March 01, 2004

I REALLY DON'T THINK PEOPLE ARE GRASPING THE GUN REGISTRY OUTRAGE

Maybe this will help.

Posted by BruceR at 06:23 PM

AXIS OF....? HOW DID THAT PHRASE GO AGAIN?

Apparently the Iranian nuke threat and ongoing trade embargo don't mean you can't still do a little business when you need to. Now THAT's detente.

Ollie North would be proud... I look forward to the usual jingopundit non-reaction.

Posted by BruceR at 12:22 PM

HAITI, contd.: WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS A FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE

Some within government even perceive a barely veiled attempt [by the Canadian Forces] to throw up roadblocks in order to make the point that the military needs substantially more resources. Haiti has traditionally been a focus of Canadian foreign policy no country in the Americas gets more development assistance from Ottawa and Mr. Martin's government would be sensitive to any suggestion that the Canadian Forces just can't do what's required there.

"It has been like pulling teeth with them," a government official said.

--The Globe and Mail, today.

No doubt every senior Canadian military officer is grinding their frequently-pulled teeth over that one. It's real easy for a government to say the foreign policy priority of the week trumps the need for soldiers to see their children once every couple years or so, or for any new soldiers to be trained, or to deploy with sufficient equipment... especially from anonymity.

But as easy as it would be from this perspective to make the obvious comments about water from a dry well, and such like, there's another point this should highlight, as well. That's that the DND leadership's vision that after pulling out of Afghanistan this fall there will be a couple years for the Canadian Forces to "reconstitute" itself is simply not sound, and probably never was. The tempo we are maintaining now is not prone to being turned on and off, on and off. It's a consistent, steady demand on a dwindling military force structure. Two years or more without Canadian Forces units of some description overseas just simply ain't gonna happen.

The best that can be hoped for is that the military is able to clearly define what is their sustainable level of constant overseas commitment, and that the government of the day can be persuaded to think twice, or at least see the need to fund above the budgetary baseline, before exceeding that level whenever the next crisis arises... as it inevitably will.

Yes, "pay up or shut up" is often a fair rejoinder, regarding Haiti and elsewhere. But if anyone still honestly thinks we have a couple years coming up later in the decade when we'll be able as a military to sit back, relax a bit, and pull all the current loose ends together, they've been into the glue again.

Posted by BruceR at 10:33 AM