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July 23, 2023
It's time to send Justin Trudeau to NATO purgatory
Like some of you, my father would say "it's time for a frank talk" whenever he needed to tell me something I did not want to hear.
Back then, it was often a reminder that filling the gas tank was part of driving his car on Saturday nights.
Well, it's time for a little frank talk with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada because he's been eating too many free lunches lately.
Canada is not paying its "fair share" as the liberals like to say.
This is the story:
In 2014 all NATO members agreed to spend 2% of GDP on defense by 2024. Eleven out of 31 countries now make it, but Canada still isn’t close at 1.38%. That’s up from 1.01% in the nine years since 2014, but it still falls between those exemplars of muscular self-defense Italy (1.46%) and Slovenia (1.35%).Canada ranks sixth from NATO’s bottom in spending on defense as a share of GDP, and its spending on military equipment—i.e., weapons—is seventh lowest. Canada is a member of the G-7 democracies but spends less on defense than the other six.Canada was an important contributor to the Allied effort in World War II and is a founding member of NATO. But somewhere along the way it began to think of its membership as largely a place to rub shoulders with global powers and a platform for making moral pronouncements. Last week Ottawa put in its two cents against cluster munitions. But asking its citizens to meet their actual obligations to the cause of freedom is apparently too much to ask.One explanation may be the Trudeau government’s view that its military is more of a social project than fighting force. In his December 2021 mandate letter to the new minister of defense, Mr. Trudeau wrote: “Your immediate priority is to take concrete steps to build an inclusive and diverse Defence Team, characterized by a healthy workplace free from harassment, discrimination, sexual misconduct and violence.” See how that cultural manifesto works on the Ukrainian front lines.
I guess that Prime Minister Trudeau wants his armed forces to fight social injustice or something like that. He wants to turn Canadian soldiers into social workers. Not sure that will work with Chinese submarines interested in Alberta oil.
I see a couple of problems here:
First, Canada, like others in NATO, has grown accustomed to the U.S. protecting them. It's nice to have a neighbor with a huge military and a self-interest in keeping North America free of bad guys.
Second, the "free ride" has to stop. We all love Canadians but sooner or later they have to carry their weight on defense spending. It's nice for Canadian liberals to boast about social programs but not when they are taking defense money to do it.
Pay up, P.M. Trudeau or we may have to keep away from the big boys' NATO table and move you to purgatory.