So Anita Anand is out and Invoice Blair is in as Secretary of State for Nationwide Defence. That is unhealthy information for my civ-mil lessons as Minister Anand zoomed in on my class each instances I taught the category whereas she was Minister of Nationwide Defence. I feel it is also unhealthy information for Canadian civil-military relations, the Division of Nationwide Protection and, sure, the Canadian Armed Forces. Let me run by way of this:
- the file will not be simple, and Anand has executed a ton of homework and perceive issues fairly properly at this level. Though she hasn’t been in a position to ship a protection coverage replace on time, she’s managed the file fairly properly given the constraints imposed by the Prime Minister’s workplace, the world (hey, what about spending a number of your time working to assist Ukraine) , and opposition throughout the CAF and maybe throughout the DND itself. Blair is available in and has to be taught from the bottom up. Will he have the identical willingness to learn every little thing (as Anand stated on the BattleRhythm podcast)?
- Talking of which, DND and CAF aren’t very clear, however Anand did fairly a bit outreach, together with an look on our podcast. Will Blair?
- Along with studying/talking, Anand appeared extra decided than most MNDs really impose civilian management over the navy, as a substitute of simply signing what CAF wished. Whereas this might need been laborious for the CAF to swallow, the navy had confirmed that it didn’t deal with its autonomy properly in any respect.
- Which returns to continuity. How lengthy does it take to create new establishments, guidelines and norms and make them chew – shaping the incentives, the outlook and finally who leads? Unsure what the magic quantity is, however I am guessing it is greater than two years.
- What about that updating the protection coverage? Will or not it’s scrapped and began once more with new administration? Will Blair simply log out on the earlier work? 🤷.
- I’ve written repeatedly concerning the issues with having a former navy officer serve on this place – O’Connor/Sajjan right here, Mattis/Austin within the US. How about an ex-cop? Pretty. Not so good. If there’s one company or entity that has a worse document with civilian management than the navy, it is this
International AffairsThe Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the opposite police forces in Canada. As an ex-cop, Blair nearly definitely held the view that the police knew higher than the politicians and that they need to have autonomy to keep away from being politicised. The issue, after all, is that every one policing is political. Is Blair prone to accede to what the navy recommends, or will he, properly, have interaction in administration and even micromanagement? Gasp! I am guessing the previous. Though there are higher leaders within the CAF now than a number of years in the past, a long time of conduct and the dynamics of different international locations have confirmed that giving militaries a number of autonomy will not be the best way to go.
- So these are the necessities, however there are additionally symbolic. No, I am not speaking about buying and selling out a girl of coloration and placing in an previous white man (though, sure, that may ship some indicators). I am speaking about eradicating an excellent competent, dedicated particular person and changing them with somebody who has little clout and has mismanaged his previous recordsdata. The message this sends? Trudeau would not care about protection now that it is not burning a lot, so he sends somebody who ought to have been shuffled out of cupboard to protection. This can be a damaging message to ship to those that have caught it out in CAF and DND, hoping and preventing for change to occur. Will Blair assist or harm the staffing disaster? Now that I give it some thought, that basically would have been the primary query I might ask myself if I have been Prime Minister. Positive, few folks situation their votes on protection or overseas coverage, however in making this resolution, I might use that place to do what is important for Canada’s nationwide curiosity. Given the primacy of the personnel disaster, that may form the choice…..or not.
Possibly they want a pointy, detail-oriented particular person on the Treasury Board. Okay, however Blair as Secretary of State for Nationwide Defence?