Canada’s military forces are “ready” to fulfill their commitments should Russia’s war in Ukraine spread to NATO countries, but it would be a “challenge” to launch a larger-scale operation for a long time, with ongoing shortages of personnel and equipment, according to Department of Defense Sheriff General Wayne Eyre.
Eyre told Joyce Napier on CTV’s Question Period, in an interview that aired on Sunday, that while forces in Europe are “ready for the tactical task they are assigned,” he has major concerns. more about strategic readiness. He said there was a shortage of people and equipment, and further concerns the ability to sustain the larger-scale mission for longer.
The Canadian Armed Forces are still struggling to retain staff, with nearly 10,000 personnel receiving less training than they need to operate at full capacity and stockpiling below what they require.
“We have challenges in all of that,” Eyre said, adding numbers that reflect what “has been overlooked for decades, when we focus on (demand) more urgent.”
Eyre said it would be “very difficult” for the Canadian military to launch another large-scale operation, such as in Afghanistan, without having to redistribute its resources globally as threats grow. get a raise.
“The military that we have today will increasingly be called upon to support Canada and support Canadian interests, supporting our allies abroad, as well as at home,” said Eyre, the institute. led by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, climate change affecting the Arctic landscape, and an increase in cyber and digital security threats.
“It’s always been a case of prioritizing and balancing our rollout globally, not just with what, but when and with whom… “Can we use more? Yeah absolutely. But we operate with what we have.”
“We prioritize and balance based on what our allies need and what the need signals, just to make sure we get the strategic effect the government wants us to achieve.” he also said.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Anita Anand said on CTV’s Question program last week that Canada should “be able to walk while chewing gum,” while balancing NATO commitments with ensuring Arctic and promoting peace in the Indo-Pacific.
Eyre said his number one priority is to maximize Canada’s armed forces, with a 9.3% attrition ratio between regular and reserve forces, up from 6.9 percent in 2016. last. The Canada Armed Forces Retention Strategy was released last month.
“We are facing the same challenge as every other industry out there that is facing a really tight labor market,” said Eyre. “Every other military in the West is facing the same challenge.”
He explained that the organization is working to streamline its recruitment process, among other changes, to meet growing demand, with the goal of increasing numbers “as quickly as possible”.
“Ideally yesterday,” he said. “We are looking at where we can accelerate our hiring, training, and optimizing our training process.”