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Combat Readiness and the Canadian Army

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Master's thesis

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The Canadian Army is incapable of executing National Defense tasks as assigned by Canadian Defense Policy. The Canadian Army has a history of being ill prepared for major conflicts. A combination of negligent senior leadership in both the Army and the Government has allowed the Canadian Armys combat readiness decline to the point where it is not capable of safely executing either assigned warfighting or operations other than war tasks. The present, unacceptable, situation has been exacerbated by the naive belief that the end of the Cold War has negated the requirement for combat ready conventional forces. The consequent rush to realize the peace dividend has resulted in reduced defense spending and an accelerated decline in the capabilities and effectiveness of the Army. The Army is undermanned, ill equipped and poorly trained. However, through a process of reorganizing, restructuring and making modest equipment acquisitions the Army can make radical improvements in its levels of combat readiness. Many of these changes involve emotional and politically explosive issues, primarily those issues dealing with the Reserves. Without significant changes in the manner in which the resources of the Canadian Army are managed, and without concrete improvements to equipment and training methodology the Army will slowly devolve into little more than a heavily armed constabulary. The political and military leadership of the Canadian Army must address the issue of combat readiness immediately in order to ensure that the Army is organized, trained and equipped to execute assigned and potential future tasks.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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