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Author Topic: The Current State of the Canadian Army
the patriot
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posted 14 June 2021 10:10     Profile for the patriot   Email the patriot     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hello,

Thought that this might start a good discussion:

Is the current strength of Canadian Land Forces sufficient to protect ourselves in the event of a surprise land-based threat?! Considering the fact that the Land Force component of the CF is hovering around 20,000 soldiers (regs) and who knows how many from the reserves.

-the patriot-


Posts: 192 | From: The Great White North | Registered: Jun 2000
Dessert Fox
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posted 14 June 2021 18:01     Profile for Dessert Fox   Email Dessert Fox     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
That's an interesting question, but the first discussion point has to be: "Threat from Where?"

If we're talking the Yanks, I don't think any amount of conventional troops would be enough, though there's always the possibility of a guerilla war.

Canada is just too vast, too spread out, and too far away for anyone to hope to hold an area and supply a land force here.

I think the US, alliances aside, would be too vulnerable to retaliatory terrorist and guerilla actions to try anything.

Some newspaper articles last week pegged the Reserve Land Force at around 12,000. A far cry from the 30,000 reservists we're supposed to have on paper.

So, what would you do in a guerilla war against a very large opponent?

D.F.


Posts: 4 | From: Toronto, ON | Registered: Jun 2000
Gunner
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posted 14 June 2021 19:23     Profile for Gunner   Email Gunner     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Ah, you have an interesting topic and you define the problem with Canadian Security Policy. What is the Threat to Canada? It's definitely not an armed invasion force launching a sneak attack in order to take over the Molson's Brewery.

Canada has no traditional threats to our sovereignty. We have no traditional enemies. We have no border disputes. We have no unruly neighbors. Really we live in an extremely benign environment, protected on all borders by vast oceans, and a foriegn policy that supports making Canada as everyone's best friend. Good ole Canada, they can always be counted upon.

No, the only threat to our sovereignty is from our neighbor to our south. Canadian politicians have recognized this fact for many years and have always tried to maintain policy that is similar to the US, with a Canadian flavour. As well, politicians have attempted to engage the US in as many coalitions as possible to provide Canada a stronger voice in its own affairs. For instance, the US was not strongly in favour of NATO when it was formed in 1949. Canada (and Europe for that matter) were very concerned that the US would develop and implement its own policy toward the Soviet Union as the post WWII global politics developed. The US pursuing a policy that would involve Canada in some way was what Canadian Politicians were afraid of.

A threat to Canada you ask...just look to our south. How do you defend against the overwhelming domination of the worlds only "uberpower"? Where's Sheila Copps when you really need a "Captain Canada" to save the country!


Posts: 96 | From: Army of the West | Registered: Jun 2000
the patriot
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posted 15 June 2021 11:28     Profile for the patriot   Email the patriot     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hello,

Some really good points are being brought up. Yet, this might twist things a bit. I think that in a bizarre messed up way, Vancouver could be a Pearl Harbour waiting to happen. Let me explain. The Chinese triads could always infiltrate the harbour disguised as actual "illegal migrants". We all know that ex or current Chinese military are swimming within the triads. Now with this added to the equation, how would our current state of Land Forces respond to this type of threat? To top things off even more, China has nukes pointed at every major American city. Ironically, Seattle (borders off with Vancouver, B.C.), and Detroit (borders off with Windsor, Ont. and Southern Ontario) are most likey targets. So yes, in theory, we have "no enemies".
How do we cope with a threat of this nature with our current Land Force doctrine?!

P.S. With these likely situations, Canada and the U.S. would lose
their industrial hearts and the world would lose Windows '98

-the patriot-


Posts: 192 | From: The Great White North | Registered: Jun 2000
Mr Magoo
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posted 27 June 2021 12:16     Profile for Mr Magoo   Email Mr Magoo     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The real threat to Canada is that our foreign
markets could be cut off by war, civil unrest,
military takeover, or political turmoil. It
is therefore in Canada's strategic interest to
keep all foreign markets and trade routes open.

Canada is an exporting country. Probably about
half of all Canadians' jobs rely directly or
indirectly upon trade.

What we really need then is an army that is
rapidly deployable, self-contained, integratable
within an allied force and able to project power
upon arrival anywhere. We also require to be
part of any international alliances that give us
access to markets and potential allies.


Posts: 24 | From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000
Gunner
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posted 27 June 2021 15:39     Profile for Gunner   Email Gunner     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Mr Magoo,

Yes, Canada has one of the leading trading nations on this planet and thus, trade routes are vital. How vital though?

Approximately 45% of our GDP comes from exports (for arguements sake we'll say around $450 Billion). Of that amount 85% is due to trade with the US (for arguements sake we'll say trade with the US is worth almost $400 Billion). The remaining $50 Billion is what we do with countries besides the US. Take away trade with Europe and Japan and we're left with (I guess) about $10-15 in trade with other countries.

Where is our Vital Ground on trade? Do we really want to spend alot of money to enable us to defend what is approximately $10-15 Billion ($5-8 Billion in US Dollars) of trade?


Posts: 96 | From: Army of the West | Registered: Jun 2000
Brad Sallows
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posted 28 June 2021 17:41     Profile for Brad Sallows   Email Brad Sallows     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
>It is therefore in Canada's strategic interest to keep all foreign markets and trade routes open.

Our interests would seem to coincide with those of the US. I would simplify and just say that in general, political stability and relative peace worldwide are in our strategic interest. But we can't afford large standing forces, nor to deploy them. As noted, the non-US component of such trade may not justify the expenditure. So we settle for contributing to maintain stability in trouble spots.


Posts: 60 | From: Burnaby BC | Registered: Jun 2000
Boyd
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posted 03 July 2021 12:56     Profile for Boyd   Email Boyd     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Land Force threats to Canada? A previous post mentioned that Vancouver is a Pearl Harbour waiting to happen. I agree, but not with the method described. Why smuggle in your hypothetical Chinese marines in rust buckets when they can cruise in style? I don't know if you're aware of this, but the shipping company Cosco, being a good little faithful communist company also doubles as the merchant marine for the PLA. Anybody know where Cosco's primary North American Pacific port is? Since the US refused to sell Cosco a old US navy base(I forget which one), they moved to Vancouver. The storage yards at the port could easily hide an entire mechanized division's gear and supplies for a month. Fly the troops in en masse and suddenly Canada has lost it's Pacific presence. Sure, the division would be crushed by the US if they attacked Seattle, but the need for active supply lines would been little. The supplies in and around Vancouver would more than sustain the division against any Canadian offensive.
Posts: 4 | From: Vancouver, BC, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000
Gunner
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posted 03 July 2021 19:40     Profile for Gunner   Email Gunner     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Boyd,

Your theory of conspiracy that would see a Chinese Mechanized (or even an armoured) Division infiltrating into Canada is alittle far fetched to be believed. In response (is this a secure means??):

a. Why would China attack Canada, and/or take over Vancouver. What would be the Political purpose that would further China's aims?

b. If for a moment, we accept your theory of a clandestine chinese division moving across the seas and falling in on prepositioned equipment, Canada would require a three to one combat ratio to take Vancouver back. In fact, as most of the fighting would be in the city (why would the chinese send a mechanized division??) the ratio would be larger up to 5 or 6 to 1. Therefore, Canada would require a standing/reserve force equivalent to approximately a 2 Corps structure (6 plus divisions and corps troop elements). I don't think that is feasible at all as Canada would have a standing force larger then the one on the continental US.

c. The "Raging Grannies" would protest the environmental impact of Chinese equipment long before the Canadian and US militaries ever were able to form any type of defence.

In conclusion, lets keep the discussion along the lines of reality, vice pie in the sky ideas of chinese divisions hiding out in the Vancouver Dockyard....mind you there is an old Soviet sub that I can't confirm if it is deactivated or not and may be only waiting for the call from the Kremlin to attack Canadian Shipping....

Cheers!


Posts: 96 | From: Army of the West | Registered: Jun 2000
bmccann42
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posted 20 July 2021 02:02     Profile for bmccann42   Email bmccann42     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
From what i can see in the news(never having served in the military but am in the final stages of selection for infantry officer training) I think the best path to follow for military reform would be too take the example of the Australians. They are a nation of similar makeup(post-colonials), population(slightly smaller than ours), a similar environmental layout(large amount of unarable landm theirs being desert ours being tundra). Looking at this they have been able to field a well trained, portable, sustainable fighting force centred on the idea that the threat to the homeland has now diminished and a military more globally designed than nationally designed. For example the continual building and purchasing of amphibious warfare ships(soem surplus american vessels having been purchased), off the shelf designs(they don't seem to suffer from an "if it's not made in Quebec, we don't buy it" frame of mind), and the idea of purchasing the best/reliable/battle-tested equipment on the market. The example of the Australian Military at work in East Timor clearly illustrates what I mean, and what I fel our military should be able to do: quick response, troops in country in under a week with follow forces within a month, combat troops that are girded for war, not peace keeping, amphibious capability(according to Tom Clancy 65% of the world's population lives within 300km of major water way) allowing for force projection from the sea.

A concept i have always toyed with in my mind(most of you will probably think it ludicrous) was to create some form of Royal Canadian Marine Corps/Commandos, basing it on a good mix of the ideas behind the American, British, and French Marines. Possibly buying surplus American amphibious warfare ships(I believe several Tarawa Class vessels are currently mothballed or up for sale from the American government), retrofitting them for our needs and basing one on each coast to act in times of emergency to deliver a battalion of troops to a hot spot within two-three weeks.

I know this all sounds pretty naive, but some feedback would be appreciated.


Posts: 6 | From: burlington, ontario, canada | Registered: Jun 2000
Brad Sallows
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posted 20 July 2021 15:05     Profile for Brad Sallows   Email Brad Sallows     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
About them containers: since they presumably wouldn't be protected by diplomatic privilege, I'm thinking that spot checks by Canada Customs could be embarrassing.
Posts: 60 | From: Burnaby BC | Registered: Jun 2000
the patriot
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posted 20 July 2021 18:56     Profile for the patriot   Email the patriot     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hello bmccann42,


Some very good ideas you've raised. The only issue I have with the "Canadianized" version of the Marines is that I believe missions of that scope are already within the mandate of JTF2. Furthermore, we also currently do have the Airborne companies within each of the three Light Infantry Battalions that are well within their means of commando type operations. The bottom line these days, is that the political will isn't there to create a 'naval infantry'. With that in mind, we do have a commando type operations group with JTF2. Anyone from either from the three service branches (Army, Air Force, Navy) can post for service (upon passing the selections training of course). No other country has their threes services combined in such a special ops group. I guess we are unique in a way. Isn't that a nice change of pace?!

-the patriot-


Posts: 192 | From: The Great White North | Registered: Jun 2000
Runner
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posted 22 July 2021 11:24     Profile for Runner   Email Runner     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Interesting comments. Let's throw a different threat orientation into the mix.

Maybe our enemy works for an army but does not wear a helmet. Maybe he/she understands that there are more ways to impose politcal will than pointing worn off rubber sights at fewer numbers of soldiers. Let's forget the chemical/biological component for now and suggest that by making the civilian information systems the target, not the soldiers, is the real way to get the job done (not unlike an element of the North Vietnamese efforts some years ago).

A little while ago somebody wrote something called the "I Love You" virus that wreaked more global havoc in less than 24 hours than any airborne unit will ever do. I hope we never have the "I Hate You" virus. He/she had probably never shot a rifle. Doesn't know what an FN is. Surely hadn't taken a jump course. Probably has a Costco membership though...hmmm...

As we wrestle with the idea of how to protect a country so large with a force so small, maybe we should replace the CAR with the CHR (Canadian Hacker Regiment). Seems to me Mafiaboy shut down the Pentagon, CIA, FBI, CNN, (all the important stuff...)etc in a snap. Maybe it would be a good investment to have some pimply-faced teenagers with thick glasses help out in case we really need to shut down the information and online investing capabilities of someone attacking Vancouver, taking our fresh water, or whatever. Faster. Cheaper. No mess. No fuss.

Don't get me wrong. I love the army and am still a member. However, Desert Storm guaranteed that any bad guy/girl can take your toys away without ever coming under fire. Maybe that's the way we defend this large area. Concentrate geek power and shut'm down. Don't laugh. It makes more sense than a lot stuff I've read lately!

Canadian Hacker Regiment
The Proud. The Few. The Compatible.


Posts: 3 | From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada | Registered: Jul 2000
russm
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posted 27 July 2021 13:46     Profile for russm   Email russm     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Runner:

You raise some very valid points there. Our technology will be the first target of any enemy. So let's recruit a nerd herd as our first line defense!

bmccann42:

I've always thought that a Marine element is sorely lacking in the CF, esp with our huge coast lines. But I've worked with the British Royal Marines and the U.S. Marine Corps...believe me there is no correlation there except the names.

The Royal Marines are some of the best troops I've ever worked with. Incredibly fit, tough, ingenious, and determined men. The U.S. Marines are lack-luster, waterborne cannon fodder by comparison!

If we were to produce such an entity, I feel it would have to be based on the Royal Marines or perhaps Australia's 1 Commando. The Dutch have a good bunch worth looking at, too.


RM


Posts: 21 | From: | Registered: Jul 2000
russm
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posted 27 July 2021 13:46     Profile for russm   Email russm     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Runner:

You raise some very valid points there. Our technology will be the first target of any enemy. So let's recruit a nerd herd as our first line defense!

bmccann42:

I've always thought that a Marine element is sorely lacking in the CF, esp with our huge coast lines. But I've worked with the British Royal Marines and the U.S. Marine Corps...believe me there is no correlation there except the names.

The Royal Marines are some of the best troops I've ever worked with. Incredibly fit, tough, ingenious, and determined men. The U.S. Marines are lack-luster, waterborne cannon fodder by comparison!

If we were to produce such an entity, I feel it would have to be based on the Royal Marines or perhaps Australia's 1 Commando. The Dutch have a good bunch worth looking at, too.


RM


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russm
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posted 27 July 2021 13:47     Profile for russm   Email russm     Send New Private Message     Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Dang. I hate it when people do that!
Posts: 21 | From: | Registered: Jul 2000

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