Say what you want about former US President Donald Trump, but his insistence that all 31 Nato member states meet a 2 per cent target of GDP spending on defence was wise. This simple, straightforward request ensured each member was firmly committed to playing an equal role in this important military alliance. They would defend the safety and security of democratic countries from rogue states and totalitarian nations as a strong, united and cohesive unit.
One Nato member apparently isn’t willing to pull up its bootstraps when it comes to meeting the defence spending target. Embarrassingly, it’s my country - Canada.
In an April 19 piece in the Washington Post, a “leaked secret Pentagon assessment” reportedly stated that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau privately told Nato officials that Canada will never meet this target. The anonymous authors also suggested that Nato members and allies have serious concerns about various deficiencies in Canada’s military.
“Widespread defence shortfalls hinder Canadian capabilities,” they wrote, “while straining partner relationships and alliance contributions.”
According to the Post’s Amanda Coletta, Germany has expressed concern whether Canada “can continue to aid Ukraine while meeting its Nato pledges.” Turkey is apparently “disappointed” by Canada’s “refusal” to support transporting humanitarian aid after its terrible earthquake in February. Haiti is reportedly “frustrated” by Canada’s decision not to lead a multinational security mission in the Caribbean country.
Oh, and if there are any doubts about the Pentagon assessment’s validity, Coletta pointed out it “bears the seal of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff.”