I had a fun half hour on a CBC radio station broadcasting to Saskatchewan a few minutes ago. The focus was a proposal for Canada to establish bases of some kind around around the world to facilitate expeditions like Afghanistan. I was surprised that most/all of the questions focused on how the military-industrial complex wanted more busy work around the world. I think this proposal is in reaction to Canada getting booted out of Dubai when the United Arab Emirates wanted to use Camp Mirage as leverage for getting Emirates airlines into more gates at the Toronto airport (and elsewhere here).
The military-industrial complex line does not make too much sense, as these bases, if they are like Mirage at all (which I got to see on my way into and out of Afghanistan in 2007), are a runaway, a few quonset huts, some container-type barracks and some buildings to house the guns, protective vests, helmets and other stuff, plus maintenance equipment. They are not places where big hunks of capital are sunk--that is what the F35 and the new naval vessels (much competition now about where the ships will be built) are for.
Yes, having such bases will make foreign deployments easier, but politicians will deploy troops whether the conditions are set or not. Not having a base like Camp Mirage will not stop a Prime Minister from sending Canadian Forces to Haiti, East Timor, Afghanistan, Darfur or a Rwanda. And, as the US learned when it tried to get Turkish support at the last minute in 2003, asking for help when you really need it is not a good way to get a good deal.
So, it is funny to hear some folks get upset when the Canadian government is actually trying to do some due diligence and make the next mission down the road more effective and less expensive. And, for the record, I don't expect such a mission to happen any time soon.
Oh, and one last note, I guess I could pick up a whiff of isolationalism as well--spend money at home, not abroad even though this particular proposal is not very expensive.