The cross-country tour will cover seven cities in all. It started last Friday in Ottawa, skipping Parliamentary Press Gallery journalists who cover defence and focusing on academics and business contacts in the nation’s capital. It continued Monday with a roundtable for media in Vancouver and a separate session for academics and companies – a format that continued in Calgary and Winnipeg.This is unprecedented. Never has DND gone out to gather a sales force to peddle a military acquisition project. It borders on the obscene.
To add fuel to the argument that the sales pitch is wrong-headed, a real military analyst takes a bite.
Retired major-general Lewis MacKenzie said the PR blitz is an indication of how much grief Ottawa is getting over the F-35 deal, adding he can’t recall Defence previously launching such a campaign in support of a military purchase.And then he leaves a welt on those who play the argument that we have to buy the "best" even if it's the most expensive.
The truth be known, Canada has rarely had the "best" equipment. More often than not, the equipment is suitable and we have lived with the knowledge that there was better, and more expensive, available.
The former senior military officer said the argument that the military needs cutting-edge technology is not always an easy sell, even for veterans of past wars.“Talk to some of our tankers who went into World War II. They did a pretty damn good job, but they didn’t have the fifth best tank, let alone the best tank.”