There has been furious debate recently over the whole F-35 fighter jet program – it’s beginning to look like a millstone around Stephen Harper’s neck – but the real issue is this: Why are we buying it in the first place?
We should rethink what we expect of our military before spending more billions on military hardware. The subs were an expensive joke the UK played on us, and the F-35s have the potential to transfer many billions of Canadian taxpayer dollars to foreign military contractors, especially American.
- Is the *primary* duty of the Canadian Armed Forces to defend the country against invasion? Of course.
- Does the Canadian Armed Forces currently have the capability to carry out its primary duty? I think not.
- How much does the F-35 (or any other fighter jet) enhance the Forces’ primary duty to defend the nation? Approximately 0%.
- If a large nation invades, our 65 jets would be overwhelmed and annihilated very rapidly.
- If a small nation invades, we could drop grenades from Twin Otters; there are no small nations close and none with aircraft carriers, so they would be invading by ship with no air cover.*
Is there any way for the CAF to fulfil its primary duty of defending Canada against invasion, without relying upon the goodwill and military might of the United States of America? Missiles, surely:
- Cruise missiles cost ~600K each; other missiles cost considerably less, but let’s say 500K/missile on average
- The F-35 program was to cost 25 billion dollars, though certainly would have been much higher
- 25,000,000,000/500,000 = 50,000 missiles
That’s a lot of missiles; that would repel most boarders, I would think.
What’s more, unlike jets or aircraft carriers, we can certainly build missiles in this country, especially if we’re building 50,000 of them. That means the entire $25 billion would stay in Canada and provide the Canadian Armed Forces the ability to defend the country.
* It should be clear I’m being facetious here; obviously the Otters would have be armoured.
For those who still don’t understand, I don’t take the threat of invasion by a small nation seriously. A small nation would have a long way to travel and with how many troops at once? In the low tens of thousands in ships with no air cover…it’s not a winning proposition. A few well-placed missiles or torpedoes and their entire invasion force goes down.