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Should Canada Reconsider Nuclear Weapons?


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It was brought up in the War in Ukraine thread and I was curious what better informed people than myself thought about this. 
 

With the strong isolationist stance being touted by the Trumster, and a reasonable shot of him being re elected, is it wise for Canada to revisit its position on nuclear weapons?

 

- Climate change continues to open up the Arctic.

- Russia, China and the U.S. have been eyeing our Arctic territories for quite a while.

- we do not have the conventional forces to defend this territory in any meaningful way.

 

Thoughts?

 

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Nope, does nothing for security, just adds to the madness.

Waste of money for something incredibly dangerous and a persistent security threat just owning them.

Any number of state and non-state actors would love to get their hands on that technology, not to mention risks around hacking.

There are real problems that money could go to, including actual practical military applications.

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No. No value proposition in it for us, not to mention proliferating nuclear weapons isn't a great move.

 

The UK's nuclear deterant costs them 3.2 billion pounds (about 5.5 billion CAD) annual. And that's just operation costs, not the capital costs of acquiring them in the first place. That's the same (expected) annual opperating cost as our entire fleet of 88 F35s.

 

What delivery system do you want? Land-based ICBMs? Submarine launched? Or Aircraft launched?

 

Aircraft is the cheapest, by far, but the most easily countered. If your adversary has a vastly larger conventional air force and air defence network than you, it can be rendered useless. If you want land or submarine based ICBMs, you're looking at an acquisition cost larger than Canada's entire defence budget.

 

So what capabilities are you going to give up? If we scrap our new frigate progam and the F35s, you could probably get France to sell you a few ballistic missile submarines for that cost. But how is your security any better when you don't have the ability to give an armed response to any sea or air incursion?

Edited by MattJVD
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1 minute ago, Optimist Prime said:

Nuking to stop nukes is like fucking for virginity. full stop. If Canada adopted a nuclear strategy, with regards to our military, we would be absolutely no safer, but now with the chance at revenge as we die. I am fine without having them in our arsenal. 

 

I would be down for some nuclear powered modern subs at some point, protecting the arctic, or nuclear powered ice breakers would be more on point. 

 

are those enough of a deterrent tho? what will they be armed with that would make Putin e.g., think twice about landing up north? 

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2 minutes ago, Bob Long said:

 

are those enough of a deterrent tho? what will they be armed with that would make Putin e.g., think twice about landing up north? 

would be more of a mobile listening platform, is my take on it. Subs would have deck guns, torpedos, perhaps some conventional ballistic missiles, icebreakers would be more Coast Guard oriented and the better choice, again with full suite of intel gathering equipment.

 

There is just no gain to joining the nuclear arsenal community. THe only thing we would gain would be revenge capabilities. Canada isn't shooting first in any scenario, so we would only be responding in a nuke fight...and that is the stupidest timeline. 

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Just now, Optimist Prime said:

would be more of a mobile listening platform, is my take on it. Subs would have deck guns, torpedos, perhaps some conventional ballistic missiles, icebreakers would be more Coast Guard oriented and the better choice, again with full suite of intel gathering equipment.

 

so if we want/need to upgrade the pointy end of the stick, whats our best option? drones?

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3 minutes ago, Bob Long said:

 

are those enough of a deterrent tho? what will they be armed with that would make Putin e.g., think twice about landing up north? 

The Americans have a few nuke powered, but conventional armed missile subs.

154 tomahawks per sub, and a few harpoon missiles along with torpedo's-converted Ohio class iirc.

That is enough fire power to do considerable damage.

 

$20 billion more, divided by the  3 branches of the forces, would bring Canada up to the 2% GDP pledge.

That would make a large difference.

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Given the concept of M.A.D, I don't see nukes being a practical investment. We are better off investing in conventional means because IF nukes start flying we are all fucked anyway. Canada is in NATO. There are more than enough nukes in NATO, even without the US, to respond through nuclear means. I would echo what others have said around nuclear powered sea vessels though. Canada is a small country (population, GDP) residing in a massive territory. We should be investing more in the navy to defend the arctic. Even if it is a focus on the Eastern half. Alaska helps defend the western half due to geography. The US doesn't want anyone other than us on their border either.

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1 minute ago, Bob Long said:

 

so if we want/need to upgrade the pointy end of the stick, whats our best option? drones?

Shrug, above my pay grade. 

 

Were I to guess; we have new choppers, buying new planes, and we have a few boats in the works. Most likely new upgrade would be armour, perhaps bombers but most likely honestly logistics aircraft. We punch above our weight, but where we are lacking is our own methods of long range transport craft, and more coast guard, and newer armour for the battle groups.

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9 minutes ago, Bob Long said:

 

so if we want/need to upgrade the pointy end of the stick, whats our best option? drones?

Perhaps Canadians should look at some of the video from the Russian invasion of Ukraine to refresh their memories of what sadistic bastards are capable of.  

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8 minutes ago, Bob Long said:

 

so if we want/need to upgrade the pointy end of the stick, whats our best option? drones?

Great book! I can't find a google link right now, but there is a book called "The Pointy End" which chronicles some Canadian forces work overseas. 

I don't see it on my bookshelf so I must have loaned it out years ago and forgot to recall it.

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https://www.bing.com/search?q=Canada+military+new+planes&form=MSNSB1&refig=c9497319bc414a1693e71d15ee36d15e&mkt=en-ca&showconv=0

Since 2022 alone, the Government of Canada has finalized the procurement or upgrade of approximately 140 new aircraft for the Royal Canadian Air Force, including:

  • 88 new F-35 fighter jets,
  • 9 new CC-330 Husky strategic tanker and transport aircraft,
  • up to 16 new P-8A Poseidon multi-mission aircraft,
  • 16 new or upgraded Cormorant helicopters (as the project will upgrade our fleet to provide Canada with the most advanced version of the helicopter); and
  • 11 remotely piloted aircraft announced today.

-------------------------------------

new transport and re fueling planes are on the way.

New ships are on the way

 

looks like the Army branch is being neglected though.

Also--- all  branches are underfunded.

Edited by Gurn
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3 minutes ago, Optimist Prime said:

Great book! I can't find a google link right now, but there is a book called "The Pointy End" which chronicles some Canadian forces work overseas. 

I don't see it on my bookshelf so I must have loaned it out years ago and forgot to recall it.

 

I picked up the phrase from someone I worked with who is former military. 

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My opinion is that we don't need nukes but we do need to spend significantly more on conventional military equipment and soldiers.  We need to spend at least 2% of our GDP on our military and considering the times we are in I would favour going beyond that to 3 or 4%.  Don't get me wrong, I want peace, I really do, but it's a sad reality of the human race that to have peace you have to prepare for war and we are not nearly prepared enough.

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Maintaining nuclear arsenal is very expensive and in Canada’s case just big unnecessary waste of money.

Canada will never use those weapons first. Detonating nuclear bombs on North American soil would be perceived as an attack on the U.S. If nuclear missiles were launched towards Canada, you wouldn’t be able to tell if the are heading to large cities in Canada or nearby American cities ,since 90% of Canada’s population is situated within 100 miles of the border.

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10 minutes ago, nux_win said:

My opinion is that we don't need nukes but we do need to spend significantly more on conventional military equipment and soldiers.  We need to spend at least 2% of our GDP on our military and considering the times we are in I would favour going beyond that to 3 or 4%.  Don't get me wrong, I want peace, I really do, but it's a sad reality of the human race that to have peace you have to prepare for war and we are not nearly prepared enough.

 

As a starting point, cut the civil service across the country by 100,000 employees and use the cost savings to recruit and train 100,000 new soldiers.

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Bob Long said:

 

colour me skeptical that other countries are going to step in and save us. 

 

I'd prefer we upgrade our own capabilities. 

 

 

I understand the skepticism but article 5 says otherwise. That's what NATO is built upon. That aside, it would be quite the gamble for the invader to hope that the rest of NATO abandons Canada. Not a high probability move imo.

 

The only feasible arctic invasion would be by Russia (over the top). China would have to go around Alaska to hit the arctic. IMO China would go after Van Island first. The lower mainland is the only feasible corridor to enter BC and the rest of Canada. I'd like to think the USA would defend that hard.

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1 minute ago, fanfor42 said:

 

As a starting point, cut the civil service across the country by 100,000 employees and use the cost savings to recruit and train 100,000 new soldiers.

 

 

Sounds good on paper, the reality is that Canada can't recruit enough to fill roughly 60,000 full time armed forces positions as it is, filling 160,000 of them hasn't occurred since the 80's? maybe the 70's.

We need 100,000 people willing to join before we can hire 100,000. 

My family, on my mothers side, has had at least one member in the service every day since before Canada was Canada. Of her 7 brothers, 6 served overseas during ww2 and the 7th was in uniform in Halifax when the war ended, and his trip across the Atlantic was called off. You just don't have that these days. Outside of 'Military Towns' it is harder and harder to even find a military veteran these days. Not sure what the solution is, on the one hand I am glad that todays young adults don't consider war based careers, on the other hand, I did my bit, now who is defending me in my old age? Hehehe, to be selfish about it. 

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Just now, Optimist Prime said:

Sounds good on paper, the reality is that Canada can't recruit enough to fill roughly 60,000 full time armed forces positions as it is, filling 160,000 of them hasn't occurred since the 80's? maybe the 70's.

We need 100,000 people willing to join before we can hire 100,000. 

My family, on my mothers side, has had at least one member in the service every day since before Canada was Canada. Of her 7 brothers, 6 served overseas during ww2 and the 7th was in uniform in Halifax when the war ended, and his trip across the Atlantic was called off. You just don't have that these days. Outside of 'Military Towns' it is harder and harder to even find a military veteran these days. Not sure what the solution is, on the one hand I am glad that todays young adults don't consider war based careers, on the other hand, I did my bit, now who is defending me in my old age? Hehehe, to be selfish about it. 

 

The salaries paid to soldiers and pension benefits etc need to be high enough to drive recruitment.  Take a look at what civil servants are paid and the value of their pensions and the key is there.

 

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