Of course, these “experts” are pro-military – follow the money – Canadian Dimension


A Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems Canada in London, Ontario. Photo courtesy of General Dynamics Land Systems.

The military industry and the arms industry support many ideological institutions, which largely explains the strength of militarist ideology.

Last week the Globe and Mail published an article titled “Canada must do its part to defend the Arctic. This requires purchases of F-35s and a modernization of NORAD. The commentary was written by Robert Huebert, associate, associate professor and longtime associate researcher at the Center for Military, Security and Strategy Studies (CMSS) at the University of Calgary.

CMSS is one of twelve academic “centers of expertise” that have received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Department of National Defense Security and Defense Forum (SDF) and its subsequent iterations. Established by DND 50 years ago to “develop national competence and a national interest in defense matters relevant to the security of Canada,” the SDF has since funneled several million dollars each year into academic security programs across the country.

The 2017 Liberal Defense Policy Review “increased investment in academic outreach to $ 4.5 million per year as part of a revamped and expanded defense engagement program.” As part of this effort to support university projects, DND created the Mobilizing Defense and Security Knowledge (MINDS) program in 2019. In June of this year, MINDS gave a substantial subsidy at CMSS and the University of Calgary.

In addition to his position at CMSS, Huebert is an associate member of the Canadian Institute of World Affairs (CGAI, formerly the Canadian Institute of Defense and Foreign Affairs). CGAI makes no secret of its military and arms industry funding, which includes F-35 maker Lockheed Martin. Its most recent Defense Deconstructed podcast noted, “This episode was made possible through support from the Department of National Defense MINDS program. Defense Deconstructed is brought to you by Irving Shipbuilding and Boeing. Another episode of the weekly podcast was supported by “strategic sponsors Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics”.

Not surprisingly, CGAI promotes a militarist worldview. In December, the institute published the “Economic Benefits of Defense Spending” and previously published “Canada and Saudi Arabia: A Deeply Flawed But Necessary Partnership,” which defended General’s $ 14 billion deal. Dynamics to sell light armored vehicles to the kingdom. At least four of the fellows at the General Dynamics-funded institute have written articles supporting the sale, including an opinion piece by CGAI analyst David Perry, published in the Globe and Mail‘s Report on Business as, “Without foreign sales, the Canadian defense industry would not survive. “

CGAI and CMSS sponsor the Journal of Military and Strategic Studies and organized an annual military journalism course. A dozen Canadian journalism students receive scholarships for the 10-day program, which includes a media-military theory component and visits to armed forces units. the objective displayed of the course is “to enhance the military training of future Canadian journalists who will report on Canadian military activities.” Captain David Williams describe the student visits military bases as a means of “fostering familiarity and mutual understanding between the CF and future media, two entities that require a symbiotic relationship to function”.

In addition to the Conference of Defense Associations, the CGAI awarded the Ross Munro Media Award for a “journalist who has made a significant contribution to the understanding of defense and security issues”. the price of $ 2,500 is presented at a gala dinner attended by prominent Ottawa figures as part of an effort to reinforce a militaristic culture among journalists covering the topic.

The training of journalists, the Ross Munro Prize, institute reports and editorials by military figures greatly influence and shape the discussion of military issues in the Canadian media. However, organizations like CGAI have also used more direct methods. In detailing a personal attack against his colleague and fellow journalist Lee Berthiaume, Citizen of Ottawa military journalist David Pugliese stressed that it is “not uncommon for the site to [CDFAI’s 3Ds Blog] launch personal attacks on journalists covering defense issues. It seems that some “companions” of the CDFAI do not like journalists who ask too many in-depth questions to the government or to the Ministry of National Defense … Citizen complaining about my lack of professionalism on a particular issue… the defamation attempt was made behind my back but I found it out. That little kick backfired on me when I showed the Citizen editor-in-chief that the CDFAI’s “companion” had fabricated his assertions about me. “

While it may not have been successful in this case, online reviews and complaints to reporters’ superiors may cause reporters to avoid topics or be more careful when covering an issue.

CGAI has organized joint seminars with DND, NATO and NORAD. It also received financial support from a a multitude of armed entrepreneurs such as General Dynamics, BAE Systems, Boeing, the Missile Defense Agency, Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.

“Initial funding” for CGAI, note Howard D. Fremeth in a doctoral thesis on “Canada’s military and cultural memory network”, “came primarily from a single sponsor, Robert JS Gibson”. Honorary Colonel of the 10th Battalion Calgary Highlanders, the wealthy Calgary businessman “had a deep personal connection to the military.” After securing funding for CMSS at the University of Calgary, Gibson supported the creation of a think tank that would not have to face the “barriers inherent in academia.” Gibson was chairman of the board of directors of CGAI.

The University of Calgary’s CGAI and CMSS are two of many institutions funded by the military and arms industry to promote their ideas.

At a minimum, media serious about journalistic principles should emphasize their contributors’ direct or indirect financial ties to the military when giving their opinion on the military.

Yves Engler has been dubbed “one of the most important voices on the Canadian left today” (Briarpatch), “in the mold of IF Stone” (Globe and Mail) and “part of this rare but growing group of social critics who are not afraid to confront the myths of self-righteousness in Canada ”(Quill and Quire). He has published nine books.


Comments are closed.