Sunday, February 04, 2007

Gordon O'Connor's New Toys

Well, I don't think it was a great surprise, but us Canadian taxpayers now own four brand new Boeing C-17s.


Before we were evidently able to rent this sort of heavy lift capability just fine. I mean, how did our tanks get to Afghanistan? I guess that's not good enough for Gordon O'Connor and/or Rick Hillier. Why?

Harper wants to radically increase military spending over the next couple years. But as this article points out, this is being done in a policy vacuum. We should not just be buying stuff because O'Connor (a former lobbyist) and Hillier think that it's cool. We have to ask what we want our military to do and how to do it in the most affordable way. Absent this sort of policy debate, we'll end up with more embarrassing scenarios like when the Navy ran out of money.

These are not toys, and yet I get the impression that O'Connor, Harper, and to a lesser extent, Hillier view military procurement in a way similar to a kid collecting army toys:

This is not how taxpayer money should be spent.