POLITICS

Army combat vehicles relic of Cold War and should scrapped: think-tanks

09/18/2013 03:31 EDT | Updated 11/18/2013 05:12 EST
OTTAWA - A new report is calling on the Harper government to abandon its planned $2-billion purchase of close-combat fighting vehicles, saying they are a relic of the Cold War.

The study by the Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Rideau Institute says the program has been badly mismanaged and with National Defence in budget-cutting mode, even the army has indicated it is willing to abandon the purchase.

The analysis was by Michael Byers of the University of British Columbia and researcher Stewart Webb.

The medium-sized vehicles are designed to accompany tanks onto the battlefield and were first proposed during the Afghan war when the army was looking for stronger vehicles to protect troops from Taliban roadside bombs.

Byers and Webb argue that the close-combat vehicles are inappropriate for the kind of agile, counter-insurgency war that Canadian troops are likely to face in the future.

They say a recent upgrade to the current fleet of light armoured vehicles makes them stronger, and the new purchase should be scrapped.