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Can Canada afford the new ships and jets?

By CNR Fan, 17 May 2022

An interesting article by a former ADM(Mat) Mr. Alan Williams was published in The Globe and Mail on 18 April 2022: Can Canada really afford the ships and jets that the military has bought?

A few key points listed below:

"The horrific war in Ukraine has brought increased focus on the Department of National Defence’s budget. Critics of the level of the DND’s funding point to the fact that Canada only contributes 1.39 per cent of its GDP to defence spending - fifth lowest among NATO members and well below the military alliance’s guidelines of 2 per cent."

The article continues:

"It was thus encouraging to hear Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland commit the federal government to undertaking a defence-policy review to outline the strategies, capabilities and priorities it places in defending our country; in defending North America; and in participating in international alliances, such as NATO and the UN."

The author noted, that "yet, the conversation has largely focused on the estimated acquisition costs [...] For example, the cost to acquire, operate and sustain 88 F-35A jets over 30 years will likely be at least double the $19-billion estimate; similarly, the cost to acquire, operate and support 15 Canadian Surface Combatants over 30 years will likely exceed a quarter-trillion dollars."

According to Mr. Williams, "If insufficient funding is provided to the DND to support the government’s defence policy, the solution is to reflect that reality to Ottawa and force it to modify its strategy – not to understate costs and acquiesce to an unaffordable policy."

In conclusion, the author says: "Going forward, any defence policy must be supported by a publicly accessible, fully costed, long-term capital plan. The DND’s current Defence Investment Plan is an inadequate attempt to meet this need." [...]

"Defence procurement is a business. It should be run as such – with one minister accountable for results, appropriate plans and reports that measure performance, and rigorous and timely oversight."

Read the full article: Can Canada really afford the ships and jets that the military has bought?

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-can-canada-really-afford-the-ships-and-jets-that-the-military-has/

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