Sham defence review shows Canada will never meet its commitments to NATO allies – by John Ibbitson (Globe and Mail – April 9, 2024)

The Liberal government’s defence policy update document, released Monday, confirms that Canada will remain NATO’s worst laggard, a national embarrassment.

The document, titled Our North, Strong and Free, calls for taking Canadian defence spending to 1.76 per cent of gross domestic product by 2029-30, well below the 2 per cent of GDP that all NATO countries, including Canada, have committed to. And that 1.76 figure is, to put it charitably, aspirational.

There are promises to “explore options” for acquiring new submarines. There is a promise, but little attached funding, to acquire a fleet of early warning aircraft.

There are promises of long-range missiles, sensor systems, tactical helicopters, increased production of artillery ammunition, enhanced cyber operations, northern operational support hubs and improved housing and child care for Forces personnel. But these promises are not backed with delivery dates and budget commitments. And the funding commitments that are included are often not to be spent for several years, which means they may not be spent at all.

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