- Feb 8, 2007
- Land of Swine and Maple Syrup
In the comments there is a lot of negative comments about spending that much money on "war". But if they pay attention to the areas that this money is being spent on, it is to ensure the safety of Canadians on Canadian soil. :uhh: Idiots.
Federal government quietly releases $490B military plan
Details posted online Thursday night
Last Updated: Friday, June 20, 2008 | 5:57 AM ET Comments251Recommend124
The Conservative government has quietly released the details of its extensive plan to beef up the military, including spending $490 billion over the next 20 years to ensure Canadian soldiers are well-equipped, well-trained and highly active.
Details of the plan, known as Canada First Defence Strategy, were posted Thursday night without fanfare on the Department of National Defence's website.
The posting comes almost six weeks after Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced at a news conference that his government had a strategy for the military, but provided few details about it. Critics at the time said the strategy was nothing more than a speech, since Harper offered no document to back it up.
Military analyst Rob Huebert told CBC News that he can't understand why Harper would release the document so quietly, and why he would do so the day before the House of Commons is expected to adjourn for the summer.
Still, he praised the document's contents, saying the strategy appears to be a well-balanced assessment that juggles the military's commitments at home and overseas.
"I'm hard-pressed right at this point, looking at it, to be really overtly critical," said Huebert, associate director of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies in Calgary. "I do think they've got a good balance on this particular aspect."
The document says the military needs to spend about $45 billion alone on large capital purchases, and should replace some of its destroyers, frigates, maritime patrol aircraft, search-and-rescue aircraft, next-generation fighter aircraft and land combat vehicles.
It also says the military needs to enhance its ability to operate alongside the American forces.
The document suggests that in the next 20 years, the international community will be coping with failed states, rogue nuclear nations and the increasing threat of terrorism. As a result, the military needs to be well-prepared to focus on six core missions:
NDP defence critic Dawn Black questioned why the document does not stress the peacekeeping work of Canadian soldiers.
- Defending Canada's sovereignty.
- Supporting a major international event in Canada, like the 2010 Olympics.
- Responding to any major terrorist attacks.
- Providing aid to civilian authorities during natural disasters and other crises.
- Conducting a major international operation for an extended period, such as the Afghan mission.
- Have enough troops remaining to deploy to other international crises for shorter periods of time.
"The more and more we become meshed with American foreign policy… the less and less ability we have to be independent and have a clear Canadian voice on the international stage."