Comment on Defense Policy
A recent news item showed a town on Vancouver Island trying to keep out a person that was convicted of murder as a teenager. They did not want this person to be located in a halfway house in their neighborhood. There did not seem to be an argument for putting him back in jail but rather if he is going to be out – distance equals safety. Interesting concept.

This weeks Jane’s defense notes (http://jni.janes.com):Germany meets asymmetric threat – The German Navy is rapidly changing from an escort navy to an expeditionary force in response to new threats.

US turns to trade to boost surge sealift capacity – US military with assured access to additional commercial cargo vessels, to enhance its sealift capability in times of emergency and for general maritime transport.

I guess the folks on Vancouver Island weren’t the only ones to think that it is better to deal with bad people ‘over there’ rather than ‘over here’.

The Canadian government is going to release a new defense review shortly. The one completed last year is being redone; it was reported to be “a train wreck waiting to happen”

In an era where the odds of anything bad arriving on Canada’s doorstep from a Military point of view is approximately zero, it appears to be hard to convince ‘the public’ we need to spend money on defense.

So I would like to suggest to the Minister of National Defense, the new CDS, and anyone else the following, simple, defense policy;
“Canada’s Armed Forces – keeping the problems over there – over there”

Apparently one place in Canada has already figured out the value of that idea.

What about ‘fixing’ the problems through aid, peacekeeping, and imposing our will through force?

Well aid and peacekeeping assume the people involved are willing to solve the problem and we should help them. That is a good goal as well but it should be apparent that it is the people there that need to solve their own problem. We can help but we can ‘fix it’ for them.

The Iraq and Ivory Coast models of force (US and France respectively) involves applying force to ‘Stop’ something. This is also a way to deal with a problem but it typically requires being willing to kill the people doing the ‘bad things’. Whether in the long term this solves the problem is debatable but I doubt Canada is really prepared to do that. We have not show the desire in recent history to use force.

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