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Yard Ape
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posted 20 March 2021 14:11     Profile for Yard Ape   Email Yard Ape     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Army commander pondering deep manpower cuts to make financial ends meet
Monday March 19 5:26 PM EST
By JOHN WARD

OTTAWA (CP) - The commander of the Canadian army can't make financial ends meet and is looking at drastic cuts in the ranks.

Lt. Gen. Mike Jeffery, who took over command of the army last fall, says he can't maintain the status quo with the money he's got. "The institution requires more dollars to keep it running than there are dollars available," Jeffery told The Canadian Press in a recent interview. Jeffery said he can restructure things to save money and try to save more with better management, but in the end, he's likely going to have to "cash in people to pay the bills."

He would't give any exact figures, saying the numbers are still being crunched, but he offered a hint:

"When my predecessor was going through some of this exercise earlier there were options that included the potential for going from three to two brigades and clearly that is an option . . . if you want some idea of magnitude."

Losing the equivalent of a brigade would mean several thousand people out of a force with an authorized strength of 21,000, and a combat strength of perhaps 10,000.

Defence analysts were aghast.

"It causes any number of problems," said Jim Hanson, associate executive director of the Canadian Institute for Strategic Studies and a retired general. "I think if I was chief of the land staff I'd think seriously about cashing in my second career at this stage of the game."

"Any commitment is going to become more and more difficult notwithstanding the spin of NDHQ that it's quality, not quantity that counts," said Alain Pellerin of the Conference of Defence Associations.

"We are into big trouble," said Brian MacDonald, a retired artillery colonel.

"We are in the interesting position of seeing a once proud and magnificent institution just simply, suddenly crumbling in front of us."

The general's comments follow on the news that the air force plans to scrap a third of its fighter-bombers and come after the navy tied up one of its West Coast destroyers for lack of a crew. Rumour suggests that an East Coast destroyer may get the same treatment, also for lack of sailors.

Defence Minister Art Eggleton, who recently found another $600 million for the military in the supplementary estimates, has said repeatedly that the Forces will get what they need to do their jobs.

Jeffery said he didn't set out to cut the ranks.

"Shrinking the army is not the objective. It may indeed, and probably will, be a byproduct.

"The bottom line is I believe the army can do what is required of it, but if we don't change what the army is and don't change some of the dynamic, there will come a point when it can't."

He said new equipment and a restructuring of the army can mean that a smaller force remains highly capable.

"We tend to equate capability to numbers of people and numbers of pieces of equipment. I and most professionals don't accept that description."

But given a budget shortfall, which Jeffery suggested was probably around $600 million a year, something has to give.

"I'm living beyond my means. You can't do that in running your own household . . . and the government is not going to allow me to do it either."

David Rudd, executive director of the Institute for Strategic Studies, said Jeffery deserves credit for facing facts.

"Kudos to him for recognizing that the financial handwriting is on the wall," said Rudd. "However, if you do chop people, that will inevitably decrease your ability to remain involved in peace support operations or our ability to deploy a brigade in support of our allies."

Rudd also said there will be that many fewer people to cope with natural disasters at home.

Jeffery stressed that quality equipment and good training will let him field an effective force despite manpower cuts.

But, as it was said about the old Soviet army, quantity has a quality all its own.

"Smaller means smaller, there's no question about that, notwithstanding that overall capability," the general conceded.

Sean Henry, analyst for the Conference of Defence Associations, said the talk about maintaining quality is headquarters "spin."

"All the Canadian army can do right now - and even that is stretched - is produce 1,700 people every six months to go to Bosnia.

"That 1,700 commitment to Bosnia is dominating the entire army."

Those soldiers, Henry added, are little more than "glorified security guards."

_______________________________________

When it is getting this far it has gone too far. Two Bde's cannot maintain the current operational tempo and provide troops available to meet our other commitments. Does Air Command still have a Band? Cut that. Cut the skyhawks and the Snowbirds. Those won't affect operational capabilities. How much does it cost to run RMC? I have notice that the quality of officer that comes out of there is no greater than one who comes DEO or RESO. The CF could save a bundle buy closing that school and offering the ROTP package to students at civi universities.

Eliminate costly airborne taskings to reserve units (QOR), reduce the number of HQs, reduce the size of HQ's. Eliminate the armoured regiment from each Bde (they don't have modern tank Sqns and we don't forsee this changing so why keep them?) but do not reduce the number of Inf through elimination of a Bde.

Yard Ape


Posts: 132 | From: Northern Ontario | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pick
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posted 21 March 2021 13:12     Profile for Pick   Email Pick     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I am going to have to agree on this one wrt to the RMC comment. As a former Cadet there I can see your point. The quality of the leader that the school produces is of no different calibre than other officers that enter through other programs. In fact, while there I had discussions with professors and they indicated that civilian universities would be able to offer more cost effective means of running the ROTP program.

One may retort that the quality of the officer from a civilian university may not be the same as one graduating from mil col. I would disagree and cite that the number of failures on many courses is often the not correlated to the officer's place of scholastic training.

However, many of the upper echelon of the forces are RMC grads and they tend to be against cutting the funding to their Alma Mater.


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McG
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posted 21 March 2021 20:51     Profile for McG   Author's Homepage   Email McG     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Restructuring within the current three Bde's is definatly a better idea than the elimination of a Bde. I would suggest there is one trait that RMC students can boast. They are less likely to be unphysically fit. You have picked some targets with strong political staying power Yard Ape. Not all of these fall under the army's budget and, while they would cut costs to the CF as a whole, would only directly benifit the arm from which the cut was made.
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jonezr
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posted 21 March 2021 23:39     Profile for jonezr   Email jonezr     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
In response to the crisis in Macedonia the Foreign affairs minister John Manly was quoted as saying that Canada is unlikely able to commit additional troops to the balkans.

Ironic that these comments come at the same time as the top army general is saying that he needs to make drastic cuts to the army. The armed forces have already faced to many cuts. What the army needs is more money not less. I am not talking pay raises or quality of life issues either. I am talking about the whole reason for us existing. To train to fight, to be soldiers, airmen or sailers. Meaningfull exercises have become few and far between. Weapons training has been reduced to annual qualification shoots. Kit that is broken doesn't get fixed or gets fixed enough to go on exercise. How can an army run like this? As it stands now we can barely meet our NATO commitments. If we cut any more troops we would not likely be able to deploy any overseas and if we can't deploy our forces whats the point of having an army. A paramiltary police force would probably be sufficient. How can we be expect to have a say on the world stage if we are not going to do our part. Canadians have to decide if they are committed to having a viable armed forces. You can't go about this half assed. If we are not going to properly fund our army then we might as well scrap it and add a few extra mounties, otherwise we are just wasting more money. A soldier that does not train for war is a parasite on society. How much longer till that happens to us??


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Nate
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posted 22 March 2021 04:05     Profile for Nate   Email Nate     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
There is a point of critical mass which an organization must retain in order to function coherently. The Liberal Govn't has failed to maintain this critical mass, and the results are now compounding. The personnel side of the forces-downsizing strength levels, morale, quality of life-has eroded to the point where even with the budget being increased, the CAF can't recruit to maintain the numbers needed to fulfill the missions set out in the 1994 Whitepaper.

Compounding this is the equipment issue. Much core equipment, and even non-core equipment is reaching block obsolence early because of overuse in the past decade, lack of maintenence funding and replacment. Delays in procurment plans meen that maintenence costs on kit that should have been replaced long ago soar, and shrink funding for procurement further.

Training must now be reduced in order to extend the lives of equipment, save money for above problems, and because Canada has over committed the troops we have, there is not enough time to train properly before the next deployment.

This leads to reducing commitments to our allies, and scrapping capabilities, which the Liberals are finding all too easy a solution. They just continue to let to contraction go in order to maintain the critical mass, that makes an armed forces effective. How many times can this cycle continue before the CAF fully implodes?

The cutting has to stop. The illusion of leaner and meaner must be revealed for the farce it is. The CAF has gotten leaner alright, and the places where fat should have been trimmed-civilian NDHQ, National Defence construction (read patronage contracts to local construction firms supporting local MPs, I mean really, how many times does a bases offices need to be renovated when we can't even give soldiers sufficient ammo?), Brass, pork barreling, etc, etc. The Liberals need to make a firm commitment, stop the cycle, give the forces what it needs to fulfill the missions it was given in the 1994 WP.

Regards,

Nate


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McG
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posted 22 March 2021 05:50     Profile for McG   Author's Homepage   Email McG     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Minister says no decision made on army cuts
Tuesday, March 20, 2021
By JOHN WARD-- The Canadian Press

OTTAWA (CP) -- Defence Minister Art Eggleton says the government has made no decision on cutting the number of soldiers in the army.

"I have no plan to reduce the number of troops," he said Tuesday.

His comments came after Lt. Gen. Mike Jeffery, who took over command of the army last fall, said he can't maintain the status quo with the money he's got.

"The institution requires more dollars to keep it running than there are dollars available," Jeffery told The Canadian Press in a recent interview.

Eggleton said all kinds of measures are being looked at to help make ends meet in the military.

"This is an ongoing process. The government has already put over $3 billion into the Defence Department in the last couple of years.

"There's no decision to reduce the number of troops."

The Defence budget is about $11.5 billion. Eggleton recently announced an extra $624 million.

But analysts say the army is still short about $600 million a year.

Jeffery said he can restructure things to save some money and try to save more with better management, but in the end, he's likely going to have to "cash in people to pay the bills."

In the Commons, Eggleton said he wants to ensure existing military resources are used as efficiently and effectively as possible.

"We're determined to make sure that our troops get the resources that they need."

Jeffery said he was mulling over cutting the equivalent of a brigade of troops, which would mean several thousand soldiers.

The army has an authorized strength of about 21,000, but only about 10,000 are combat troops.

Jeffery's comments came after the air force announced its intention to scrap a third of its CF-18 fighter jets to help pay for modernizing the rest of the fleet. It is also cutting some of its long-range maritime patrol planes and reducing the flying hours of the survivors.

The navy has one of its big destroyers tied up at dockside in Esquimalt, B.C., for lack of a crew. Some defence analysts speculate the navy may do the same with an East Coast destroyer and possibly even a frigate or two as it struggles to find money and manpower to keep the ships at sea.

The army has already cut bases and infrastructure. Training has been reduced. There have been no large-scale manoeuvres for years.


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Mud Crawler
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posted 22 March 2021 10:02     Profile for Mud Crawler   Author's Homepage   Email Mud Crawler     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
They said"We need 10 000 people", now they say "We are going to cut a third of the infantry".This is seriously making me consider either joining the RCMP or a foreign armed force like maybe france, britain of the US.Just my 2 pesetas on the cuts.If the commitment to NATO is the reason our budget is stretched that far, well cut it.I don't care if no CF member goes over to do peace keeping.I'd rather keep him here, but keep him in and able to defend OUR country.Just my opinion.

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Yard Ape
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posted 22 March 2021 12:22     Profile for Yard Ape   Email Yard Ape     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Once again I will repeat my view that the feel-good sentimental components of the CF must be cut before we start to limit our operational capabiliteis. If one arm cannot maintain its comitments then the MND has a responcibility to cut the comfy wastes of money form other arms and transfer the money where it is needed. If the Heritage minister cannot deal with that then that ministry should start paying for the cerimonial Gaurd, the Snowbirds, etc.

And once again I will point out the money pit that is RMC. The army covers the entire cost of tuition for students to that institution while ROTP candidates at civi U's have their tuition subsidised by the provinces. The CF provides discount quarters and rations to RMC candidates while ROTP Civi U pay full price for these neccesities. Another drain is the prep-year offered at St Jean. There is no reason the military should be operating a Gr 12 highschool program. I realize that this was intended as an alternative to CEGEP for Quebec students, but it is being offered across the country as an alternative to Gr 12/13 to other provinces. Why is the CF paying for what these people can attain for free from their local public school systems?

Yard Ape


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RCA
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posted 23 March 2021 20:13     Profile for RCA   Author's Homepage   Email RCA     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Two Points:

First I think it would be a mistake to cut RMC. First of all cutting it would n't save that much money (and again i state money saved doen't necessary equate to money earned. And I feel that cutting it would be determental in the long run. We need a "military university (a la West Point) to enhance a professional offcier corps.

Secondly to mud - If we abadon peacekeeping, the Canadian pulic would see litrtle justifaction in our being. Our image is so wrapped uop in peacekeeping (our mistake) is consider by a lot of the public as are reason for being.

I hoping that Gen Jeffry was just ringing the bell to wake those that need the dire straights we are approaching. I know that was (is) a plan to reduce Reg F regts by one Coy/Sqd/Bty which I feel is a mistake.

And for those of us in the Reseves, I'd be somewhat worried with the words downsizing, budget restraint, cost effectiveness and restructing get bandied about. I can see the writing on the wall.

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Ubique


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McG
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posted 24 March 2021 04:16     Profile for McG   Author's Homepage   Email McG     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The Brits have been doing fine without a West Point style military university. Their typical officer recruiting plan seems most comparable to our DEO, but with a university degree only being required for some trades. The CTC could be our Sandhurst if RMC were shut (ie: it would produce a profesional officer Corps for the Army). There would always be a role for RMC as the CF Leadership and Managment school for Sr NCO's and all levels of officers. But it does not need to be a degree granting institution to accomplish that role.

Any major changes would have to be heavily investigated first. It may be that the current system is the best to develop officers. Most antecdotal evidence I have heard supports the "RMC no better than anywhere else" theory. However, the evidence is no more than antecdotal, and could support a healthy debate long enough to resolve it.

I must agree with the "money saved is not neccesarily money earned" comment made by RCA. If the Land Forces or the Canadian Forces as a whole can find some miracle money fix, it may only send a message to the government that we are not in need of additional funds because we can still find more in house (or worse it could send the message that we still have room to be cutting).


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ender
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posted 25 March 2021 19:22     Profile for ender   Email ender     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
My unit's stood down until April. (the new fiscal year)

We were supposed to have an ex this weekend, but we can't because we don't have any more money. So a lot of our people arn't going to qualify for warrier. (or whatever they call it now)

This is a brigade level problem, they said they'd pay us for running a QL2 but then they didn't. (or something like that) We had to run our own QL2 because they won't give us enough spots on thiers.


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Yard Ape
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posted 26 March 2021 17:01     Profile for Yard Ape   Email Yard Ape     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I've got some antecdotal evidence, McG. In all the conversations I've had, with current RMC students, they are consistantly complaining and calling down the quality of leadership they are recieving at the school. One day I asked an RMC student (who was in the process of preaching the infinitly high quality of leader his school produced) about this; his responce was that it was not the students but the officers which were poor leaders. I asked if the officers were not former students, and before allowing him to answer I also reminded him of several conversations in which he had complained specificaly about the leadership of students at the school. He told me that they were probably airforce, because peoples leadership abilities were worse in the airforce, not so bad in the navy and good in the army. I pointed out that this would suggest that quality of leadership is determined by the phase trainning. He responded "shut-up," and ended the conversation. Apparently RMC also produces good debaters.

As for RMC enhancing the officer Corp. I think the school is there to produce an officer Corp, and the various command and staff collages and leadership schools are inteded to enhance the Corps.

Yard Ape


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Brad Sallows
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posted 27 March 2021 18:41     Profile for Brad Sallows   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Sallows     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I have learned that as long as one strives to overcome shortfalls (and succeeds), one's superiors will not recognize the problems or devote adequate resources to resolution. "The squeaky wheel gets the grease."

In the end, sometimes it is quicker and easier to quit plugging the dyke. Stand back and let it burst so the people above will take heed; prepare yourself to resolve the crisis efficiently after a commitment is made to match resources to requirements. This is not the desirable course - Sun Tzu wrote to the effect that the truly great among us never achieve recognition because they manage problems while they are still too small to be perceived. Our professionalism should (and will) prevent us from presenting the politicians and citizenry with the consequences of their decisions until it is too late. Eventually the dam may burst from our sheer inability to cope any longer.

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ender
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posted 28 March 2021 17:25     Profile for ender   Email ender     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Golly Brad, that's a great idea, let's not even try to fix things!

I'm not qualified to comment on RMC, but I think that all reserve officers should have to do thier phase courses. This currently isn't the case and I've heard of officers that are unable to pack a rucksack properly.


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bender
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posted 29 March 2021 22:39     Profile for bender   Email bender     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I have read most of the comments here, and it seems alot of you are saying that the quality of training the new reservists are being delt, is gonna hit rock bottom sonner or later. I don't think it can get much worse than it is. I'm currently on the new training program for reservists and i'm finding the training isn't in depth and chalenging at all. If i'm supposed to come out a soldier ready for "armed conflict" (to put it nicely) and as a representitive of Canadas high standard of military quality, I'm gonna fall very short of the marker! It's not I don't want to train or can't hack it, it's just the training isn't there. And i know i'm not the only one who thinks this of the trainning. It seems to me the biggest problem lays in a lack of funds. Non-servicable gear, hardly no time on the range, and the list goes on.
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Brad Sallows
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posted 30 March 2021 19:03     Profile for Brad Sallows   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Sallows     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
>Golly Brad, that's a great idea, let's not even try to fix things!

I can't tell if you are truly agreeing or being sarcastic. But note that I said this is not preferred and that we should not choose to adopt a neutral or negative course of action.

Notwithstanding that, I have noticed that some problems are resolved only when everything goes to complete s*** (despite the best efforts of the underlings) and draws attention further up the chain. From this I conclude that a cynical person could achieve the same result more quickly by not bothering to stem the tide in the first place.

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ender
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posted 04 April 2021 22:49     Profile for ender   Email ender     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I was being sarcastic.

I do take your point, but as one of the underlings, it is my job to try and make sure things don't go to s***. If I don't even try then I've failed in my duty and it becomes my fault.


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Yard Ape
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posted 05 April 2021 10:46     Profile for Yard Ape   Email Yard Ape     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Who drops the ball, goes down with it. The Cynical person will recognize this and strive harder to maintian what he has so that it can fall apert on the next guys watch.

yard Ape


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Brad Sallows
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posted 06 April 2021 21:47     Profile for Brad Sallows   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Sallows     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
>If I don't even try then I've failed in my duty and it becomes my fault.

Exactly. When we know of a problem and fail to take whatever action is within our capability, we are not supporting the higher intent (whatever it may be). Nothing is more frustrating than watching an enterprise flounder while people stand by because they perceive it is "not my job".

The "your lack of planning is not my emergency" philosophy is no longer appropriate (if it ever was).

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JRMACDONALD
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posted 06 April 2021 22:53     Profile for JRMACDONALD   Author's Homepage   Email JRMACDONALD     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Brad Sallows--Sorry!" lack of planning = no emergency on my part" is even more pertinent now a days than before. That's what After Action Reports(AAR) are supposed to correct( if they get read!!!) If a superior expects a subordinate to make a plan happen, because of effort, vice, detailed planning, it isn't that good a plan!!!

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JRMACDONALD
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posted 06 April 2021 22:55     Profile for JRMACDONALD   Author's Homepage   Email JRMACDONALD     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Brad Sallows--Sorry!" lack of planning = no emergency on my part" is even more pertinent now a days than before. That's what After Action Reports(AAR) are supposed to correct( if they get read!!!) If a superior expects a subordinate to make a plan happen, because of effort, vice, detailed planning, it isn't that good a plan!!!

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Brad Sallows
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posted 09 April 2021 16:19     Profile for Brad Sallows   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Sallows     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
To an extent I agree, but I was not thinking of manifestly poor plans. I was thinking of the "for want of a nail, a shoe was lost etc" problems.

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