Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to the witnesses for appearing this afternoon, some for a second time today.
I want to talk about Canada's foreign policy and how the military is an instrument of, shall we say, enforcing our foreign policy. I wrote down two quick areas. One is aid to those who do not have the ability to address a significant disaster—I'm dealing primarily with foreign policy, so smaller countries that don't have the ability. Another is the fight on terrorism, so support for those countries, democracies, or entities, sometimes within countries—and I'm thinking of Libya here—who advocate for democracy and human rights, and also support for our allies, whether it's NATO, NORAD, or the UN sanctions.
Mr. Hennessy, when you dealt with this subject, you said external appointments—I think you were referring to a very small, effective ability. Mr. Sokolsky said it should be consistent with those nations whose interests and values we share.
Having said that, how do you view a Canadian armed forces being able to support that foreign policy vis-à-vis the properly trained people--and specifically, the equipment to do it?
I'm referring to C-17s, the difference between Haiti and Sri Lanka, waiting to rent a commercial airline, and all that; and our ability to be a nation that can be counted on, with the right kind of equipment, to be an instrument of enforcing the standards of democracy and the protection of human rights and human life. How can we do that within a discretionary budget that is somewhat limited in scope and is complementary to our allies?
We can start with Mr. Sokolsky, and then perhaps everybody can have a shot at that, especially Mr. Bland.