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FORCE 2025: Informing the Army’s future structure

McG

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And here's another question: is the trade expected to perform under enemy fire? If not does that person need to be on uniformed strength?
Some artillery can reach hundreds on km; there is no safe distance from the front in a peer conflict. In Afghanistan, even the super MOBs suffered incursions, with one flight line in Helmand seeing office workers & aircraft mechanics fight to secure it. There is no going into any future theatre and not potentially having to fight or otherwise perform under fire.
 

Kirkhill

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Some artillery can reach hundreds on km; there is no safe distance from the front in a peer conflict. In Afghanistan, even the super MOBs suffered incursions, with one flight line in Helmand seeing office workers & aircraft mechanics fight to secure it. There is no going into any future theatre and not potentially having to fight or otherwise perform under fire.

One could argue that there are no safe civilians either. Even in Ottawa.
 

FJAG

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And here's another question: is the trade expected to perform under enemy fire? If not does that person need to be on uniformed strength?
In most cases, yes. "Uniformed" is not the issue. The person, however, needs to be constrained in a system where he can be given orders, needs to show up when required, not be free to quit his job at the drop of the hat, can be moved around to wherever his skills are needed and be subject to a system of consequences when he steps out of line. A military cannot function when people can simply walk away from their commitments. In short, a military must be able to coerce people into doing things that they do not want to do. Currently that means "uniformed" but doesn't necessarily have to.

One can always set up a tiered structure which allows varying rights and responsibilities during peacetime. I like a concept where recruit with specialist skills could choose to serve in a given location and not be posted during the term of his contract. In exchange for that he would give up leadership courses and his promotability to a leadership position would be limited. This could help recruit highly technical skills to specialist units in larger urban centres. In a way we do that something akin to that with Class B's right now. We need a system that makes it easier for people to serve where they want to live rather than moving them around willy nilly from pillar to post.

🍻
 

Kirkhill

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In most cases, yes. "Uniformed" is not the issue. The person, however, needs to be constrained in a system where he can be given orders, needs to show up when required, not be free to quit his job at the drop of the hat, can be moved around to wherever his skills are needed and be subject to a system of consequences when he steps out of line. A military cannot function when people can simply walk away from their commitments. In short, a military must be able to coerce people into doing things that they do not want to do. Currently that means "uniformed" but doesn't necessarily have to.

One can always set up a tiered structure which allows varying rights and responsibilities during peacetime. I like a concept where recruit with specialist skills could choose to serve in a given location and not be posted during the term of his contract. In exchange for that he would give up leadership courses and his promotability to a leadership position would be limited. This could help recruit highly technical skills to specialist units in larger urban centres. In a way we do that something akin to that with Class B's right now. We need a system that makes it easier for people to serve where they want to live rather than moving them around willy nilly from pillar to post.

🍻

The military exists in a civilian world. All of its supply lines originate in the civilian world. Its comms. Its weapons. Its vehicles. Even its soldiers. And its orders.

Even if the day comes that martial law is declared that is not going to change. The percentage of civilians in uniform will rise but new civilians will be making and repairing comms, weapons and vehicles. Those civilians are targets and are just as likely to be killed. Even when they don't wear a uniform. And setting up a martial society is a long term project.

The Forces need to work with the civilians. That process begins in peace time. Warehousing and transportation, maintenance, in peace time with a garrison army are all tasks that can be handled by civilians. They do the jobs for other civilians on a daily basis. The skill sets used to do the jobs for the Forces are no different. In war time they can continue doing the same jobs without interruption. Similarly for Engineers. In peaceful environments civilian contractors can do horizontal and vertical construction.

The dividing line, in my view, has to be "when the guns begin to shoot". I agree that "guns" can shoot a long way these days. In fact there isn't anywhere they can't reach. So any facility considered of strategic value, whether manned by civilian or military personnel is at risk.

I think the difference between the environment in which the civilian and the soldier operates has to be seen as one of degree and not of kind. The difference is that the closer you get to the Front the greater the intensity of the fire you will face. Not everybody is willing to face that danger.

Some civilians are. They are willing, as civilians, to drive trucks or build runways in the face of an enemy. They will weigh dollars against risk and decide which risks they are willing to take. They can be relied on to do some of the work that needs to be done but, like the Waggonneers of old, and the dockyard workers of WW2, they may choose to absent themselves for a while.

Under those circumstances it is useful to have on hand a body of people with those skills willing to accept a harsher contractual obligation. Or even better yet, volunteers.

It is those types of people that I would look to the Reserves to find. Much of the supply to the peacetime garrison, and the wartime distribution hubs can be managed by civilians overseen by soldiers. Distribution forward from the hubs is the job of soldiers. In peace that demand is small. In war that demand is great.

We have a limited peacetime authorization of "soldiers" from the Treasury, both full time and part time. Doesn't it make sense to make the best use of the authorization possible and reserve those soldiers for the jobs where you absolutely must have soldiers and use civilians, and civilian systems to keep the beast fed?

One thing the current unpleasantness is showing is that it doesn't take much time to train a willing civilian how to soldier. That isn't the same as turning her into a soldier but teaching her enough to help the cause. Do we need to spend a lot of effort on keeping trained rifles on parade strength in the reserves? Or are we better to accept a high turnover and use the reserves to teach a pool of civilians how to assist when necessary and then register them as useful. For future reference.

The regular force should be configured to manage the diplomatic tasks of the government in peacetime, and manage those tasks from within its own strength. Neither the regs nor the reserves are committed to the peace time use of the reserves in any event, at least not in Canada.
 

Skysix

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In most cases, yes. "Uniformed" is not the issue. The person, however, needs to be constrained in a system where he can be given orders, needs to show up when required, not be free to quit his job at the drop of the hat, can be moved around to wherever his skills are needed and be subject to a system of consequences when he steps out of line. A military cannot function when people can simply walk away from their commitments. In short, a military must be able to coerce people into doing things that they do not want to do. Currently that means "uniformed" but doesn't necessarily have to.

One can always set up a tiered structure which allows varying rights and responsibilities during peacetime. I like a concept where recruit with specialist skills could choose to serve in a given location and not be posted during the term of his contract. In exchange for that he would give up leadership courses and his promotability to a leadership position would be limited. This could help recruit highly technical skills to specialist units in larger urban centres. In a way we do that something akin to that with Class B's right now. We need a system that makes it easier for people to serve where they want to live rather than moving them around willy nilly from pillar to post.

🍻
Hmmm. Sounds like the CWO's in the US.... SME with their own promotion and rank system.
 

FJAG

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The military exists in a civilian world. All of its supply lines originate in the civilian world. Its comms. Its weapons. Its vehicles. Even its soldiers. And its orders.
Always has; always will.
Even if the day comes that martial law is declared that is not going to change. The percentage of civilians in uniform will rise but new civilians will be making and repairing comms, weapons and vehicles. Those civilians are targets and are just as likely to be killed. Even when they don't wear a uniform. And setting up a martial society is a long term project.
Who was talking about a martial society? Your initial question was:

And here's another question: is the trade expected to perform under enemy fire? If not does that person need to be on uniformed strength?
And the answer simply was that "uniformed" is not the issue but for a number of reasons it needs to be someone who is in the nature of a soldier and subject to a hierarchy, discipline and terms of service.

You seem to be heading off on a different tangent at this point and I really can't see what your desired end-state is here.

The Forces need to work with the civilians. That process begins in peace time. Warehousing and transportation, maintenance, in peace time with a garrison army are all tasks that can be handled by civilians. They do the jobs for other civilians on a daily basis. The skill sets used to do the jobs for the Forces are no different. In war time they can continue doing the same jobs without interruption. Similarly for Engineers. In peaceful environments civilian contractors can do horizontal and vertical construction.
That's mostly true but it ignores the simple situation that the skill set may need to be used in the field during wartime so there is a period of training required for the individual who deploys. Simply put I can teach both a soldier and a civilian to do construction of a house on a base. BUT, if I need that construction to be done in Upper Podunk in the bush in Africa, I can't force the civilian to go there.

The dividing line, in my view, has to be "when the guns begin to shoot". I agree that "guns" can shoot a long way these days. In fact there isn't anywhere they can't reach. So any facility considered of strategic value, whether manned by civilian or military personnel is at risk.
Civilians have been at risk since the first cavemen decided to raid their neighbours hunting grounds. "Guns" are not the issue. The issue is: can I foce a "civilian" to do what he doesn't want to like I can a soldier.

I think the difference between the environment in which the civilian and the soldier operates has to be seen as one of degree and not of kind. The difference is that the closer you get to the Front the greater the intensity of the fire you will face. Not everybody is willing to face that danger.

Some civilians are. They are willing, as civilians, to drive trucks or build runways in the face of an enemy. They will weigh dollars against risk and decide which risks they are willing to take. They can be relied on to do some of the work that needs to be done but, like the Waggonneers of old, and the dockyard workers of WW2, they may choose to absent themselves for a while.
It's both degree and kind but it's also irrelevant to the issue. The latter point, however, is the relevant point. When the need arises is not the time to find out which of your workforce are prepared to carry on and which will down tools and bugger off. We're not just talking about plumbers' helpers here. Were talking about a wide variety of specialized trade and technical folk who need training and integration into the force well before it needs to deploy.

Under those circumstances it is useful to have on hand a body of people with those skills willing to accept a harsher contractual obligation. Or even better yet, volunteers.
That's too broad and too vague a classification.

It is those types of people that I would look to the Reserves to find.
Okay. Me too.

Much of the supply to the peacetime garrison, and the wartime distribution hubs can be managed by civilians overseen by soldiers.
We've fallen into a rut because our civilian workforce currently provides a measure of stability which is sometimes lacking with military personnel who may need to go on lengthier courses for both skill and leadership development and who fall into posting cycles. Civilians, however, provide little depth to the force if there is a need to call more personnel forward.

Distribution forward from the hubs is the job of soldiers. In peace that demand is small. In war that demand is great.
That's obvious.

We have a limited peacetime authorization of "soldiers" from the Treasury, both full time and part time. Doesn't it make sense to make the best use of the authorization possible and reserve those soldiers for the jobs where you absolutely must have soldiers and use civilians, and civilian systems to keep the beast fed?
The premise is false. Both the soldier and civilian cost money. Authorizations are between soldiers and civilians are arbitrary unless there is a clear cost saving involved that trumps the fact that a trained soldier in the job provides more depth and flexibility to the system. Your premise only works if we can't find enough people who want to be soldiers. At that point we have to prioritize. Actually, if we reach that point we need to revert to conscription.

One thing the current unpleasantness is showing is that it doesn't take much time to train a willing civilian how to soldier.
Well, more than the one month the Russians seem to be using right now, but I tend to agree. Canada overtrains its RegF soldiers (with good reason) and uses training schedules that are more suited to accommodate the instructors than challenge the trainees. We need to return to a system of peacetime training standards and an accelerated one for war-time mobilization. One problem with a small army going all-in is that there is very little cadre staff left behind to train and lead the follow-on forces.

That isn't the same as turning her into a soldier but teaching her enough to help the cause. Do we need to spend a lot of effort on keeping trained rifles on parade strength in the reserves? Or are we better to accept a high turnover and use the reserves to teach a pool of civilians how to assist when necessary and then register them as useful. For future reference.
I think that's the wrong question. The question starts with what is the threat and how best do we organize to meet it? There may be a role for a home guard type of force but it needs more than keeping an accurate list of names and contact information. It also needs equipment and an organization that it can fall onto.

Do we still need to keep trained rifles on parade in the reserves? Absolutely, and much more than that. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't also have a well organized and managed supplementary reserve with a plan on how to use it. One can, and should have both.

The regular force should be configured to manage the diplomatic tasks of the government in peacetime, and manage those tasks from within its own strength.
I wouldn't go that far. Firstly those tasks are elastic. They grow and shrink, sometimes quickly. One wouldn't want to keep growing and shrinking the RegF to manage that. One also wouldn't want to man a new task from the RegF if that manning resulted in an inability to continue normal recruiting, training and career development. The ResF provides excellent flexibility to meet operational taskings while also providing a training and experience opportunity not typically available to a reservist.

Neither the regs nor the reserves are committed to the peace time use of the reserves in any event, at least not in Canada.
Judging by the number of Class Bs and Cs employed at any given time I think that statement is clearly wrong. I think too many of them are used wrongly, though, and IMHO, we're missing the boat on how to use the various subcomponents of the ResF to their best advantage.

🍻
 

Kirkhill

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Always has; always will.

Who was talking about a martial society? Your initial question was:


And the answer simply was that "uniformed" is not the issue but for a number of reasons it needs to be someone who is in the nature of a soldier and subject to a hierarchy, discipline and terms of service.

You seem to be heading off on a different tangent at this point and I really can't see what your desired end-state is here.


That's mostly true but it ignores the simple situation that the skill set may need to be used in the field during wartime so there is a period of training required for the individual who deploys. Simply put I can teach both a soldier and a civilian to do construction of a house on a base. BUT, if I need that construction to be done in Upper Podunk in the bush in Africa, I can't force the civilian to go there.


Civilians have been at risk since the first cavemen decided to raid their neighbours hunting grounds. "Guns" are not the issue. The issue is: can I foce a "civilian" to do what he doesn't want to like I can a soldier.


It's both degree and kind but it's also irrelevant to the issue. The latter point, however, is the relevant point. When the need arises is not the time to find out which of your workforce are prepared to carry on and which will down tools and bugger off. We're not just talking about plumbers' helpers here. Were talking about a wide variety of specialized trade and technical folk who need training and integration into the force well before it needs to deploy.


That's too broad and too vague a classification.


Okay. Me too.


We've fallen into a rut because our civilian workforce currently provides a measure of stability which is sometimes lacking with military personnel who may need to go on lengthier courses for both skill and leadership development and who fall into posting cycles. Civilians, however, provide little depth to the force if there is a need to call more personnel forward.


That's obvious.


The premise is false. Both the soldier and civilian cost money. Authorizations are between soldiers and civilians are arbitrary unless there is a clear cost saving involved that trumps the fact that a trained soldier in the job provides more depth and flexibility to the system. Your premise only works if we can't find enough people who want to be soldiers. At that point we have to prioritize. Actually, if we reach that point we need to revert to conscription.


Well, more than the one month the Russians seem to be using right now, but I tend to agree. Canada overtrains its RegF soldiers (with good reason) and uses training schedules that are more suited to accommodate the instructors than challenge the trainees. We need to return to a system of peacetime training standards and an accelerated one for war-time mobilization. One problem with a small army going all-in is that there is very little cadre staff left behind to train and lead the follow-on forces.


I think that's the wrong question. The question starts with what is the threat and how best do we organize to meet it? There may be a role for a home guard type of force but it needs more than keeping an accurate list of names and contact information. It also needs equipment and an organization that it can fall onto.

Do we still need to keep trained rifles on parade in the reserves? Absolutely, and much more than that. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't also have a well organized and managed supplementary reserve with a plan on how to use it. One can, and should have both.


I wouldn't go that far. Firstly those tasks are elastic. They grow and shrink, sometimes quickly. One wouldn't want to keep growing and shrinking the RegF to manage that. One also wouldn't want to man a new task from the RegF if that manning resulted in an inability to continue normal recruiting, training and career development. The ResF provides excellent flexibility to meet operational taskings while also providing a training and experience opportunity not typically available to a reservist.


Judging by the number of Class Bs and Cs employed at any given time I think that statement is clearly wrong. I think too many of them are used wrongly, though, and IMHO, we're missing the boat on how to use the various subcomponents of the ResF to their best advantage.

🍻

I find myself compelled to respond to your response.

My eye is drawn to

if I need that construction to be done in Upper Podunk in the bush in Africa, I can't force the civilian to go there.

So the value of the uniform is that permits compulsion.

Except that the wearer of the uniform volunteered to put it on, volunteered to accept the terms of a contract, volunteered to accept a pay scale, to accept a level of risk, and volunteered to accept terms under which the contract could be quit or severed. In fact, the ultimate sanction for a soldier who refuses compulsion is to be stripped of the uniform. In which case the ability to compel ends.

In what way is the Private's contract any different than that of any other civil contract? In fact Pvt as an abbreviation can either refer to a Private soldier, a contracted individual or, in some commonwealth jurisdictions, a Private company.

Command, compel, coerce.
Lead, encourage, buy.

In Canada, and most of the West it is difficult to compel and coerce, even if an individual has volunteered to put on a uniform. Dragging heels, misinterpretation, communications difficulties, failure to comprehend, outright mutiny, even fragging. Every person with responsibility has to be cognizant of the limitations of their authority. This is particularly true for the Forces in peacetime where the Forces serve the diplomatic whims of the government of the day.

If construction is necessary in the bush of Africa, you may not be able to compel a particular civilian to do that but it would be a very strange situation if you weren't able to find some civilian willing to take on the task for the right fee and conditions.

Those companies, those people exist and operate in the field daily. There are even companies that will supply armed security for such sites.

So if Global Affairs Canada absolutely has to have an airfield built in Upper Podunk does it need to send uniformed engineers to do the job? Or can it employ civilian trades?

Why do the Forces need to train engineers, mechanics, electricians, carpenters, welders, heavy equipment operators? There are lots of them out there. Surely some portion of them could be convinced to work for the Crown? Perhaps the contracts that are being offered, not just the monetary reward but the terms, are not attractive?

If you absolutely want the Upper Podunk job done by people in uniform then perhaps you hire the people for the duration, give them a one month orientation and issue them uniforms. After the contract ends you keep them on file for the next contract.

World War I is still imprinted on our organizations despite the changes in technology.

In WWI even city kids could harness a horse or kick clay in tunnels. They had no clue about cars, internal combustion, radios or even machine guns. They had to be taught the basics of technologies that were brand new because the Forces needed them and there weren't enough of them to go around. WWI army and navy trade schools, together with all the surplus kit left over after the war really set the stage for the democratization of technology in the 20th century.

But now?

2 year olds learn how to push buttons on computers to access their favourite games and cartoons when the parents aren't watching. The forces are explicitly using gaming technology to operate weapons systems. There is little to choose between a simulator and a game. And meanwhile technologies and ideas advance faster than the Forces can figure out how to use them - but not faster than billions of other people can figure out ways they can be used, often to the detriment of existing technologies operated by the Forces.

Cicero is still right. The sinews of war is infinite money.

And no amount of compulsion will overcome that.

If the army, or more properly the government, needs a good, or a service, then it should first go shopping and buy it.

What can it not buy?
 

Skysix

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I find myself compelled to respond to your response.

My eye is drawn to



So the value of the uniform is that permits compulsion.

Except that the wearer of the uniform volunteered to put it on, volunteered to accept the terms of a contract, volunteered to accept a pay scale, to accept a level of risk, and volunteered to accept terms under which the contract could be quit or severed. In fact, the ultimate sanction for a soldier who refuses compulsion is to be stripped of the uniform. In which case the ability to compel ends.

In what way is the Private's contract any different than that of any other civil contract? In fact Pvt as an abbreviation can either refer to a Private soldier, a contracted individual or, in some commonwealth jurisdictions, a Private company.

Command, compel, coerce.
Lead, encourage, buy.

In Canada, and most of the West it is difficult to compel and coerce, even if an individual has volunteered to put on a uniform. Dragging heels, misinterpretation, communications difficulties, failure to comprehend, outright mutiny, even fragging. Every person with responsibility has to be cognizant of the limitations of their authority. This is particularly true for the Forces in peacetime where the Forces serve the diplomatic whims of the government of the day.

If construction is necessary in the bush of Africa, you may not be able to compel a particular civilian to do that but it would be a very strange situation if you weren't able to find some civilian willing to take on the task for the right fee and conditions.

Those companies, those people exist and operate in the field daily. There are even companies that will supply armed security for such sites.

So if Global Affairs Canada absolutely has to have an airfield built in Upper Podunk does it need to send uniformed engineers to do the job? Or can it employ civilian trades?

Why do the Forces need to train engineers, mechanics, electricians, carpenters, welders, heavy equipment operators? There are lots of them out there. Surely some portion of them could be convinced to work for the Crown? Perhaps the contracts that are being offered, not just the monetary reward but the terms, are not attractive?

If you absolutely want the Upper Podunk job done by people in uniform then perhaps you hire the people for the duration, give them a one month orientation and issue them uniforms. After the contract ends you keep them on file for the next contract.

World War I is still imprinted on our organizations despite the changes in technology.

In WWI even city kids could harness a horse or kick clay in tunnels. They had no clue about cars, internal combustion, radios or even machine guns. They had to be taught the basics of technologies that were brand new because the Forces needed them and there weren't enough of them to go around. WWI army and navy trade schools, together with all the surplus kit left over after the war really set the stage for the democratization of technology in the 20th century.

But now?

2 year olds learn how to push buttons on computers to access their favourite games and cartoons when the parents aren't watching. The forces are explicitly using gaming technology to operate weapons systems. There is little to choose between a simulator and a game. And meanwhile technologies and ideas advance faster than the Forces can figure out how to use them - but not faster than billions of other people can figure out ways they can be used, often to the detriment of existing technologies operated by the Forces.

Cicero is still right. The sinews of war is infinite money.

And no amount of compulsion will overcome that.

If the army, or more properly the government, needs a good, or a service, then it should first go shopping and buy it.

What can it not buy?
Are you really suggesting turning loose the CF procurement system on the test of Canada?😜
 

FJAG

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I find myself compelled to respond to your response.
I knew you would. We both suffer from the same affliction. 😉
So the value of the uniform is that permits compulsion.

Except that the wearer of the uniform volunteered to put it on, volunteered to accept the terms of a contract, volunteered to accept a pay scale, to accept a level of risk, and volunteered to accept terms under which the contract could be quit or severed. In fact, the ultimate sanction for a soldier who refuses compulsion is to be stripped of the uniform. In which case the ability to compel ends.
I said twice above that the uniform is irrelevant. It's the terms of service that the uniform is representative of. A contract alone is not enough. Terms of service arise from the enlistment papers and a set of legislation and regulation that creates a tiered hierarchy and a complex administrative and legal system. Civilian contractors are only subject to the CSD when accompanying forces overseas but even that doesn't equate to the entire breadth of the liabilities that attach with military service.

There is nothing that prevents one from creating a system that would mirror the military service for a new civilian service but why would you bother? If you want to establish a new type of force to work with the military it is much simpler to add or amend categories within the current RegF and various ResF components.

In what way is the Private's contract any different than that of any other civil contract? In fact Pvt as an abbreviation can either refer to a Private soldier, a contracted individual or, in some commonwealth jurisdictions, a Private company.

Command, compel, coerce.
Lead, encourage, buy.
You're stretching here.

In Canada, and most of the West it is difficult to compel and coerce, even if an individual has volunteered to put on a uniform. Dragging heels, misinterpretation, communications difficulties, failure to comprehend, outright mutiny, even fragging. Every person with responsibility has to be cognizant of the limitations of their authority. This is particularly true for the Forces in peacetime where the Forces serve the diplomatic whims of the government of the day.

If construction is necessary in the bush of Africa, you may not be able to compel a particular civilian to do that but it would be a very strange situation if you weren't able to find some civilian willing to take on the task for the right fee and conditions.

Those companies, those people exist and operate in the field daily. There are even companies that will supply armed security for such sites.

So if Global Affairs Canada absolutely has to have an airfield built in Upper Podunk does it need to send uniformed engineers to do the job? Or can it employ civilian trades?

Why do the Forces need to train engineers, mechanics, electricians, carpenters, welders, heavy equipment operators? There are lots of them out there. Surely some portion of them could be convinced to work for the Crown? Perhaps the contracts that are being offered, not just the monetary reward but the terms, are not attractive?

If you absolutely want the Upper Podunk job done by people in uniform then perhaps you hire the people for the duration, give them a one month orientation and issue them uniforms. After the contract ends you keep them on file for the next contract.

World War I is still imprinted on our organizations despite the changes in technology.

In WWI even city kids could harness a horse or kick clay in tunnels. They had no clue about cars, internal combustion, radios or even machine guns. They had to be taught the basics of technologies that were brand new because the Forces needed them and there weren't enough of them to go around. WWI army and navy trade schools, together with all the surplus kit left over after the war really set the stage for the democratization of technology in the 20th century.

But now?

2 year olds learn how to push buttons on computers to access their favourite games and cartoons when the parents aren't watching. The forces are explicitly using gaming technology to operate weapons systems. There is little to choose between a simulator and a game. And meanwhile technologies and ideas advance faster than the Forces can figure out how to use them - but not faster than billions of other people can figure out ways they can be used, often to the detriment of existing technologies operated by the Forces.
It's not just WW2. The history of mankind is replete with military structures that came and went yet the fundamental underlying system of a military force to guard the nation's security remains in every nation except a tiny handful.

Cicero is still right. The sinews of war is infinite money.
I've always thought of Cicero as an opinionated old charlatan who created more problems by his intractability than he solved. He did, though, write very many self serving pieces of text (saviour of his country, for one) that have been handed down through the ages. Rome's way of obtaining "infinite money" was through military occupation and administrative oppression through tax farming. The reason that the mafia's home is Italy is not without reason

And no amount of compulsion will overcome that.

If the army, or more properly the government, needs a good, or a service, then it should first go shopping and buy it.

What can it not buy?
The logical conclusion to your argument, however, is that Canada disband its military and hire mercenary forces of whatever stripe is necessary at that moment in time to look after its national security. In Western society there is still a veneer, at least, of citizens serving their country in uniform to protect hearth and home. Contract forces are infamous for seeking higher rewards with bigger spenders when the chips are down. I guess we could always hire SNC-Lavalin ... and Wagner.

🍻
 

Kirkhill

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To answer my own question, and your point, you can't buy loyalty.

How many loyal soldiers and officers do you need?

That is a different question to how many contractors do you need?
 

Skysix

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Never mind just contractors. Any sort of real conflict will rapidly exhaust stocks and hardware that take years to make. And relying on Uncle Sam to save our bacon is a fools wish as they will also be tapped out quickly

 

Kirkhill

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Never mind just contractors. Any sort of real conflict will rapidly exhaust stocks and hardware that take years to make. And relying on Uncle Sam to save our bacon is a fools wish as they will also be tapped out quickly


And all the loyal soldiers in the world won't do you any good if they don't have the tools to work with. And all of that costs money. Back to Cicero and back to the civilian supply system.
 

daftandbarmy

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The logical conclusion to your argument, however, is that Canada disband its military and hire mercenary forces of whatever stripe is necessary at that moment in time to look after its national security. In Western society there is still a veneer, at least, of citizens serving their country in uniform to protect hearth and home. Contract forces are infamous for seeking higher rewards with bigger spenders when the chips are down. I guess we could always hire SNC-Lavalin ... and Wagner.

🍻

The 'Militia Mercenary' enters the chat ;)
 

McG

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So if Global Affairs Canada absolutely has to have an airfield built in Upper Podunk does it need to send uniformed engineers to do the job?
We don't send military engineers to build airfields for GAC. Military engineers support the military in achieving military missions.

If the army, or more properly the government, needs a good, or a service, then it should first go shopping and buy it.

What can it not buy?
The A echelon for a rifle company that must deploy tonight.
A horizontal construction company that will leave with three days notice to repair/reactivate a runway.
A large ship that will embark a mechanized battlegroup in five days from now.

There were a lot of services that we told ourselves we could get on-time through contract when the need arose, and that assumption has been demonstrated false in the last half year.
 

Kirkhill

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The A echelon for a rifle company that must deploy tonight.
A horizontal construction company that will leave with three days notice to repair/reactivate a runway.
A large ship that will embark a mechanized battlegroup in five days from now.

There were a lot of services that we told ourselves we could get on-time through contract when the need arose, and that assumption has been demonstrated false in the last half year.

Inclined to agree with all of that, especially the A Echelon.

I'm a bit equivocal on the construction company and the ship though. It seems to me that both of those could be supplied from the civilian world if the government were willing to pay the long term contract necessary to keep a ship at 5 days NTM or a horizontal construction company at 3 days NTM.

I agree you can't just go and buy off the civvy market with no planning.
 

KevinB

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Inclined to agree with all of that, especially the A Echelon.

I'm a bit equivocal on the construction company and the ship though. It seems to me that both of those could be supplied from the civilian world if the government were willing to pay the long term contract necessary to keep a ship at 5 days NTM or a horizontal construction company at 3 days NTM.

I agree you can't just go and buy off the civvy market with no planning.
Planning -- what's that?

The issue that comes up with CAF/GoC wanting to hire things, is quite often they won't look for those assets until someone else is already using them...

Certain items need to be held within the CAF to simply ensure their availability to be used if needed.
 

FJAG

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Inclined to agree with all of that, especially the A Echelon.

I'm a bit equivocal on the construction company and the ship though. It seems to me that both of those could be supplied from the civilian world if the government were willing to pay the long term contract necessary to keep a ship at 5 days NTM or a horizontal construction company at 3 days NTM.

I agree you can't just go and buy off the civvy market with no planning.
You might be able to pull a construction company off another job, but having a cargo vessel on five days NTM when its somewhere between Rangoon and Mandalay is not feasible regardless of how the contract is written.

Quite frankly very few construction companies would be able to meet a 3 day NTM or agree to such a contract - their bread and butter is working for people who need them every day and commit to big contracts. You might bet Bob and his brother Dave under such a contract but not Dufferin Construction. They'd need time to gather staff and equipment and it wouldn't be their A Team.

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Kirkhill

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You might be able to pull a construction company off another job, but having a cargo vessel on five days NTM when its somewhere between Rangoon and Mandalay is not feasible regardless of how the contract is written.

Quite frankly very few construction companies would be able to meet a 3 day NTM or agree to such a contract - their bread and butter is working for people who need them every day and commit to big contracts. You might bet Bob and his brother Dave under such a contract but not Dufferin Construction. They'd need time to gather staff and equipment and it wouldn't be their A Team.

🍻
As my old man used to say

"Anything is possible ... if cash"

It comes under the cheap-good-fast discussion. Two out of three.

If you want it fast and good it isn't going to be cheap.

And therein lies the CAF's problem.

On the other hand having people waiting around for the never-never isn't cheap either. Nor are they getting much in the way of practical experience to hone their skills.

Better to have some current civilians being paid by their employer to take some time off active jobs to go on standby for a while.
 

KevinB

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As my old man used to say

"Anything is possible ... if cash"

It comes under the cheap-good-fast discussion. Two out of three.

If you want it fast and good it isn't going to be cheap.

And therein lies the CAF's problem.

On the other hand having people waiting around for the never-never isn't cheap either. Nor are they getting much in the way of practical experience to hone their skills.

Better to have some current civilians being paid by their employer to take some time off active jobs to go on standby for a while.
The issue isn’t that your idea is bad, it is simply that the GOC has zero interest.

To make it work there would need to be a national merchant marine, financially incentivized by the GOC to acquire certain ships, and a major change to the CAF PRes.
Neither the PRes nor the Regular Army appears to be interested in changes to the PRes, and the GOC hasn’t called anyone on the carpet for that.

There are hundreds of other things the GOC could (should) do WRT Canadian Defense, and they don’t, and there are many missed opportunities that would be exceptionally valuable to Canada (Northern Infrastructure and Transportation for one).
 
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