Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Trouble is brewing at NDHQ

That's National Defence Headquarters for the acronym challenged, the home of the paperpushers that run our military, just across from the Rideau Centre in lovely downtown Ottawa. It seems though that all is not lovely between Canada's top soldier, Gen. Rick Hillier, and his new political boss, retired Brigadier-General and defence lobbyist, and new Minister of National Defence, Gordon O'Connor.

Jim Travers reports in the Toronto Star this morning that Hillier and O'Connor are already butting heads. Apparently Hillier wants to build a lighter, more flexible, operations-oriented military, while O'Connor wants to stop the Rushkies from taking West Berlin, and by lots of expensive equipment Hillier doesn't want from his defence contractor friends. Here's an excerpt:

Dismissed as a sausage general, O'Connor is accused of dragging the military back to a time when troops that weren't peacekeeping were in barracks and officers like him sat behind desks in Germany planning a never-to-be, set-piece confrontation with the Soviet Union.

Ouch, snap. Defence isn't one of the five priorities so Harper won't let O'Connor can't talk, and it isn't appropriate for Gen. Hillier to speak publicly. Still, things must be interesting behind the scenes on Colonel By Drive.

I know one thing for sure though. I wouldn't want to get into a scrap with Rick Hillier.

Butting heads on defence
As country awaits throne speech today, trouble is brewing between Canadian Forces chief and his defence minister
Apr. 4, 2006. 01:00 AM

There won't be a word about it in today's throne speech, but Afghanistan isn't the only conflict overshadowing a new government trying to make a good first impression. At defence headquarters, a military desperate to move forward is pinned down between the opposing forces of past and future as they fight a quiet but deadly civil war.
Bluntly, the immensely popular Chief of Defence Staff Rick Hillier and his poorly regarded political master are butting heads.


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A Canadian Publius said...

This is hardly surprising. I noted this after the new cabinet was sworn in that I would be interested to see Rick took to be ordered about by a "Brig-Gen ret'd"

And the uniforms have their own special politics which is about as nasty as it comes, so I will be pretty interested to see how it all shakes out, don't be surprised to see a CDS if these two can't get along.

Anonymous said...

Has Jim Travers been sitting in on private meetings at the National Defense Headquarters? I don't think so. You can take this column with the same grain of salt as you would one from the Sun Media chain about the Liberals. The Star is a Liberal paper and it's in their best interest to cater to Liberals. Same thing is true about the CBC. And no different than the Sun newspapers slagging Liberals.

Anonymous said...

Scientifically proven thru regular research, nine out of 10 anonymous posts favour Tories to Grits or Dippers... Seems they have a serious fetish for being the 'unknown dunce'.

ottlib said...

Sorry anonymous but James Travers is no fan of the Liberal Party.

The Star is definitely a liberal newspaper and Mr. Travers is the token non-Liberal.