Vanguard Magazine

Feb/Mar 2015

Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 3 of 47

pUBLisHER And EXECUtiVE EditOR John Jones EditOR Chris thatcher ContRiButoRS Andy Cook Alain Gauthier Jonathan Wade Benoit Maraval ian Coutts Mike Ward nat shankar Benjamin sussman nicole Verkindt James Cox Greg Fyff e Joshua samac editoRial adViSoRY BoaRd LGen (Ret'd) Bill Leach LGen (Ret'd) George Macdonald VAdm (Ret'd) Greg Maddison LGen (Ret'd) Michel Maisonneuve Ambassador Graham Green professor philippe Lagassé SaleS ViCE pREsidEnt pUBLiC sECtOR sALEs terri pavelic (905) 727-4091 ext. 225 Vp BUsinEss MEdiA stRAtEGY Marcello sukhdeo (905) 727-4091 ext. 224 MARKEtinG diRECtOR Mary Malofy aRt & PRoduCtion ARt diRECtOR Elena pankova SuBSCRiPtionS and addReSS CHanGeS CiRCULAtiOn sERViCEs Mary Labao publisher's Mail Agreement: 40052410 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to circulation dept. 23-4 Vata Court, Aurora, On L4G 4B6 Vanguard magazine is published 6 times per year by promotive Communications inc. All opinions expressed herein are those of the contributors and do not necessarily refl ect the views of the publisher or any person or organization associated with the magazine. Letters, submissions, comments and suggested topics are welcome, and should be sent to REpRint inFORMAtiOn: Reproduction or photocopying is prohibited without the publisher's prior written consent. High quality reprints of articles and additional copies of the magazine are available through pRiVACY pOLiCY: We do not sell our mailing list or share any confi dential information on our subscribers. VAnGUARd OFFiCE 23-4 Vata Court, Aurora, On L4G 4B6 phone: (905) 727-4091 Fax: (905) 727-4428 PReSentationS and PaPeRS BY daVid PeRRY are always sobering. The senior analyst, formerly with the Conference of Defence Associations Institute (CDAI) and now with the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute, grounds his work in hard numbers. Those numbers are sometimes subject to dif- ferent interpretation, but the basic facts are hard to refute. Over the past 14 years since the tragedy of 9/11, there have been clear spend- ing trends for national security and defence in Canada, he told the recent annual CDAI symposium: a long period of increase followed by a shorter period of sig- nifi cant cuts. Until 2009, departments and agencies such as CSIS, the RCMP and National Defence all saw massive spending increases, between 50 percent and, in the case of the RCMP, almost 80 percent. Since then, however, fi scal pressures have taken their toll. CSIS has seen in- fl ation adjusted spending drop by 7%, the RCMP by 20%, and DND by 13%. Much of this is due to "outright cuts, operating budget freezes, and for DND, re-profi ling of capital funds into the future," he explained. As the government has made a balanced budget its top priority, those reduc- tions are, if not acceptable, then at least understandable. More troubling, though, is Perry's second reason for spending reductions: "These agencies can't use all of their appropriations from Parliament." He said that since about 2008, CSIS has "handed back a combined 5% of its total appropriation; DND has turned in 7%; and the RCMP 8%." In real dollars, that means about $180 million for CSIS, $1.7 billion for the much larger RCMP, and a staggering $9.5 billion for DND. "All together, that's more than $11 billion earmarked for just three national security actors that wasn't used," he said, though he stressed that all three have more real money today than they did in the recent past. For DND and the Canadian Armed Forces, what does that mean? The pressures that sparked that post-9/11 investment in national security may have changed in nature but are no less present. And the fi scal circumstances are unlikely to change in the near future, even with a new federal government. Perry laid out two options. The fi rst is to deliver the existing defence program more effi ciently, an effort that is already underway through Defence Renewal. But even if every savings outlined in the plan is achieved, "it won't completely close the gap." Which leaves the second and more diffi cult option: "Make some tough deci- sions about scaling back the defence program, to make it fi t within the resource envelop we have right now." Perry advocated a thorough defence policy review rather than let the knife fall on projects that just happen to be "last in line" for funding. The navy, in particu- lar, could pay a heavy price if that is the result. Trouble is, the CDAI has been calling for a national security policy and defence white paper in each of its Strategic Outlooks for the past half dozen years. The government has repeatedly deferred to its 2008 Canada First Defence Strategy as its blueprint for the road ahead. The CFDS is being refreshed, but can it provide the necessary balance of ambition and funding? I look forward to Perry's analysis of that, when it arrives. Chris thatcher, Editor e editoR'S nOtE 4 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2015 Deep cuts the knife

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Vanguard Magazine - Feb/Mar 2015