Not adding up. Canada’s defense spending currently hovers at just above 1.3 percent of GDP, well below the 2 percent floor that NATO allies have set—and which nearly 70 percent of the alliance is now meeting. NATO members are reportedly losing patience with Canada’s inability to put up more money for defense. Canada is raising spending by 27 percent next year, Defense Minister Bill Blair told FP’s Ravi Agrawal at an event on Monday, but that only takes Ottawa to 1.7 percent.

“NATO’s right. Every country, member of NATO, has to commit to doing more, [and] we’re committed to doing more,” Blair said. “It’s not just a matter of how you spend, but it’s a matter of spending it well.” Blair said Canada is focused on adding submarines, aircraft, and destroyers with the spending boost. But he admitted that the spending buildup “doesn’t get us entirely where we need to go.”

“I have no intention of Canada being a free-rider,” Blair said.

House Speaker Johnson, speaking at the Hudson Institute, wasn’t buying what Canada is selling. “Shamefully, Canada announced in the last few days that they won’t be ponying up, they’re not gonna do their 2 percent,” he said when asked about alliance burden-sharing. “Talk about riding on America’s coattails. … I think that’s shameful.”

From FP Situation Report July 9, 2024

By Editor