• Danish Team Removes 500 Tons of Chemical Weapons From Libya

    From the AP:  A Danish-led international operation to rid Libya of its chemical weapons has removed 500 tons of chemicals from the North African country, Denmark said Wednesday.
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  • Why Canada is Leading a NATO Battalion in the East Instead of France

    Canada announced at the recent Warsaw Summit that it would deploy at least 450 soldiers to Latvia, becoming one-of-four "framework" nations in a 4,000 person, high-readiness multinational brigade.
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  • An Arrow II for Canada?

    The RCAF’s divergent commitments to NORAD and NATO suggest that none of the fighters on offer are quite right for its needs.

    Canada’s Department of National Defence has had quite a time over the past two weeks at both the NATO Summit and the Farnborough Air Show. The DND is now preparing to deploy 450 troops, the nucleus of a battalion group, to Latvia next year, as part of the four-battalion NATO brigade approved at the meeting in Warsaw. As Murray Brewster of CBC News wrote, the federal government has also “renewed a commitment to provide six CF-18 fighter jets for air policing duties over the Baltic states, a mission the air force last conducted in 2014.” With all this activity, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan admits concern about Canada keeping its commitments to both NORAD and NATO on a dwindling fleet of usable jets. Some furthering thinking about both the various jets and those twin commitments shows how it’s possible that none of the available aircraft are quite right for Canada’s needs.

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  • Canada to Send Troops to Latvia for New NATO Force

    With Crimea still under Moscow's rule and war raging in eastern Ukraine, [Canadian Defense Minister Harjit] Sajjan acknowledged Friday the fielding of the new NATO brigade is a serious step, but one that Canada is prepared to wholeheartedly support.

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  • North American Leaders’ Summit Furthers COP-21 Climate Goals

    The climate change partnership announcement made by the leaders of Canada, the United States, and Mexico at the North American Leaders Summit on June 29 continues the political ambition of the three countries to work toward a low-carbon future. The announcement follows commitments made in the COP-21 Paris climate agreement to reduce carbon emissions.

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  • NATO Summit Special Series: Canada

    Because Canada is far away from the two biggest threats facing NATO, Russia and the Middle East, the concern in Ottawa is probably less focused on what NATO should do, but more on what NATO will ask of Canada.
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  • Could Joint Strike Fighters Really Be a Low-Cost Option?

    If they could just control enough drones, perhaps F-35s could make war affordable again.

    The Danish fighter competition is over, it would seem, as the parliament has officially approved a program for 27 F-35 Lightning IIs. As I noted last week, the purchase price remains indeterminate, so the Danish Defense Ministry may be seriously unprepared for the final bill, if it’s really taking seriously the source-selection team’s calculations. As I wrote earlier this week, it's hard to see how F-35As will cost to procure and fly than F-18Es. In Canada, the Trudeau Government seems sharply opposed to the F-35, strongly preferring the F-18E, and largely on cost. In the long run, though, it’s just possible that pursuit of the Joint Strike Fighter could be a low-cost option for air forces. Seriously—read on.

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  • ‘Competitiveness Heavily Depends Upon Price’

    The Danish fighter jet procurement decision requires further explanation.  

    Up front, the Danish Ministry of Defense seemed to have done it all right. In choosing a replacement for the Royal Danish Air Force’s F-16s, the ministry received bids from Eurofighter for the Typhoon, Boeing for the F-18E and -F Super Hornet, and Lockheed Martin for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. The members of the selection team set baseline requirements and trade-off criteria in strategic, military, economic, and industrial respects. They hired Deloitte, RAND, Qinetic, and local firm Vorderman Consulting to build formal models addressing costs, capabilities, risks, and industrial benefits. The resulting figures, however, were wholly unexpected. The Danish MoD should provide some further explanation, and not just to the Danish people and parliament. For a transparent outcome to this process may matter in North America as well.

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  • Will Any More European Powers Contribute to NATO’s Eastern Force?

    Now that the U.S. is only sending one—not two—battalions for the alliance military force on the eastern flank, there is a big question regarding which country will fill the void.
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  • Contributions to NATO More Than Just Budgetary, says Canada's Defense Minister

    NATO member states’ defense expenditure must be measured in much more than just budgetary terms, Canada’s Defense Minister, Harjit Sajjan, said on May 12.

    “We had 158 soldiers who died, sacrificed, in Afghanistan. This is a contribution that we made,” Sajjan, a veteran of the Afghan war, said in a brief interaction with journalists at the Atlantic Council.

    “Contributions should be measured in many different ways, but having said that, we will be looking at our spending priorities and the defense review will give us the answers,” he added, referring to the defense review—the first for Canadian Armed Forces since 1994—that has been ordered by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The review, which will include feedback from the public and analysts, is expected to be unveiled in early 2017.

    Sajjan’s comments come amid growing calls for all NATO member states to meet the goal of spending two percent of their GDP on defense. At present, only five of the twenty-eight member states meet that goal. Canada spends one percent of its GDP on defense.

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