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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

The Need for Canadian Strategic Lift

Paper by Ray Szeto, Barry Cooper

In this brief paper Ray Szeto and Barry Cooper explore the importance of strategic lift capacity of the Canadian Forces (CF). The authors contend that because Canada is isolated from most trouble spots on the globe and does not have bases in other countries, it requires the ability to transport goods and personnel to theatres overseas. The authors further illustrate the need for strategic lift capability by examining military deployments abroad that clearly require lift capabilities.

Szeto and Cooper look specifically at both airlift and sealift capacity and needs. In these sections they include a breakdown of existing fleets and the specific uses for each craft. Also included in the airlift and sealift sections are descriptions of vessels that could be added to Canada’s fleet – vessels that, in the authors’ view, would contribute to Canada’s strategic lift capacity. Szeto and Cooper assess the argument that Canada has the ability to rent strategic lift on an as-needed basis, but that “rent-a-ship” or “rent-a-plane” programs have been ineffective.

The general sentiment expressed by Szeto and Cooper is that the Canadian airlift and sealift fleets are not satisfactory. In their view, not only is there a lack of equipment, but Canada’s existing fleet will need to be replaced in short order. The authors make specific suggestions, in terms of the most effective tools for increasing strategic lift capacity; they also discuss questions that, in their opinion, must be addressed by the federal government before any future action is taken in this regard.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Ray Szeto; Barry Cooper;
Publisher: Fraser Institute [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2005; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: International; National;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Military & Defence / Spending
Policy Articles / Military & Defence / Spending / 2005
Policy Articles / Military & Defence


Keywords / Tags:

Canada; strategic lift capacity; airlift; sealift; Canadian Forces; international theaters; Canadian fleet; increased spending; transpiration;