Forces: January 5, 2002

Archives

Years of military budget cuts from 1993 through 1998 left the Canadian forces with a huge maintenance backlog and a low availability rate. Even with modest increases in recent budgets, the budget for next year ($7.2 billion in US dollars) is at least 10 percent under the levels actually needed. Some 13 percent of maintenance positions are vacant, and another 15 percent are filled by people who are not qualified for the jobs they hold. Only 29 percent of the Sea King helicopter and 42 percent of the Aurora patrol plane fleet is ready to fly. The Canadian Air Force had to borrow batteries for its F-18s from the Spanish Air Force to conduct its patrols over the Balkans in the Kosovo War of 1999. Accurate figures are not available because the maintenance data after April 99 was lost when computer systems were upgraded. Despite these problems, the Canadian government has effectively refused to increase defense spending. While a nominal increase of $760 million was passed, this is phased over five years. It includes money spent on the Canadian contribution to the Afghanistan campaign, and money spent for various security measures not under the Department of National Defense. Some $300 million is provided for procurement this year, but under rules so bizarre that most of it will have to be returned to the treasury. Just under $100 million is provided to double the size of the secret anti-terrorist Joint Task Force 2, but since the 250 new personnel must all be sergeants (which are already in short supply in the Canadian military) it is unclear how this increase can be accomplished.--Stephen V Cole

 


Article Archive

Forces: Current 2019 2018 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close