January 30, 2005

Thoughts on combat first aid

I agree with Patrick. This is a soldiers' must-read.

Posted by BruceR at 06:19 PM

Reader mail

I still feel occasionally guilty about axing the Flitters forum, so I do try to post reader responses when I can, so that this doesn't become a perfect echo chamber. Here's this week's haul, all relating to recent posts on Canadian defence, unabridged:

The Diefenbakerite Chas T. (whose blog I dearly miss) writes:

Gosh, I know it's been a rough January Bruce, but it seems you've developed a real case of the blues. Why so pessimistic? Why would the Yanks would torpedo Canada's defence industry? After all, it is substantially owned by American corporations, as is most of Canada's industry. So why would King George undermine the interest of his super-national corporate buddies? After all a buck is still buck.

And Uncle Jack, in his doting years has turned sadly continentalist. It's a shame to see such a mighty Canuck now shilling for the defence industry. Is he really that hard-up for bread?

Missile defence? Has Jack forgotten perfidious Camelot and the Bomarc fiasco so soon? It's just bluff and fearmongering. Who knows what Bush really said? The Liberals are already commited to NMD and they're trying to scare Canadians.

The free-rider thing always makes me chuckle because over the last almost two centuries what exactly has perfidious Albion and Camelot defended we poor undeserving Canucks against? And when we make a committment, as poor misguided Sir Robert did in 1915, we're treated like some sort of 'toy automata'.

Bring it on Yanks!!!

Rick G. writes:

Anyone who has been reading Flit should be hearing the arguments against Canada sinking serious money into Bush's BMD in their sleep. Bush's questions are based on the assumption that American allies face the same threats as the U.S.A. itself, and that assumption is demonstrably false.

Nonetheless, I challenge you to find a single American who does not believe this false assumption. Americans take it as an article of faith that they are protecting their own values for good of the whole world, and they assume by corollary, that a threat to the U.S. is a threat to good people all over the world. Americans just can't understand why Canadians don't get worked up over the same threats as they do, and that is why they are so confounded when an erstwhile ally doesn't want to get on board, and can't be convinced to do so out of self-interest. They assume Canadians are trying to get something for free, when in reality, we don't want what the U.S. is selling, even if it is free.

Regarding your question that Prof. Granatstein is paraphrasing: I'm not saying this is a good answer, but the only thing I can think of that will convince Canadians (as opposed to just myself) to spend serious money on our military is a serious threat from the United States. If the U.S. threatens to control foreign and domestic policy for us (in a more obvious way than they do right now),that could be enough to tip the scales of Canadian public opinion. Deep down, most Canadians are still waiting for the next Fenian raid. How else could Richard Rohmer have ever sold any books? It's an argument Lloyd Axworthy has been making for years, and up until now, most Canadians just haven't seen the U.S. as a realistic threat in the same way that the Chancellor of the University of Winnipeg does. If Bush talked to Canadians the way he talked to Paul Martin, all those faint-hearted Liberal voters in Ontario would be more than happy to see the DND budget swell.

TM Lutas writes:

In the next decade, you're going to have multiple private rocket companies launching from all over the world. Heck, if my birth nation of Romania fielded a credible team for the X Prize, I'm telling you that there are going to be dozens of designs in service launching from all over the world and with highly variable security systems in place. How, absent a missile defense system, do you shoot down a hijacked private orbital rocket loaded with a dirty bomb or something more lethal? How are you going to have a system you're semi-confident will
work a decade from now if you don't start today?

Finally, how the heck do you openly discuss such things without giving
terrorists ideas.?

Joseph O. writes:

Is there any case for Canada's military specializing? I agree that making the army into a bad peace keeping unit is a mistake, but if we do have scarce resources, shouldn't we pick a couple of things and do them well? And shouldn't we a pick an area easily integrates with our allies?

I really do not know enough about the military to know if we should be generalists or specialists.

Posted by BruceR at 03:25 PM

News from Australia, where apparently everyone is named Tim, now

I'm sorry, it's from a while ago in blog time, but this was the funniest damn thing I read all week. I admire Lambert's self-restraint in saving the "In medieval times, no one was observing the heavens because..." quote until the very end. I would have made that the whole post. Hell, I may devote this entire blog from here on to my profound admiration for the crazy world of Louis Hissink.

Posted by BruceR at 02:48 PM