You may want to read the following email thread from the bottom up, reading my email to DND and then the reply received.
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RECEIVED: Wed 17/09/2008 6:25 AM
Dear Ms. Finley:
Thank you for your correspondence of July 3, 2008, regarding the Canada First Defence Strategy. I appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns. Please accept my apology for this delay in responding.
The Canadian Forces must be ready to help counter challenges to Canada’s security and interests, including the threats emerging from failed and fragile states, global terrorism, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It must also be prepared to help respond to numerous domestic challenges, including those resulting from increased activity in the Arctic. It must also be able to assist other government departments and agencies in ensuring security during important events in Canada, such as the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and Paralympics Games.
Our military helps to defend our security and national sovereignty, and stands ready to support civil authorities respond to crises and emergencies at home, including terrorist attacks. The Canadian Forces also plays a key role in providing humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and search and rescue services to Canadians.
Furthermore, the Canadian Forces contributes to the defence of North America in collaboration with the United States. Given our common defence and security requirements, it is in Canada’s interest to remain a reliable partner in the defence of the continent. We receive a degree of security in North America that we would be hard pressed to achieve on our own. We also receive valuable training and operational experience, a voice in US defence policy formulation in areas where our security interests are directly involved, and access to defence-related information and technology.
That said, we determine our domestic and international policies independently. Indeed, as two separate and sovereign countries, we do occasionally disagree, whether on the war in Iraq, anti-personnel landmines, or the International Criminal Court. These differences should not obscure the many issues on which we agree and co-operate quite successfully-from the defence of North America to humanitarian assistance and peace support operations abroad, including ongoing operations in Afghanistan.
Indeed, if Canada is to defend its interests and promote its values in the world, it must be prepared to contribute to global security. Many of these efforts are diplomatic in nature, such as our long-standing commitment to nuclear disarmament. The Canadian Forces also contributes to many international non-combat activities in co-operation with other government departments and agencies, such as non-combat evacuation, stabilization and reconstruction, humanitarian support, and disaster relief operations.
We recognize that peace cannot always be achieved through peaceful means, and the use of force is sometimes necessary. Canada is simply not prepared to let others do all the hard work and make the sacrifices that such armed interventions require. The Canadian Forces, therefore, is ready to contribute to whole-of-government operations aimed at bringing stability and security in troubled spots, such as in Afghanistan. Our commitment in Afghanistan is sanctioned by the United Nations and is at the request of the Afghan government; it underscores the Canadian Forces traditional role in contributing to global security.
If the Canadian Forces is to continue to carry out these important missions with success, it will require additional people and resources. As such, the Canada First Defence Strategy provides guidance on our most urgent and fundamental requirements across the four pillars that form the foundation of military capabilities-personnel, equipment, readiness, and infrastructure. Specifically, the Government has committed to replacing the military’s core equipment fleets, expand the Canadian Forces to 70,000 Regular Force and 30,000 Reserve personnel, ensure the continued viability of defence infrastructure, and strengthen the Canadian Forces overall readiness.
You make reference to the benefits to Canadian industry contained in the Strategy. The infusion of long-term, stable funding will provide industry the opportunity to more effectively meet defence procurement requirements and to reach for global excellence. The Government will also take specific measures to enhance its interaction with industry, including fostering transparency, to ensure that the contracting process remains open and fair for all Canadian companies.
Once again, thank you for writing. I trust this information is of assistance.
Peter G. MacKay
Minister of National Defence
From: Sandra Finley
Sent: Thursday, July 03, 2008 1:22 PM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; +MCU@MCU@Ottawa-Hull
Subject: Absolutely NO to “CANADA FIRST DEFENCE STRATEGY”
TO: (1) Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada Rideau Hall
1 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A1
Telephone (613) 993-8200 or 1 800 465-6890
(2) General Walter Natynczyk
Chief of Defense Staff, Canadian Armed Forces
101 Colonel-By Drive
Ottawa ON K1A 0K2 tel.
(3) Peter MacKay – Minister of National Defence National Defence Headquarters Major-General George R. Pearkes Building
101 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Dear Michaëlle Jean, Walter Natynczyk and Peter MacKay;
RE: “CANADA FIRST DEFENCE STRATEGY”, posted on about June 19th, 2008
I am dismayed and appalled by the direction established through the “CANADA FIRST DEFENCE STRATEGY”.
It is not a strategy of defence. It is a strategy of war.
I call upon you to reverse the strategy.
Concerning DEFENCE DOCTRINE COMPATIBLE WITH U.S. DOCTRINE:
“.. the two nations’ armed forces will pursue their effective collaboration on operations in North America and abroad. To remain interoperable, we must ensure that key aspects of our equipment and doctrine are compatible.”
The U.S. launches illegal wars. It creates hatred in the world by appropriating the resources of other people. It has the atrocities of Abu Ghraib on its record. George Bush will eventually be tried for War Crimes. And Canada aspires to compatibility of doctrine with the U.S.? Are you out of your minds? That’s about the worst strategy I can think of.
Concerning the CREATION OF A MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX IN CANADA:
“A Military in Partnership with Canadian Industry The Canada First Defence Strategy will also have significant benefits for Canadian industry. The infusion of long-term stable funding it provides will enable industry to …”
It is not what it’s made out to be. The funding goes to Canadian industry through the offset agreements in contracts made with, significantly and for example, Lockheed Martin Corporation. For all intents and purposes Lockheed Martin IS the American military. It is the world’s largest war contractor (a.k.a. “defence” contractor). It makes billions of dollars through the killing of people. It has a public record of corruption.
The actual flow of money out of the public purse is explained by Peter Mackay in a newspaper interview: “The purchase contract for 17 C-130J Hercules aircraft is valued at approximately $1.4 billion U.S., with an additional amount to be added in 2009 for at least 20 years of in-service support.
Under the contract, Lockheed Martin Corp. is required to invest in the Canadian economy, dollar for dollar, what the Government of Canada spends in procuring and maintaining the aircraft over the life of the contract.”
Lockheed Martin is already well positioned in Canada. It is not only becoming the Godfather of Canadian industry. Through offset agreements it has invested in Dalhousie University (also consistent with the stated intentions of the “CANADA FIRST DEFENCE STRATEGY”). It can only invest in Dalhousie if it has EXCESS profits. Its contracts are with the Government of Canada. Ipso facto, you know that Canadian citizens are paying too much for its contracts, in addition to becoming the enablers of the aggressive American war machinery.
Jean Chretien, I sincerely thank God, kept Canada out of the Iraq war. We are in Afghanistan. You are no doubt aware that Canadian troops there will be helping to guard the Central Asian gas pipeline for American interests.
Read the following clause from the “CANADA FIRST DEFENCE STRATEGY” and tell me, when the U.S. declares war on Iran, will Canada be there helping to fire the bullets that are sheathed with Depleted Radioactive Uranium on the people of Iran?:
“These operations will often be conducted under the auspices of the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Canada will continue to support and contribute to these key international bodies. In addition, the Canadian Forces will participate, where circumstances dictate, in missions with like-minded states as a responsible member of the international community.”
Given that we are making our military doctrine “compatible” with the U.S., I would say that the U.S. is a “like-minded state”. I wonder what circumstances will dictate that we help the Americans to launch a killing and destructive war on Iran? And whose interests will be served by the war? Will we be on-side with the Americans and off-side with the United Nations? (as would have happened had we participated in the Iraq “mission”.)
Warnings from Dwight Eisenhower’s 1961 Farewell Speech are instructive:
“… In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
There are viable and realistic ALTERNATIVES TO KILLING WARS . Gandhi brought the British Empire to its knees. His weapon of choice was non-violent resistance. In war waged with the use of intelligence and creativity the killing and destruction is minimized and the wars are actually won in a comparatively short period of time. Nor do they leave a legacy of hatred.
The Canadian Military, through the “CANADA FIRST DEFENCE STRATEGY” exhibits (I am sorry to say) very ineffective, obsolete, stupid and very expensive strategy. From newspaper reports, “MacKay reveals details of $490-billion defence strategy”. With the looming monster of inflation (fuelled by enormous U.S. war debt) $490 billion will easily become half a trillion dollars. Can you imagine what could be done overseas with $500 billion dollars? It would actually make a significant contribution to peace in the world. Aaah! But then the Canadian military-industrial complex along with Lockheed Martin Corporation, their mahnanimous benefactor, would be on the ropes.
“… nonviolent resistance as a political force is still young, its possibilities not yet well enough known, and is thus seldom an incitement to the masses and is seldom encouraged by the media. For all that, those striving for human rights are dependent on our solidarity and the feeling is growing of an ever increasing threat through the power of dictatorships, the armaments race and the immobility of bureaucrats.
Gandhi presented the principles of nonviolent resistance to the world, but the methods – corresponding to the various hierarchies – have to be very different, should they lead to success. Through the multiplicity of nonviolent resistance, so rich in ideas, it can be demonstrated that the most powerful effective opposing forces can be mobilized against every form of violence …”
We have not only the example of Gandhi. The East Germans brought down a fascist regime by successfully employing the tactics of Gandhi, creatively moulded to their situation and the opportunities-at-hand. Neither of them had any money.
The Outstanding Public Debt of the United States as of 03 Jul 2008 at 04:41:28 PM GMT is a number so large I don’t know how to read or interpret it: $9,470,470,394,065.00 The estimated population of the United States is 304,288,339
so each citizen’s share of this debt is $31,123.34. A family of four in the U.S. shoulders responsibility for Government debt of $125,000. That’s just for today.
The American National Debt has continued to increase an average of $1.66 billion per day since September 28, 2007. The debt is the consequence of American Military Strategy. The numbers are up to where Canada used to be in the neighbourhood of 60% of GDP. In 1980 the United States had its debt-to-GDP ratio around 40%, or where Canada was in fiscal year 2004-05. But since then American Government debt has taken off – it is now above 60%.
It is a terrible mis-allocation of resources. Always at the expense of future generations.
The “CANADA FIRST DEFENCE STRATEGY” reflects obsolete thinking. It is a dangerous document for Canadians and for future Canadians. If it is not stopped Canada will be a danger to other people in the world, too. This is not too hard to figure out.