Author: Matthew Preston

Punching Below Our Weight

Wonder why China and Saudi Arabia are publicly berating Canada with seeming impunity these days? Well, who respects a country that is so blatantly unserious about defending itself, especially in a world where tensions are clearly rising among the major powers and their allies? As Ottawa prepares to take possession of some worn-out Australian F-18 fighters bought on the cheap, Mathew Preston undertakes a detailed comparison of Aussie and Canuck military capabilities and defence policy and comes up with mortifying answers to these questions.

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The Royal Canadian Air Procurement Farce

Military procurement is to Canada’s federal government as sewer upgrades are to municipal governments: a hugely expensive necessity that doesn’t win any votes. That’s why the RCAF is getting by with patched-up, near-obsolete CF-18s and a handful of used fighter jets from Australia as Ottawa’s posturing and procrastinating over their replacement enters its third decade. Meanwhile, military tensions between the world’s major powers are growing, which leaves weakly-armed and weak-willed countries like Canada increasingly useless and vulnerable. The ill-starred F-35 stealth fighter remains the best bet to restore our military capability while providing top-flight aerospace jobs, writes Mathew Preston, but “whipping out” the F-35 or any new warplanes is not a priority for Justin Trudeau’s feminist-pacifist administration.

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