NDP and the Military

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Todrick of Chat...
NDP and the Military

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Todrick of Chat...

I heard on the local radio station yesterday that at least three members of the NDP took part in a military exercise at CFB Wainwright being conducted this month.

The three members where from Quebec and are part of the Standing Committee on National Defence.

I am trying to find out who exactly took part.

I have heard the members of the SCON dress up like refugees and followed the soldiers around the base and took part in several scenarios including a suicide attack and a mine strike.

I want to see the NDP distance itself from Canada's Imperialistic Army.  Why would we allow our NDP to take part of such militaristic actions.

I am going to write letters of protest this weekend.

 

Howard

The NDP needs a clear military policy. I hope all of the leadership candidates will be corageous enough to present one, even if it represents their views alone.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

The NDP predictably has no problem with the Harperites spending $33,000,000,000 of our money on warships and military support vessels. Their only complaint seems to be that Quebec was denied a spot at the trough.

We need a party that will ask the tough questions about what Canada is going to do with all the war toys that Harper is buying with our money - the attack jets and the frigates and the tanks and the drones. And questions about why there's always billions for war but nothing for childcare, housing, safe drinking water for first nations communities, culture and education, public transit, environmental protection, etc.

Once - just once - I'd like to hear an NDP spokesperson, when asked "where will the money come from to pay for your social programs", say they will take it out of the military budget.

toronto_radical

Well I would support a nuanced position. Canada's participation in Libya and Afghanistan is unacceptable. I think we need to say clearly that the NDP will change its policy and not waste money on these imperialistic peace keeping missions. I think though we should support our ordinary enlisted men and women. They are mostly workers in uniform. We need to go after waste at the top. The NDP needs to say no to the F-35 and dare I say propose to purchase (in smaller numbers) the 5th generation Sukhoi/HAL FGFA that is being developed by Russia and India. They are much cheaper. The shipbuilding is expensive but these ships won't be doing only military things. They will be needed for coast guards and ice breaking. Plus the projects provide jobs. My position is to slightly decrease CF numbers by not replacing retiring soldiers in equal numbers of new recruits. We need to provide the soldiers we do have with good pay and benefits though. We should cut costs at the top. As well as we should promote the reserves. We need to look at Canada's position. If we manage to elect a progressive government that moves away from NATO imperialism we will still have to defend ourselves. We do not want to devote spending to try to field an army that conquer things. We want to be able to defend Canada. We are stuck between two military powers with enough nukes to destroy civilization. So we need a few good planes, but not as many as Harper wants. We need ships that can be used for rescue missions and ice breaking. Though so much of Harper's Northern sovereignty photo-ops are just grandstanding to the Con base you never know what may happen if resources run scarce elsewhere. We should promote people joining the reserves in case Canada is ever invaded by conventional forces. I don't want to sound to out there by saying this but you never know... If we do enter a situation where there is a war elsewhere that is similar to WWII ie there is another Hitler (not another Saddam or Ahmadinejad or even Taliban for that matter) we should keep an eye on maintaining our industrial base so we can start rolling out tanks and planes quickly if need be. This is something that has been missed during discussions of Canada's de-industrialization. So I'd like to seen a lean but modern Canadian military focused on training reservists. By ending NATO involvement and more carefully selecting modern arms in smaller numbers we can devote money to social programs. There's also nothing wrong with promoting more Canadian firms to develop military hardware. We should have very strict export controls and procurment guidelines so they don't gouge us and sell us stuff we don't need. In fact perhaps we could create a new crown corporation to do this so we can get cheap hardware and make sure tech that has civilian uses becomes available to all. Military hardware development creates good jobs plus it also makes up for Canada's lacking R&D budget. I think there are situation where peacekeeping and training could be used properly if monitored well. There is nothing wrong with Canada say helping the DR Congo's government train soldiers, supervise that they follow the Geneva conventions to help end the warlord backed rebellions there. It has been a murky mess in the DRC but there is no question that these rebel armies tolerated by international mining companies need to be stopped. Is ethical conduct something even provided by Western military advisors? Why shouldn't we help Palestine when it becomes independent to develop a military and police force? Let's say the Green movement in Iran said "we do not want to be invaded by NATO but we could use some assault rifles. Do we turn them down? That's not international solidarity. I've got no problem arming movements that deserve it, though Canada does not export weaponry to any Third World regime or movement I believe deserving. I know some will argue for diplomacy, but it is not always possible once a conflict is under way especially depending on the balance of forces. I support the Polisario Front but Morocco will not seriously negotiate a final status to Western Sahara unless the Polisario Front had more military power. I think it is possible that we can train police in militaries in developing democracies to be better behaved. There have been forward thinking military commanders that have respected human rights but they have sadly been in the minority. I know some will always be suspicious of these institutions but we haven't quite gotten to the point where we can abolish them.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Instead of frigates and F35s,  the Cons should have just put out a contract for icebreakers and coast guard patrol and search and rescue ships - probably at much less than half of what Harper is spending. The NDP needs to get its act together and start opposing Harper's war machine! Otherwise, what is the point of electing the NDP to Official Opposition???

Howard

The NDP was all too happy to support the warship buy last election (at a price tag of more than $1000 for every living person in Canada; e.g. infants, children, etc). Topp, as co-chair of the platform committee, should be asked about it and whether or not it was just a strategic move to win the Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca and Dartmouth Cole Harbour (both host naval bases) ridings. He should also be asked if the party ever had any intention of consulting (gasp!) the membership on this or if he would continue the policy of saying one thing to the membership and announcing surprise policies mid-election.

Caissa

Is the suggestion that an NDP Government should abolish the armed forces? Or are people suggesting something else?

Ken Burch

If Canada must have a military, it should focus solely on territorial defense from outside attack-not "wars of national interest" which are just going to be right-wing and unwinnable from here on in, a la Afghanistan(that's my position on U.S. defense policy as well, for the record).

There will never again be a World War Two-type conflict that accidentally has liberating effects. 

Canada should go back to its past role of actually trying to PREVENT wars.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

My feeling is that we have to maintain a small military for times of national emergency, and that encompasses a lot of things. However, our main emphasis should be on coast guard search and rescue - we have the second longest coastline in the world, after all.

 As for the NDP, supporting Harper's war machine - how is that any different from the Liberals?

 

ETA: someone bring me up to speed - the NDP firmly opposes the F35 purchase, no?

 

Howard

Boom Boom wrote:

ETA: someone bring me up to speed - the NDP firmly opposes the F35 purchase, no?

No. They just called for the money to be spent on war ships instead (the Joint Support Ships). Many of the concerns that the NDP has raised in Parliament about the F35s are just bogus complaints about cost estimates and the Canadian content of the procurement which are being circulated by Lockheed Martin's competitor: Boeing.

NDP= handmaiden of the military industrial complex, yoeman of the war mongers

Todrick of Chat...

Shipbuilding plan leaves Quebec shipyard vulnerable

http://www.ndp.ca/press/shipbuilding-plan-leaves-quebec-shipyard-vulnerable

 

Well, it seems the NDP are okay with these warships being built as long as Quebec gets it's share of the warmongering industry.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

The NDP can not at the same time be anti-war and support the purchase/building of F35 and other first strike aircraft, military drones,  and navy war ships. So, which is it???

Unionist

The NDP can't oppose the warships. They would be called "job-killing extremists", and they'd be tarred and feathered and driven out of town by pitchfork-wielding voters. That's how the geniuses in the NDP war room see it.

Harper sets the agenda, "opposition" parties meekly critique some irrelevant details. That's been the pattern since 2006, minority or majority, makes no difference. The only opposition right now to Harper and the interests that he serves is in the streets.

 

OnTheLeft OnTheLeft's picture

So assisting in natural disasters, peacemaking and peacekeeping is "imperialism"?

 

6.4 Charting a New Course for Canada's Defence

  • We will give the men and women of the Canadian Forces,

who put their lives on the line every day, the best equipment to

do the job with, proper support and benefits;

  • We will focus Canada's military on three main priorities:

defending Canada; providing support for peacemaking,

peace-building and peacekeeping around the world; and

assisting people facing natural catastrophes, including floods,

earthquakes, forest fires and other emergencies, both at home

and abroad;

  • We will ensure the Canadian Forces are properly staffed,

equipped and trained to effectively address the full range of

possible military operations arising from these three priorities;

  • We will maintain the current planned levels of Defence

spending commitments, and we will equip the Canadian

military to resume leadership in United Nations peacekeeping

operations, with major new missions reviewed and approved by

the House of Commons;

  • We will improve search and rescue capability to international

standards within the current budgetary framework;

  • We will draft a Defence White Paper, redefining our military's

role, its priorities and needs, to be completed within 12

months. During that time, all major defence projects will

be reviewed;

  • We will implement a fair and open process where competitors

can offer industrial deals and benefits. Such an open process

ensures Canadians get the best price, the military gets what it

needs and Canadian industries get the best spin-offs;

  • We will review the proposed F-35 purchase as part of the

Defence White Paper;

  • Within the existing budget, we will establish an annual fund

for government shipbuilding. This would provide stability to

the industry and include construction of new ships for the

Navy and the Coast Guard.

 

http://xfer.ndp.ca/2011/2011-Platform/NDP-2011-Platform-En.pdf

 

KenS

Unionist wrote:

The NDP can't oppose the warships. They would be called "job-killing extremists", and they'd be tarred and feathered and driven out of town by pitchfork-wielding voters. That's how the geniuses in the NDP war room see it.

Something needs to be done about it. But its not just a question of how the 'geniuses' in question "see it". The NDP would be tarred and feathered by a substantial chunk of its voter base.

KenS

Boom Boom wrote:

The NDP can not at the same time be anti-war and support the purchase/building of F35 and other first strike aircraft, military drones,  and navy war ships. So, which is it???

Really? Its doing it.

And when has the NDP NOT been a contradiction in motion for the bulk of babblers.

 

I know I really shouldnt get in the way of people venting. Its not like you dont know.

KenS

Cry

"When is the world going to be a more hospitable place for me?!"

KenS

Most of those ships suck royally, whether or not they have weapon systems.

War oppresses and kills people over there.

GHG emissions are ruining the lives of all of the children and grandchildren,

dacckon dacckon's picture

Without a military you are weakened in terms on international relations.

Nothing could challange the United States when it mined the harbours of Nicaragua. The international court called it illegal, but the US didn't give a fuck.  The USSR also did what it wanted, because of its military might.

 

Anyways, the focus of the NDP should be on getting veterans a fair deal for their service. Veterans affairs is a disaster.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

toronto_radical wrote:

There have been forward thinking military commanders that have respected human rights but they have sadly been in the minority.

M. Spector wrote:

Name one.

CFB TRENTON — A new wing commander has landed at CFB Trenton.

During a change of command parade Wednesday, Col. Russ Williams took over the flight controls of Canada’s largest and busiest air force base.

...

Williams enrolled in the Canadian Forces in 1987, after obtaining an economic and political science degree from the University of Toronto.

After receiving his wings in 1990, Williams was posted to 434 (combat support) Squadron in Shearwater, NS where he flew the CC144 Challenger. Later he was posted to 412 Transport Squadron in Ottawa where he continued to fly the Challenger, this time in the VIP transport role.

From August 2003 to 2004, Williams obtained a Master of defence studies from the Royal Military College.

Following a promotion to lieutenant-colonel in June 2004, he was appointed commanding officer of 437 Transport Squadron. He held the post for two years, serving for six months as commanding officer, Theatre Support Element at camp mirage.

In 2006, Williams was posted to the Directorate of Air Requirements where he served as project director for the airlift capability projects.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

dacckon wrote:

Without a military you are weakened in terms on international relations.

Nothing could challange the United States when it mined the harbours of Nicaragua.

So, you're saying we need a strong military to protect us from the USA?

Let the arms race begin!

 

Quote:
Anyways, the focus of the NDP should be on getting veterans a fair deal for their service.

What about a fair deal for the rest of us for our "service"? Why should ex-soldiers be singled out for special treatment?

Uncle John

By all accounts, Darryl Dexter was very pleased about the $25 billion for warships in Halifax. As I am to understand it, he is in the New Democratic Party.

Slumberjack

Uncle John wrote:
By all accounts, Darryl Dexter was very pleased about the $25 billion for warships in Halifax. As I am to understand it, he is in the New Democratic Party.

So is Peter Stoffer, who seemed like he was ready to dance a jig when the news broke.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

toronto_radical wrote:

Canada's participation in Libya and Afghanistan is unacceptable. I think we need to say clearly that the NDP will change its policy and not waste money on these imperialistic peace keeping missions.

They aren't "peace keeping missions" - they are wars of aggression.

Quote:
I think though we should support our ordinary enlisted men and women. They are mostly workers in uniform.

Why do they deserve more "support" than other "ordinary" workers are given for doing dangerous jobs that actually contribute something useful to society?

Quote:
We need to go after waste at the top. The NDP needs to say no to the F-35 and dare I say propose to purchase (in smaller numbers) the 5th generation Sukhoi/HAL FGFA that is being developed by Russia and India. They are much cheaper.

Yeah, we can get more kills per buck by buying the cheaper warplanes. After all, it's all about saving money, right?

Quote:
The shipbuilding is expensive but these ships won't be doing only military things. They will be needed for coast guards and ice breaking.

You forgot about intercepting refugee ships and incarcerating their human cargo for months on end. That's also on the Harper agenda. And the icebreakers will come in handy to keep the oil tankers running year round from the Arctic Ocean to the refineries in Texas - at least until there's no more ice left to break, in about ten years' time.

Quote:
Plus the projects provide jobs.

So you're in favour of using public funds to pay people to build warships, in the name of providing them jobs. The same excuse Harper uses for supporting the tar sands and the asbestos export industry - only in this case, no privately-owned funds need be expended.

Quote:
If we do enter a situation where there is a war elsewhere that is similar to WWII ie there is another Hitler...

There's always "another Hitler" somewhere that we have to destroy. Haven't you been paying attention?

Quote:
we should keep an eye on maintaining our industrial base so we can start rolling out tanks and planes quickly if need be. This is something that has been missed during discussions of Canada's de-industrialization.

You mean, just in case there are no other countries left in the world willing to sell us war machines?

Quote:
There's also nothing wrong with promoting more Canadian firms to develop military hardware.

Right. There's not enough military hardware in the world today. And don't forget those "jobs"!

Quote:
Military hardware development creates good jobs plus it also makes up for Canada's lacking R&D budget.

Oh, I see you didn't.

And of course all research and development should be driven by Harper's military agenda, so the rest of us can enjoy any "spin-offs". That's really going to help us deal with environmental and health issues, among other things. There will always be some electronic gadget developed by the military that will solve all our social problems.

Quote:
There is nothing wrong with Canada say helping the DR Congo's government train soldiers, supervise that they follow the Geneva conventions to help end the warlord backed rebellions there.

Yes, because the government of the Congo is our enlightened ally and we need to intervene to prevent any change in the government - just like we did in Afghanistan. Oh, wait...

Quote:
I've got no problem arming movements that deserve it, though Canada does not export weaponry to any Third World regime or movement I believe deserving.

Yes, let's give Stephen Harper the power and ability to export weaponry to any foreign country where he wants regime change or wants to keep the current "friendly" regime in power. Smart move.

Quote:
I know some will argue for diplomacy, but it is not always possible once a conflict is under way especially depending on the balance of forces.

Yes, don't listen to them. They're pinko surrender monkeys.

Quote:
I think it is possible that we can train police in militaries in developing democracies to be better behaved.

Yes, we're doing that so well in Haiti and Afghanistan!

Quote:
There have been forward thinking military commanders that have respected human rights but they have sadly been in the minority.

Name one.

Slumberjack

M. Spector wrote:
What about a fair deal for the rest of us for our "service"? Why should ex-soldiers be singled out for special treatment?

Because we are special...and because we're entitled to our entitlements?  And besides...nothing is too good for the working class wouldn't you say?

Doug

And so he should dance. Many of his constituents that weren't employed are now going to have jobs. That these jobs are impermanent is something to mention but it still doesn't mean it's not good news for Nova Scotia.

The military does have other roles besides blowing stuff up for the purpose of Canada's foreign policy. It's definitely fair to say that these other roles have been neglected by the Harper government - just check out the problems that have been observed with Canada's search-and-rescue responsibilities.

Aristotleded24

The reality is that the Canadian military is not going away any time soon, so military policy is something we need to deal with. My own view is that our military policy should be geared towards territorial defense (I include search and rescue and disaster assistance under said umbrella) and assistance in international peacekeeping missions. We should also say no agressive missions like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya.  I think the military should have the resources to purchase the equipment it needs, and that Canadian Forces members and veterans receive adequate compensation.

Having said that, how much will this actually cost? Remember what the US spends on military, and there are still several vulnerabilities in port security, equipment problems, and veterans care. So the military can probably make better use of the current resources it has available. And although many of us here would prefer an overall reduction in military spending, I think the fact that the NDP pledged to freeze mililtary spending is significant compared to Harper's plans of large increases.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Are these ship building and F35 expenditures the last of it?  (although the country will be paying for these through the nose for the next 30 years and beyond)

Tommy_Paine

The reality is that we need a military.  Unfortunately, since the Boer War Canada's military policy has been shaped not by the needs of Canada and Canadians, but by the needs of our allies. 

The NDP can't be blamed for an inconsistent policy when the military zietgiest in Canada has been confused for over a hundred years.

We need to have the public take a serious look at some base assumptions, like our membership in Nato, in terms of what real security it provides for Canada.  The assumpiton is that as we have done for our allies, so our allies would do for us.

But I am far from convinced our allies would jump to Canada's intrests as eagerly as we have done theirs.

Only after that assement can you define what it is we expect of our military, and from that, what equipment they need for the job we outline for them.

Howard

The NDP's policy should be one of isolationism. None of this "responsibility to protect" nonsense (an untenable, unachievable burden => are we going to invade every developing country on the face of the earth, if not then how do we pick our bad guys? if they have resources we want to steal?), none of these imperial wars of aggression, none of these US revenge fantasies.

Territorial defence? From whom? Walruses? First Nations at Oka?

Search and rescue? this is a civilian operation, you think the military wants to do that?

Disaster relief? Then you have to support the Joint Support Ships. They can house full hospitals, water purification, etc. They are among the "best" military things to send in the case of a disaster. But seriously, do you think the Generals get up every morning for the thrillig cut and thrust of pumping water...No! They want to send our young, marginalised men and women to violent deaths for their greater games and glory! Again, a civilian mission.

How about the F35s? Well...what do you think the government would use to shoot down any plane that got hijacked by terrorists? What would happen if we didn't have such a plane.

Like I said, I think the NDP should push for a CONSERVATIVE isolationist defence policy, where the military is kept small and the emphasis is placed on civilian missions...no nation-building, no policing of civil wars (aka "peacekeeping"), no false military "humanism" (the evil that comes in the name of good) like responsibility to protect, very little beyond that

Let our interventionism be on the humanitarian and foreign aid side, if anywhere at all.

Tommy_Paine

I like the idea of isolationism, but the reality is that if we take that course, we'd probably end up spending many times more on the military than what we already do. 

It would mean we would have to officially join the "nuclear club"  with a fairly robust capability to hit targets in Europe as well as the U.S. A Navy that could if not defeat at least inflict severe damage on other navies.  And a robust air force capabilty. 

Not only expensive, but principle non starters for most NDP rank and file.

I suspect after debate, membership in Nato is what we have to do.  However-- in light of recent debacles like "Operation Elphy Bay" in Afghanistan-- our role in the alliance and our expectations from it certainly have to be deeply considered and re-defined.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

What fantastical definition of "isolationism" requires having an offensive nuclear weapons capability?

Unionist

Tommy_Paine wrote:

Only after that assement can you define what it is we expect of our military, and from that, what equipment they need for the job we outline for them.

Then the NDP should demand no new capital ventures (jets, ships) until that role has been defined after public discussion. Is that what you mean? I'd support that.

 

Policywonk

M. Spector wrote:

What fantastical definition of "isolationism" requires having an offensive nuclear weapons capability?

Or any nuclear weapons capability?

Tommy_Paine

M. Spector wrote:

What fantastical definition of "isolationism" requires having an offensive nuclear weapons capability?

Well, you saw our European allies attitudes towards their rights to fish in our territorial waters.  If we "go it alone"  their attitude would be even more rapacious. 

We are obsessed by Americana here, but if you think the nations of Europe are any less bloody minded, any less piratical than they were in 1914, then you have another think coming.  And isolationist Canada with no substantial militiary capability would have us carved up as a colonial property-- officially-- in no time.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Here's what the NDP's official election platform for 2011 says about military policy:

Quote:
6.4 Charting a New Course for Canada’s Defence

• We will give the men and women of the Canadian Forces, who put their lives on the line every day, the best equipment to do the job with, proper support and benefits;

• We will focus Canada’s military on three main priorities: defending Canada; providing support for peacemaking, peace-building and peacekeeping around the world; and assisting people facing natural catastrophes, including floods, earthquakes, forest fires and other emergencies, both at home and abroad;

• We will ensure the Canadian Forces are properly staffed, equipped and trained to effectively address the full range of possible military operations arising from these three priorities;

We will maintain the current planned levels of Defence spending commitments, and we will equip the Canadian military to resume leadership in United Nations peacekeeping operations, with major new missions reviewed and approved by the House of Commons;

• We will improve search and rescue capability to international standards within the current budgetary framework;

• We will draft a Defence White Paper, redefining our military’s role, its priorities and needs, to be completed within 12 months. During that time, all major defence projects will be reviewed;

• We will implement a fair and open process where competitors can offer industrial deals and benefits. Such an open process ensures Canadians get the best price, the military gets what it needs and Canadian industries get the best spin-offs;

• We will review the proposed F-35 purchase as part of the Defence White Paper;

• Within the existing budget, we will establish an annual fund for government shipbuilding. This would provide stability to the industry and include construction of new ships for the Navy and the Coast Guard.

Note that the NDP proposes to maintain the current obscene levels of military spending (about $21 billion per year) that Harper recently boosted dramatically.

"Peacemaking, peace-building, and peacekeeping" are all either obsolete or nonexistent concepts. Leading the NATO aerial assault on Libya, twice voted for by the NDP this year, does not fit into any of those categories, but it gives us an idea of the kind of military thinking that pervades the party.

Tommy_Paine

You all think we don't have nuclear capabilities now?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

What exactly are the Europeans going to do to us? Nuke us? Do we need ICBM's with nuclear warheads in order to fend off foreign fishermen?

Tommy_Paine

Yep.

 

genstrike

If the whole point of spending $25 billion on warships is to provide 11,000 jobs for Nova Scotians, wouldn't it just be cheaper to just write 11,000 Nova Scotians a cheque for $100,000 a year for the next 20 years?

No disrespect to shipyard workers, but I could probably think of a lot of things we could do with that kind of money that would not only create jobs, but actually be useful and beneficial.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Yup. I think the total shipbuilding program is $35billion and the F35s are $9billion = total $44billion.

This is outrageous at a time when our First Nations are living in Third World conditions, we have homeless in the cities, poverty everywhere, significant infrastructure deficit everywhere, the feds continue to spend beyond their means.... I could go on, but why bother, none of the establishment parties are going to move to change anything.

Real change is in the streets.

Todrick of Chat...

Statement by Nycole Turmel on death of Muammar Gaddafi

http://www.ndp.ca/press/statement-by-nycole-turmel-on-death-muammar-gaddafi

 

"Our troops have done a wonderful job in Libya over the past few months. I want to salute the efforts and courage of our troops."

 

The NDP is almost a right wing party now.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

It's part of the establishment, for sure.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url=http://rabble.ca/babble/national-news/canada-first-defence-strategy-20-y... thread on military policy[/url] (still open)

Aristotleded24

Howard wrote:
Disaster relief? Then you have to support the Joint Support Ships. They can house full hospitals, water purification, etc. They are among the "best" military things to send in the case of a disaster. But seriously, do you think the Generals get up every morning for the thrillig cut and thrust of pumping water...No! They want to send our young, marginalised men and women to violent deaths for their greater games and glory! Again, a civilian mission.

That has to do with the direction provided to the military by the federal government. If the military has proper oversight and a mandate that was primarily geared towards territorial defense, then yes operation of said ships would be geared towards defense and civilian assistance.

Tommy raised a pertinent point about the problems we've had with foreign boats over-fishing in Canadian waters. So if we have no military capability, how do we stop that from happening? We also know that the Arctic is melting, and that the major world powers have their eyes on the profits that would arise from resources that would become available. So without the military, how do we prevent said powers from just taking what they want and running roughshod over us?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

M. Spector wrote:

[url=http://rabble.ca/babble/national-news/canada-first-defence-strategy-20-y... thread on military policy[/url] (still open)

I have nothing but profound admiration for the person that started that thread. :ducking

genstrike

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Tommy raised a pertinent point about the problems we've had with foreign boats over-fishing in Canadian waters. So if we have no military capability, how do we stop that from happening?

If I recall correctly, his solution involved mutually assured destruction.

Fidel

Todrick of Chatsworth wrote:

Statement by Nycole Turmel on death of Muammar Gaddafi

http://www.ndp.ca/press/statement-by-nycole-turmel-on-death-muammar-gaddafi

 

"Our troops have done a wonderful job in Libya over the past few months. I want to salute the efforts and courage of our troops."

 

The NDP is almost a right wing party now.

For what it's worth, Gadaffi was not the socialist some believe he was. He drank from the neoliberal kool aid well, and this is his reward for it. Let it be a lesson to all potential neoliberalers around the democratic capitalist third world: Don't sign-up with the Gladio mafia and not expect the treacherous bastards to turn on you at some point. Ruthless murdering bastards that they are.

The NDP has neither the time nor the resources to bring everyone up to speed on the Gladio Gang and what is now colder war bullshit. I like it that while the NDP realizes it can do nothing about the open fascism emanating from the western world today, they can at least promise action on pensions for Canadians and social democracy here at home. None of our corrupt stooges in power or their best friends 4-ever in the Liberal Party are having any of that kind of talk whilst smearing Uncle Sam's chocolate all over their beards and mustaches as per always. According to frothing at the mouth anti-NDP rhetoric, the NDP has always voted with the corrupt stooges and their Librano Party pals in unison. And that's just not the case. The NDP voted against the Harpers in Parliament more than any other party in Ottawa. It's a cold fact.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

If Canadian soveriegnty means anythng, then Canada will always have a military.  I think the broad terms of the NDP's military policy (a focus on the territorial defence of Canada, peacekeeping and disaster relief at home and abroad) is largely correct - although as a trading nation, I think it misses the importance of maintaining international maritime security.  A significant proportion of Canadian exports travel by sea and therefore depend on secure maritime transport.  Even landlocked Saskatchewan has about 35% of its exports travelling by sea.

In general, the Canadian Forces are equipped and trained as a multipurpose force, which is right and proper.  The Joint Supply Ships in particular are well suited to support humanitarian missions.  The current and proposed frigates are likewise multipurpose platforms that can be deployed in a variety of contexts including sovereignty patrols, fisheries patrols, territorial surveillance (including, if necessary, environmental surveillance), counterpiracy and Search and Rescue.  While one may argue about the number of frigates in the recent contracts, the fact is that, by the time the new frigates come onstream, the old HALIFAX Class, the Tribals and the KINGSTON CLass will all be at or near the end of their serviceable lives.  New ships are simply necessary if Canada wants to play at being an independent state.

Personally, I don't know enough about air doctrine to really know if the new fighters make sense.  The idea of letting such an enormous contract without tender, though, is simply bizarre.

I'd agree in general with the poster above who mentioned expanding the Reserves, although I think we need to look at a more flexible "one military" system where personnel are able to move back and forth between fulltime and parttime service as required and minimizing (or even eliminating) the Regular / Reserve distinction.  The Navy has moved more effectively in this direction that the other forces - although the dependence on the Naval Reserve in recent years created significant institutional stress.  The decision to move the KINGSTON Class from being Reserve crews to mixed crews makes significant sense.  It is not yet clear, however, how this would affect the traditional "citizen sailor."  It could result in a system more like the USNR (or the Canadian Air Reserve) where virtually all the parttimers are ex-fulltimers.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

When's the last time the Canadian military defended Canadian sovereignty? Seems to me they've been spending the last several decades violating the sovereignty of other countries.

The biggest threat to Canada's sovereignty comes from our own politicians, who want to integrate us into the USA military and security establishments and allow the USA to detain and torture our nationals. The military isn't going to save us from them.

Expanding the Reserves only contributes to the continuing militarization of our entire society and culture, which has already gone too far. Dumb idea.

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