Canada Defence Force

Albedo

Active Member

As per chapter 9.3 of the new budget, it looks like despite the eye-watering $354 billion deficit last fiscal year and a projected $155 billion deficit this fiscal year, there will be no cuts to defence spending. There will actually be new funding to combat sexual misconduct in the forces (hopefully there will be effective policy and active enforcement coming not just more money), some initial funding provided for NORAD modernization, and hundreds of millions to increase NATO commitments including keeping 6 more fighters and an additional frigate on call at high-readiness. The much maligned RAAF F-18s are going to be invaluable in enabling 6 more high-readiness fighters to be fielded, but even with the increased funding helping with maintenance, keeping an additional frigate at high-readiness risks running down the Halifax-class when their replacements are at least a decade away.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
@Albedo Referring to Canadian Defence Force sexual misconduct, how much sexual misconduct do you think occurs within the Canadian Defence Force compared to the US military? I am asking because every business day I receive the Defense News Daily Update and as a rule of thumb there would be on average at least three stories a week about US military officers or other ranks being charged, punished etc., for some form of sexual misconduct.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Most media coverage suggests misconduct is rarely reported due to a lack of confidence in military justice. Based on the length of time it took for allegations to come out about the CDS and his replacement it seems this lack of confidence is justified. I would not be surprised if Canadian rates were higher simply because there is less chance of consequences compared to the US military.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Most media coverage suggests misconduct is rarely reported due to a lack of confidence in military justice. Based on the length of time it took for allegations to come out about the CDS and his replacement it seems this lack of confidence is justified. I would not be surprised if Canadian rates were higher simply because there is less chance of consequences compared to the US military.
Or the opposite could also be true. Otherwise we don't know then.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Or the opposite could also be true. Otherwise we don't know then.
US and Canadian culture/attitudes are more or less similar given our close proximity to each other so rates could be expected to be similar. Congressional oversight over the military has a higher profile in the US compared to Canada which may explain why cases there are more visible. The rates could still be under reported for both countries by an unknown factor so indeed we don’t really know. More unlikely to get caught in Canada and if you do the penalty will be less.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
US and Canadian culture/attitudes are more or less similar given our close proximity to each other so rates could be expected to be similar. Congressional oversight over the military has a higher profile in the US compared to Canada which may explain why cases there are more visible. The rates could still be under reported for both countries by an unknown factor so indeed we don’t really know. More unlikely to get caught in Canada and if you do the penalty will be less.
That is true. I don't know if its Congressional oversight or not, but it's somewhat disturbing to see so often that's all. That and the murder cases. However when we consider that a defence force is a microcosm of its parent society and reflects that society's values, it doesn't surprise me.
 

Albedo

Active Member
@Albedo Referring to Canadian Defence Force sexual misconduct, how much sexual misconduct do you think occurs within the Canadian Defence Force compared to the US military? I am asking because every business day I receive the Defense News Daily Update and as a rule of thumb there would be on average at least three stories a week about US military officers or other ranks being charged, punished etc., for some form of sexual misconduct.

Looking at the list of upcoming court martials, the CAF is averaging 1-2 court martials a week related to sexual misconduct. It's hard to know how reporting, charging, and prosecution rates compare between countries though.

The current controversy though isn't as much the rate of cases, but the feeling of hypocrisy, uneven application of the law, and distrust of the system. One of the major programs General Vance spearheaded as Chief of Defence Staff was Operation Honour to tackle sexual misconduct yet he's now being accused of that same offense. Vice Admiral Edmundson is accused of sexual assault and is the head of Military Personnel Command whose purview includes eliminating harmful and inappropriate behaviour in the CAF. Sexual misconduct by enlisted men and junior officers is often prosecuted, but there's a concern whether enforcement against senior officers and higher has been lax possibly because they are protecting each other. Many of the allegations against the various flag officers occurred when they were senior officers and were either not reported due to pressure or lack of confidence in the system, investigations went nowhere, or punishments were minor all which didn't seem to affect their careers until now.

There's now debate on how to improve the independence of sexual misconduct investigations and prosecutions from the chain of command. Currently sexual misconduct in the military is investigated by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service who are supposed to be independent military police but ultimately report to the Provost Marshall, Vice Chief of Defence Staff, and Chief of Defence Staff. Perhaps the CFNIS could be made its own civilian agency like the US Navy has NCIS or investigative responsibility could be handed over to the RCMP assuming questions of military expertise and international jurisdiction could be resolved. There's also talk of creating an Inspector General office that reports to the Defence Minister and/or directly to parliament to provide an alternate accountability mechanism although apparently this idea comes up every few years and the military has successfully lobbied against it. In Canada, civilian courts have jurisdiction over serious offences committed in the military like murder and this used to include sexual offences, but since 1999 military courts gained shared jurisdiction over sexual offences and it seems most sexual offence cases end up being tried in military court. I'm not sure the precise reasoning for the change, but there's debate on whether to move sexual offence cases back to civilian court.
 
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Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
You have to wonder if closing ranks and protecting offenders extends to other forms of criminality. There seems to be a culture of "othering", i.e. those who are "in" and can do no wrong, verses those who are "out" or "other", therefore expendable.

This continues until something that has occured becomes known outside and action is forced by external elements. Very rare and difficult but often the only time offenders are made accountable.

It is not just the military but pretty much any organisation that has a selective, or exclusive, membership that is permitted to be less diverse than society as a whole. Those who are "in" bend the rules and abuse process to protect those who are also "in", and to keep out those who are "other", as well as also "othering" (demoting, excluding, removing) those who are "other".

Those who are "in" can do pretty much what they want with impunity, i.e. even being able to prove an offence was committed is insufficient and can be made to go away. While "others" can be victimised with no recourse.

Saw an interesting stat the other day. Since the introduction of anti discrimination laws and policies, the number of Australian public servants with a diagnosed disability their employer is aware of has more than halved. i.e. since protections against discrimination were put in place in the mid 90s, the public service has become less diverse with the vast majority of public servants with disabilities facing discrimination and bullying that, despite stated policy and associated laws, is never acted on. Most of these people eventually resign while their tormentors are seen as effective managers and promoted.

Not saying that is the only place it happens, rather that it is an example where there is data showing it does happen.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
There is this case in the US Army where the perpetrator wasn't charged the first time around and he went on to reoffend multiple times. How many women were victimised who otherwise wouldn't have been if he was prosecuted first time around. To add insult to injury he was promoted as well. So now he's in the Fort Leavenworth glasshouse for 13 years, but he should've been there a lot sooner.

 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Posting this latest pending investigation here as opposed to in the New Corunna Virus thread. Starting to wonder if the CAF will run out of generals.:(

What is driving all of these allegations? Is it because there was / is a toxic mysnogic culture amongst the Canadian Defence Forces that people think that they were / are entitled to act in such an unacceptable manner? It appears to be similar to that occurring in the US military.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
What is driving all of these allegations? Is it because there was / is a toxic mysnogic culture amongst the Canadian Defence Forces that people think that they were / are entitled to act in such an unacceptable manner? It appears to be similar to that occurring in the US military.
Considering how far back some of these events took place and seemingly continue today, entitlement seems likely.
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
OTH, one hopes that these actions are being taken because there is strong and compelling evidence that something inappropriate has occurred. Otherwise, it become too easy for a disgruntled subordinate or former subordinate (of which all senior officers have a few), or even a jealous peer, to ruin a career and a reputation. If it takes six months to clear somebody after they have been stood down over an accusation that is eventually discredited the damage has been done.

The ADF has had its fair share of issues over the years although thankfully what was once the culture amongst some has been overcome, but nothing like this succession of events.
 

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
OTH, one hopes that these actions are being taken because there is strong and compelling evidence that something inappropriate has occurred. Otherwise, it become too easy for a disgruntled subordinate or former subordinate (of which all senior officers have a few), or even a jealous peer, to ruin a career and a reputation. If it takes six months to clear somebody after they have been stood down over an accusation that is eventually discredited the damage has been done.

The ADF has had its fair share of issues over the years although thankfully what was once the culture amongst some has been overcome, but nothing like this succession of events.
From what I've seen of complaints processes the only people who win are those experienced in abusing the process as either a vexatious complainant, or a seasoned perpetrator.

Most people want to avoid the process altogether because they fear repercussions and painting a target on their backs. Many of the worst offenders are where they are because they have worked out how to game the system.

It doesn't matter is the toxic person is doing the complaining, or being complained about, they are usually well versed in protecting themselves and painting others in a bad light.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
We've had a few dodgy buggers in the NZDF as well. Some of them should've been strangled at birth but blind eyes were turned and they got away with because they probably had something on someone higher up the food chain. Even when NZDF accepts responsibility for historical wrongs, Crown Law steps in and makes it well nigh impossible for victims to seek redress. There is one ongoing case at the moment where a former airwoman was repeatedly sexually assaulted by a SNCO in her unit and the Command did absolutely nothing about it. That was in the late 1970s early 1980s and the SNCO in question had a well known reputation for being a grubby sleazy bugger. Today she's just about had to sell her house topay ongoing legal fees, because of the actions of Crown Law who have taken it on themselves to play absolute hardball despite their client's (NZDF) instructions. Unfortunately this is Crown Laws SOP.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group

spoz

The Bunker Group
It's getting a little ridiculous, surely. While it was clearly an issue if Rouleau, who had oversight of the people doing the investigation played golf with Vance, Vance is innocent until proven guilty and therefore there is absolutely nothing wrong with Baines, who has no involvement with the investigation, playing. To suggest otherwise is to suggest that any accusation automatically indicates guilt, and that the accused immediately becomes a pariah. That's just bullying of the individuals concerned by a collective "them", when the "them" is effectively an undefined and unaccountable mob; and is in and of itself totally inappropriate.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
It's getting a little ridiculous, surely. While it was clearly an issue if Rouleau, who had oversight of the people doing the investigation played golf with Vance, Vance is innocent until proven guilty and therefore there is absolutely nothing wrong with Baines, who has no involvement with the investigation, playing. To suggest otherwise is to suggest that any accusation automatically indicates guilt, and that the accused immediately becomes a pariah. That's just bullying of the individuals concerned by a collective "them", when the "them" is effectively an undefined and unaccountable mob; and is in and of itself totally inappropriate.
After Vance through Adm Norman under the bus, seeing him treated as a pariah is deserved IMHO. There is a lot of other baggage attached to Vance as well. If it was anyone else your point would be fair.
 
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