has penned an excellent, passionate cri de coeur
that, directly, calls for two things:
1. Better political/bureaucratic decision making and processes (maybe even a grand strategy
for Canada); and
2. Some popular passion about how we act on the global stage. (Implicit in this is a bigger, better managed defence budget.)
is that there are three groups of very smart people in Ottawa who are interested in this issue.
The first group of really smart (and powerful) people, all of whom wear business suits, none of whom have much, if any, direct experience with the military, agree, very broadly, with Mr Gilmore's analysis; they've been saying much the same thing for years. They have laid emphasis on two elements:
1. Poor judgement and weak
top level leadership in National Defence Headquarters. There is a serious disconnect, they believe, between what the military, especially, says and what it can and will deliver. They are dismayed that admirals and generals routinely cry wolf (rust-out) and then manage to cobble together a response to a political demand. They think that the military either lies to the government, a venial sin, or to itself, a mortal one.
2. Political realities. These smart people acknowledge that increased defence spending ~ a necessary element of any solution to Canada;'s military dilemma ~ is politically difficult, maybe even impossible, right now. They argue, however, that it is better to spend a bit more (a very few billion more each year) in a controlled manner than to have to spend many of ten of billions more (almost all "off shore") in an emergency situation.
The second group of smart people are younger and have even less contact with or interest in the military. They, however, have their fingers quite firmly on the pulse of public opinion ~ even on fine slices of public opinion. They oppose new defence spending ~ announcements are nice, actual spending is dangerous, they believe, lest it expose the government to a deficit, something which Canadians actually (albeit irrationally) fear
. This group's influence is always a (frequently useful) counter balance to the opinions and recommendations of the first group.