Sunday, August 14, 2016

Loopholes and Libya

Really? Because a mere two weeks ago, Steven Chase was reporting: 
Ottawa rewrites mandate for screening arms exports
"The Canadian government has quietly watered down its own mandate for screening the export of military goods, rewriting parts of the only substantive public statement available on Ottawa’s responsibilities for policing foreign sales."

Previous policy on military exports : Canada’s export controls are meant “to regulate and impose certain restrictions on exports in response to clear policy objectives.” 

New policy :"export controls are intended “to balance the economic and commercial interests of Canadian business with the national interest of Canada.”

So it's jobs, jobs, jobs vs "Canada prohibits the export of arms and related materiel to countries that are under United Nations Security Council arms embargos "

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan's guarded "hints" above yesterday come in response to this item two days ago

"Earlier this year, a UN report criticized the Streit Group, which has a plant in Innisfil, Ont., north of Toronto, for the "illicit transfer" of 131 armoured vehicles in 2012...   At least 79 Typhoon and Spartan patrol vehicles were delivered to the effectively lawless nation in 2014
"Streit's sales were brokered through middlemen. At least four separate companies, one American and three from the United Arab Emirates, purchased the vehicles."
This brokering through middlemen to a third country is called diversion, which was prohibited by Global Affairs until it changed the rules this year to allow it.

In 2012 and 2013, the United Arab Emirates was, according to Global Affairs, our second largest destination for military exports after Saudi Arabia. 


Report on Exports of Military Goods from Canada - 2012
United Arab Emirates     $277,116,557  No armoured cars but $251,134,882 for : 
"Aircraft, lighter-than-air vehicles, unmanned airborne vehicles, aero-engines ...specially designed or modified for military use"

Libya            $3,116,000     "Ground vehicles and components" 
United Arab Emirates       $4,038,373  of which $1,659,530 was for "Ground vehicles"

Table 4: Exports of Military Goods and Technology - 2014
Libya            $2,681,000      "Ground vehicles and components"
United Arab Emirates    $10,204,844 - of which $5,205,000 were "Ground vehicles" and another $3,706,563 was for "Imaging or countermeasure equipment, specially designed for military use"

Nothing for Libya
United Arab Emirates   $3,629,728 worth of "Military Goods and Technology" but no mention exactly what was shipped.        

So are these ground vehicle sales part of the Streit Group shipment to Libya and South Sudan, or some other shipment altogether?

Well we're unlikely ever to know who shipped what where because of another change made this year to our government’s policy governing the export of military goods :
"The names of exporting companies are now specifically protected."
Neither will we know how much happens to find its way to "lawless nations" through the US, where Streit happens to have a plant, because :
"The tables do not report exports of military goods to the United States, which are roughly estimated to account for over half of Canada’s exports of military goods and technology each year."

*** Fun fact : Following the $347-million Libya * mission* and a few months after Steve had his very own Mission Accomplished moment, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird signed off on $2.68 million in armoured vehicle export sales to Libya during the UN investigation. 

Because it's 2016 ... just like it was in 2012.


The Mound of Sound said...

I checked out both Streit Group vehicles and they're 4X4 light armoured vehicles. Guess where else they wound up? Ukraine where the locals have equipped their Spartans with automatic machine gun/rocket turrets. Yippee!

Boris said...

Defence Minister Sajjan was just touring Africa looking for a peacekeeping mission for the military. This loophole could see Streit's made-in-Canada armed armoured cars posing a security threat to Canadian troops in some future mission not to mention local civilians.

Boris said...

This is a really tricky problem. Changing legislation and regulation too bluntly would reverberate through the Canadian arms industry, which is worth a lot in terms of jobs and
money - and therefore political capital. Unfucking that scenario is complicated and can't readily be done overnight. I do not think the Liberals are at all comfortable with this and a hint at closing loopholes might be read as a gingerly early toe dip.

Alison said...

MoS : Here's a 2014 interview with CEO Goutorov at his main facility in UAE re the 5 different LAVs Streit produces for a dozen countries.
Streit has a production partnership with KrAZ in Ukraine.

Boris : Nigeria and Angola are clients.

Boris : Well the Libs have already changed policy on military exports.
As of this year
1) "Regulate and restrict" is now "balance the economic and commercial interests of Canadian business"
2) Review by human rights experts first is now merely optional.
3) Goal to ensure that exports would not “be diverted to ends that could threaten the security of Canada, its allies or other countries or peoples” now no longer mentions "countries" so too bad for Yemen, etc. and there's now a new loophole for diversion.
4) Names of military exports companies are now protected information.

Ever since I first discovered we have sold "chemical and biological toxic agents and radioactive materials" to Saudi Arabia, I check the lists of exports against the countries they are sold to every year. I can't do it properly this year because there's too much info missing in their latest reports - dollar values are listed that either do not correspond to exports sold or are just left blank.

Not good.

Boris said...

Global Affairs have asked the RCMP to have a look.

Boris said...

Streit's vehicles aren't exactly top shelf armour, evidenced by their clients (poor countries and police). Most are designed to protect against rifle and machine gun fire and shrapnel, with some able to withstand heavier .50 cal rounds, but they would be vulnerable to light anti-tank weapons and mines. Small arms are the most common weapons in poor country conflicts and police scenarios. Expensive high-tech weapons like anti-armour rockets and mines are rarer and harder to procure. Streit's product makes it unsurprising they might play fast and loose with export restrictions and arms embargos.

the salamander said...

.. at an incredibly opportune time.. to lead the world .. OK even feed the world .. Candada is pimping dilbit to 'tidewater' (Asia & India) Asbestos to 3rd world.. sniper rifles & armored goon mobiles with turrets for machine guns or rocket launchers..

Who dreams up this complete shite as 'drivers of Canada's economy' .. and why? Can someone bring zombie political beast Ed Fast back to life or Stephen Harper.. to explain, exclaim or deny? Uh about that bumper crop of primo Canadian grain.. that never made it to uh 'tidewater' mr Harper? Churchill port is now defunct, the Wheat Board & all its physical assets.. were given to Saudi Arabia & a mysterious private entity..

And mr Justin Trudeau .. how's your batting average on campaign promises? Yes, you've smacked a few hits.. but the great majority of promises seems retarderd or MIA .. and in particular, the action to 'modernize' seems a laughable idea.. since when does a Canadian Government 'modernize' garbage ?

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