New facts confirm unprecedented size of Canadian arms sale to Saudi Arabia

Kenneth Epps Americas, Asia, Conventional Weapons, Mideast, News

Project Ploughshares has obtained official data that for the first time reveals the exact value of recently awarded multiyear contracts for Canada to supply Saudi Arabia with military armoured vehicles. Information obtained from the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) under an Access to Information request shows that two contracts totalling $14.8-billion were awarded by the CCC to General Dynamics Land Systems …

Ottawa approval bypassed in proposed Canadian arms exports to Iraq

Kenneth Epps Americas, Conventional Weapons, Mideast, News

By Kenneth Epps Canadian companies may soon supply military equipment to Iraq that is approved by the U.S. government, but without oversight by Canada. Although United States–Canada defence trade agreements have long circumvented Canadian export controls, the sale illustrates how these agreements also breach fundamental provisions of the new global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Last week the Defense Security Cooperation …

ATT ratifications climb with no help from Canada

Kenneth Epps Americas, Conventional Weapons, News

By Kenneth Epps Today Canada was again conspicuously absent from an important milestone in the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), the most important conventional weapons control agreement of this generation. During 2013 Canada missed the opportunity to sign the ATT in June, when over 60 states participated in a UN signing ceremony on the first day the treaty was open for …

Unsolicited advice for the new Defence Analytics Institute

Kenneth Epps Defence & Human Security, News

By Kenneth Epps As a further response to the sorry state of Canada’s defence procurement process, on February 19 the government announced the establishment of an “interim” Defence Analytics Institute (DAI), which will be jointly hosted by the University of Calgary and the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute. The Institute’s interim board of directors will be chaired by Tom …

A perverse gift for Valentine’s Day

Kenneth Epps News

On February 14 International Trade Minister Ed Fast announced that General Dynamics Land Systems Canada in London, Ontario had won “the largest advanced manufacturing export win in Canada’s history” to supply armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia. Details from the government press release were sketchy but did confirm: A multi-billion dollar contract over 14-years. GDLS-Canada’s parent corporation, General Dynamics Corp in …

Redefining industrial benefits: The F-35 program

Kenneth Epps Americas, Conventional Weapons, News

Lest anyone thinks that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is out of the running for Canada’s replacement fighter aircraft program, Industry Canada has just issued its third report on the prospective benefits Canada’s military aerospace industry can anticipate if Canada places an order. In sum, the report provides an updated total of $9.93 billion (U.S.) for “contracts and identified …

Russian arms sold to U.S. for Afghan Army

Kenneth Epps Americas, Asia, Conventional Weapons, Europe, Mideast

UPDATE: Pentagon cancels contract As the result of bipartisan U.S. Congressional opposition, the Pentagon has cancelled the latest order of Russian Mi-17 helicopters for Afghanistan. Many members of Congress objected to the U.S. buying equipment from the same source that supplies Syrian government forces.  Wars come and go but the military industry lives on. The Russian state-owned arms trade company, Rosoboronexport, …

Why we failed Afghanistan

Kenneth Epps Asia, Mideast

In Kitchener at “The Word on the Street” event September 21, Graeme Smith spoke about his new book, The Dogs Are Eating Them Now. Smith is a local lad from New Hamburg who broke the 2007 story about Canadian complicity in detainee torture in Afghanistan. His book’s dustcover notes that “Smith devoted more time to southern Afghanistan than any other …

Canadian arms exports to Egypt: fudging the figures

Kenneth Epps Africa, Americas, Conventional Weapons, Mideast, News

The current crisis in Egypt is complex and fluid. To date Canada’s response has been measured, but understanding the situation and Canada’s role in Egypt is not improved by misrepresentation of relevant facts. A recent article in The Globe and Mail noted: “Canadian companies have exported small amounts of military equipment to Egypt, worth less than $1-million a year on …

A meaningful treaty at last

Kenneth Epps Conventional Weapons, News

On April 2 the United Nations General Assembly approved by an overwhelming majority vote a historic global Arms Trade Treaty. Only three UN pariah states – Iran, North Korea and Syria – voted against it. The treaty is a milestone victory for the UN. More importantly, it is a new instrument of hope for the millions of people and thousands …