Regardless of who wins the next American election, the best thing Canada can do to manage our most important bilateral relationship is to start taking our defence and security responsibilities seriously.
Last week General Wayne Eyre announced that he intended to retire from the Canadian Armed Forces and step down from his position as Chief of the Defence Staff after 40…
Considering the hope that the year started with and how it ended, it’s unlikely that much will change in 2024. Rather than the beginnings of a renewal, the CAF is in a worse state and facing an even deeper hole it needs to dig out of.
Much like with the F-35 purchase last year, the cabinet dithered on making a final decision, which increased its political cost and undermined the purchase’s legitimacy. It’s another unnecessary wound on the military, turning an unambiguous win into a muddled mess.
The relationship between the bureaucracy and soldiers and veterans is not a harmonious one. At best it can be described as adversarial.
Warfare is fast becoming more lethal and decisive. Modern armies must be able to respond to those changes as quickly as they occur. That cannot occur in an organization that is continually starved for funding like the Canadian Armed Forces is today.
Political decisions have simultaneously over-deployed the Canadian Armed Forces while not investing in its capabilities. This has upset the fragile sustainment system, leaving its actual operational capability in tatters.
Our system of procurement is fundamentally broken. Deliveries of major capabilities can now be counted in decades, where years should be the norm.
Diplomatic capital must be earned. Constantly shirking international obligations, most egregiously the direct request to increase Canada’s defence budget and effective contribution to international security, has exhausted that.
As the war approaches its second-year mark, Ukrainians have reason to be hopeful. While it remains engaged in a pitched struggle for its survival, a path to ultimate success is now evident.