-18, F-16, Su-35 and Typhoon would register at ranges of 185 to 200 miles (300 to 400 kilometers).

On the other hand the F-35 and F-22 RCSs are said to equal a golf ball and marble, respectively which means that the Su-35 cannot detect an F-35 until it is within 36 mi. and inside 22 mi. for an F-22. And the U.S. fighters can launch their medium-range AIM-120 AMRAAMs from more than 60 mi. away. Also, that detection range is for a maximum-power, narrow-angle search. In conventional search mode, the detection range is half as much.

As Aviation Week & Space Technology points out in that article, the same arguments can be applied to the efficacy of stealth aircraft in relation to ground based air defence systems.

The latest S-400 surface-to-air system is feared for many reasons, including its longest-range (380-km) missile, but it cannot fire until its Gravestone radar has a target. According to the manufacturer that radar can detect a 4-m2 target at 250 km (155 mi.). This is good against “reduced RCS” fighters, but the F-35 would not be seen until 21 mi. away and the F-22 13 mi. away. The kind of internally carried Small Diameter Bombs used by these aircraft can be dropped from more than 40 mi. away.

Given these figures it can be argued that stealth aircraft will have an advantage over the kinds of weapons systems current fielded by our potential opponents. A contrary conclusion would be that if “fourth generation” aircraft were to be provided with longer range weapons they could just as easily overcome those systems.

Complex technologies like stealth cost money to field and the price of excellence is nothing new. The premier US night fighter of late World War II was the P-61 Black Widow. Its power and performance came with a high price however. It is reported that with Northrop’s assembly line in full gear, a completely equipped P-61 cost $180,000 in 1943 dollars, three times the cost of a P-38 fighter and twice the price of a C-47 transport.

High technology still carries a substantial price tag; the question for the Canadian Fighter Replacement Program therefore becomes, will stealth aircraft pay back the investment in combat value? The answer to that question is a big deal indeed.





Replacing Canada’s CF-18 Fleet


F-35 Lightning II


The Radar Game


Measuring Stealth Technology's Performance


Conquering the Night Army Air Forces Night Fighters at War - Stephen L. McFarland




Friday, 26 August 2016

ABBOTSFORD 2016 AND THE F-35


It was hot and sunny in Abbotsford this year, perfect weather for an  Airshow. With Mount Baker gleaming in the background the stage was set for an aircraft fans perfect day. 















Fitting this years theme of "Heroes of the Skies" the flying display included an all star flight with an A1 Skyraider, a P51 Mustang, an F8F Bearcat and, best of all, a Mark IV Spitfire







It's always a pleasure to see and hear these vintage war birds in action. Watching the flying bomb truck that is the Skyraider you couldn't help but wonder if the USAF couldn't solve some of its close air support problems by putting those grand old attack aircraft back in production. (I know it sounds silly, but if they are seriously thinking about putting the F-22 back in production, then anything is possible)













Speaking of Air Superiority, it was thrilling to see  the above P-51 Mustang along with a Mk.IV Spitfire,














and an F-8F Bearcat in the line-up.





Also along was the Heritage Flight Museums Mitusbishi A6M Zero clone. 











In keeping with that same theme, the show was also highlighting the accomplishments of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in Canada. Which meant lot of bright yellow trainers.






Although flying with US Navy colours, this Boeing PT-17, seen above, was representative of Canadian wartime trainers.



A pair of vintage T-6 Harvard trainer were joined by their modern equivalent, all in traditional yellow.




The modern T-6 was painted in the traditional colours. In the distant past it was believed that this was the best shade for visibility. 











Now, it appears, black is favoured for avoiding air-to-air encounters of the expensive kind.





Not, of course, that the choice of colour has anything to do with the 'cool' factor.  Not that it hurts, as this CT-155 Hawk testifies.





As any trainer aircraft, such as this CH-146 Griffon and CH-139 Jet Ranger, can tell you, black is the new yellow.











Colours can matter. Needless to say "Air superiority gray" is ' de rigueur' for any self respecting fast jet.






Which explains this F/A-18,



although how this A-10 qualifies as a "fast jet" is not so clear.



but at least it makes more sense then this SH-60, Seahawk on detachment from the USS Nimitz.



You can't help but think that, as good as our long promised CH-148 Cyclones are suppose to be, how long could we have been flying aircraft like this off our frigates, if only our procurement system had been capable of acquiring them.






Which brings us to this CH-149 Cormorant, which shows that 'high vis' yellow is still fashionable in some quarters.






Speaking of paint jobs, this A-4N Skyhawk,
originally from Israel and now the property of CAE/Draken stood out. The pilot, a twenty year RCAF veteran, advised that they also operated ex-New Zealand A-4K's equipped  with APG-66 air-to-air radar that saw a lot of use at Red Flag in Nevada. Discovery Air may have some real competition here.

One of the great things about a visit to any airport are the weird and wonderful 'planes that can be found around the outskirts of the field. Case in point, these Conair S-2 Firecats.

The folding wings remind you of their naval origins and that, like the A-4, they are still used operationally by the Brazilian navy.



One can only hope that these C-130's at Cascade Aerospace will one day find a new life. (Search and Rescue, anyone)







-Of course the star of the show was the first 
appearance in Canada of the F-35. The air police and rope line reminded some spectators of a certain age of the occasional appearance of the F-117 Nighthawk at events like this in the past. 

But with a little maneuvering it was possible to get an unimpeded shot of the aircraft, albeit one that seems to emphasize its rather portly lines.

This rear view shows the complex geometry of the design which would appear to confirm reports that the aircraft has lower "stealth" from this angle.
It was interesting to see, as this stock photo provided at the Abbotsford Airshow site shows, that unlike it's competitor the F-18 Superhornet was able to provide a flying demonstration as well as static viewing.















A great airshow and great aircraft.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

DEFENCE POLICY REVIEW, QUESTION TEN, AND SOME CONCLUSIONS

The Department of National Defence has launched public consultations for the development of a new defence policy for Canada. Canadian Defence Matters is attempting to come up with some answers to the ten questions contained in the Defence Policy Review Public Consultation Document 2016

The final question asked by the Consultation paper is in many ways the most important, and the one whose answers should form the basis for a new Defence policy.

Under the section labeled “Questions relating to contributing to the Defence budget” question ten asks “What resources will the CAF require to meet Canada’s defence needs?

The section goes on to point out that “This new vision for defence must be affordable” and that the Canadian military has been, on average, resourced at around 1% of Canadian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the past decade while noting that NATO guidelines indicate that member nations should aim to move toward spending 2% of GDP on defence.

Perhaps the most important part of the guidelines offered makes it clear that: Canada assesses its defence spending in terms of the level of resources required to support an effective and capable CAF. Ultimately, the level of ambition we defi­ne for the CAF must be properly resourced, which will require clear priorities and strategic decisions about how to invest limited resources with maximum impact.

Paying for the defence resources we need is paramount.  In many ways military spending is a form of insurance. No one likes paying for insurance because, like the military, the chances are that we will never really need it. But if we do need it, like the military, Canada will be very glad that it made the investment.

Just like a homeowner, Canada needs to decide how much insurance we need, how much we can afford, and what are the risks we are facing. Writing almost seventy five years ago in his book “The Military Problems of Canada” about the period between the First and Second World Wars C.P. Stacey, that doyen of Canadian military historians, said “For sixteen years (it would almost seem) no responsible Canadian statesman ever paused to ask himself these simple and fundamental questions: If this peace proves fleeting, what is the nature of the menaces that will threaten Canada? What form of organization would offer the greatest security against them? How far does the existing organization satisfy these needs?” 

In some significant ways the domestic attitude towards defence spending in Canada today is not that different from the conditions that prevailed in Stacey’s time.

Like Raoul Dandurand, Canada’s delegate to the League of Nations from 1927 to 1930, it is still the opinion of many that in international affairs Canada is “a fireproof house, far from inflammable materials.” Of course, it is no truer now than it was then.

The majority of Canadians, and their elected representatives, believe that war is discretionary, essentially a matter of choice. Even in the face of everything we know about human nature and everything we have learned from history it is still widely believed that we will always be able to pick and choose our military involvements. 

If it were true we could have a very different military then the one we need, one that could put an emphasis on using its resources for a wide variety of useful, if not strictly military purposes.  We could have a military that prioritized activities such as domestic search and rescue, infrastructure building, peace keeping and job creation.

But what we need is a military based on a Defence Policy which considers a combination of known threats and strives to maintain the broad range of military capabilities that are necessary to a well-balanced force within a budget that we can afford.

Military capability cannot be created overnight. Unlike insurance, you cannot buy a military at the last minute. Modern militaries are tremendously complex and equipment can take decades to acquire. Even more important are the people, it will take decades to produce the leaders and organizations that can properly use the technology on a modern battlefield.

“What resources will the CAF require to meet Canada’s defence needs?”  The resources the Canadian Armed Forces will require to meet Canada’s defence needs are politicians and a general public willing to ask the question; If this peace proves fleeting, what is the nature of the menaces that will threaten Canada? What form of organization would offer the greatest security against them? How far does the existing organization satisfy these needs? and find the resources to pay for the answers.







Defence Policy Review

Defence Policy Review Public Consultation Document 2016





Monday, 18 July 2016

DEFENCE POLICY REVIEW, QUESTION 9 “WHAT ADDITIONAL MEASURES COULD DND UNDERTAKE, ALONG WITH PARTNER DEPARTMENTS, TO IMPROVE DEFENCE PROCUREMENT?”

The Department of National Defence has launched public consultations for the development of a new defence policy for Canada. Canadian Defence Matters is attempting to come up with some answers to the ten questions contained in the Defence Policy Review Public Consultation Document 2016".

Question nine asks “What additional measures could DND undertake, along with partner departments, to improve defence procurement?”

According to the Public Consultation Document “An effective defence procurement process and a strong and vibrant Canadian defence industrial base are important to Canada’s security and economy – not only for reasons of economic prosperity – but also to ensure a range of capabilities available to provide Canada with an operational and technological edge. It is imperative that the CAF have the tools they need to carry out their day-to-day duties at home and abroad.”

It would not be unreasonable to point out that the DND has faced challenges in delivering both large and complex defence procurement project as well as smaller ones. To be fair, as the department points out, the DND has let over 40,000 contracts a year for both services and goods since 2009, with an upward trend to 60,000 in the last two ­fiscal years.

What is needed, according to  Douglas Bland in his introduction to Allan Williams’ Reinventing Canadian Defence Procurement: A View from the Inside, is “a predictable defence-management system that joins strategic analysis to statements of defence requirements to efficient procurement, which in concert produce appropriate military capabilities. The system in its entirety” he says “ought to sustain the Canadian Forces by flowing force development and the resultant future force into the engaged present force”.

Currently defence procurement as practiced in Canada does none of those things. The truth is that the current Canadian defence-procurement ‘system’  is, in Alan Williams’ words, “a bureaucratic muddle,” characterized by a lack of accountability at all levels.

What is not needed is adding more layers of ‘accountability’ to the system, it will not help. Departmental reviews and new studies will not make things better; in fact these are exactly the kind of things that have given us our current convoluted and drawn out process, one overburdened by non-defence considerations, overly bureaucratic, and rife with political interference

What is needed is a single point of responsibility for defence procurement.

It is long past time that a single agency, one with cabinet level representation, be responsible for the 53 percent of federal government acquisition dollars that are devoted to defence outputs. In the past three years alone 52 percent ($10.3 billion) of all government contracts in excess of $100 million were for defence materiel and 56 percent of the total asset base of the federal government is held by the Department of National Defence.

The additional measures the DND could undertake, along with partner departments, to improve defence procurement would be to create a stand-alone  defence procurement agency, under the direction of the minister of National Defence, which would be exclusively  responsible for all military procurement contracts.

Defence Policy Review

Defence Policy Review Public Consultation Document 2016

Reinventing Canadian Defence Procurement Foreword by Dr. Douglas Bland

Reinventing Canadian Defence Procurement: A View from the Inside







Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Defence Policy Review Public Consultation Document 2016, Question 8 – What do these things have in common?

The Department of National Defence has launched public consultations for the development of a new defence policy for Canada. Canadian Defence Matters is attempting to come up with some answers to the ten questions contained in the “Defence Policy Review Public Consultation Document 2016”.

Question eight asks” What type of investments should Canada make in space, cyber, and unmanned systems? To what extent should Canada strive to keep pace and be interoperable with key allies in these domains?”

It is hard to understand what prompted the belief that these three issues had anything in common, other than the perceived need to “keep pace” with and “be interoperable with key allies in these domains”.

The paper points out that “Space technology is increasingly critical for Canada’s economy and society” as well as being essential to national security and defence. What “space technology” does, for Canada, is provide GPS capacity, communications and a reconnaissance capability through satellite systems like RADARSAT-2 and Sapphire.

In terms of Cyber systems the Public Consultation Document also makes the point that dependence on information technology has become central to the military. It is, as noted, “a highly complex threat environment that poses significant challenges for the CAF and for Canada as a whole.”

With the premise that “Unmanned Systems have become integral to modern military operations” the paper goes on to outline the difficulties inherent in addressing the cultural road blocks imposed by using robotic systems to fulfill tasks which previously gave value to the humans that accomplished them. 

One example of this dislocation is the continued preference for the term ‘drone’ by those who oppose arming remotely piloted aircraft, while those who do not oppose “weaponization” use the term ‘unmanned systems’. Both sides of the argument apparently believing that nomenclature can determine outcomes.

One thing these three areas do have in common is that there seems to be no obvious reason that Canada needs to “keep pace” with our allies in these areas. At the same time it seems equally obvious that we do need to be “interoperable with key allies” with regard to these capabilities.

The other thing these seemingly disparate “domains” do have in common is that our dependence on them could become areas of vulnerability for our Forces.  

At a minimum, the “investments should Canada make in space, cyber, and unmanned systems” should involve a thorough and ongoing threat assessment. What are our vulnerabilities in these fields? How can we deal with the loss of capabilities in areas which we depend on but do not control? What expenditures are necessary to maintain the ability to work with the systems of our allies with minimum effort.

These are the questions we need to ask, and the answers to them are the things we need to invest in.


Defence Policy Review

Defence Policy Review Public Consultation Document 2016


Tuesday, 5 July 2016

CANADA AND NATO, HOW FAR IS CANADA PREPARED TO GO?

The recent announcement that Canada would establish and lead a rotational multinational NATO battlegroup, one of four to be provided as a reassurance measure to smaller countries, more recent NATO members who feel threatened by a perceived Russian military buildup, raises a number of questions

A battlegroup in modern military theory is the basic building block of an army's fighting force. A battlegroup is formed around an infantry battalion or armoured regiment, which is usually commanded by a lieutenant colonel.  The battalion also provides the command and staff element of a battlegroup, which is complemented with an appropriate mix of armour, infantry and support personnel and weaponry, relevant to the task it is expected to perform.

According to Wikipedia a Commonwealth battle group is usually named after its major constituent; for example, the Canadian Army's "1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group" (shortened to "1 RCR Battle Group") on an operational tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2007–08.

It would require the army to rotate one of its infantry battalions and a headquarters into the position once every six months, dependents would not be stationed “in country” as was the case in the past with our decade’s long deployment of Fourth Brigade to Germany.

The Canadian Army currently uses a 36 month training cycle in which one of three brigades is at full strength and completely available for one year while the other two are in earlier stages of training. It is not clear if the battle group for NATO would come from the ‘duty’ brigade, thereby lessening its ability to “generate, employ and sustain combat ready combined arms forces to conduct operations at home and abroad” or if it would come from a unit at a different stage of readiness.

It would also be easy to get caught up in the question of just what equipment our troops would be equipped with. One assumes that it would be a LAV equipped infantry battalion, perhaps with a squadron of TAPV’s for reconnaissance.

An interested onlooker would not find it difficult to think about just what else such a force would need to have to be militarily viable. Items such as increase anti-tank defences, TOW under armour for example, fire support in the form of 81mm mortars carried in LAVs or TAPVs, short range anti-aircraft weapons similarly mounted and some kind of short to medium range reconnaissance drone such Scan Eagle are obvious choices.

The same onlooker might also wonder if our procurement system is agile enough acquire any of those items not now in the system in a reasonable length of time.

Questions about rotation schedules and equipment, however, miss a far more important issue.

What is the military rational of this force, particularly the Canadian contingent?

It has been pointed out that the deployment goes contrary to the NATO-Russia Founding Act signed in 1997 where the military alliance explicitly agreed not to station troops along the Russian border in former satellite states.

Neither Russia nor NATO has officially withdrawn from the treaty, which commits both sides to “build together a lasting and inclusive peace in the Euro-Atlantic area on the principles of democracy and cooperative security.”

But NATO officials now argue Russia effectively tore up the treaty with the annexation of Crimea and that it has a duty to defend new members, including the Baltic states, Poland and Romania.

If the plan is to signal Moscow, in a way that does not threaten them, that we will support our new NATO military allies and that an attack on them is an attack on the alliance at large, then how do we make that message credible.

If our forces are not there simply to act as ‘speed bumps” for passing Russian armoured forces then there must be a plan to reinforce or extract them in the event deterrence fails and major hostilities occur. They must be equipped with the systems necessary to provide, at the very least, for their own survival until such actions can be taken.

Canada must answer the question for itself, before Moscow asks it for us, how far we are prepared to go to defend our Eastern European allies and what measures are we willing to put in place to deal with the responsibility of putting one thousand Canadian soldiers in harms way?




Canada assumes leading role for NATO's enhanced presence in Eastern and Central Europe

Battlegroup (army)

1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group

Background –CF LAV TUA (TOW - Under - Armour) Project

Canada’s Baltic conundrum – Part 2