MILITARY HISTORY ONLINE

User:  
Password:  
 
 (2000-Pres) Current Day Military talk (No Partisan Politics)
Message
kaii
Oslo  
Posts: 2961
Joined: 2010
Update on NATO defence spending
3/16/2021 10:46:26 AM
For those that are interested, NATO has published the most recent updates on defence spending among its members.
For the first time we see the effects of corona, in that several more countries have jumped closer, or above the 2.0% of GDP spending target.
This, of course, is partly because the budgets have indeed been increased inmost countries, but equally much because GDP has been reduced due to corona...

Again, 2.0% if not a very good way to measure defence contributions, personally I would prefer some sort of capability measurements - which are about to be implemented to a certain degree within NATO. Part of the issue with that is that capability measures are seen as what capabilities NATO as a whole needs, and not what the individual country would need to defend itself. For instance, there is not much point in Norway having an entire armoured brigade, as 95%of the country is made up of mountains and not really "tank country".

Anyway, here are the numbers [Read More]
----------------------------------
“My dear boy, as long as you don’t invade Afghanistan you’ll be absolutely fine.” - Harold Macmillan to Alec Douglas-Home upon the latter taking over as PM.
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11876
Joined: 2009
Update on NATO defence spending
3/16/2021 1:15:19 PM
Thanks Kai, I see that Norway has reached 2% of GDP. I also see that we have not.

I would like to see capability measures as well though I expect that I would not be happy with Canada's rating on that metric either.

Cheers,

George
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6651
Joined: 2006
Update on NATO defence spending
3/16/2021 2:15:21 PM
I've got a coupon, where NATO can save 20%!?

Regards,
D

Sorry Kai, in retrospect, NATO & its status is very important to be joking about it, in this day & age!! apologies!
----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
kaii
Oslo  
Posts: 2961
Joined: 2010
Update on NATO defence spending
3/18/2021 3:42:52 PM
Quote:
Thanks Kai, I see that Norway has reached 2% of GDP. I also see that we have not.

I would like to see capability measures as well though I expect that I would not be happy with Canada's rating on that metric either.

Cheers,

George


Yeah, but the two primary reasons Norway reached 2% are that GDP has dropped by some 2.5% because of Covid and because Norway now adopted the standardised way of reporting expenses in NATO which includes things like military pensions etc. This last bit was, of course, the main reason why countries like Greece managed to reach 2% before.

The recent recommendation study from the Head of Defence outlined four possible alternatives for the Norwegian defence forces, labelled A, B, C and D, where A was the recommended option to be able to realistically withstand a Russian invasion until allied reinforcements can arrive, and D was an absolute minimum for being able to sustain current low level of activities.

The politicians chose a D- version, and will be overjoyed that the 2% target has now been "reached" so they don't have to take any further steps...

(as you can gather, I am not very happy with the current state of affairs. What we have is very very good, but there is not nearly enough of it, be it ships, fighters, soldiers, equipment etc)

K
----------------------------------
“My dear boy, as long as you don’t invade Afghanistan you’ll be absolutely fine.” - Harold Macmillan to Alec Douglas-Home upon the latter taking over as PM.
kaii
Oslo  
Posts: 2961
Joined: 2010
Update on NATO defence spending
3/18/2021 3:51:42 PM
Quote:
I've got a coupon, where NATO can save 20%!?

Regards,
D

Sorry Kai, in retrospect, NATO & its status is very important to be joking about it, in this day & age!! apologies!



Nothing to apologise for Dave. Most politicians would bite your hand off for that coupon....

Trump may not understand how NATO funding works, but he was absolute correct that all European nations need to step up seriously and not look to save money first and foremost.

This winter, one of the Norwegian army bases ran out of woollen socks and underwear, because their budgets could not cover the cost to "buy" these items from the Army logistical organisation. This, of course, was because they had paid increased rent for using the buildings at the base, to the Army property organisation. So, in order to afford underwear, they would have had to close one of the barracks...

NPM at its best. The solution was to collect socks and underwear from the staff (officers and soldiers in garrison jobs), and give to the recruits that needed it for field training......

It reminds me of the story of the British quartermaster at Ishlandwana that refused to break open the new boxes of ammunition until they had filled in the correct forms....

K
----------------------------------
“My dear boy, as long as you don’t invade Afghanistan you’ll be absolutely fine.” - Harold Macmillan to Alec Douglas-Home upon the latter taking over as PM.
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 3882
Joined: 2004
Update on NATO defence spending
3/18/2021 8:15:53 PM
Kai, interesting and honest comment And you’ve explained some stuff I didn’t understand … perhaps because I have simply refused to take the time. Thank you.

Sadly, CF are not IMHO highly respected by Canadians. Don’t get me wrong; during CF time in Afghanistan, we mourned and honoured our fallen, who we were assured – and we believed, damnit! – were sharing their weight of the struggle in that poor bloody country. I know many Canadians were proud of CF peacekeeping operations. But …

Ah, there is always the “but”.

Canada’s military is quite clearly incapable of all but limited operations. IIUC, our naval forces have no supply ship on the West Coast. We do have two submarines, but neither is seaworthy. Our ground forces have no airlift capability. In fact, they have little ability to move in inclement weather, which is a concern given most of Canada’s climate. Our air arm, offensively, appears to be one-dimensional and aging. Our Coast Guard is ill-equipped, and relies all too readily on USCG assistance.

Add to that political and language pressures. Military procurement has been a political issue for at least the past 25 years. So has the location of military bases. So has military ship-building – in this case, split between East and West Coast facilities. I’m just noting examples, not building an argument.

I’m not convinced that Canada could create or maintain a military force capable of defending Canada. And since, unlike our cousin to the south, we have an almost meaningless Reserve, we expect our military to perform non-military duties: flood-control; food distribution; rescue activities and the like. When they attempt such tasks (and too often provide too little too late, despite their best efforts) we wonder why we spend tax money on folks who only seem to play at being warriors.

I’m not very coherent in this rant, I will admit, and I’m sorry about that. George mentioned means of evaluation to determine both their viability and their contribution. I think the current Canadian military structure fails under either criterion. I know that every nation in the world probably has some discussions concerning the funding, responsibilities, equipping and presence of a military force or of a suggestion of military strength. Sadly, my country seems to believe it can talk big without doing anything to promote, honour or outfit members of CF. Fitness, readiness, training, or equipping of Canada’s military men and women get lost under historic rhetoric.

Gotta stop. Getting too angry!

Cheers. And stay safe.
Brian G

----------------------------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11876
Joined: 2009
Update on NATO defence spending
3/19/2021 9:03:02 AM
Hello Brian,

A House of Commons committee was critical of the transportation and lift capabilities of the CF but that does not mean that we are without capacity. I live about 20 km from 8 Wing, RCAF based in Trenton, Ontario. It is a busy place and any deployment of size whether in Canada or internationally will involve 8 Wing in some capacity.

We know that this is a big country and I doubt that there are many nations of a similar population that could expect to defeat the USSR or China in a one on one contest. So I think the question is whether Canada could delay the forces of an aggressor long enough so that allies in NATO could respond. That is why our defence strategy is firmly associated with a North American defence strategy and that means that the US forces would be critical should fighting develop within our borders.

As well, given our size, it would be almost impossible to have sufficient assets available in all parts of the country to assure rapid response. And so we disperse those assets around the country hoping that they are sufficient to mount an expeditionary force to the parts of the country that are comparatively unpopulated.

Our commitments to our allies demand that we have a well defined role because we cannot do everything that the armies of the super powers can do. But are we able to respond efficiently with sufficient force to meet those commitments?

You asked whether there was a means to evaluate the capabilities of the Canadian Forces. I did find a site that rates the capabilities of the forces around the world. It is called Global Fire Power. The site describes how it goes about rating and ranking the different armed forces in the world. I have no idea whether their system of analysis has been critiqued.

However, it does indicate that Canada is ranked 21st among the world's nations and that rating for 2021 indicates an uptick in performance capability. You may click on the "Canada" in the rating list and the analysis of our assets will appear. Do we have sufficient assets for the roles that we have to play? Currently, I would say no and you alluded to the glacial pace of our procurement policies and procedures.

[Read More]

We know that we need to do better by our service people and by our allies but I did find this statement made in your post to be perhaps unfair.

Quote:
I’m not convinced that Canada could create or maintain a military force capable of defending Canada. And since, unlike our cousin to the south, we have an almost meaningless Reserve, we expect our military to perform non-military duties: flood-control; food distribution; rescue activities and the like. When they attempt such tasks (and too often provide too little too late, despite their best efforts) we wonder why we spend tax money on folks who only seem to play at being warriors.


I would be happy to hear why you are dismissive of the capabilities of the forces that we do have, including our reservists who are well represented in most of our international missions.

Cheers,

George





vpatrick
MA MA USA
Posts: 2086
Joined: 2020
Update on NATO defence spending
3/20/2021 3:44:02 PM
From what I know Canada has a Population of close to 40 million similar to a medium sized European country. A medium sized Western European Country needs to pay attention because the Russian bear is still roaring which would mean to me that that country should have a military to counter the threat even under the US umbrella of protection. Probably not a fantastic military but one that could be fast reacting that could delay the Russians until the US could respond and deploy forces from afar since most US military forces have left Europe since the end of the cold war. If I was a Canadian Military planner I would think that Canada has exactly the Military it needs, if Canadian soil is challenged the southern folk will come to defend. I would just add and im not sure about this but probably already the case the Canadian Military should hold a corps that is able to train a million in case a world war happens again but then again I doubt we will need a million soldiers for anything in the next world war?

Im not demeaning Canada or their defense forces but Canada is not not facing any threats that their southern neighbors cant handle unless they cause them. So I think Canada has the military it needs it could be more elite maybe it is I dont know.

vpatrick
----------------------------------
nuts
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11876
Joined: 2009
Update on NATO defence spending
3/20/2021 9:09:20 PM
Actually, we have about 37 million people most of whom are living in major urban centres. 14 million of us live in Ontario and most of those around the golden horseshoe. (Niagara Falls to Oshawa, which is east of Toronto.

The land mass makes Canada the second largest country in the world and we have the longest coast line in the world strung along three oceans. Quick response is important which means transport capabilities.

The Canadian military is always underfunded and waiting for new equipment. New frigates and new fighters are supposed to be coming but our procurement process is painfully slow.

The Canadian military prides itself as a professional and well trained force however and is usually described as such. It's special forces are well respected internationally as I understand it.

The Canadian military has a role to play in the defence of North America and works closely with the US military in that regard.

Vin, Canada put 1.1 million people in uniform out of a population of 11 million during WW2. All were volunteers until near the end of the war. Could that happen again? I'm not sure. We do have a system of reservists who could be called up but we do not have a draft system here.

Cheers,

George




© 2021 - MilitaryHistoryOnline.com LLC