• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Advancing With Purpose 4th Edn Dec 2020

Halifax Tar

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
259
Points
880
I have very elementary exposure to the Army. Couple Afg deployments and a posting to a Sigs regt. So take this in context.

But when thinking about the defence of Canada; should we not more heavily invest in our Sea and Air components and simply keep our Army for our own territorial defence ? What's the point in having deployable ground forces ? We could just as easily and with more effect provide to our allies by helping with a robust Navy to safe guard sea lanes and an Air Forces that is capable of patrolling our air space (NORAD) and contribute to coalition air wings.

This would allow us to "be players" but in all likelihood sustain less casualties in an Afghan 2.0 scenario or WW3... Seems like a political win.
 

GR66

Sr. Member
Reaction score
80
Points
360
I have very elementary exposure to the Army. Couple Afg deployments and a posting to a Sigs regt. So take this in context.

But when thinking about the defence of Canada; should we not more heavily invest in our Sea and Air components and simply keep our Army for our own territorial defence ? What's the point in having deployable ground forces ? We could just as easily and with more effect provide to our allies by helping with a robust Navy to safe guard sea lanes and an Air Forces that is capable of patrolling our air space (NORAD) and contribute to coalition air wings.

This would allow us to "be players" but in all likelihood sustain less casualties in an Afghan 2.0 scenario or WW3... Seems like a political win.
We'll do the flying and they'll do the dying?

With friends like that who needs enemies?

[Edited to temper a flippant response to a serious question]

I'll agree that as essentially an "island" nation with no likelihood of being subjected to a land invasion (nobody except our closest neighbour and ally have the capability) our Navy and Air Force should be the main focus of our military. This is no different than how Britain dominated for centuries. A mastery of the seas due to a strong Royal Navy and a small, but efficient professional Army for expeditionary wars.

There comes a time though that your national interests, either directly or indirectly through your allies, require you to take on enemy forces on the ground. That requires an Army. And being part of an alliance sometimes requires showing that you are willing to share the sacrifice of blood and treasure with your allies, not making them do the heavy lifting while you do the politically safer jobs.

So in my view I generally agree with you that for Canada the RCN and RCAF should be the main focus for our military, but believe we also need a credible expeditionary Army that can make a meaningful contribution on the ground when militarily and politically necessary.

Sorry if my initial response was disrespectful.
 
Last edited:

Halifax Tar

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
259
Points
880
We'll do the flying and they'll do the dying?

With friends like that who needs enemies?

[Edited to temper a flippant response to a serious question]

I'll agree that as essentially an "island" nation with no likelihood of being subjected to a land invasion (nobody except our closest neighbour and ally have the capability) our Navy and Air Force should be the main focus of our military. This is no different than how Britain dominated for centuries. A mastery of the seas due to a strong Royal Navy and a small, but efficient professional Army for expeditionary wars.

There comes a time though that your national interests, either directly or indirectly through your allies, require you to take on enemy forces on the ground. That requires an Army. And being part of an alliance sometimes requires showing that you are willing to share the sacrifice of blood and treasure with your allies, not making them do the heavy lifting while you do the politically safer jobs.

So in my view I generally agree with you that for Canada the RCN and RCAF should be the main focus for our military, but believe we also need a credible expeditionary Army that can make a meaningful contribution on the ground when militarily and politically necessary.

Sorry if my initial response was disrespectful.

lol No offence taken, but in my scenario the MI wouldn't be dying unless Canada was invaded, as they would never leave the home pitch ;)

One of my favorite books BTW.

Again why do we need to deploy ground forces ? Why are Canadas interests that are worth Canadian blood and treasure enough to put boots on some foreign land ?
 

Infanteer

Army.ca Myth
Staff member
Directing Staff
Donor
Reaction score
388
Points
1,030
...because the international system doesn't support the level of peace and prosperity Canada enjoys without supporting global stability. We have treaty obligations to NATO to provide a certain level of land power to a the alliance. We have to be prepared to support allies in the event of an Article 5 declaration.

So, even if we didn't want to partake in UN missions, or NATO "missions of choice" like Kosovo or Afghanistan, or other alliance efforts, we're still on the hook by Treaty to maintain land power for use abroad in support of our allies. Dandourand's fireproof house disappeared a long time ago.
 

Halifax Tar

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
259
Points
880
...because the international system doesn't support the level of peace and prosperity Canada enjoys without supporting global stability. We have treaty obligations to NATO to provide a certain level of land power to a the alliance. We have to be prepared to support allies in the event of an Article 5 declaration.

So, even if we didn't want to partake in UN missions, or NATO "missions of choice" like Kosovo or Afghanistan, or other alliance efforts, we're still on the hook by Treaty to maintain land power for use abroad in support of our allies. Dandourand's fireproof house disappeared a long time ago.

Why cant we do that only utilizing our forces at sea and in the air and leave the ground pounding to Canadian shores and territory ?
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Myth
Reaction score
1,628
Points
1,060
I have very elementary exposure to the Army. Couple Afg deployments and a posting to a Sigs regt. So take this in context.

But when thinking about the defence of Canada; should we not more heavily invest in our Sea and Air components and simply keep our Army for our own territorial defence ? What's the point in having deployable ground forces ? We could just as easily and with more effect provide to our allies by helping with a robust Navy to safe guard sea lanes and an Air Forces that is capable of patrolling our air space (NORAD) and contribute to coalition air wings.

This would allow us to "be players" but in all likelihood sustain less casualties in an Afghan 2.0 scenario or WW3... Seems like a political win.

That's what Mackenzie King tried to do prior to WW2.

Thinking 'hey, we'll just be the place where they train aircrew and save lives in the next war (and my political neck)' he enthusiastically backed the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan


Then WW2 came along and our infantry suffered some of the highest casualty rates ever, by anyone, because the need for large armoured, combined arms forces became clearly priority #1.

Hence the - correct - approach focused on 'balance' more recently.
 

Infanteer

Army.ca Myth
Staff member
Directing Staff
Donor
Reaction score
388
Points
1,030
Why cant we do that only utilizing our forces at sea and in the air and leave the ground pounding to Canadian shores and territory ?
Because belonging to NATO specifically lays out land force contributions. Nobody likes a cheapskate who is only half-in.

Even Donald Trump couldn't walk the U.S. out of that obligation, as much as he wanted to.
 

Halifax Tar

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
259
Points
880
I do believe in dubya dubya two our attachment/obedience to the crown may have had a large role to play in what we deployed. I would argue this is far from the case currently.

Did we have to send ground forces into WW2 ? I would argue the biggest role Canada played in WW2 was at sea and in the air during the BOA. Not that we were always very good at that, just that it was arguably our most important contribution to the ETO. Followed closely by BCATP and our lads in fighter and bomber command.

So is it that we need a deployable Army because we've always done it that way ? Or is there actually an existential requirement for us to function in that capacity ?

Canada seems to want to be a player on the world stage, but only with the minimal commitment to what that requires defence wise. So instead of trying to do everything sort of good, why not concentrate our efforts in a couple of areas and become the best at the that ? Say ASW / convoy protection and control of air space. Thus leaving our forces in green to defend the home land should an enemy ever make it to our shores.

Because belonging to NATO specifically lays out land force contributions. Nobody likes a cheapskate who is only half-in.

Even Donald Trump couldn't walk the U.S. out of that obligation, as much as he wanted to.

Aren't we already a cheapskate ?
 

FJAG

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
648
Points
940
I do believe in dubya dubya two our attachment/obedience to the crown may have had a large role to play in what we deployed. I would argue this is far from the case currently.
The US had no obligation to the Brit crown and was into it already before Pearl Harbor and all in after.
Did we have to send ground forces into WW2 ? I would argue the biggest role Canada played in WW2 was at sea and in the air during the BOA. Not that we were always very good at that, just that it was arguably our most important contribution to the ETO. Followed closely by BCATP and our lads in fighter and bomber command.
Yes we did. You can't win a war by leaving the enemy untouched in its homeland. All you do is extend the war indefinitely. The war at sea was very important in getting the war materials from its manufacturing base to the point of conflict. One can't underestimate that. Our air force contributed mightily to the air war. At the end of the day, It was 250,000 Canadians in the First Canadian Army that put boots on the ground in Europe and shaped the outcome of European (and incidentally Canadian) history for the next 80 years.
So is it that we need a deployable Army because we've always done it that way ? Or is there actually an existential requirement for us to function in that capacity ?
One of my favourite quotes says it all:

The gold standard of deterrence and assurance is a defensive posture that confronts the adversary with the prospect of operational failure as the likely consequence of aggression.[Ochmanek, David et al. “U.S. Military Capabilities and Forces for a Dangerous World” RAND Corp 2017 at p. 45 https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1782-1.html]
In order to properly defend one must have the ability to strike back. That is a fundamental truth. A balanced force is essential for that.
Canada seems to want to be a player on the world stage, but only with the minimal commitment to what that requires defence wise. So instead of trying to do everything sort of good, why not concentrate our efforts in a couple of areas and become the best at the that ? Say ASW / convoy protection and control of air space. Thus leaving our forces in green to defend the home land should an enemy ever make it to our shores.



Aren't we already a cheapskate ?
When one extends your arguments, and questions why do we need this? then one of the logical solutions is that we have a tremendous moat around our country and a very interested ally down south. Who is going to attack North America in the first place. Why do we even need an air force and navy when the risk of such an attack is infinitesimally small? Why not just coastal missile artillery and air defense?

Those arguments make no sense of course. We need a balanced force to go in all directions. That's without question. The hard part is to determine the size and makeup of that force. That's where being a cheapskate comes into play.

🍻
 

Halifax Tar

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
259
Points
880
The US had no obligation to the Brit crown and was into it already before Pearl Harbor and all in after.

At sea and in the Air yes. But they had no stomach to commit ground forces until Pearl Harbor. Either way, I am discussing Canada.

Yes we did. You can't win a war by leaving the enemy untouched in its homeland. All you do is extend the war indefinitely. The war at sea was very important in getting the war materials from its manufacturing base to the point of conflict. One can't underestimate that. Our air force contributed mightily to the air war. At the end of the day, It was 250,000 Canadians in the First Canadian Army that put boots on the ground in Europe and shaped the outcome of European (and incidentally Canadian) history for the next 80 years.

So the Canadian land forces deployed during WW2 were the deciding factor ? I would argue against that. I postulate that we demanded a role and were given a supporting role on land advancing the extreme left flank of the allies. Had we not had that task I do not think the effect on WW2 would have been detrimental. Lets also not forget the Ruskies the vast amount of lifting on land, and would have beaten Germans without second front(s), conceding it would have taken longer.

Again the BOA was the deciding battle of the ETO for the Western allies. With out those secure sea lanes we would have seen a very different war and probably a very different Europe right now.

One of my favourite quotes says it all:

In order to properly defend one must have the ability to strike back. That is a fundamental truth. A balanced force is essential for that.

I wouldn't argue against that. Hence why our territorial land force would be focused on striking back to an invasion and taking back any lost ground while pushing the enemy back into the sea.

When one extends your arguments, and questions why do we need this? then one of the logical solutions is that we have a tremendous moat around our country and a very interested ally down south. Who is going to attack North America in the first place. Why do we even need an air force and navy when the risk of such an attack is infinitesimally small? Why not just coastal missile artillery and air defense?

Why not just coastal missile artillery and air defense then ? Role the RCN and RCAF into the CCG and the Army into the RCMP bringing back the old PCMR and setting something like that up on the east coast.

Those arguments make no sense of course. We need a balanced force to go in all directions. That's without question. The hard part is to determine the size and makeup of that force. That's where being a cheapskate comes into play.

I actually agree with you. I am playing the devils advocate. Hell I would like to see the Reg Force grow to 100K (properly and effectively employed and equipped) but we seem ever stuck in trying to do everything with a shrinking budget and man power.
 
Top