08 Jun 2017

Canada to beef up military spending

Canada set to increase defence spend amid concerns of the future role of the United States on the world stage.

Canadian foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, said a “substantial investment” would be made in its military capability as President trump’s administration look to retreat from the US’s traditional role as the world’s policeman.

Speaking in the Canadian Parliament, the Minister said: “The fact that our friend and ally has come to question the very worth of its mantle of global leadership, puts into sharper focus the need for the rest of us to set our own clear and sovereign course. To say this is not controversial. It is fact.”

Ms Freeland said that Canada had become reliant on the United States to provide a level of protection and a continuance of this type of relationship would render Canada nothing more than a “client state”.

She said: “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.”

President Trump has been extremely vocal on his criticisms of NATO member states failing to meet their obligations to spend a minimum of 2% of their GDP.

Canada’s failure on this issue was acknowledged by Freeland: “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.” 

Last year Canada spent just over 1% was spent on defence, placing at 20th of 28 NATO members in terms of military spending.

image © Art Babych / Shutterstock.com

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