Targeted Sanctions #Cdnpoli #sanctiontrump

With the announcement today that Ivanka Trump is to receive security clearance, office space, and unprecedented access in the White House I feel it is time to revisit my idea on Twitter that the Trump administration warrants Canadian sanctions. Not being a lawyer I might be wrong but my understanding is international law gives Donald J Trump himself immunity. That immunity does not extend to his family nor any of his business interests, nor to his cabinet and their business interests. Canada already has the Special Economic Measures Act to lay sanctions.

Broad sanctions will hurt Canada and vulnerable Americans and not really be noticed by the Trump administration. Targeting the Trump family, Trump business empire, and those of the Trump administration who are poised to use their position for personal gain would be far more effective. Current Sanctions by Canada are for questionable election results, oligarchical seizure of public assets, denial of Human Rights, and destruction of essential services.

Donald Trump’s recent actions against democratic governance, Human Rights, public assets, denial of service, and fostering fear in minority groups should worry us. If they were committed by a leader in the developing world we would not hesitate to call on international sanctions. When African leaders are elected under suspicion or blatant fraud we slap sanctions on within days or weeks. With the suspicion of Russian involvement of in November’s results it would be hypocrisy of Canada not to sanction the United States regime as we would any African, South American, or Asian regime.

When North Korea or Iran sabre rattles and threatens to use weapons of mass destruction we don’t try to foster friendship and engagement we tighten the sanctions. When Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe pitted “veterans” against farmers and farm labourers to steal land we didn’t open trade negotiations to secure our market we sanctioned. How is Trump’s forcing through pipelines on Native lands, targeting of minorities, and threats of war with North Korea any different?

With the disturbing ties between the Trump administration and the Russian Federation’s government and ruling oligarchy we could call targeted sanctions as an extension of our current Russian sanctions. Those sanctions are in part due to the Russian annexation of Crimea and the proxy war in Ukraine. The call for NATO nations to spend more money while stating that the alliance is no longer relevant and that the United States wouldn’t come to members’ aid threatens security and may foster an international crises. The calls to end sanctions on Russia without Russia changing its support for its proxy wars or returning Crimea will embolden the expansion of Vladimir Putin’s empire.

It is Canada’s interests to sanction the Trump administration, as it will embolden resistance to Trump and roll back of some terrible policies. Millions of Americans have lost healthcare access and we Canadians can expect greater fraud in our systems as a result. Refugee bans have a greater number of people risking their lives to come to Canada and American minority groups might end up joining them. The removal of restrictions on small arms may foster more violence on American streets that spills into Canada. Already the unchecked hate and threats against minorities has spread north and cost Canadian lives. Tariffs on Mexico will hurt Canadian jobs dependant on supplying or being supplied by Mexican industry.

It is ultimately up to Americans to decide Trump’s fate, and by extension their own. Do they wait until America is a battleground or do they move quickly for a peaceful transition? Sanctions on the Trump regime can starve that regime of resources and distance support from people and organizations that are vulnerable to sanctions being imposed. Targeted sanctions may cost a few Canadian jobs, but doing nothing may cost many Canadian lives. Which is easier to replace, a lost job or a lost life?

The announcement today that Ivanka Trump is to be her father’s chief and most trusted advisor reminds me of Stalin and his daughter. By the end even Stalin’s favourite daughter wasn’t trusted by a paranoid dictator that had seized unchecked power. The Trump administration is working to removes checks on executive power and turn the United States into the Trump family’s personal property. Maybe sanctions on Ms Trump will convince her to reign her father in before she to is cut out of the decisions.

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Canada and NATO #Cdnpoli #NATO

I know I shouldn’t have read the comments on an article about Canada’s Arctic being vulnerable to Putin’s expansion schemes. It annoys me when people say NATO’s expansion caused the current tensions with Putin’s Empire, saying it is American imperialism that is the driving force behind NATO’s recent moves. I get the sense people believe the USA are the ones making the decisions, that the eastern NATO nations are just doing as they’re told, and they are obeying to the wrong power. Even my limited historic knowledge of eastern Europe says this is wrong.

Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania have all suffered from Russian occupation, as has Poland, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic and Ukraine. These nations have suffered under Russian, Austrian, Prussian, Nazi, and most recently Soviet occupations. These peoples have been play things for regional powers, “great” powers, and distant ignorant leaders drawing lines on maps for centuries. Are those opposed to NATO asking these peoples to become pawns again?

The comment that sparked this post was about having Canadian troops in Eastern Europe coming home. As if our small forces, mostly company sized groups (+/-60), are the tipping point to spark armageddon. Canadian Forces need to be able to operate with Allies, for their security as well as ours. This is what NATO was set up for, to cooperate on security and to keep the Soviets from using Salami tactics to move across Europe. Divide your enemies is a classic strategy straight from Sun Tzu and is even older.

We see throughout the world a rise in anti liberal-democracy movements, how are any liberal democracies to survive if they don’t work together? Canada can not expect NATO allies to defend us if we dismiss other nations concerns re Russia. The economic centre of gravity is shifting back to the east and away from twentieth-century manufacturing and the Atlantic. The economic upheaval this will cause will make Canada, NATO, and NATO partners even more vulnerable. Throw in the costly effects of climate change on the security environment and we should soon see that Canada abandoning allies is Canada betraying itself.

NATO, like all institutions, is in need of reform, and so are the militaries that are NATO members. More needs to be done in readying NATO forces for any eventuality, every nation could be doing more. By more I don’t mean the arbitrary 2% of GDP spending target set by iron mongers, I mean seeing diplomacy as worth investing in for something other than trade deals. Diplomats and spies are the first and second line of defence, military personnel are the last line. It is time to take the domestic politics out of diplomacy and stop letting petty interests get in the way of global security.

Another comment on my FaceBook after sharing the article was about reducing Canada’s defence policy to petty partisan jabs. No political movement in Canada has a monopoly on wanting to secure Canada’s sovereignty, nor does any party have a glowing record when it comes to supporting the Forces or its membership. The Forces have been ground down over decades and lots of new toys or ‘lipstick on a pig’ policies such as going back to old uniforms and ranks are going to fix things.

If we are going to be an effective ally we need flexible, self contained, expeditionary forces that are capable of working in the air, sea, land, and cyberspace. I’ve written before on how I’d structure the Canadian Forces differently. Since I wrote that I would add greater assets for the electronic/cyber element to both defend and attack. It will take political courage to face the institutional push back, do we have politicians with that courage?

We need a government who stands up to iron mongers, and explore the possibility of nationalizing the defence industry, then placing the plants where it makes strategic sense and not political sense. At very least explore price and wage controls to keep costs manageable, along with higher taxes in the defence industry to get our money back from shareholders profiteering from security.

NATO isn’t perfect, no human institution can be, but it is the tool we have to protect from a world leader seemingly bent on having a greater empire than Stalin or Catherine the Great. It isn’t what some of western Europe’s or the USA’s leaders want, their views are irrelevant, it is about people living with the legacy of occupation by the Soviet Union not wanting to return to the status of mere satellite or a region ignored/belittled by Kremlin elites.

Canadian Forces are in Eastern Europe because democratically elected governments want them there. NATO’s move east has been through invitation, it has not gone as far east as some have invited, Ukraine and Georgia would have NATO extend further east. NATO has not accepted those invitations but citizens of NATO nations need to know why Ukraine and Georgia feel threatened. NATO’s strategy in the Cold War was to make the Soviet Union play Hnefatafl when it wanted to play chess, there is no reason to abandon this strategy but, as Sun Tzu recommends, leave them a way to escape.

Dropping bombs is the epitome of impotence #Cdnpoli #elxn42

Bombing is a tactic, not a strategy. In order for any tactic to work it must be part of a well thought out strategy, not merely a ever growing target list. Strategy, in a democracy, is not the job of general or admirals but of the democratically elected government of the day. Generals and admirals are there to implement one component of strategy, but any strategy that only focuses on the armed options is doomed to failure.

Despite what some borderline fascists wish us to believe, armed forces are not the first line of defence. The first line of defence for any nation is its diplomatic service. Extremists on either side of a conflict may not wish to negotiate, that doesn’t mean the rest of us have to be held hostage to them. It wasn’t armed victory that lead to the Good Friday Agreement, or created the Palestinian Authority, or insert hundreds of other examples dating back to the Egypt Hittite Treaty from the Bronze Age.

Canada needs to redevelop its once elite diplomatic service and start engaging the world, even some of the most distasteful elements. This is not to generate more jobs in region x, y, or z but for greater global security. We can start climbing out of our diplomatic hole by signing/ratifying the Arms Trade Treaty, imperfect as this treaty is it will start slowing the flow of weapons to the groups causing the genocides, chaos, and refugee crises we are experiencing in the world. The next step would be to use Canada’s resources to hunt those profiteering from these conflicts. If all else fails, use a JTF2 sniper bullet to stop them.

Diplomacy isn’t all black tie/gown cocktail parties and conferences in exotic places, it is also the horrible conditions of refugee and displaced people camps. Canadians should stop leaving it to overworked and underfunded NGOs to solve the refugee crises and demand an increase in federal funds. We could scale back some of the concrete industry subsidies, sorry infrastructure budget, and use the money saved to bring 125,000 Syrian Refugees from Lebanon. I’d rather use the money to save lives than fill potholes, and helping Lebanon may keep the conflict from consuming Lebanon creating another wave of refugees.

The second line of defence, and of strategy, is intelligence. For decades Canada has made policy in a vacuum or trusted allies without looking too closely at their agendas. Canada needs to create, under Parliamentary supervision, an independent spy agency that reports to the Chief Clerk and the Prime Minister. The mandate of this agency should be based in ethics, flexible in response to a changing world, and free from partisan politics or skewed world views.

The third line of defence is the Canadian Forces, but in a diplomatic and intelligence role. The Hollywood soldiers who are blindly obedient, unthinking, human drones are not needed for what is happening in the Middle East, or anywhere else. What is needed is intelligent people with ‘Mark One Eye Balls’ on the ground providing information, giving out aid, bringing fighters over from the other side, and helping with development. Dropping bombs hasn’t built anything for those in the conflict zones yet, nor will it.

Canada’s Forces are ill equipped for intervention in Syria or Iraq, sure we’re flying high and dropping bombs but that isn’t going to work. What Canada needs to intervene, apart from political will, is a ground attack plane that can fly low and slow enough to see who’s who. Having a pilot with a brain on scene is better than having someone in a computer kiosk watching through cameras. Canadian Forces would also need a more fluid structure to respond quicker to threats and force the other side to react.

The biggest thing the Canadian Forces needs is a massive increase to the training budget, which should be second only to pay and benefits. What use is the latest hardware if our people are not trained to use it effectively. Technology is there to assist, not replace, hard training.

For those prospective Canadian Prime Ministers here is some homework:

The National Sandbox #Cdnpoli

I know I’ve ranted on my blog about this before but a recent example of dysfunctional democracy has pissed me off again. When a country has a Prime Minister who is on record saying he views Parliament’s role as little more important than the United States Electoral College it is easy to get irritated by his and his plebs’ actions. The recent example of the current Ministry refusing to answer questions in question period is proof Parliament has been replaced by a sandbox.

The current problems in Parliament aren’t new, the institution over the last half century is slowly dying from a thousand cuts. With politicians more interested in having their faces spread all around like Joseph Stalin or Saddam Hussein instead of having clear policy options for voters to make an informed choice on. Discussion is replaced by ideologically pure rhetoric approved by unelected, unaccountable party apparatchiks. Market research has replaced listening to voters so only the most trivial, irrelevant, or divisive issues get discussed while threats to Canada get spun into binary options only village idiots understand.

Party whips answering to democratically illegitimate leaders keep the elected from their duty to their fellow citizens. A few people voting by phone or internet popularity contest should not be able to override the decisions of citizens voting in a more universal election with internationally recognised procedures and rules. The fact so many Canadians do not understand the system, truly one of the finest in the world, is a damning verdict on how well the Provinces are performing in their education mandates.

Each riding returns a Member of Parliament, those MPs elect from their ranks a leader who forms a ministry, then those not in the ministry are mandated to hold the ministers feet to the fire until a confidence vote sacks the ministry. In the UK, where our model comes from, the Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs not in the ministry actually ask the ministers some of the toughest questions. Shockingly a UK minister is expected to give an answer. Listen to BBC’s Today in Parliament to hear how our house should work. In fact major issues demand a recall, statements of policy and government intent are done in the house and shockingly debated.

The current Canadian bastardized version of the Westminster Model of democracy is easy to correct here’s a list of suggestions:

  • Ranked ballots without party affiliation on them
  • Party leaders are chosen by caucus
  • Party presidents sign nomination papers not the party leaders
  • Add to the oath a section vowing to act for the nation’s interest above party and all others
  • Have senior Prime Minister’s Office staff vetted by the House as a whole, and annual visits to the appropriate committees
  • Restrict annual party spending on communications with the public to $10 per citizen
  • Criminalize donations not made by a private citizen who has declared publicly the money is their own
  • In Camera and secret sessions to debate special forces deployments, intelligence matters and other sensitive issues that would harm Canada if revealed
  • Any Prime Minister asking to prorogue or suspend Parliament must face an unwhipped confidence vote first and ask for leave to act in emergencies while the house is away
  • Cabinet ministers can’t be dismissed without a vote in the house
  • A defeated Prime Minister must face a second vote to dissolve the house before going to the Governor General

The Canadian Senate to is dysfunctional and should also be reformed. I would recommend elections without any candidate being allowed to be a member of a political party, that the Senate oath includes recognition that the Commons is the supreme chamber, and the Senate has no right to stop a money bill. Both MPs and Senators would have to publically report expenses monthly with an automatic pay suspension should they miss the deadline.

Some may disagree with me about how parties choose a leader, I’d recommend Five Days in London by Lukacs for an account on how the current system could fail the country in an emergency. What if Halifax had won because he could get more support from the “grassroots”? It was the House of commons, acting non-partisanly, that chose to keep Churchill as Prime Minister. All parties spent the next five years holding Churchill to account.

Questions i want the government to answer:

  • Why does military procurement take so long?
  • Where are Canada’s air defences?
  • Why hasn’t Canadian Forces Medical Branch and Engineers been sent to help in West Africa?
  • What is our diplomatic service doing to diffuse tensions around the world?
  • Why are foreign energy companies granted more access than elected Aboriginal governments?
  • What will Canada do against the Islamic State?
  • When will the Conservative Party repay the government for party publicity stunts disguised as government announcements?

For those who haven’t read it, here’s the Canadian Constitution.

Transforming the Canadian Forces #Cdnpoli #CanadianForces

Traditionally when institutions like the Canadian Forces make cuts to achieve budget savings the wrong elements are cut. Combat units are disbanded without the command structures shrinking to reflect less units to command. This distortion is not unique to the military world but can be more costly in the long term, most other institutions do not need to conduct deadly operations which require redundant numbers of highly skilled people to achieve their aims. Such cuts put people at risk and limits what Canada can ask of its defenders.

As yesterday’s post reorganized the Regular Canadian Army this post extends that model to the entire Canadian Forces. The era of services being able to retain silos, to fight in their own element without cooperation is long behind us. Joint operations will be the norm in the future as it has been since World War II, the Canadian Forces unification was an attempt to react to that experience. The failures of unification were it lost the services’ Esprit de Corp but kept the services’ silos with different names. I propose the opposite, keep the services but lose their bureaucracies and their little empires.

National Defence Headquarters(NDHQ) would become the only central headquarters for the Canadian Forces, the army, navy, and airforce staff’s would be folded together for a central staff. The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) would have four deputies reporting directly, one each for the four commands; Canadian Expeditionary Command, Canadian Defence Command, Canadian Education and Development Command, and Canadian Services, Supports and Logistics Command. The Special Operations Command would be reduced to a Group attached to NDHQ, Canada’s NORAD commitments would also report directly to the CDS. NDHQ and all Command HQs would be operationally deployable as needed.

Canadian Expeditionary Command would be the regular forces’ combat units and forward support elements. There would be no responsibility to run bases just focus on readiness, effectiveness and deployment. This command would have three grand tactical formations, each with; an air combat formation, naval combat formation, army combat formation, services and supports formation. Regardless of service, if it is for eliminating threats in the air it belongs to the air combat formation, eliminating threats at sea the naval formation, and eliminating threats on land the army formation. Units and subunits would shift between formations as required by the mission. Each service would have command of a force at any given time as part of a rotational system.

Canadian Defence Command would be structured similarly to the expeditionary command, with reserve combat units in four to six regional defence forces. The defence forces would be organized according to the regional needs with air combat, naval combat, army combat, and support service formations in each. Each defence force would have ranger patrols with specializations according to local conditions.

Canadian Forces Education and Development Command will be the organization for developing people, ideas, doctrine, and equipment for all of the forces. The focus will be joint operations, initiative, flexibility, and innovation. From recruitment to readying for retirement this command would be responsible for keeping people ready to meet challenges and to maximize talents. Like the ancient Roman army or the United States Marine Corp every Canadian Forces member, regardless of service, should be fully qualified infantry as well as pilots, naval mechanics, pay clerks, et cetera. With such a small military Canada can’t afford to have non-combatants in uniform. To this end I would eliminate the number two dress uniform from every service. If the job requires a suit than give it to a suit, leave the uniforms free to train to win.

Canadian Services, Supports, and Logistics Command will serve two main functions. The first function will be to have all the needs, as the name suggest, the combat units required to keep functioning. It would have a logistics group of air, sea, and land assets to move large volumes of supplies forward and a construction battalion to build/fix railroads, ports, airports and anything else required. The second function is to host maintain and provide host facilities for the expeditionary, defence forces, and training units. Any units, such as search and rescue units, that are for aiding civilians or assigned to aiding civilians fall under this command.

The key to coming up with this force design is evolution, which should be the focus of any organization to achieve its goals. A Parliamentary strategic review, followed by force transformation is long over due. Until the review and transformation are complete equipment purchases should be frozen as buying equipment that doesn’t fit the needs will cost us the equipment that does. Facilities should be rationalized to be more efficient and to keep forces together for more efficient training, cooperation and deployment.

Transformation will be an exercise in resource allocation, there will be savings in areas and more resources required in others. The goal of the Canadian Forces should not be what is best for those careerist who are within, the industrial benefits for votes, nor a job creation strategy for areas with no strategic or tactical relevance. The continued misuse of scarce defence resources that way should become political/career suicide.

Restructuring the Regular Canadian Army #Cdnpoli #CanadianArmy

Earlier I read a post about the Canadian Army and restructuring over the decades. The Once and Always Canadian Army got me thinking of my own views of restructuring the Army. I once felt the Napoleonic corp, division, brigade model of organizing army formations was the way for Canada to go but reading  rethink army structure changed my mindset. The joint warfare approach lead to transformation ideas for the entire Canadian Forces which will wait for another post.

The changes made by the current government of renaming bureaucracies divisions is purely cosmetic. Only the First Canadian Division is a real formation headquarters capable of serving combat needs. The author of the blog has another post pointing out the bloated nature of Canada’s army at the noncombat levels. Formation headquarters need to be lean and mean not bloated institutions vulnerable to careerism and stagnation. There also needs to be a lot less of them.

I suggest eliminating all current Army headquarters and staffs to be replaced by three formation headquarters. Each headquarters would be free from the administration of fixed facilities and anything else not directly needed by the formation in the field. A brigadier general would command the formation but a higher ranking officer could be assigned as needed. Each formation would have two deputies, one for heavy forces and one for light forces, so if mission requirements call for a division structure there will automatically be one light and one heavy brigade group able to be formed up. The formation headquarters would have a company each of services, heavy engineers, intelligence and signals to deploy independently of supporting elements.

Canada does not have the resources for the larger self contained brigade groups that Colonel MacGregor is advocating for the US Army. Instead Canada’s Army should be built around independant, self contained, battle groups that can slide seamlessly into one of the three Army Formations, deploy on its own, work with allies, or act as part of a Peacekeeping mission. The battle groups would be evenly divided or “shelved” to give the Army Formation flexibility and allow for all types of battle groups to work together.

A formation’s heavy forces would involve one light armoured battle group, one armoured infantry battle group, and two tank battle groups. The light forces would consist of a motor reconnaissance battle group, along with air assault, mountain and amphibious infantry battle groups. Combining all three formations together with all the battle groups would essentially give Canada an armoured division, air assault brigade, mountain brigade, marine brigade, and lots of useful reconnaissance assets.

For the last century armies have needed friends in high places, and I envision each Army Formation would have their own air wing. Each air wing would answer to the formation it serves and not be diverted by senior RCAF officers for other tasks. The wings will have surveillance, helicopter, armed reconnaissance, and ground attack squadrons. Each formation would also a Navy flotilla available as mission requirements dictate.

The fact this restructuring has many more sharp end units means the Canadian Army will be more expensive. The reduction in headquarters, staffs and redundant supporting elements will provide resources for the expansion. A similar restructuring of the reserves into four to six formations with independant battle groups that meet local needs and recruiting levels would provide more savings.

Launching a new Royal Canadian Navy #RCN #CanadianForces #Cdnpoli

Canada touches the Global Ocean on three coasts giving Canada the world’s longest coastline and extensive territorial waters. For Canada a navy is essential but has often been neglected, misused, and misunderstood. At times a grand, large vessel fleet is imagined but resources are never adequate, other times a specialized alliance driven niche is adopted but again without the needed resources. It is time for Canada to invest in the Royal Canadian Navy as a layered defence with Canada’s allies.

A navy’s most important resource is the sailors, so training, pay and benefits should be a priority to maintain elite levels of talent. Sailors do need vessels to protect Canada at sea of three broad categories; expeditionary vessels, defence vessels, and support vessels. All equipment procured by the RCN should be Arctic capable, rugged, cheap, plentiful, modular, easily maintained or upgraded and get the crew home.

In the past the RCN has been essential to alliances as the fleet escorting convoys, hunting enemy submarines and screening assault fleets. Building large vessels to fill these rolls will severely hinder the effectiveness of the RCN as to few vessels will be available. Large vessels are also vulnerable to volleys of missiles and thus less likely to be risked where needed. The largest combat vessel should be a modular, multi-role frigate class that focuses on lethality beyond the horizon, acting as a fleet flagship, air defence and surface fighting, with additional modules for amphibious assault, sub-hunting as needed. A certain amount of speed should be sacrificed to increase the armament and ammunition capacity of the vessel. Six of these frigates would provide the Navy with flagships for six taskforces.

The bulk of Canada’s expeditionary surface fleet should be based around a modular corvette class. The modules should be anti-submarine, air defence, surface combat, and shore bombardment. These vessels should be small enough and cheap enough to have twenty-four in service with much of the same design used for two armed icebreakers that use the same combat modules. These and the frigates above will only increase the number of combat vessels slightly while, if designed correctly, vastly increase the flexibility and lethality of the fleet.

One last vessel to serve in the expeditionary role for the RCN is a diesel/electric submarine with shallow water, short range cruise/ anti-shipping missile and raiding team capabilities. A dozen such submarines should in fact be the priority vessel for procurement as submarines are stealthy, good intelligence gatherers, and the ocean’s equivalent of insurgents. In the hands of a highly trained crew submarines can destroy far more expensive surface ships such as aircraft carriers, and submarines can deny an enemy their shipping lanes.

For the actual defence of Canadian territorial waters and coasts a combination of high speed, ocean going, torpedo/missile boats and light, agile, yet heavily armed patrol boats would be best. A class of ocean going, armoured, possibly equipped with a tank turret, monitor style vessel should be experimented with as well. The tactics used by the coastal defence flotillas should be hit and run, cut off and swarm, or ambushes. Keeping the vessels small will allow them to be hidden where larger vessels are incapable of going. Having large numbers of boats will also assist in covering more area during Search and Rescue missions.

Other combat boats, barges, landing craft, and boats will be available embedded in Army formations to provide seamless deployment with units already familiar to the Navy’s Army Support Flotillas. All of these vessels should be easily transported by road, rail or air, they should also use components, ammunition, and spare parts already in the Army’s supply chain. These can be loaned to the RCAF should they need boats.

Three destroyer sized, self escorting, fleet support ship should be designed to get to and from the fleet without needing an escorting vessel. This ship should only be tasked with refuelling, resupplying, repairing vessels or components at sea and emergency or evacuation medical services. It should have a limited anti-submarine, anti-shipping and air defence capability, and include hangers for two or more helicopters with supporting workshops. Another small vessel would support oceanic research, dive operations and submarine crew recovery. The normal launches, tugs, training vessels, fire boats and other equipment would be rationalized to reduce costs and increase the fleets effectiveness. The Royal Canadian Navy should invest in some new combat uniforms that are functional, low visibility in their element and durable.

The last set of ships the RCN should acquire are for logistics; a pair of Roll-On-Roll-Off ships with rail equipment ability, a pair of container ships, and a pair of tankers modified to refuel other vessels at sea. Next time global shipping slumps when there are some good ships is when to purchase, then upgrade the naval systems, paint them grey and add some point defences and military sensors. These vessels could be used for training and humanitarian assistance when not needed to move Canadian Forces or Allied equipment.

Currently the Royal Canadian Navy only has two main bases at its disposal, I would propose a third in Aquin, Haiti. This would benefit Canada by providing a facility to assist the southern defence of North America, easily access the Atlantic Ocean or Panama Canal, cut travel times into the Indian Ocean when not using the Suez Canal, and an agreeable winter home for ships that have summered in the Arctic. Hosting this base will provide investment in Haiti’s economy, training for the Haitian military, and extra revenue. Caribbean and African nations could send coastguard and military personnel to Aquin for training or joint exercises and still be in a similar climate to their own. Building a small supporting airbase would be of great benefit for hosting RCAF aircraft and humanitarian aid when another natural disaster strikes the region.