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Canada criticized for NATO spending


United States Speaker of the House Mike Johnson criticized Canada for its contribution level to NATO, and according to a defence analyst, it’s a common critique among several countries.

“It’s a pretty universal view with NATO,” Richard Shimooka, a defence policy analyst with the MacDonald Laurier Institute, told CTV News Atlantic’s Todd Battis on Wednesday. “Spending is not where it needs to be.

“The level of capability we’re bringing is not commensurate to the threat the alliance is facing.”

The topic of Canada’s military spending has come up several times at the NATO leaders summit, which is being held in Washington, D.C., this week. Republic Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, along with Johnson, said Canada needs to seriously invest in “hard power.”

Canada is currently on track to spend 1.37 per cent of its GDP on NATO this year while 23 countries will spend two per cent or more. Shimooka notes Canada spends a lot on NATO because it is one of the larger alliances in the alliance, but critics are more focused on a proportional contribution.

On Wednesday CTV News reported Canada is preparing to unveil a plan detailing how it will reach the spending goal of two per cent of its GDP on defence.

Shimooka said Canada’s military capability has also fallen under criticism.

“A lot of our major capabilities are very old,” he said. “When you have aging equipment, it costs much more to maintain. Our spending may have to go past two per cent to get to the point where we have an effective military.

“These are real challenges. There needs to be dedicated reform to the military and the department of national defence to deliver capabilities faster.” Top Stories

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