“Stuck in a Rut: Harper Government Overrides Canadian Army, Insists on Buying Outdated Equipment” was written by University of British Columbia professor Michael Byers and Stewart Webb, a visiting Research Fellow at the Rideau Institute and research associate at the CCPA.
The report examines the Harper government’s decision to go ahead with a $2-billion purchase of 108 heavily armoured “Close Combat Vehicles” (CCVs) for use in future operations. The authors question whether the Canadian Forces need such vehicles: “Modern counterinsurgency doctrine emphasizes the winning of “hearts and minds,” which is difficult to do with heavy armour.” (Byers and Webb, “Army procurement mired in Cold War thinking, report finds” Rideau Institute, 18 September 2013).
The authors also argue that the CCV purchase is redundant:
…550 of Canada’s LAV IIIs are currently undergoing comprehensive upgrades that will improve their survivability and manoeuvrability while extending their lifespan to 2035. The upgraded LAV IIIs are, in fact, nearly as heavily armed and armoured as the proposed CCVs.
Reportedly, the Canadian Army has told the government that it does not need or want the vehicles and would rather use the money for other purposes, such as maintaining training levels during a time of deep budget cuts.
As Professor Byers explains, “By spending $2 billion on vehicles the Canadian Army neither wants nor needs, the Harper government is abdicating its responsibility to equip and train our soldiers properly, and to provide fiscal accountability.”
Byers and Webb ask, “After having just spent $1.064 billion to upgrade more than 550 LAV IIIs, why spend another billion dollars to purchase 108 CCVs that add little in terms of capability?”
“Stuck in a Rut: Harper Government Overrides Canadian Army, Insists on Buying Outdated Equipment” is available on the Rideau Institute website.
Photo credit: DND