Thursday, May 17, 2007

O'Connor Lowballed War Costs

Canada's Rumsfeld - Gordon O'Connor. Just exactly what does he have to do before he finally gets fired?

The Globe & Mail reports that O'Connor seemingly forgot to mention that the costs involved in securing additional tanks for Afghanistan are actually double what he reported due to the service contract attached to the purchase.

As he detailed a laundry list of military hardware the Conservative government plans to buy over the next few years, Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor surprised the Commons by announcing there will be a 20-year, $650-million service contract attached to the tank deal.

“The capital acquisition is $650 million and the support for 20 years is about $650 million; about the same range,” he said in reply to an opposition question during debate over Defence Department estimates.

Quite the "surprise".

Not only that:

Also on Thursday night, Mr. O'Connor released a revised estimate on the cost of Canada's current mission to Kandahar. From February 2006 to February 2009, when the mission is slated to end, it is estimated that $4.3 billion will have been spent by the Defence Department — an increase of $400 million since the last forecast in November.

The increase is attributed to the additional cost of reinforcements, including tanks, which were dispatched to Kandahar last September by the Conservatives.

September. What that means is that the defence department apparently didn't know how to plan for what it knew was coming down the pike - for the decisions it made. An extra $400 million isn't exactly just an oversight. It's incompetence.

One thing's certain - we're never going to get the truth about this war from this government - whether it's about the detainee abuse, the costs of this war or even the real length of our future commitment, which they refuse to even talk about. They are completely untrustworthy.

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