Well... After Saab declined to participate in the Canadian government's "questionnaire" on the grounds that the Canadian fighter selection process is entirely skewed toward the F-35, it now turns out the the "National Fighter Procurement Secretariat" was entirely pointless is the first place. To put it simply, the "Secretariat" was to merely collect information, then hand that information to Prime Minister Harper and his gang, without recommendation. After which, the Tory government would likely just continue on with the JSF program that they have never actually left yet.
So why all the smoke and mirrors? Is it to cover the fact that the F-35 was selected without seriously considering the options? Or is it a stalling tactic to cover the fact that the F-35 is so behind schedule that there is no possible way for Canada to replace our CF-18 fleet by 2020? Or maybe it's to draw attention away from the the original $9 billion price tag has now been more accurately shown to be $46 billion instead? What about the JSF's disappointing performance thus far, with the USAF stating it is not ready for combat or even training?
|$9 billion? If only!|
So why should Canadians care? The F-35 looks cool enough, and it sure will be nice to use the same equipment as the 'Muricans, won't it? Does it really matter what fighter we get? After all, we're only getting 65... That's barely a token force, and the good ol' USA will come to our rescue if we get into trouble so long as we keep playing nice with them and help them "police the world" from time to time. Why should we care? Because this is our money. We should have some say in how it is spent. Do we give it to Lockheed in the hopes they will throw a few pork barrel job crumbs our way? Why dump money into a bloated, unproven, over budget, overdue, stealth fighter; when there are so many other Canadian military projects in desperate need of attention?
|Can we meet somewhere in the middle?|
Canada needs to fix it's military procurement process. It needs to figure out what role it wants its military to provide. It needs to figure out what equipment it needs to fulfill this role. Canada needs an open and fair fighter competition to find the most suitable and cost effective CF-18 replacement.