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CANADA / NATO and 2% of GDP Budget

Discussion in 'Geostrategic Issues' started by Novascotiaboy, Nov 9, 2016.

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  1. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    Given Germany's recent naval announcements, they are heading in the right direction. It would be nice to see similar progress here in my country.
     
  2. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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  3. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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  4. ASSAIL

    ASSAIL Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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  5. vldbzh

    vldbzh New Member

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    It means "no more money until I am PM", I guess. Well, many leaders of NATO members can not see anything dangerous in the world around, it seems they live in other, better, rosy world without problems (except next elections) :girl
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
  6. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    Sadly true or like Assail says, must be good stuff he and his liked minded colleagues are smoking.:D
     
  7. StingrayOZ

    StingrayOZ Well-Known Member

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    Op ed piece a few days ago.

    Lawrence Solomon: Canada’s one of NATO’s biggest deadbeats, but with Trump, we won’t get away with it anymore | National Post

    Really highlights the fragility of Canada's defence capability.

    Trudeau: Canada, Germany Do Much Of NATO’s ‘Heavy Lifting’ | Online news

    Trudeau seems to be on his own. Germany has committed and will increase spending. No doubt because Germany is visibly seeing threats from Russia directly in the Ukraine, and the possible need for a NATO led stabilisation force in Syria to help keep the peace.

    I got to say a comparison with Australia and Canada in 2018 would be very interesting. There is a very big mindset gap between the two countries. The way Australia has gone about procurement, capability building, enablers, force multipliers and deepening the overall capability gives Canada something to aim for. But it also highlights the time lag to do so. It is a 10-20 year process. Even if Canada has bi-partisan support today across a dozen issues, it would still take decades to build it.
     
  8. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    You just need to look at our immigration trend to understand why defence is going down the drain. Many of them are just citizens of convenience milking our social benefits for themselves and their extended families. Then there is the sizeable native born socialist portion of the population that is content to let the US do all the heavy lifting while at the same time bitching about Canadian sovereignty issues.

    Perhaps some serious moves by Putin in the Arctic could change attitudes but I doubt it. Even so it would take a couple of decades to improve. I guess the interesting comparison would be what Australian defence capabilities would look like if it were attached to a superpower? I'm guessing a lot more capable than Canada!
     
  9. t68

    t68 Well-Known Member

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    Major diffrence any direct threat to Canada is a direct threat to the US, unlike Australia any direct threat is a stratgic concern only due to our postion for some interesting Aus/US defence establishments.
     
  10. StingrayOZ

    StingrayOZ Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to go off a bit here, because I find Canada a bit frustrating.

    Australia is probably a bit stricter than Canada when it comes to immigration. But I think Canada, politically left and right are in a bit of a reality bubble when it comes to world affairs even more than the US. Australia too has its left wingers, its socialists, even its greens. But all of them (bar the Greens) are in less of a make believe bubble than even the most hawkish Canadian politician I've seen.

    While direct existential threats can motivate spending. That is still a very short sighted view. The physical defence of Canada is unlikely to be required.Even in this case, Canada has a case of the (strategic view of) Europe, I doubt Russia invading Greenland would even get Canada to beige alert.

    Its more about expeditionary action inline with a national policy to secure your countries regional global interests and global values.That same situation affects Canada just as much as it does Australia. As a larger and slightly richer nation, Canada should bear more of that global burden than Australia.

    • Vancouver is closer to Beijing than Canberra or Sydney.
    • Toronto is closer to Yemen than Canberra.
    • Arguably the crisis in Syria is going to affect Canada more than it is going to affect Australia.

    While Australia is ascending to be a globally engaged, globally capable, trans-regional power, Canada is descending into irrelevance as an non-independent power even at the regional level. As a region I would put South America as much as Canada's leadership role as the US's. While its easy to argue that the US is closer, the US is located in the Pacific Islands as well (America Samoa) yet through most of the Pacific Islands Australia and NZ have acted to keep the US from interfering by leading operations and interventions.

    While 2% is a meaningless economic target, Canada spending 2% of its GDP on knitwear is not going to make the world a safer place, the target would allow real capability and is easily achievable, without compromising social programs and services in a major way. Australia generally outranks Canada in terms of life expectancy, healthcare, education, Human Development indexes, etc.

    Imagine if Canada could surge an Amphibious ready group of over 5,000 and be able to deploy globally and sustain them without US assistance. Imagine if Canada operated 18 Aegis type ships (5 AWD's and a plan for 13 frigates) and had 9 x 4000t submarines in the water today but was underway for a program to build 18 x 5000t. That is what an attempt of spending 2% might look like.

    Do you think Japan would seek closer ties with Canada as a reliable ally and as a counter balance to China?
    Could not Canada lead a multinational mission globally with that sort of capability, independent of US policy?
    Would Canada then be able to shift global events simply by showing diplomatic support?
    Could not Canada then play a role in dealing with Russia directly?

    Canada should have a force ~45% greater than Australia's, either in capability or in number. Australia doesn't even spend 2% currently, its something we hope to get to in the future.

    But even greater possibilities would exist for Canada and Australia and others to lead and write their own global peace. The US would be part of that plan (as would the UK, and many others), but in a different way. A partnership of concerned and capable equals. Not of equal size, but of equal capability range. They would each have greater input on each others operations.

    I think its more about Canada's location to europe than Canada's location to the US. As Canada is acting much more like europe than acting like the US.

    But instead we have a world where Australia is building an Icebreaker twice as large as Canada's largest.

    Its not just about the military. Its about global awareness.

    Australia is 2700km away from the US at its closest point and the US president still thinks Australia has strong armed them into bad deals. I imagine if we were any closer the US would be restrained completely under Australian oppression.

    Australia is not more at risk than Canada is. China isn't going to invade. Nobody in Australia is facing an existential threat. We could quite possible close up shop and live happy in our large corner of the planet. Arguably that is what Australia did from the early 1980's to the mid 1990's (bar annoying countries with our subs). GDP spending dropped.

    Then we realise we didn't like not having a say on anything that was happening, particularly on our doorstep (which goes from the coast of India, through SEA, across to Hawaii and to the south Pole). We also didn't agree with some of the US's views on inaction.

    That is what Canada needs. A shake up of its world view and serious disagreement with the US about action or intervention, somewhere.
     
  11. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    It's even more frustrating living here.

    I would say much stricter. Absolutely agree about the reality bubble.



    ...or Baffin Island for that matter!

    True but I don't see that happening anytime soon.


    Totally agree. Furthermore, provincial rivalries will likely end Canada before its 200th birthday.



    2% of GDP is economically achievable but not politically.


    Even if the 2% goal is met, I can't see Canadian industry producing the above at this level of funding. It would have to be 2.5-3%. Estimates are at $42 billion for the CSC alone and climbing.



    With such resources, yes Canada could really contribute.

    .

    Europe and Canada both suck off the US military tit.

    Sometimes the neighbour is so overwhelming the awareness of other stuff gets lost. A good example is our trade being pretty much in one basket(~75%), the US. Maybe the new CETA will change this somewhat.

    He thinks NAFTA is a "disaster". Although most of his rhetoric is directed at Mexico, the stuff could hit the fan here too.
     
  12. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  13. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    The short answer is no. Aggressive pressure needs to be applied on junior in order to have minimal support for both SK and NATO. For BMD, the US really needs to threaten junior with all sorts of negative consequences, both economic and militarily. With respect to the latter I mean no support and no tech sharing.
     
  14. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    From my POV, just threatening the current PM would have minimal impact, as pollies of essentially all colouries (they only come in one flavour, which rhymes with height...) in Canada have, for a variety of reasons, neglected Defence. The whole Sea King replacement saga/debacle comes immediately to mind as an example.

    Just getting the current PM onboard IMO would be insufficient, because once the PM changes, and especially if there is a change of which party is in power, any major decisions could be undone. Again, the Sea King replacement programme comes to mind...
     
  15. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    Yes, I would agree. It's a systemic issue that goes back decades especially with regard to the Pacific.
     
  16. J_Can

    J_Can Member

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    re: Canada defence policy issues

    The problem is more than just a systemic failure on the part of the Canadian government to formulate any sort of coherent thought in the Pacific (although that doesn't help to be sure), or more broadly any sort of coherence with defence policy. Its the utter and I mean utter apathy the Canada population has to defence in general. The average person in Canada (and I'm not trying to be insulting to the citizenry of Canada) would struggle to name our enemies in the first and second world wars, let alone any of the peacekeeping/ making operations that Canada has been involved in. List of places like Korea, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Kandahar, Sinai, Cyprus and people would merely look on confused. All of this ultimately translates to a political system/ class that treats anything to do with defence as optional expenditure or even "make work" organisation in some ways sadly.

    I could go on broad tangent about why this is, but I guess what I would want anyone to understand about Canadian defence policy is that is has never existed post Cold War. Anything else is an utter lie. Sure within the CF itself there has been strategic documents and tactical thought/ development that has been nurtured over the years, but none of those documents have ever translated into any sort of government action. The white papers of the 1990's were more of budgetary/ slashing then defence policy, they never provided anything more than Canada will support our allies and partners. Even the Canadian Defence First Strategy was a glorified shopping list that was never even completed.There is a couple of books I could list off to give a better idea for anyone interested in the "whys" such as: John Granatstein "Whose War Is It? or Who Killed the Canadian Military" or David J. Bercuson :The Fighting Canadians". All of these titles deal with procurement, policy, or political will in Canada.

    I know this is my first post so I hope I kept it short and hopefully somehow informative/ useful.
     
  17. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    Gidday cobber and welcome to the forum. Your first post is quite interesting and does expend upon our knowledge base.
     
  18. J_Can

    J_Can Member

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    2% Budget

    Thank you for the welcome!:D

    With all mentioned before I do think now there is a bit more political will currently (stress the bit part) to spend more on defence. This is not however due to any sound defence policy or strategic thought, but rather due to fear. In short Canada political establishment (from the left to the right) was extremely uprooted upon the election of Donald Trump, if they like to admit it or not. Within the first two and half months of Trump's presidency, the current Canadian government sent its prime minister once, its foreign affairs minister twice, and the defence minister four times! I do not believe that has every occurred in Canadian and American relations ever. The current government formalised permanent presence in Europe once again. Sure the plan was announced roughly a year ago but all of sudden after Donald Trump is elected this operation just starting kicking into high gear (the first of two infantry companies arrived [Feb 26]). That infantry company was not supposed to deploy for another six months! Now of course the current government is being very tight with the purse string, but I could never see a liberal or even conservative government five years ago considering this action.

    There is now serious talk of BMD amongst the media and academic circles again, and even leaks from the government to "test the waters" per say. This is from the same political party that literally based their defence policy in the 2008 &2011 elections on never getting involved in BMD. There is also even talks of modestly increasing the defence budget to 1.2% from 0.9% of the GDP. Now this is not enough but that is still this is the same government/ political party that instigated the decade of darkness. So in short I do think the current government is getting somewhat aware of defence if only for the fact, that it believes correctly it has no choice due to current administration in the USA.

    The date to look for any real change to Canadian defence policy/ budget will be March 21 when the current government tables its fiscal budget for the year. For this budget will determine the "step off" fiscally for the defence policy review that will be released in theory shortly.

    I have been lurking this forums for a couple years now, so I hope I did not heavily rehash anything that was not already said.
     
  19. walter

    walter Member

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    Hello and welcome,

    The situation in Canada(budgetwise)and the way politics looks at Defence is about the same here in the Netherlands,okay our budget is a tiny bit higher(1.1%,actual investment is about 1%)but still nowhere near what it should be.
    There's a bit of a change comming(the winds of change),so there's now a consensus to go to the European average wich is about 1.43%,in money that would meanabout 3.5-4 billion extra(per year)to come there,or grow to over a 4 year period(next period of the newly chosen government/cabinet)
    There's a lot over here that needs replacing(and offcourse,extra trainings,spare parts,munitions,etc)
    If i would only pick the Navy it would be;(over the next 10 years)
    -New Frigates(replacement M-class)
    -New Subs(replacement Walrus)
    -new MCM ships(replacement Alkmaar/Tripartite class)
    -new torpedo(work)ship
    -etc,etc,so there's a lot to be done overhere.

    gr,walter
     
  20. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    @J_Can spot on with your comment about our apathetic electorate, the main reason that allows our pollies to abuse the defence profolio. The upcoming budget indeed will be a good indicator as to whether the current government is feeling any pressure from allies regarding our defence expenditures.