Canadas’ Military ready for Shakeup

Encouraging news today out of the Toronto Star.

The new Chief of the Defense Staff, General Rick Hillier has some major plans to reorganize the Canadian Forces, streamline their administration/command structure and boost their troop count and ability to respond.

All good things. And what’s even better, is it sounds like like the Minister of Defense Bill Graham (he would be a good PM, IMHO) is pushing hard for this to happen… and the February 23 budget will actually have significant new funds (in addition to 5000 new recruits) to do it all with.

(Wow, that was a really bad sentence… sorry)

“I have my very precise view on the way ahead this army, navy and air force working as one team in the Canadian Forces,” Hillier said.

It sounds like the Canadian Forces will again be “one” force… no longer will there be a seperate Army, Navy and Air Force. I bet this is going to make a lot of people very unhappy in the current Forces, but personally, if this is going to mean a more responsive and efficient Canadian Military, then I’m all for it. It’s obvious that there isn’t a whole lot of money flowing to Defense these days… and while it looks like they will get a boost in this next budget, I think the Military has to realise that they have to work with what they’ve got. It sounds like Hillier is fully aware of that… and is making the most of it. Good for him.

I find this quote especially interesting:

Gen. Rick Hillier … said the forces would soon be treating Canada “as an operational theatre for probably the first time in our history.

It’s about time some thought, and resources were spent to decide how to defend Canada. While I don’t think we need to act as if someone will be invading, or even attacking us… we have a huge and diverse country and we are open to threats from natural disasters. We can use our country to train our forces for nearly every environment on earth… and at the same time ensure that our sovereignty is always protected and that we always have the ability to help ourselves out of disasters quickly.

It also sounds like Joint Task Force 2 will be given a more prominent role as well…

Hopefully all this will mean that Canada will start to regain its’ ability to practice what it preaches in trouble spots around the world. This shakeup, along with the current Foreign Policy review, will hopefully compliment each other.