Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Much Ado About The Wrong Thing - Canadian Forces DisIntegration

As a political scientist and somewhat of a historian I prefer our system of government based on a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy. I also appreciate the role that our historical links to the United Kingdom play in our multicultural society, including their role in our political and justice systems.

Therefore I am not particularly upset about including "Royal" in the names of the Canadian Air Force and Canadian Navy. But that is not the point, however much Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party would like to direct the debate to that minor issue, by using references to Canadian history.

The point is to start to undo the integration of the Canadian Forces. The forces were integrated for two reasons, one operational and one more symbolic, but of operational impact.

Operationally the goal was to obtain efficiencies by having one command structure and developing one set of priorities and to eliminate competition between the three services, Army, Navy and Air Force.

Symbolically the goal was to have our servicemen all identify with each other through the Canadian Forces, rather than simply with one service.

It's not about being Royal. It's about being separate services rather than one combined Canadian Forces all working together with one loyalty to Canada.

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