20 August 2009

What a picture shows

RE2009-0034-0011 Most people will see a nice campaign-style picture featuring the current Prime Minister.

What anyone seriously interested in defence of the north will see is:

1.  This exercise took place in August when four little old ladies with severe arthritis could operate fairly easily in the Arctic. 

Try working there in January, especially with a diesel electric submarine that needs air to breathe and the sea is clogging with thick ice.

2.   The aircraft are so far away from any fuel supplies they could only form up for this picture if each was carrying three additional fuel tanks.  As a result they are carrying shag-all in the way of ordnance.

-srbp-

18 comments:

Ted Betts said...

In Mclean's:

Mission accomplished

Alison Crawford reflects on the exquisite precision of a Stephen Harper photo op :

The Coast Guard’s Pierre Radisson ship and the submarine HMCS Cornerbrook lined up one one side of the frigate HMCS Toronto. On the deck of Toronto, was a gaggle of reporters, cameras at the ready.



Then, Defence Minister Peter MacKay sauntered onto the deck with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. They stopped to make idle chit chat until urged by handlers to move forward a few metres in order to have them perfectly positioned with the other two vessels in the background.



But wait! There’s more! Three CF-18 jets flew past in formation. But the fly-by was a little to fast for some camera operators and photographers to catch the entire montage of sub, jets and coast guard, so the CF-18s passed over four more times.

Proud Canadian said...

Now why don't you ask yourself the reason why our military would have such a hard time to operate in the middle of the winter. Does it have anything to do with all the budget cuts that our military went threw in the 90's? I mean please be honest! What the government has been doing with our military the last few years is play catch-up. A whole lot better what they went threw in the 90's.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, PC, because in the 1980s, the forces had all kinds of equipment to operate in the high arctic in mid winter, equipment like...

?

Edward G. Hollett said...

Please, PC.

Heed your own words.

Be honest.

The CF has never really had a capability to operate effectively in the North, ever.

Aside from periodic episodes like in the 1920s and the 1940s, the national focus has been anywhere but the North.

Even under Harper the focus has not been on defence in the North except for show purposes.

As for your comments about cuts in the 1990s, there has been a consistent expenditure program for the last decade (Connie and Grit administrations) to equip and organize the CF to meet current roles and needs.

In some respects, the CF is considerably better off today than it was in 1993 and that is as a result of a series of initiatives that began after 1993.

In some other respects (like PUBLIC Affairs), the current administration has destroyed the positive initiatives begun in the wake of Somalia. The department today has gone backwards in that area very rapidly.

ridenrain said...

We need to finish Chretien's war before we can buy new ships.

towniebastard said...

Ed, the planes were landing here in Iqaluit. Trust me, you notice when three F-18s buzz past your apartment. So I don't think refueling is a problem with this exercise

Anonymous said...

Ed,

You are soooooo negative.

Proud Canadian said...

Mr.Hollett:

You have to know how to crawl before you can walk.If we didn't have the big budget cuts in the 90's maybe today we could have had a military capable to work in the winter in our far north. Has it stands now we had to pay catch-up.

How do you explain a country like Israel who is much more smaller than we are could have a military powerful enough to keep countries at bay that are much bigger than they are and we have problems in transporting our own soldiers. Weren't you embarrassed the way the liberals left our military?

√Čric said...

It doesn't really matter, the Russians won't be invading the Arctic, much less so in the dead of winter.

Old School Liberal said...

How do you explain a country like Israel who is much more smaller than we are could have a military powerful enough to keep countries at bay that are much bigger than they are and we have problems in transporting our own soldiers.

Oh, I know this one: US money and support from Jews and Christians worldwide? Where do I get my prize?

Weren't you embarrassed the way the liberals left our military?

Um, no. Weren't you embarrassed the way the Conservatives left and are going to leave our finances? When you govern a country, you can't live in fantasyland. You can't have everything and eliminate the deficit, something that used to be of value to "borrow and spend" conservatives.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, no one's gonna be invading the Israeli Arctic.

Edward G. Hollett said...

PC:

You don't miss the point, you ignore it.

The Cf is not and has never been configured, arranged or acquired hardware to deal with the North, except to an extremely limited degree.

Even if the defence budget had stayed exactly the same all through the 1990s, DND was not purchasning equipment, had no plans to purchase euqipment and wouldn't have been purchasing equipment for the Arctic.

LEvidently PC you weren't embarrassed in 1987 when a defence policy from the Mulroney Tories never even got off the ground. Announced and gutted within 18 months.

But if you want to get into a game of my partisan cuts are cuter than yours, let's consider the Tory legacy:

The purchase of a single helicopter for political reasons to replace the Chinooks, Hueys and Kiowas when the replacement couldn't do the work required?

Major kick in the capabilities for the army that would have come in handy in the 1990s and beyond.

How about the LSVW, another political pork purchase, squeeky brakes and all, to a firm that just coincidentally happened to be in the right political riding?

How about a brigade's worth of Abrams and Bradleys, offered brand new in 1990 and at zero cost and truned down by the Mulroney administration?

How about a military that in 1990 couldn't meet its NATO commitments after six years of Tory government, the major accomplishment of which was putting the military back into three colours of uniform. That really boosted capability.

Essentially your point is partisan crap. A nice talking point but it doesn't hold up to any scrutiny.

The state of the CF at any point is the result of decisions taken by successive administrations of either blue or red stripe. It's not a partisan issue despite your consistent efforts to claim otherwise. One of the reasons the CF is in the state it's in is because people prefer to sue it as a partisan football or for pork or both rather than regard it as it should be seen.

Edward G. Hollett said...

They should be able to work from forward operating bases Craig.

I was struck by the fact they are tanked up but with SFA in terms of weaponry.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the 1990s, we pay our military expenses with cash instead of credit - even the Americans are jealous.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how PC feels about the Harper C's (no longer P) using DND as a porkbarrel and Giant Pander?

Bases and battalions for everyone! We mean it this time!

Anonymous said...

The Russians better on ice?
Ha!
We beat them in '72 and we'll beat them again!

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Edward G. Hollett said...

Yes, 1143, we are all agreeing with you: it will be so much better in a couple of weeks when you can get back with your friends and finger-painting and crayons and leave the computer for the grown-ups.