Next up in Trump’s crosshairs: Canada’s defence policy
by Konrad Yakabuski (feat. Dave Perry)
The Globe and Mail
July 4, 2018
A little more than a year ago, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland rose in the House of Commons to deliver a self-congratulatory speech touting Canada’s commitment to upholding the postwar international order as the United States retreated into isolationism.
“The fact our friend and ally has come to question the very worth of its mantle of global leadership puts into sharper focus the need for the rest of us to set our own clear and sovereign course,” Ms. Freeland insisted in a prelude to Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s announcement, the following day, that Canada would boost its military spending by 70 per cent within a decade.
For anyone who had been following the back and forth between U.S. President Donald Trump and members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the justification given by Ms. Freeland for the unprecedented peacetime increase in Canada’s defence spending appeared to have it backward. Yes, Mr. Trump had shown little interest in upholding the international order, unlike every U.S. President since Harry Truman. But he had also been slamming the United States’ NATO allies right, left and centre for failing to spend the equivalent of 2 per cent of their gross domestic product on defence.