Why Does Canada Have an Army?

Hey, don’t try to fool us Americans – we know Snoopy shot down the Red Baron – and Snoopy is undeniably an American. Jeez, get up to speed. :wink:

I don’t think that Canada needs to worry about invasion from a foreign force (other than the Americans). Ever try to hitch a ride somewhere in Europe or the Middle East with a big old American flag on your back ?? Now try it with a Canadian flag. Your docile northern neighbors are generally more well liked in the international community (we tend to walk softly and carry a medium sized stick; a big one is too obvious). we don’t piss too many other countries off…when was the last time you saw a group of Iraqui’s burning a Canadian flag??

You sound reasonable…it must be time to up my medication

Jodih is right, Zero. Snoopy has just as valid a claim to downing the Red Baron as Roy Brown does. Historians have long since credited Australian ground troops with the kill.

If there was a war between the US and Canada, how would the troops be able to weed out infiltrators:

Sentry: “Who goes there? Freind or foe?”

Infiltrator: “Friend!”

Sentry: “Alright then, who played third base for the Blue Jays in 1993?”

See the Canucks have been infiltrating us for years. the Illegal aliens that take all our jobs are the canadians. their master plan is to buy guns in the US stockpile them and then roll over the border while the infiltrators sow confusion.
I predict that before long, you favorite TV show might star a Canadian, One of the top grossing movies will star a Canadian, and The Nightly News will be read by a canadian.
Call me a crackpot but I see it coming

Ah, this very topic led to a huge flame war on alt.folklore.urban not too long ago. Got reaaal annoying. I think the jury’s still out on the actual benefits of being a faux Canadian while abroad.

Omnicient: The military does not increase the amount of jobs in the country - it decreases it. Taxes used to provide the military hurt economic growth, which cuts down on the number of jobs created elsewhere.

This is the big myth of government job creation. When the government ‘creates jobs’, it kills jobs across the country to make new ones in a specific place. No one sees the effects that the taxes had on say, the corner grocer who had to let his extra stockboy go because he couldn’t afford him. But they see that nice government building project with all those workers swarming around…

Here’s the ultimate in make-work schemes: Tax the economy, and use the money to hire half of the the unemployed to dig a big hole, and the other half to fill it. There, we’ve just created thousands of new jobs! But money was spent, and nothing of value was created. Net effect on country: disastrous.

There is no question in my mind that having a military is an economic drag on a country, and therefore contributes to unemployment and/or a lower standard of living. But that’s the price you must pay to keep the huns at bay.

I don’t agree that the military helps the economy. I will agree in rough economic time the military is ONE way to increase jobs etc. Bit these are excellent times and the money spent in the military could be spent elsewhere?

And sure the Americans would be mad at Canada if they stopped the military. Would they do anything. Not really. Look at Japan (granted different situation). But how long has Japan resisted a military soley because they want to use the money in the private sector.

Japan has the 4th largest military budget in the world, after the U.S., Russia, China, and the U.K.

If Canada dropped its military other than for local security issues, we might save 25% or so, at the cost of damaging our reputation in the world. We’d have trouble enforcing trade agreements (or even making them). There would be many, many other side effects. And, we’d be parasites. Perhaps we have too much pride for that.

Imagine public opinion in the U.S. if the Canadian government announced that it was disbanding the Canadian military because “dat U.S. down sout dere, dey’ll take care of us, eh?”

I put the question of the size of Japanese military in relation to restrictions placed on it following World War II to my boss, who’s Japanese. He replied that the Japanese built a pseudo-military to exceed the limits, labeled and described on paper as things like “special cars” (tanks).

As for the relative merits of a publicly Canadian identity versus American, the Mossad sure likes Canadian passports.

Given the current state of the Canadian military (of which I was once a member), I doubt it’s useful for more than local security issues and the token presence it keeps in peacekeeping and security forces around the world. Military spending in Canada since the 1960s has rarely gone above 2% GDP, while our Nato allies have averaged 4.5%. We’re not militarized enough to worry about the chunk its taking out of our economy.

kellibelli said:

Mmmm, yum! :slight_smile:

I did read a while back that the Canadians were p.o.'d at the U.S. for not accepting Canada’s sovereignty over the straits between the arctic territories. That they were seriously considering buying some nuclear subs from Britain or France to patrol the disputed waters.

Ok we now know why Canada has an army,eh?and why there are mounties(in dress reds I presume),but why does Bolivia have a navy?
BTW do they have American Dry in Canada?


Another reason that Canada has an army, despite being a basically useless army for preserving territorial integrity, is to retain the kind of current war-fighting skills and experience that would permit it to field a reasonable armed force in the event of war, with enough time to train. Canada’s military is small, but has some of the latest technology in almost all areas (F-18s, brand new frigates, Leopard II tanks). I could be wrong, but as I understand it, Germany’s army prior to World War II was a model of a peacetime army: small, but trained and equiped well enough to withstand a rapid expansion without a significant degradation in the quality of the troops.

The U.S. has an active military. Canada is simply retaining the capabilities.

The U.S. and Canada also undergo a lot of joint training exercises. Canadian pilots regularly flew at Top Gun and other U.S. training facilities, and exercises like Maple Flag get the troops working together at the same level of readiness. And Canadians have always scored very high in these joint exercises.

I’d take exception to the idea that Canada’s military isn’t ‘active’. There are thousands of Canadian troops deployed around the world right now in hostile environments, and Canada has been involved in all kinds of military conflicts since WWII.

Damn rabelrousers!!

Canada’s military may be small compared to the US, but it well trained and generally high quality.

Also, Canada and the US cooperate to a large extent: NORAD is a joint thing, for example, and there are common defense plans, sharing of intelligence data, etc.

Probably Canada isn’t at too much risk any more. The biggest risk in the recent past was probably from Russia, since Canada stands between Rus & the US. But that threat is small now. Canada’s armed forces probably are quite adequate for any current threat without even needing US help. And if a threat came along that was much larger, the US would surely defend Canada, so there’s basically an insurance policy.

peas on earth

While Canada does take part in almost every U.N. peacekeeping operation (indeed, Canada originated peacekeeping itself under Lester B. Pearson), and fielded troops not just in Korea but in the Persian Gulf War as well, the Canadian presence in worldwide military operations since World War II has been of a token nature, compared to the contributions of others.

I don’t mean to denigrate Canadian participation, which has generally been of the highest standards (notwithstanding Somalia) and disproportionate in effect if not numerically, but Canada is simply not a nation that projects military force the way the U.S., Britain, or France does. The Canadian military is stretched to the limit fielding thousands of troops, while the U.S. maintains brigades around the world.

The single effective argument in Canada for maintaining what dhanson calls active military participation in geopolitics, is the opportunity for training and experience. As long as that continues, Canada retains real military expertise, without the expense of using the military as an enforcer of government policy worldwide.

Regarding the password from an earlier post

“Ed Sprague”

Do I get to go through?

Canada fielded 26,700 troops in Korea, but the war came at a time when Canada was going through a phase of military downsizing. If the war had happened a couple of years sooner or later, Canada probably would have committed several times that number of troops.

You’re right that Canada hasn’t ‘projected’ military power around the world, simply because the U.S. was doing that, and Canada was taking a somewhat passive but supportive role in that. As part of our agreement with NATO, Canada’s Navy was developed mainly as an anti-submarine force. But Canada actually did have the ability to project power if needed. We even had 3 modern aircraft carriers at various times until 1969, complete with fighter jets (Banshees) and Sikorsky helicopters.

Fact is, neither the US nor Canada are vulnerable to “enemy invasion.” I mean who’s gonna invade us? The places in the world that get invaded are little piss-ass places like Kuwait that have lots of oil and are far away from outside intervention or protection.

If the US or Canada were targetted for invasion, it would necessarily take the form of a nuclear or non-conventional invasion. Not the sort of D-Day invasion of 50 years ago - modern defence systems and world politics make such an attempt impossible.

Markxxx, why’re you worried about whether or not we have an army? Why do the Swiss have an army? They’re neutral on every subject that can’t be assigned a bank account number. The primary usage of every G8 country’s military might is for peacekeeping in the backwaters of the world, not for domestic defence.

p.s. hansel, Germany’s pre-WWII army was small (<100,000) due to treaty impositions, and was almost entirely without a trained officer corps. The rapid expansion which did occur was based on fewer than 10 fully-trained divisions successful in re-occupying the Ruhr and violating Versailles only through sheer gaul. The Army leadership was opposed to any type of aggressive war on even a moderate scale until 1943.