Tuesday, January 04, 2005

600 tonnes

Glenn Rynolds (who needs no links from me, so I'll spare my html effort) pimped this story, but I can't leave it alone. I mean, so the most read blogger links it - who says I can't have my say? Anyway, Flit writes regarding why Canada didn't (or, more accurately, couldn't ) send its Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to help out with the tsunami victims. Apparently, they can't move 600 tonnes, which is the amount of airlift of DART. They would have needed civilian airlift, which they have in short supply.

Fully supported by the Prime Minister, he [John McCullum]publicly switched the military's focus to a "last-in," stabilization-oriented force (or, admitted that was what we really had, if you prefer to think of it that way)... low-intensity conflict only, shipped by chartered air into countries with a sufficiently-stable ground picture that significant casualties were highly unlikely. Starting with the McCallum years, we officially became "hotspot" averse.

Canada's has eliminated (by choice) their ability to be a rapid response team anywhere, for anything (either for military purposes, or a humanitarian disaster.)

Unfortunately, as was commented on at the time, that mentality makes it now effectively impossible to deploy in natural disaster scenarios, as well. DART, an Eggleton "first-in" project, has atrophied to the point where it proved undeployable even to Haiti during the hurricanes last year. If all this makes you wonder how effective the CF might be if that earthquake had been off of Vancouver Island, instead of Aceh, well, you probably should wonder. It's certainly not encouraging. Hopefully the Americans will have an aircraft carrier free then, too.

Humn ... for good or bad, yes, I'm sure America will have an aircraft carrier free if and when Canada needs it. But, of course, isn't that what they're counting on?