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Justin Trudeau hints at boosting Canada’s military spending

Justin Trudeau hints at boosting Canada’s military spending

Canada says it will look at increasing its defence spending and tacked on 10 more Russian names to an ever growing sanctions list.

By Tonda MacCharles
Ottawa Bureau
Mon., March 7, 2022

Riga, LATVIA—On the 13th day of the brutal Russian bid to claim Ukraine as its own, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is showing up at the Latvian battle group led by Canadian soldiers, waving the Maple Leaf and a vague hint at more money for the military.

Canada has been waving the NATO flag for nearly seven years in Latvia as a bulwark against Russia’s further incursions in Eastern Europe.

Canada stepped up to lead one of NATO’s four battle groups in 2015 — part of the defensive alliance’s display of strength and solidarity with weaker member states after Russia invaded Ukraine and seized the Crimean peninsula in 2014. Trudeau arrived in the Latvian capital late Monday after meetings in the U.K. with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Earlier Monday, faced with a seemingly unstoppable war in Ukraine, Trudeau said he will look at increasing Canada’s defence spending. Given world events, he said there are “certainly reflections to have.”

And Canada tacked on 10 more Russian names to an ever-growing sanctions list.

The latest round of sanctions includes names Trudeau said were identified by jailed Russian opposition leader and Putin nemesis Alexei Navalny.

However, on a day when Trudeau cited the new sanctions, and Johnson touted new measures meant to expose Russian property owners in his country, Rutte admitted sanctions are not working.

Yet they all called for more concerted international efforts over the long haul, including more economic measures and more humanitarian aid, with Johnson and Rutte divided over how quickly countries need to get off Russian oil and gas.

The 10 latest names on Canada’s target list do not include Roman Abramovich — a Russian billionaire Navalny has been flagging to Canada since at least 2017. Canada appears to have sanctioned about 20 of the 35 names on Navalny’s list.

The Conservative opposition says the Liberal government is not yet exerting maximum pressure on Putin, and should do more to bolster Canadian Forces, including by finally approving the purchase of fighter jets.

Foreign affairs critic Michael Chong said in an interview that Ottawa must still sanction “additional oligarchs close to President Putin who have significant assets in Canada.”

Abramovich owns more than a quarter of the public shares in steelmaking giant Evraz, which has operations in Alberta and Saskatchewan and has supplied most of the steel for the government-owned Trans Mountain pipeline project.

Evraz’s board of directors also includes two more Russians the U.S. government identified as “oligarchs” in 2019 — Aleksandr Abramov and Aleksandr Frolov — and its Canadian operations have received significant support from the federal government.

That includes at least $27 million in emergency wage subsidies during the pandemic, as well as $7 million through a fund meant to help heavy-polluters reduce emissions that cause climate change, according to the company’s most recent annual report.

In addition to upping defence spending, the Conservatives want NORAD’s early warning system upgraded, naval shipbuilding ramped up and Arctic security bolstered.

In London, Johnson sat down with Trudeau and Rutte at the Northolt airbase. Their morning meetings had a rushed feel, with Johnson starting to usher press out before Trudeau spoke. His office said later that the British PM couldn’t squeeze the full meeting in at 10 Downing Street because Johnson’s “diary” was so busy that day. The three leaders held an afternoon news conference at 10 Downing.

But before that Trudeau met with the Queen, saying she was “insightful” and they had a “useful, for me anyway, conversation about global affairs.”

Trudeau meets with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Tuesday in Latvia.

The prime minister will also meet with three Baltic leaders, the prime ministers of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, in the Latvian capital of Riga.

The Liberals announced they would increase the 500 Canadian Forces in Latvia by another 460 troops. The Canadians are leading a multinational battle group, one of four that are part of NATO’s deployments in the region.

Another 3,400 Canadians could be deployed to the region in the months to come, on standby for NATO orders.

But Canada’s shipments of lethal aid to Ukraine were slow to come in the view of the Conservatives, and the Ukrainian Canadian community.

And suddenly Western allies are eyeing each other’s defence commitments.

At the Downing Street news conference, Rutte noted the Netherlands will increase its defence budget to close to two per cent of GDP. Germany has led the G7, and doubled its defence budget in the face of Putin’s invasion and threats. Johnson said the U.K. defence spending is about 2.4 per cent and declined to comment on Canada’s defence spending which is 1.4 per cent of GDP.

But Johnson didn’t hold back.

“What we can’t do, post the invasion of Ukraine is assume that we go back to a kind of status quo ante, a kind of new normalization in the way that we did after the … seizure of Crimea and the Donbas area,” Johnson said. “We’ve got to recognize that things have changed and that we need a new focus on security and I think that that is kind of increasingly understood by everybody.”

Trudeau stood by his British and Dutch counterparts and pledged Canada would do more.

He defended his government’s record, saying Ottawa is gradually increasing spending over the next decade by 70 per cent. Then Trudeau admitted more might be necessary.

“We also recognize that context is changing rapidly around the world and we need to make sure that women and men have certainty and our forces have all the equipment necessary to be able to stand strongly as we always have. As members of NATO. We will continue to look at what more we can do.”

The three leaders — Johnson, a conservative and Trudeau and Rutte, progressive liberals — in a joint statement said they “will continue to impose severe costs on Russia.”

Arriving for the news conference from Windsor Castle, Trudeau had to detour to enter Downing Street as loud so-called Freedom Convoy protesters bellowed from outside the gate. They carried signs marked “Tuck Frudeau” and “Free Tamara” (Lich).

Protester Jeff Wyatt who said he has no Canadian ties told the Star he came to stand up for Lich and others who were leading a “peaceful protest” worldwide against government “lies” about COVID-19 and what he called Trudeau’s “tyranny.”

Elsewhere in London, outside the Russian embassy, other protesters and passersby reflected on what they said was real tyranny — the Russian attack on Ukraine. “I think we should be as tough as possible to get this stopped, as tough as possible,” said protester Clive Martinez.
 

FJAG

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I wonder what the "standard" level of attrition is for the CAF? It can't be zero because people do retire.
From a CAF website:

3.1 Attrition in the CAF​

The average rate of attrition from the CAF (Reg Force and P Res) is generally between 8% and 9%. This rate compares favourably with the Canadian labour market, including both the private (10.2%) and public sectors (4.7%) (Coburn & Cowan, 2019).

🍻
 

McG

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Forgetting the Navy and Airforce for a second what is the Army doing that is stressing it so much? A peacetime deployment to Latvia?
In addition to REASSURANCE, the Army is still in Iraq and the UNIFIER mission is back to life with a few deployments training Ukrainians in different locations. We should be able to do more … but the current government’s direction (published in SSE) only directs CAF to deploy quantities of people, not be able to achieve particular effects.

While government (supported by some GOFO) has been (correctly) arguing that 2% GDP is not an effective measure, nobody has asked the legitimate grown-up question about how to measure capability. Meanwhile, projects have been told to keep costs within initial budget - if delivering a viable, sustainable, and relevant military capability cannot be done within budget then it is okay to keep shaving away at the requirement up to the point where it inhibits the deployment of FOBbits in mandates SSE quantities.
 

markppcli

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The reason for why there is that much attrition is 2 fold:

-the largest cohort of generations since the Second World War is starting to retire. Their "replacements" weren't hired due to the FRP in the 90s. Massive gaps up in the senior side of the house for both the Snr NCO/WO cadre as well as the Officer corps.

And

-"doing more with less" for 40 odd years means our equipment is broken, harder to maintain, and in some cases; divested to the point where you're not actually doing the job you saw in the cool recruiting video. Couple that with the gradual the "doing more with less" reduction in traditional supports like housing, social clubs, messes, infrastructure; while downloading it onto the member to provide, while refusing to budge on revizing the Compensation and Benefits structure to attract and retain talent.

Put those two things together and your "CAF Offer TM" isn't nearly as awesome as you make it out to be; both for recruiting and retention.
The “deal” has changed substantially even in the last 15 years since I’ve been in. We, in a regular force Bn, are expecting soldiers to bring their own food while we train instead of providing it for them, we throw people on C&P for any incident involving alchohol, we don’t play sports, we have a need for all things to be productive as opposed to cohesion building. Quite frankly we’ve kept all the work, and eroded the “more than a job” parts. Meanwhile we have a generation of senior leaders who keep forcing these traditional events and not understanding the disdain for them now that no one can actually let their hair down.
 

Dale Denton

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From Janes:

Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability 2022: Canada seeks equipment in light of Ukraine conflict​

Source
He told the conference that Canada had an urgent operational requirement (UOR) for anti-tank guided weapons and counter-unmanned aircraft systems for deployment to Latvia and was seeking to replace M777 towed howitzers transferred to Ukraine. He also spoke of a UOR for a ground-based air-defence system.

Regarding the replacement of LAV 6.0 armoured vehicles, Col Raymond identified among the protection considerations NATO Standardization Agreement (STANAG) 4569 protection levels for occupants of logistic and light armoured vehicles from kinetic energy and artillery rounds, as well as from improvised explosive devices. He added that the new vehicle would be equipped with smoke launchers and feature cyber protection and mobile camouflage. He said Canada was also seeking an armour protection system, adding that it “is expensive for a small nation” and that the collateral damage it can cause was another consideration.

He expected a contract award in 2023 but said the procurement could last seven years, compared with 10–15 years for the replacement of the LAV III with the LAV 6.0.

Looking ahead, Col Raymond spoke of continuous capability sustainment, including the long-term sustainment of Canadian Leopard 2 tanks. Regarding the replacement of M777s transferred to Ukraine as well as deployed to Latvia after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he said it could be a self-propelled howitzer with a range of 30–40 km and up to 80 km with extended-range ammunition.
 

FJAG

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In addition to REASSURANCE, the Army is still in Iraq and the UNIFIER mission is back to life with a few deployments training Ukrainians in different locations. We should be able to do more … but the current government’s direction (published in SSE) only directs CAF to deploy quantities of people, not be able to achieve particular effects.

While government (supported by some GOFO) has been (correctly) arguing that 2% GDP is not an effective measure, nobody has asked the legitimate grown-up question about how to measure capability. Meanwhile, projects have been told to keep costs within initial budget - if delivering a viable, sustainable, and relevant military capability cannot be done within budget then it is okay to keep shaving away at the requirement up to the point where it inhibits the deployment of FOBbits in mandates SSE quantities.
There's a 2017 article by John Dowdy on this subject that I like: “More tooth, less tail: Getting beyond NATO’s 2% rule”


Essentially he says: don't stop measuring input as to 1) total defense spending; 2) report that its spent on the right things; and 3) measure spending effectiveness on a) personnel; b) equipment; and c) operations and maintenance, but also start measuring 4) outputs by measuring a) capabilities; b) readiness, deployability, sustainability; and c) actual deployment/contribution on/to on NATO missions.

🍻
 

FJAG

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From Janes:

Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability 2022: Canada seeks equipment in light of Ukraine conflict​

Source
CCV, C3 replacement and so many other subjects enter the chat.

The Simpsons GIF by MOODMAN


;)
 

CBH99

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From Janes:

Future Armoured Vehicles Survivability 2022: Canada seeks equipment in light of Ukraine conflict​

Source
For an active protection system contract to take 7-10 years, don’t even bother.

Just incorporate it into the replacement vehicle contract, or add whatever system is current at the time to the replacement vehicle. Or do a UOR for one once the replacement vehicle is chosen, depending on where things are at.

(Trophy might not be top of the game in a decade or so, or vehicles might have APS become more standard/modular, etc)


And don’t bother trying to replace the whopping 4 guns we donated, unless it’s a magical deal.

Put those funds towards whatever we replace the M777 with.


My 0.02
 

Furniture

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For an active protection system contract to take 7-10 years, don’t even bother.

Just incorporate it into the replacement vehicle contract, or add whatever system is current at the time to the replacement vehicle. Or do a UOR for one once the replacement vehicle is chosen, depending on where things are at.

(Trophy might not be top of the game in a decade or so, or vehicles might have APS become more standard/modular, etc)


And don’t bother trying to replace the whopping 4 guns we donated, unless it’s a magical deal.

Put those funds towards whatever we replace the M777 with.


My 0.02
My suspicion is that "replacing" M777s donated to Ukraine is the CAF's way of getting a new SPG via UOR.
 

dimsum

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The CAF is concerned about under strength Reg force. Is the GoC, or is it happy to avoid paying 10k more salaries each month for the time being?

Curious how “in step” the MND and CDS are at this point..
I think it’s more how in-step the MND is with GoC. I think housing and healthcare (the part that Feds can influence) are the closest crocodiles to the GoC.
 
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