Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A crisis in high command . . .

Vice Admiral Mark Norman
January 18, 2017, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports that Prime Minister Trudeau endorses the decision of the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) to suspend Vice Admiral Mark Norman from the performance of his military duties as Vice Chief of the Defence Staff.  The CBC also reports that 'mystery still shrouds the sudden removal" of Norman. 

Meanwhile, as reported by the National Post, Canada's national police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police [RCMP] are conducting an investigation into the alleged link of 'classified information' which apparently would involve naval procurement and shipbuilding.

CBC reports that the RCMP investigation into the alleged leaks has been underway for some time and pre-dates the current Liberal government which took office in October 2015. Obviously, it also would precede the appointment of VAdm Norman to the VCDS position.

A crisis in command?

A developing crisis in command?
Meanwhile the CDS, General Jonathan Vance, who appointed Norman last summer, is nowhere to be seen.

He is apparently overseas attending meetings! Where? and Why?

In a an email released yesterday, Vance  acknowledged in the most underwhelming way possible that 

"there is a great deal of speculation surrounding the circumstances that led to my decision with regards to Vice-Admiral Norman . . . [but for] privacy considerations I am unable to provide further information."
Not surprisingly, the entire affair is gaining momentum and creating much anguish and angst inside the Defence Department. It is being described as a "crisis in command".

This is not aided by the fact that the Minister of National Defence, Harjit Sajjan, has also "gone silent" except to say, in a rather stern statement, that he supports General Vance in his decision to temporarily suspend Vice Admiral Norman from his position. This is far from being illuminating!

What's going on?

In an editorial published this morning by the Globe and Mail, pointedly asks what's going on?:
. . .  it’s less clear whether or not the Armed Forces command is doing the right thing by refusing to release even the smallest detail to explain the “temporary” departure of the man who is effectively the military’s chief operating officer.
Vice-Adm. Norman is responsible for security inside the Armed Forces and may have access to highly classified information. This raises a serious question: Is national security at risk.
The public deserves to know what's going on.

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