• NATO Warned of Vulnerability to Moscow in Eastern Europe

    A chorus of voices across Nato is warning that the alliance cannot defend Europe’s eastern border against an increasingly aggressive Russia.
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  • On Trucks and Lawsuits

    Complaints over fairness indicate how hard military procurement can be, and how strategic urgency must sometimes trump procedural justice.

    In North America in the past several months, three defense contractors have complained to US and Canadian federal reviewers that they’ve been treated unfairly in procurement programs for new military vehicles. Lockheed Martin has complained about Oshkosh’s winning production of the JLTV in the US, General Dynamics has complained about BAE Systems and SAIC winning development of the ACV in the US, and Oshkosh has complained about Mack winning production of the MSVS SMP in Canada. The particulars of these cases differ, but the companies’ reactions indicate just how difficult getting military procurement decisions can be. In the case of the JLTV, the government’s reaction also indicates why sometimes the government needs the right to be wrong.

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  • Planes or train?

    Just “how can Canada best” contribute to the fight in Iraq and Syria?

    The Americans are bombing. The French are now bombing by the score. The British are slinging Brimstone. The Canadians will train the Peshmerga. That’s right—making good on a campaign promise, new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau still intends to withdraw the six F-18 fighter-bombers of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), even if many Canadians would be happy to leave them there. Instead, he will greatly increase the force of 69 commandos that the Harper Government had sent to train Kurdish troops fighting Mr. Baghdadi’s gang from the north. "How many that will be, what form that will take, what kind of engagement we’re going to have,” the new PM told reporters on his own plane,  “those are things that we’re going to work out.” The basic question, he believes, is “how can Canada best be a strong and positive contributor to the continued and continuing mission against ISIL?” So is that on the ground or in the air?

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  • Three Things Canada Should Want with its Next Fighter

    If DND does drop the JSF, think radar jammers, cruise missiles, and a second seat.

    This week’s federal electoral victory by Canada's Liberals probably means the end of the F-35A as a prospective fighter jet for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). The immediate bad news accrues to Lockheed Martin, which stands to lose $6 billion in future revenue, and its remaining customers, for whom smaller volumes will mean as much as one percent more per production aircraft. The remaining longer-term question is what this means for Canada; US Senator Orrin Hatch, after all, called the decision “stupid.”  But it’s not that prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau is outrightly refusing the stealthy airplane. Rather, he’s promising an open competition on a much smaller budget, presumably now for a twin-engined jet, which pretty much restricts the race to Boeing’s F-18E/F Super Hornet and Dassault’s Rafale C/B. The philosophies behind those aircraft designs differ markedly from that behind the F-35 Lightning II, so what else the Canadian military buys must now change as well.

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  • Slavin on Benghazi, Biden, Assad, and Canada

    South Asia Center Nonresident Senior Fellow Barbara Slavin joins Voice of America's Issues in the News to moderate a discussion on US domestic politics, Assad's visit to Moscow, and the Canadian elections: 

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  • Slavin: A Tale of Two Elections: Canada and Egypt

    South Asia Center Nonresident Senior Fellow Barbara Slavin writes for Voice of America on the recent elections in Canada and Egypt:

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  • NATO's 5 Most Lethal Weapons of War

    Here are some of the alliance's most lethal combat systems, each operated by two or more member states.
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  • NATO Publics Reluctant to Provide Military Aid to Allies Under Attack

    Going forward, most NATO members are willing to provide economic aid to Ukraine and offer it NATO membership.
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  • NATO Defense Spending Promises Largely Ignored

    Only two of Nato's six biggest defence spenders — the US and France — will fulfil a pledge to protect military budgets made at the alliance's summit five months ago.
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  • Report: Six European Members of NATO Will Cut Defense Spending and Break Agreement Made at Wales Summit

    Preliminary reports from fourteen countries examined for fiscal year 2015 suggest that only one (Estonia) will spend 2% of GDP on defence.
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