Coda, on 09 December 2012 - 05:00 PM, said:
The mindset seems to be that since Canada has a good relationship with countries like the United States, China, and Russia, a military is not needed.
This assumes that world conditions do not change. The fact is that the trend is towards a rapid decrease in the huge gap between the wealth of the west and the east. Resources in China and India are already being strained, and the economic revolution is only a couple of decades old. There are simply not enough natural resources in Asia (or even the entire world) to allow countries like China and India to achieve the kind of middle-class population Canada and the United States have. Just think: their are less natural resources in China than in Canada, and 40 times the population.
Rendering Canada completely defenceless to everybody and anybody at this juncture would simply be a bad move, no matter how strong Canada's relationship with the United States is.
Another assumption is that Canada would continue to have the kind of friendship it has with the United States. Ironically one of the primary reasons Canada has such a strong friendship is because Canada has always been a military Ally of the United States, willing to help out in NATO missions where it has saw fit. This does not mean Canada has been a puppet of the United States: see Vietnam and Iraq for instances when Canada took a pass on joining the States.
A good way of seriously damaging that Friendship would be to dismantle the military, ending any possibility of Canada allying with the U.S. military, and in effect forcing the United States to use its citizens' tax dollars to defend Canada. If you want to give the United States a good excuse to invade Canada and making it the 51st state, that would be one of the best.
Our air force is not a deterrent, nor is it an impediment to an invader (unless said invader in Norway or Denmark). There are a handful of nations on the planet with the ability to project force in our part of the world, none of which we come remotely close to matching in air/navy/army. By far the strongest of said nations is our closest ally and cultural kin. The second strongest (I imagine Russia, still) has its own wealth of resources. Who do you see invading Canada? What role will our minuscule forces play in said invasion? This is without the world conditions changing. What about if they do?
Assuming world conditions change, wealth inequality shrinks, China and India are hungry for resources, and Canada has more than it needs. Will we be able to defend our resources from China or India with a purchase of 65 gen 5 jets? What if our bonds with the US loosen? Do you propose we build our military to feel secure in such a situation too?
Canada is already defenseless when taking into consideration how many nations, and which, are actually capable of being a threat. Canada cannot and should not get grandiose ideas of being a world power, which is precisely what it would take for Canada do be self-securing.
Would it have an effect on our relationship with the US? Likely. What effect will it have? They certainly won't turn into a threat to us, not anymore than they were before. Nor will they sever any relationships that benefit them, won't cut off their nose to spite the face, as it were. At the end of the day, it's a domestic issue. Not like Canada's forces play a pivotal role in any conflict, ever.
I don't think you really addressed my question. We're still just as vulnerable to invasion by the players with such ability.
Electro Rock, on 09 December 2012 - 05:00 PM, said:
The computer technology will probably exist then, I agree, but what if the early AIs are too bulky and/or fragile for fighter use? Or they cost the equivalent of $300 million in today's dollars?Anyways, the main use of a military is deterrence, maybe we'd lose in open battle against the Russians or whoever but as long as we're capable enough that military aggression is not worth the bother, the military has done its job.Also, noone would take our military and sovereignty seriously if we didn't have a credible airforce.Lastly, we need new fighters not only because the old ones are about to wear out, but because, in addition to the above, if we no longer operate fighters it'll be a lot harder to relearn the capability in the future if we need them again.
I don't think it's feasibly for drones to cost comparably to human-operated jets. I don't know where you get the $300 million number. If the AIs are too bulky, then it will push my guess of 15-20 years to 20-25 years. Still half-way through F-35's lifespan.
I also disagree with your suggestion a small force is a deterrent. Russia would squash Canada like a bug in a 1 on 1 conflict. The deterrent is our friend to the south with tree-trunk arms.
Why does our military need to be taken seriously? We're talking about billions of dollars in spending, but I'm still failing to see any benefit to Canadians.
“Hi Nigel, just a quick note to say that I am always ready to do exactly what is asked but it would have been a great help to know in advance what the strategy was.”
- Carolyn Stewart Olsen, Conservative Senator.