OTTAWA— A new report, entitled Smart Defence: A plan for rebuilding Canada’s military, has just been released by the Rideau Institute and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).
The study, by University of British Columbia Professor Michael Byers, identifies more than $10 billion in potential savings in spending on military equipment.
At the same time, the study identifies ways to increase capabilities in Arctic and coastal surveillance, search and rescue, disaster and humanitarian relief, and peacekeeping.
“There are two big problems with defence procurement in Canada,” says Byers. “One is mismanagement, including new layers of bureaucracy introduced by the Harper government. The other is overreach, which occurs when officials grasp at the latest, unproven technologies – such as the F-35 Strike Fighter – which carry huge cost risks and uncertainties.”
The study recommends cancelling the planned purchase of 65 F-35 Strike Fighters and acquiring 30-40 new F/A-18 Super Hornets – the latest version of the CF-18 – to extend Canada’s current fighter jet capability for another two decades.
“Piloted fighter jets could soon be rendered obsolete by unmanned drones capable of air-to-air combat,” says Byers. “Instead of blowing the defence budget on a fleet of unproven, hyper-expensive F-35s that could soon become outdated, we should be looking for a lower-risk, lower-cost alternative.”
The study calls for “Smart Defence”: a more objective and reasoned approach to defence procurement that is based on Canada’s actual needs, proven off-the-shelf technologies, and the elimination of cost risks and uncertainties.
Smart Defence: A plan for rebuilding Canada’s military is available on the CCPA website at http://policyalternatives.ca and the Rideau Institute website at http://www.rideauinstitute.ca/.
For more information contact:
Kerri-Anne Finn, CCPA Senior Communications Officer, at 613-563-1341 x306.
Peggy Mason, President of the Rideau Institute, at 613-565-9449 x24 or by email [email protected].