Canadian Politics from Canada's Centre

Monday, December 05, 2005

CPC, LPC to Boost Military Spending ...

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The CPC and LPC are set to boost miliary spending. Both the Conservatives and the Liberals have made this promise, though it's more credible coming from the Conservatives. It was Liberals that over the past decade slashed military spending (that would have been Paul Martin's doing as Minister of Finance, if I'm not mistaken ...) to the point where the military is today one of the CBC's favourite jokes (... Canadian military? What Canadian military?).
According to La Presse, a leading French newspaper mainly read in Montreal, the parties' spending priorities are in conventional warfare: planes, ships, personnel ...
So the military's finally going to get some up to date weapons; good. It was pathetic having to hitch a ride to Afghanistan from the US, because we couldn't fly our own troops (though you could argue it's a positive thing having a military whose fighting capacity is limited to a defensive role by its inability to travel abroad).
HOWEVER, the most pressing issue in the area of national security today is not conventional warfare. It's terrorism.
Our spies need money. The CIA was in Time magazine recently stating that it intended to get back to good old fashioned spywork, and is emphasizing human resources. Funding CSIS (Canada's spook network) to become a world-leading agency is paramount, because we're already world leaders in hosting foreign terrorists. Hamas, al-Qaida, and other groups are present here, and it is only a matter of time until we get blasted. Foreign agencies have found plans regarding Montreal's metro, and studies of other Canadian targets. Furthermore, a significant portion of our military spending should be spent on R&D to develop techniques of fighting terrorists, infiltrating their cells, their infrastructure, their financing, etc.
Spend money on defense, but don't just spend it for the sake of "spending on the military." Spend it in the best interests of national security, by putting the money into the counter-terrorist struggle.

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