Editor’s Corner article

Two Sides to Every Story
CHRIS MacLEAN  |  May 15, 2013

While informed debate is beneficial to the democratic process, it is absolutely critical to progress and growth. Articles in this ­edition of FrontLine Defence prove once again the complexities of the defence world. For instance, Sunil Ram sees North Korea’s posturing as empty and ineffective threats that do not deserve our attention and should not scare us into creating new security laws. The sole objective of the rhetoric and strategically irrelevant missile launches, he argues, is simply to prove the strength of the regime to its own people. On the other hand, George MacDonald counters that what might be an empty threat today, may develop differently tomorrow, and questions the wisdom of remaining willfully unprepared to ­protect all aspects of Canadian safety and security.

Realizing there are many new and more efficient options that can accomplish some of Canada’s emerging or longstanding defence and security missions, ­Lieutenant-General Blondin is doing some spring cleaning and looking for new ways to do business, save money, and improve readiness. But mind sets can be so difficult to change. Such is the case with Fixed Wing Search and Rescue. Former Project Manager Pat Dowsett takes exception to the “Sorry Saga” article in our previous edition, and provides some background on how it ran off the rails. If any project needed a fresh perspective, surely it was FWSAR, and the NRC Review Panel attempted to do just that. However, with no authority over how (or if) its recommendations will be followed, the project seems once again headed down a questionable path. Although we are told the NRC recommendations have influenced changes in the program requirements, can anyone credibly explain why this new fly-off testing is being geared to the narrowest of considerations – flight capabilities (speed, range, and possibly payload)? And why none of the very specialized and sensitive ­sensors and radars required for search capabilities will be tested during the fly-off? If the RCAF and the government want to be truly “transparent and open” about FWSAR, the emphasis must shift from the FW over to the S and the R, where it should be, and any solutions must address those requirements. If the Air Force can’t change its focus, it should outsource the mission to an organization that can.

I look forward to your feedback.
Hope to see you all at CANSEC!

Chris MacLean Editor-in-Chief, FrontLine Defence Magazine
© FrontLine Defence 2013