Date: 2003-04-22 08:30:50
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Regarding the budget expenditures, do you know that when military personnel are deployed in other countries, they must be paid with special bonuses and logistic and transport costs much money! Last year our deployments cost us more than 400 million $...
Here is a summary of the amount for
different tasks (2001-2002 numbers):
Operations and Maintenance : 31%
Personnel spending: 39%
New Equipment : 19%
Grants : 11%
As you might see, salaries are the main spending block on the defence budget.
For example, did you know that our F-18 fighter planes don't even have guided missiles? You know why? Because they cost too much, we used our last guided missiles in 1995 while in Yugoslavia!!
Don't you think there is a problem somewhere?? I also heard that reservists (as a joke - but some part of it must be true), have only five bullets per year for target practice! I think there was also much less aeral patrols in Northern Canada in the last few years (one instead of 3 per year, can someone confirm?), because it cost too much!
To make sure that not too many personnel leave the military, since they face stiff competition from the private sector, they must adjust personal salaries in par with the private sector, and that also costs much money... (Being an engineer, i think you understand this, well military are also looking for engineers and even worst, for doctors)
Our military equipment is very very old, and the older it is, the more maintenance it costs, and this is expensive since it is equipment which might no longer be available, or the spare parts must be military grade (which is much more expensive than regular parts). Its less expensive than replacing the equipment all together though.
When these problems will be solved, and our dying equipment is replaced (our Seak King helicopters, our transport planes, and our two supply ships) then i will say, ok stop increasing the defence budget; they will have enough to buy new equipment without straining the rest of the defence department, but not before.
Our defence budget should be in 13.5-15 billion $ field with a yearly small increase based on inflation rates and by adjusting it, so we always have the same % ratio GNP, maybe 1.4%-1.6%).
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Date: 2003-04-22 12:33:01
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..."Last year our deployments cost us more than 400 million $...
I would like to investigate that a bit further, is that extra money for the state of deployment? Or is that money that would have been spent even if the troops were in Canada? How much of that cost is for simply moving stuff from Canada to the trouble spot and back again? (How much of that cost is transportation, logistics, fuel, manpower, Transport Aircraft maintenace, etc)
First off my thoughts below are off the cuff and probably off base, but I thought it is worth asking. So here we go...
The other questions I have, if sending equipment to the other side of the world costs so much and our transport aircraft are in such disrepair. Wouldn’t it be useful to have an East European NATO equipment depot that could quickly deploy equipment via rail, cargo, or ship to the nearest safe zone near the trouble spot? Then commercially fly our fellows in to that safe zone for deployment to the trouble spot? The British seem to be able to deploy this way rather quickly, no?
(I say East European such as Poland because it would be cheaper and appreciated, Poland is a member of NATO, and probably closer to any trouble spots, I can't see war around France, Spain, or Germany that Canada would have to respond to anymore now that the Cold war is over)
As far as the depot, if we need to do major updates or repairs, instead of flying equipment back to Canada, just ship it back cargo? Yes there are security concerns here, and others I probably haven’t thought off, but the U.S. does it, why can’t we fully incorporate this?
It is not like we are going to have to react to the RED army dismantling Europe. If a problem gets that bad in Europe then the Europeans today are more then capable to deal first with it.
I realize that we may need self contained rapid reaction forces for Canada, JTF2, DART, etc, but that would be a different category, not peacekeeping/making and I can't see them needing 40 transport aircraft, battle tanks and artillery, deployment of those resources have never been rapid.
Again, I am probably far off on this as we would need more transparency as to track and understand the current processes and which ones are still relevant and which should be removed or adjusted. I have been hearing this resounding from the fellows I talk with, "that a lot of waste is still in ‘Procedures for countering the Soviet Union’ mentality."
Anyhow, have a good day fellows.
Date: 2003-04-22 13:47:51
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Regarding the 400 Million dollars, I don't know, the reports (available on the DND site - called plans and priorities), indicates that this is the total expenses including bonuses transports and everything...
Regarding transport of our equipment and troops, well, from reading newspapers (the Ottawa Citizen is very well informed about all this), it seems that the Air Force Brass wants to buy some C-17 planes - which has worldwide range, I disagree with this, its much too expensive (180 million US$ each!). It seems that Mr. McCallum has also the same point of view as me.
On the other hand our CC-130 aircraft, which can fly at most up to Western Europe without refuelling should be replaced (they are getting old - 40 years), for domestic use at least, lets say there is an emergency and we must distribute goods to western Canada VERY rapidly, you need to have military transport planes... Same is true when we need to evacuate Canadians stuck someowhere in another country, you must do this rapidly, and leasing a charter plane in thoses cases can be very complex.
Thats why I simply don't understand why Canada was not involved in the European partnership for purchasing A400M transport planes, they cost much less than C-17's (80 million euros each), and have greater range and capacity than our CC-130... Like it or not our CC-130 planes will need replacement one day or another - and we need these for domestic use at least.
We are already shipping some equipment via private cargo, no? Well, the minister of Defence is currently discussing about creating a pool of C-17's which would be available to all NATO members on short notice. Thats a good step, and that is good, but we still need shorter range transport planes for ourselves. And for greater deployments, i agree that lease is a good idea (for example, leasing planes and cargos for transporting our regular troops to Afghanistan is the good way imo)
"a lot of waste is still in ‘Procedures for countering the Soviet Union’ mentality."
Thats probably true in some branches of the military, but i really suggest you read these documents :
And you will surprised that land forces in Canada seem to agree with your statement!