Friday, June 09, 2017

Canada takes a step in the right direction

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We don’t know why but Canada is going to spend more money on defense. Was it a follow-up to President Trump’s remarks or just plain coincidence?
This is what we learned from Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland in this report:   
In 2016, Canada spent just over 1 percent of its gross domestic product on its military, half of the 2 percent level that is the goal of the NATO alliance. In fact, Canada ranks 20th of 28 NATO members in military spending. The United States is No. 1 at 3.6 percent of GDP.    “On the military front, Canada’s geography has meant that we have always been able to count on American self-interest to provide a protective umbrella beneath which we have found indirect shelter,” Freeland said. But she added that to depend totally on U.S. protection would make Canada a “client state.” “To put it plainly, Canadian diplomacy and development sometimes require the backing of hard power,” she said.“We will make the necessary investments in our military, to not only address years of neglect and underfunding, but also to place the Canadian armed forces on a new footing,” she added, without providing any figures. Freeland’s speech is to be followed Wednesday with an announcement of a new defense policy review.
Let’s applaud Canada but note that this is their responsibility as a NATO member. This is what they owe the rest of the alliance, specially the U.S. servicemen who have been carrying the load of the work for 60 years.
To be fair, Canada did have troops in Afghanistan. They were great soldiers as we’ve read over the years. So let’s give the Canadians due credit for that.
However, the larger point is that President Trump is correct. It’s difficult for the parents of U.S. soldiers to support defending NATO countries when the same nations do not carry their load.
Glad to see Canada move in the right direction. We hope that others will follow. 
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk), (YouTube) and follow me on Twitter.

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