Trudeau’s plan to increase military spending to 70% more than what presently obtains is a foolish waste of money. His plan is described here:
Canada has no need for an increase in military spending. I have heard basically several different discussions as to why this needs to happen, and they are all very bad arguments. The first one is, of course, the argument made since Hobbes: the Leviathan’s responsibility to national defence. In this case, that the Canadian military needs to protect Canadian sovereignty and independence. The second is for Canada to live up to NATO agreements on spending. The third is a kind of realpolitik, that the reality of the world we live in requires Canada to be to exert influence in its own self-interest, and thus needs to be able to project its power and this should be through the military both symbolically and materially. The idea that if you want influence, you need to need to have impact. It is the point of this document to demonstrate why all of these arguments are wrong, and why present day Canadian military spending is adequate.
First, the question of national defence, can be answered with another question:
What other nation can invade Canada?
The USA? Yup.
Greenland’s population is about half that of the town I grew up in, Edison, New Jersey. Its defence is handled by the Government of Denmark, a country with two thirds the population of the state of New Jersey. Greenland poses no threat to Canada. A 70% increasing in military spending will do nothing to defend Canada from Greenland, as no defence is necessary.
Russia, like Greenland, has no land border with Canada. Russian boats regularly pass through or loiter in or near Canadian Arctic waters. However, Russia, with an economy only four fifths the size of Canada’s is hardly in a position to finance an invasion from across the Arctic Ocean, frozen or otherwise. Russia poses a harassing threat, but hardly a deadly military threat. A 70% increasing in military spending will do nothing to defend Canada from Russia, as no defence is necessary.
So, that leaves one other proximate country that could threaten Canadian sovereignty: the USA. Given the extensive interweaving of the USA and Canadian economies, the USA has little motivation to invade Canada. Indeed, it has no need at all, as it has effectively colonized Canada since World War II. Why invade something you basically own anyway? Also, the USA spends more on its military than the rest of the world combined. The size and power of the US Military is second to none. While it has experienced defeats and stalemates – Vietnam, Korea, and Afghanistan to name but a few – its ability to protect and project its interests around the world is not to be underestimated.
The physical proximity of the United States and Canada who share an enormous unfenced border has brought two countries together in terms of defence; however, for a long time – and most obviously and radically since the end of World War II – the terms and conditions of this mutual defence has been markedly in the interests of the USA.
This is just the American Defence Industry doing a shakedown of Canada. Where will that money go? Buying gear. Who builds it? The USA… This proposed military increase is preposterous and stupid. Hey – how about this – free university? Expanded medical benefits? Amplified renewable resources? Any one or all of those amplified to what a 70% increase of the military budget would provide would do far more to enhance Canadian security than spending all that money to buy toys from America and go incinerate people in other countries.
And military spending in terms of Candian sovereignity and independence? Puhleez.
That doesn’t explain why Canada needs a military, much less a 70% increase in military. The military’s primary purpose is defence of a nation. There is only one country capable of attacking Canada: The USA. The USA spends more than the rest of the world combined on its military, and thus, fighting a USA invasion would be a simple waste of time and life. Therefore: the Canadian Military cannot fulfill that part of its file. That is the reality. The other reality is a question of what else would/could the Canadian military do? It could engage in peacekeeping missions. That does not require F35 fighters or a 70% increase in the military budget. Its present size and structure is more than adequate to that task. The only other purpose would be the projection of force as part of imperialist policy dictated by a belligerent hegemon, the USA. Which is what this is actually all about. It has been demonstrated consistently that those who most closely align with the American’s projection of their imperium end up being targets of the people they bomb in an exercise of asymmetric warfare called terrorism. However, Terrorism is best fought not with military response but with counterintelligence, good police work, and a lack of provocation of the forces using terrorist methods. You don’t see Finland being attacked by ISIS or Daesh.
With confidence I assert, at this point in history, any military build up by Canada is a complete waste of money and will simply act as provocations to those people Canada attacks in conjunction with the American Imperium. It will, in effect, make Canada LESS safe.