Interesting editorial from the Canadian National Post. Is NATO issueless?
Yes and No.
On the one hand a defensive pact with a unified command structure and standardized equipment and training agreements like the NATO alliance has certainly makes more sense than that money-pit debating club called the United Nations. Which is why Columbia wants to join NATO now. One the other hand the biggest impediment facing NATO is that so many of its members are not contributing their fair share in deployable fighting forces and leaving the USA to take up all the slack and pick up the bill. Only some 2% of all other NATO member forces are deployable outside their home countries’ borders. Some have so many "national caveats”, so many “we don’t do windows” restrictions on what they will allow their forces to do, that they are just a useless mouth to feed on campaign. All this severely impairs NATO’s overall effectiveness and limits its usefulness to the USA in so many ways. Without the USA the rest of NATO would be incapable of projecting military force, whether outside or even inside of sector. As the operation in Libya demonstrated.
Canada in particular has its national defense joined at the hip with the USA. Canadian generals serve as assistant corps commanders with the U.S. Army’s III Corps HQ at Fort Hood and I Corps HQ at Joint Base McCord-Lewis. Canadian officers serve on the staff at the North American Aerospace Defense Command HQ. Canada wants to matter on the world stage, but the Lefties that run Canada don’t want to spend much money on defense. The New York Metropolitan Police Department has more troops than the entire Canadian Army ground force. God-Emperor Trump is laying down the law now and threatens to impose consequences if the NATO deadbeats continue to refuse to contribute their fair share.
“In 2006, NATO’s members agreed to maintain their military capabilities by spending at least two per cent of their GDP on defence. Only five countries today meet or exceed that threshold — the U.S., the U.K., Greece, Poland and Estonia — while other wealthy countries such as France and Germany are either close to two per cent or are actively increasing their defence spending to get there.”
“Canada is near the bottom of the pack, spending just one per cent of our GDP on our own military, despite our wealth, despite having a sizable military export industry and despite having a proud history of military accomplishments. Unlike others, we have made no moves to date to close the gap, despite pressure from the U.S. — which spends more than the other 27 members combined — and NATO itself. Instead we boast that while we may fall down in quantity we make up for it in quality. Canada is one of “the strongest actors in NATO” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau insisted in Germany last week, saying that we “regularly step up — delivering troops, participating in missions, being there to do the heavy lifting in the alliance.”
“Contrary to Trudeau’s claims, Canada’s military is depleted and at its breaking point. Canada’s navy is dilapidated and its air force operates with aged aircraft unable to meet either NATO or North American Aerospace Defense Command commitments.”
“Without a robust military our views count for little with friend and foe alike, no matter how much we might want to pat ourselves on the back for being influential.”
Lawrence Solomon: Canada’s one of NATO’s biggest deadbeats, but with Trump, we won’t get away with it anymore