‘We haven’t made any final decisions’

by Aaron Wherry

Global reports that NATO would like Canadian troops to continue training the Afghan army after 2014 and the Prime Minister is not dismissing the possibility.

It appears Prime Minister Stephen Harper is open to keeping Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan a little longer. “We will assess what is necessary to make sure that Afghanistan continues to progress toward being a state that is not a threat to global security, and that is able to take care of its own security,” he said in Ottawa on Monday. ”Those are our objectives and beyond that, we haven’t made any final decisions.”

See previously: A short history of the Harper government changing its mind on the mission on Afghanistan, Stephen Harper says a lot of things and Today’s episode of Parsing the Prime Minister




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‘We haven’t made any final decisions’

  1. …for the Jets, the best option appears to be to keep our options open. I like 2-3% as an option to buy F-35. Wish we could pay this for every Jets programme worldwide given 2-3x cost overruns.
    There appears to be a buy sweet spot with new generations and the spot is later buyers. That 1970s radar flaw needs to be fixed before we buy. I can image these with a radar gun used by a HS track team?!
    Stealth is heavy, takes away range. The skin is soft so takes away patload options esp on exterior. ie) future missiles. Is not all things, is shorter range and dedicated internal payloads. It is meant to attack ground targets. Are we fighting air-to-air or ground?
    We should run a surplus. Failing that, design our own Jet chasis that is meant to be upgradeable over the long-term. Failing that, upgrade our CF-18s with cutting edge missiles. Failing that, wait for the 1970s radar band vulnerability to be fixed.
    Combat scenario #1: We bomb SAMs sites. Need stealth.
    Combat scenario #2: We engage 4th generation fleet. We fire long range Air-to-air missiles as do they. Our hit some (no one knows how many) of them, theirs mostly miss. Maybe fire another volley, maybe not. Now in short-range missile range. Now even a CF-18 might beat ours in a dogfight since we’ve got the heavy friggin stealth skin. They might be able to even run away after the first long range volley. If all we’ve got are F-35s instead of some fodder or dedicated dogfighters (F-22 Raptor, some type of Sukhoi I assume), we might lose.
    #2 is defending Cdn soil. Now assume hard body aircraft, such as CF-18 and even 3rd generation aircraft, are necessary to carry the very newest 2025 stealth-killing missiles. Scenario #3: We engage an old fleet with us having inferior super duper long-range air-to-air missiles, they get one or two volleys in before we get in range. Some of them kill us. We get in long-range missile range, we kill some of them and they kill some of us. Our inferior #s get into short-range missile range, not an F-35 strength. We probably lose.
    Need to demonstrate Scenario #1 is primacy for this purchase.

    • ..if we develop the anti-ship torpedo that China invented last year, we can destroy any aircraft carrier of any nation that comes near our waters, right?

      • The all things argument only works if air-to-air missiles have a very high kill rate or if multiple volleys are fired before short-range missiles (I assume can hit stealth) come into play. What scares me the most is not having the stealth can be a payload advantage. If a future payload is invented that stealth can’t carry but a hard-body can…
        I’d love to see 3 F-35s engage 3 CF-18s or F-15s or Sukhois. I know it won’t happen for humanitarian reasons as well as potential massive geopolitical shifts given learning. It is all conjecture.

        • …if the future hard-body-only payload is a stealth killer or super long-range missile, the DoD’s $1.5T-$?T investment is kaput. Buys about 1/2 yr of strategic global grain reserve. Existing reserve is 37 days last I checked. Maybe another week in our houses. Great for countries with wheat and oat farms.

          • 1.5M wind turbines. Right now only China has a scaleable iron-magnet design. Or: the best hooker ever.

          • Sry for multi-posts. Doesn’t it trouble anyone that of all the money the military-defense establishment spends, and everyone they employ, that no one bothered to thnik about 1970s radar bands against the F-35? Why are we assuming our future enemies will be as stupid as bloated Americans in mostly GOP States? For all you know Canada’s future enemy could be a genius.

          • 7 yrs ago I emailed Pratt & Whitney a question about the performance characteristics of their space radiators. They said it was a classified detail. Well classify this!
            Will need forest fighter aircraft.

          • NASA is losing most Earth observation capabilities, essential for monitoring AGW, by 2020 and is facing budget cuts because of RW deficits. No point doing the same science twice, I’d love N.Hemisphere peat water level monitoring if possible, and maybe some permafrost surface behaviour. Lighter microsats are being developed in our own universities; could use funding. VASIMR is how to get to Solar System and maybe Oort cloud quickly. We could dmoninate this. RIM guys quantum computer school could be used to make our biolabs secure. Or just use pre-USB pre-Wifi (whatever the opposite term of retrofit is). Not so bad if Virginia is hacking us.
            Boeing 737, a 1967 technology, is the basis of their anti-sub Poseidan-8A craft. Latter is $290M each to be build this decade: original Boeing models were $30M-$100M each. The have economy of scale but we’d have dedicated Canada Arctic Archipalego priority (as opposed to patrolling whole world minus UK-potential Dday landing sites and Southern ocean) to keep costs down. The Bombardier models seem to compare favourably. Our Poseidan could be built and owned right in Canada, which is good if Americans are potential adeversaries.
            We could build an airport somewhere in S.NWT or S.Nunavut to create jobs. The manufacturing could be sent to AB to counter closed oil sands development. If combined with the Chinese anti-carrier torpedo (again, good luck with a USA defence contractor’s help here), we’d have complete ocean superiority over all nations. A $200M domestically built aircraft and the Chinese torpedo copy could detroy a $4B Aircraft Carrier and $3B fighter jet complement, if we had fighter jets optimized to protect the Bombardier Cdn coastal defense model. The goal would be to keep Northern port trade open and protect metals mines while disallowing carbon-intensive arctic developments.

          • If we had SAMs where DEW line radar installations were,it would force Americans to use F-35s to wipe them out. The fighter jets escorting our Bombardier anti-Naval model would have a big tactical advantage if they were air-to-air optimized.
            Then I suppose the Americans would hit our military installations with cruise missile and bombing raids….that is a political issue.

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