This is from the Globe and Mail. So whether we decide to stay in a combat role or not the military-industrial complex will get their pound of flesh from the Canadian taxpayer. There probably will be no depression at Boeing.
THE AFGHAN MISSION
AIRCRAFT 'ON ORDER'
January 29, 2008
Ottawa -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper twice said yesterday that crucial new helicopters and drones for the troops in Afghanistan are "on order."
However, government officials later said the Prime Minister jumped the gun and that they are still trying to find the best way to obtain the equipment quickly.
Mr. Harper was reacting to last week's Manley report on Canada's mission in Afghanistan, which said Canadian troops need new transport helicopters and drones to ensure maximum safety.
New aircraft would help soldiers go from base to base without having to use dangerous roads, while drones would allow the soldiers to monitor enemy activity.
Mr. Harper said the government has already started to act on those two fronts.
"First of all, let's be clear both in terms of the helicopters requested in the reports as well as the UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles]. The government has these on order, has had them on order for some time," Mr. Harper said. "I think the report is clear: To be effective, we have got to get those in the field."
On helicopters, however, all the government has in the works is the aim of signing a contract late this year with Boeing Co. for 16 Chinooks that would be delivered in late 2011. For next year, the government could rent six Russian-built or other helicopters, convert one of its current fleet of helicopters for use in Afghanistan, or borrow from its allies.
No drones are on order at this point either. Still, the Department of National Defence is hoping to launch a competition soon to enter into a three-year lease agreement for fully operational UAVs at an approximate cost of $150-million.
A senior federal official said the government is fully aware of the troops' needs.
"We're confident we'll reach our goal," the senior official said.
Mr. Harper's spokeswoman, Sandra Buckler, added: "Everyone is aware the procurement process is well under way for Chinooks and UAVs."