Global Policy and the Backyard Procurement Vision
CHRIS MACLEAN
© 2012 FrontLine Defence (Vol 9, No 4)

With this great summer weather, one might expect FrontLine’s editorial lineup to be on the light side. However, the government kicked the summer off with a bang – first, on a positive note, announcing the TAPV winner (congrats to Textron Systems) and then slamming the brakes on the MSVS vehicle program (mere minutes before bid deadline). Combine that with a litany of delays and false starts, fighter jet replacement concerns, the latest news that the Maritime Helicopter Program Cyclones won’t be ready for possibly three more years (despite a previously extended delivery date of 2012), another restart of the FWSAR program (after a third-party evaluation strongly recommended changes), and we have... a procurement mess that gets worse every year. The tactic of pushing Julian Fantino in front of the cameras – as either a fall guy or to deflect media efforts to get to the truth – was a huge failure. We wish him well as Minister of International Cooperation.

FrontLine authors began critiquing defence procurement as early as 2005, with entire editions dedicated to offering solutions. Indications suggest we have reached critical mass and that, rather than minor piecemeal changes something significant is being considered. With the favourable political cachet of the NSPS, and Rona Ambrose in particular, I’d bet any changes to defence procurement will place Public Works in a much larger role rather than the current 3-way tie between DND, PW, and Industry Canada.
 
Thus, yet again, FrontLine provides some serious summer reading on many aspects of defence procurement. In addition to looking in our own backyard, another topic that seems to be hitting a chord within the defence community these days is the role of NATO and whether its priorities will figure prominently in future North American policies and strategies. Of course, Canada may be unable or unwilling to fulfill its NATO commitments if the current funding package doesn’t change. In addition, with defence cutbacks, will the military be able to offer the capabilities and options the government needs at its disposal when on the world stage? I hope you can take the time to read this edition cover-to-cover – its commentaries may uncover more questions, will certainly spur additional discussion, and most importantly, ­contribute to the process of positive and effective change.

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© FrontLine Defence 2012

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