Monday, June 20, 2011

Deja Vu, Canadian Style

Canada is leaving Kandahar.  That is old news.  It is going to forget about some of the key lessons learned.  The Unarmed Aerial Vehicles [UAVs] or drones were only leased, not bought.  So, Canada will not be taking back its squadron of drones back home, despite the fact that they proved to be most handy in this war and proved their usefulness for future military operations.  Instead, the folks who flew these flying robots will be dispersed.

The military is kidding itself if they buy this claim:
"There's probably going to be a hiatus of somewhere between two and five years. But those people will still be in the military, and those people will have this experience, and they'll be able to move forward with the yardstick when the time comes."
No unit means no training, no refinement of expertise, no lessons being learned and transmitted.  Drones have proven to be lifesavers (and lifetakers, but the Canadian kind, which are unarmed) and are now known in military jargon as enablers and force multipliers.  Cheaper, far cheaper than F35s, far more likely to be used in most missions, but hey, a lease is a lease.  Easier not to buy the stuff in a time of budget cuts.

The only good news in this is for me personally--if the Canadian Forces are losing their drones, it might just mean they are betting on no new ground deployments in the medium term.  And I do have a bet on that.

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