A stronger military would reduce our dependence on foreign countries.
The growing trade dispute with the US has exposed to many people how dependent Canada is on the United States, both economically and militarily.
This dependence makes Canada vulnerable to the whims of US leaders, and means that Canada’s economy could be severely damaged if the personal relationship between the Canadian PM and the US President deteriorates.
And while we have no reason to fear military intervention from the US, it is still outrageous that a nation as wealthy and technologically advanced as Canada has such a weak national defence. After all, some of the most anti-American politicians in Canada are also the ones who hypocritically oppose strengthening our military, as if they want us to remain dependent on the US for our defence instead of having our nation defend ourselves.
With all of this in mind, I posted a question on Twitter asking “Should Canada build up our severely underfunded armed forces to reduce our dependence on foreign countries for our national defence?”
VOTE: Should Canada build up our severely underfunded armed forces to reduce our dependence on foreign countries for our national defence?
— Spencer Fernando 🇨🇦 (@SpencerFernando) June 11, 2018
The results were very clear, with a full 86% saying ‘yes,’ while just 8% said ‘no,’ and 6% saying ‘not sure.’
654 people voted in total.
The overwhelming number shows that many people see a need for Canada to have a stronger national defence.
While some have claimed that Canada is “too big to defend” and we “can’t afford a strong military,” that is totally incorrect.
Russia has about twice the landmass of Canada, and their GDP is $1.28 trillion, while Canada’s GDP is $1.53 trillion.
So, we have less land to defend than Russia, and we have a bigger economy from which to fund our military. And Russia is widely seen as having either the second best or third best military on earth after the United States and (possibly) China.
That means Canada clearly has the capability to have a top-tier military.
The issue is simply that we don’t spend much on it. That is a political choice, not an unavoidable reality. We spend about 1% of GDP on our military – which is towards the lower end of our NATO allies.
By contrast, Russia spends 4.3%, the US spends 3.1%, and other top spenders like China and Saudi Arabia spend 1.9% and 10% respectively.
So, if Canada brought our military spending up to 2.5% or 3% of GDP we would have a very respectable military capable of defending our country. And while that would be somewhat expensive, building up our military would create so many jobs and generate so much investment that it would help grow our economy dramatically.
As we can see, Canada is certainly capable of being far stronger when it comes to our national defence. If we are to truly be an independent and secure nation, building up our military is something that must be done.
Photo – Twitter