New Defence Policy

The Defence Policy Review released last week is an ambitious commitment not only to the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces, but to the support of Canada’s foreign policy goals as articulated just a few days before.  Those whom Canada sends in harm’s way ought to have the best kit our nation can provide, and our support of international and multilateral organizations committed to peace and stability also deserve our best effort.  The fact that the current government sees these connections is a heartening sign.

The test will be in the delivery.  The history of Canadian defence policy, plans and procurement is a trail of frustrated hopes and partially realized dreams.  It takes a long time to build ships and acquire fleets of aircraft, and the Canadian procurement process has become Byzantine at best and totally broken at its worst.  Moreover, the new defence policy needs to survive the next federal election and as we all know only too well defence is an easy mark for those looking for ‘economies’ in government expenditure.

The government’s intent and direction are laudable, but those of us who have been watching this stuff for decades are not betting on it – not yet.

Marc Milner, PhD
Director, The Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society


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