Politics, the Military and the Media
Many column inches in the print media and even more gigahertz of bandwidth in the electronic media have been expended on parsing Gen. Rick Hillier’s recent comments about how long it might take to make the Afghan National Army (ANA) fit to defend Afghanistan on its own.
A recent Globe and Mail editorial
is an example, but a sadly rare example, of a correct media analysis.
The Globe and Mail
says: “...he owes no apologies for giving an honest assessment of the mission's status ...”
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Trimming The Sails
According to Canadian Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Rick Hillier, in a 25 July 07 interview
with CBC, some of the Tories' 2006 election promises may no longer be necessary.
Should the government adopt General Hillier's advice, the opposition and the media will likely trot out the same tired complaints about broken promises when they actually should be thankful to the government for managing the nation's defences in a sound manner.
Over 18 months ago, The Ruxted Group strongly advised politicians
to avoid playing politics with the defence program. Of course, that proved to be an impossible request and we then asked Prime Minister Harper to go slow
and continue the rebuilding process initiated by General Hillier under Prime Minister Martin and former Defence Minister Graham.
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A few months ago The Ruxted Group spoke out, towards the DND/CF leadership, on the issues of recruiting, retraining and above all retention.
We said, “The real problem is that there are too few people in Canada’s operational naval, land and air forces. Those shortages, and the consequential frequent tours in combat zones, are just as prevalent in the service support trades as they are in the combat arms. Most of these shortages are the result of wounds inflicted by the Government of Canada on the Canadian Forces; the Force Reduction Program, the transfer of manpower from the field force to headquarters, and ongoing retention problems are the root of this.”
We are pleased to note that some of our ideas, such as improved component transfer opportunities, were shared by the DND/CF leadership and are being implemented. We also note that other ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of training, such as the reintroduction of regimental depots, are being implemented and we applaud the CF’s efforts to make the training system better.
Continue reading "The Goose That Lays The Golden Eggs"