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DND ‘paralyzed’ by timid bureaucrats and buck-passers, says retired admiral

Retired vice-admiral Bruce Donaldson says in a written brief that the system is set up to avoid risk and accountability, which leads to costly delays



OTTAWA—A retired admiral is telling the Trudeau government’s defence review that National Defence is often paralyzed by timid bureaucrats and politicians who pass the buck on decisions.

Retired vice-admiral Bruce Donaldson, who until a few years ago was second-in-command of the military, says in a written brief that the system is set up to avoid risk and accountability.

That, he says, leads to costly delays and failure to deliver necessary equipment and support.

Donaldson, who retired in 2013, also says the public has little understanding of government finances and has been encouraged to see spending on the military as wasteful.

He suggests government has done a poor job of educating citizens on the necessary cost of doing business as a country.

The Liberals held the first in a series of six public consultations this week in Vancouver as Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan attempts to craft an updated vision for the military.

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