Canada’s defense chief says he does not yet know where the $ 4.9 billion in promised upgrades to NORAD radar and surveillance systems.
In an interview with VestblokkenMercedes Stephenson’s Mercedes, Gen. Wayne Eyre were asked about growing issues facing the government to detail their spending plan for NORAD upgrades.
Sources have told Global News that the military is unsure where the funds are coming from and that there are meetings in the department to find out how much of the money is new. These sources say there are significant concerns that the money may not be new and may need to be re-capitalized within the existing defense budget.
“I have not quite figured out for myself the source of funds for this,” Eyre said.
“So I can not say definitively where it is coming from. However, I would say that the message was welcome.”
Eyre was also asked if the military is planning any departmental cuts to be able to allocate $ 4.9 billion for the NORAD upgrades.
“We have not looked at cutting. But as always, we need to look at rebalancing, ”he said.
“The strength we have today is not the strength we have to support tomorrow. So we have to look at the power structure. Do we have the right place? Do we need to look at rolling out units so that they take on roles that are more relevant to the future security environment? It’s all important. “
Global News has asked for clarification on the issue to Defense Minister Anita Anand’s office.
No reply has been received yet.
The Canadian forces are in the midst of a major showdown over sexual misconduct and at the same time face fundamental questions about how the military can and should adapt to protect Canadians from new threats in a more dangerous world.
Anand called the world “darker” and more “chaotic” than at any time in recent memory earlier this year, and said last week that the government will spend about $ 40 billion over the next 20 years on modernizing the North American space defense through NORAD. pact.
As part of that, she announced $ 4.9 billion in what she originally said was new spending on upgrading northern and continental early radar and surveillance systems.
Canada announces $ 4.9 billion plan to modernize NORAD
But she later corrected it, saying $ 4.9 billion was not new and instead funds previously allocated under the $ 8 billion spending pledge promised in the last federal budget.
“I think history is going to look at this period as perhaps a turning point in the global order because the rule-based international order that we have thrived under for generations is as fragile as it has ever been,” he said. he. .
“And I think for the rest of our lives we will see an order marked by confrontation.”
That confrontation, Eyre said, will be between authoritarian states and the world’s democracies.
He added that it is one that is causing growing concern among his colleagues in European and Asian countries.
“That threat is real,” he said. “They are all very concerned. The threat of global conflict – of great power conflict – is as great as it has been for decades. So we need to be concerned.“
Canada must be ready for ‘all scenarios’, while Russia continues to face nuclear threats: Joly
The significant announcement of expenditure comes as efforts become sharper for countries that do not prioritize their own defense and security.
Uncertainty has become the word of the day in recent years marked by the global economic catastrophe COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent supply chain struggles, combined with societal unrest.
Then there is the ongoing crisis of climate change and natural disasters, as well as the geostrategic threats they pose to countries like Canada. The melting Arctic sea ice makes inhospitable regions easier to navigate, even for actors like China and Russia, who seem to make it a habit to override international laws.
Likewise, Russia’s unprovoked and terrible invasion of Ukraine has amplified much of the existing global economic pressure on supply chains, while at the same time constituting what Canadian officials have repeatedly described as an existential threat to the rule-based international order established after World War II.
About the future of the Royal Military Colleges
Whether the Canadian forces will be able to recruit the members needed to meet a more volatile world is one that continues to pursue the military.
A recent report warned earlier this year that systemic racism, discrimination and sexual misconduct “repel” potential new recruits, and clearly linked the military’s ability to correct its culture and attract a new generation of Canadians directly to the national security challenges facing the country. be faced with.
The Federal Liberals launched an independent review of how best to fix military culture last year in the wake of several exclusive reports from Global News on allegations of sexual misconduct against senior leaders.
Former Canadian Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbor led this review and in late May issued a blistering report that the military leadership considered “unable” to rectify the system and the military’s existing cultural problems for a “responsibility” to Land.
Among her recommendations were the need to reform Royal Military College Kingston and Royal Military College St-Jean – the universities that train future leaders in the Canadian forces.
Arbor called them “institutions of another era.”
“There are legitimate reasons to question the wisdom of sustaining the existence of these military colleges as they currently exist,” Arbor wrote.
“There is a real risk that maintaining a discriminatory culture in high schools will slow down the momentum for cultural change that the CAF has embarked on. There is enough evidence that military schools are not delivering their mandate to the point that I believe that alternatives must be explored with an open mind. “
Eyre said the military should “embrace” Arbour’s recommendations.
“We need to have a passionless look at, is the institution fit for the purpose of the 21st century and producing what is needed?” he said.
“Many are proud of the after-school they came from. But we need to have an open mind as we move forward and have that look without feelings for what’s best for Canada, what’s best for our forces to produce the leaders we need for the future. “
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