Trudeau’s Hollow Defense Policy Fails to Protect Canada’s Future

Alshaar Ansari
Alshaar Ansari News Politics
4 Min Read
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Trudeau government’s long awaited defense policy review, released on Monday is a disappointing and worrying document that fails to adequately address the growing threats to Canada’s national security. Instead of being an audacious, future-minded strategy, this policy named ‘Our North Strong and Free’ is essentially pulling back from its previous commitments but emphasizing on priority of defence in case of North America than any important role globally.

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While understandable, the focus on securing the Arctic comes at the cost of a strong multi-faceted defense posture. The promised increase in spending amounting to just $8.1 billion over five years is pathetically insufficient for addressing Canada’s challenges.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Trudeau does nothing but employ empty rhetoric when he claims that his government has “massively increased” investments as compared to its predecessor by saying that it can detract attention from policies’ striking lacunas.

Notably, however, this policy ignores crucial capabilities such as ballistic missile defenses and modernized submarine fleet preferring instead to “explore options” which do not inspire confidence. Moreover, absence of a clear timetable and detailed implementation plan further undermines Trudeau’s credibility in his promises.

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The fact remains that this policy is anything but bold as claimed by Prime Minister Trudeau. While recognizing the necessity for Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic region, the document does not provide enabling tools or resources for effective achievement of these goals. These vague commitments such as “explore options” and “make procurement more transparent” do not hold weight in view of Liberals losing ground on their defense procurement promises.

All told, this policy represents a missed opportunity for strengthening Canada’s defense capabilities and positioning itself as a reliable ally capable of playing its part in international relations. Trudeau’s pledge to “meet today’s demands” regarding increasing threats from Russia and China falls flat when considering what actually is being done under this policy framework to prepare Canada for the future.

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This “Our North, Strong and Free” policy is not a robust and forward-looking defense strategy but rather it is a weak, half-hearted effort to assuage public concerns without making hard choices and necessary investments that would ensure real security for Canada. Canadians deserve better from their government, and this policy falls woefully short of the mark.

The Prime Minister failed to present a comprehensive or well-resourced defence plan making Canada susceptible to various threats ranging from conventional military aggression to cyber attacks as well as impacts arising from climate change. This short-term thinking compromises Canadian interests at home and abroad thereby undermining the country’s global standing.

However, Trudeau’s assurance of ‘massive increase’ in defense spending represents another empty promise since the actual funding increases are far below what the Canadian Armed Forces desperately need. This contradiction between words and actions is typical of Trudeau’s approach toward defense and national security when grandiloquent statements do not correspond with true deeds.

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The “Our North, Strong and Free” policy is a missed opportunity towards a bold and visionary course for Canadian defense; rather, it represents the withdrawal from global responsibilities, concentration on narrow domestic interests and failure to invest in the capabilities required to safeguard Canada’s interests in an increasingly intricate and unstable global environment. Canadians need a government that takes its defense and national security seriously, not one that merely comes up with hollow assurances or acts half heartedly in response to rising dangers.

Last Updated on by Alshaar Ansari

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