#17 – Military Intelligence

Tea slurp. Toast crunch. Paper rustle.

Him: (muttering to self) I’m glad I never got to be Minister of Defence. When I was a kid I always wanted to be Minister of the Navy until that dopey move to unify the Forces. No more Halifax junkets, no more boondoggles to UK shipyard pubs at shift change…what was the point.

Her: (from next room) What! Did you say something?

Him: No. No. Nothing. Nevermind. (muttering again) If I had gotten handle on the military I might be able to make head or tails of this stuff in the Star

Conservative election promises to bolster the military with new ships, soldiers and an Arctic force are long on ambition, but may have come up short on money, say defence analysts. The Tories promised to recruit 13,000 new, full-time soldiers and another 10,000 reservists; to build three heavy, armed icebreakers, an Arctic deepsea port and a surveillance system to keep watch over the North; and to buy new ships and planes.

(mumbles: “rum te-tum-tum…”)

…The Canadian American Security Review, published at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, is also doubtful about the Conservative accounting. “A cost of $2 billion for both ships and deepwater port seems … doubtful,” the publication said. “Election promises are more convincing when better fleshed-out.”

(toast crunch)

“…A true deepwater port would be lots more than $50 million…Everybody that has mentioned that prospect said it would not be cheap…He also said that while the coast guard needs new icebreakers, there’s no need for them in the navy. We’re not planning to arm other icebreakers, so why should we put three in the Arctic? It’s purely symbolic.”

Him: HAH!!! That’s what it is. Symbolic! (muttering again) Harper the Great protecting that which needs no protection.

Her: What dear?

Him: Nothing, nothing…(more muttering) Maybe…I don’t know. I wish that clever fellow was not off on that vacation. I’d give him a call if he weren’t off on that NATO boondoggle he set up for himself pre-paid pre-election. Pan-Global Parlimentarians for Pan-Global Security my arse. A gin tour by any other name. I’ll have a word at caucus when he’s back. (slurps tea) If he’d lay off the RMC stories, bad jokes and back-slapping he might even be someone you could decently get along with.

Her: What dear?

Him: Nothing.

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