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  • U.S. sent ‘blunt’ letter to Canada criticizing defence spending: sources

    November 26, 2019 | Local, Other Defence

    U.S. sent ‘blunt’ letter to Canada criticizing defence spending: sources

    BY MERCEDES STEPHENSON AND KERRI BREEN Canada has been officially called out by the United States over how much it spends on the military, Global News has learned. A “blunt” letter from the U.S. government was delivered to the Department of National Defence that criticized Canadian defence spending levels and repeated American demands that Canada meet NATO targets. Global News has not seen the letter — said to have a frustrated, critical tone — but multiple sources have confirmed it was sent and received. U.S. President Donald Trump has long called for members of the 29-nation military alliance to beef up their budgets for defence. His national security adviser Robert O'Brien, who spoke Saturday at the Halifax International Security Forum, said getting NATO members to meet the established target — two per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) — is an urgent priority. “There are very serious threats to our freedom and our security and if NATO is going to be effective, and if we want to put our money where our talk is, we got to spend that money to defend ourselves,” he said. Nations including Canada agreed at the 2014 NATO summit in Wales​ to move towards the military spending target within a decade, he noted. “We expect our friends and our colleagues to live up to their commitments and their promises,” he said. He also praised Canada's plan to build and deploy Arctic patrol vessels. The North, he said, is going to be the new “frontline” of defence, as Russia and China have made it clear they are going to militarize the Arctic. One Canadian source told Global News that the U.S. is concerned that Canada does not take the threat from those countries in the Arctic seriously and wants the country to boost its contributions in that area. Just seven countries — including the U.S. and the U.K. — have met NATO's two per cent of GDP spending goal, according to figures released in June. NATO's estimates show Canada is expected to spend 1.27 per cent of its GDP on the military this year, up from about one per cent in 2014. Canada does fare better when you look at its defence budget in dollars and cents, said Dave Perry, vice president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. The country spends the sixth highest amount overall among NATO members on its military. As for meeting the percentage of GDP target, Perry's not optimistic despite planned increases in the defence budget. “Canada is not on a path to live up to the commitments that we were signing up for in 2014 in Wales,” he said. Last year, Canada spent about $22.9 billion on the Department of National Defence. But Ottawa intends to dramatically boost military spending in the coming years. In 2017, the government released a plan to increase the budget to almost $33 billion annually within a decade. Asked about the letter from the U.S., Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan touted this plan to strengthen spending. Discussions around “burden sharing” within the bloc have been happening for some time, he said. He noted that under the government's plan, the defence budget would see an increase of 70 per cent, a “significant amount.” “The relationship with Canada and the U.S., the defence relationship, I think, is even stronger now, because they see a tangible plan that we have created,” he said on an episode of The West Block that aired Sunday. “It's working, actually, extremely well.” The U.S. sending such a letter is an unusual, formal means of relaying a message, and it represents an escalation from previous attempts to get Canada to spend more on its military. That pressure has been increasing in recent weeks ahead of the NATO summit in London starting on Dec. 3. In fact, the same message has been conveyed in multiple ways to the federal government, a diplomatic source said, and NATO itself also wants to see more military spending from Canada. In July, however, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg suggested publicly he was happy with improvements in Canadian defence spending. “Under your leadership,” he said to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, ​​”Canada has stepped up its contributions to our NATO alliance including with forces for NATO missions and operations and increased spending.” But one former defence minister said the letter from the U.S. — NATO's leader in defence spending in relation to its GDP — was not a good sign. Peter MacKay said such a letter amounts to “a very serious diplomatic slap — not on the wrist, but in the face.” During his time in government, the former Nova Scotia Conservative MP said he had talks with defence secretaries regarding Canadian military spending and the country's goal of reaching two per cent. “Those discussions can be forceful and frank but they took place face to face,” said MacKay, who was defence minister for six years under former prime minister Stephen Harper. “Sending a démarche (diplomatic letter) is really ratcheting it up a notch.”

  • Symposium sur le marché canadien de la défense et de la sécurité 2021 - Les inscriptions sont ouvertes ! - Stiq

    October 1, 2021 | Local, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Symposium sur le marché canadien de la défense et de la sécurité 2021 - Les inscriptions sont ouvertes ! - Stiq

    Joignez-vous à nous, le 18 novembre prochain pour participer à la 6e édition du Symposium […]

  • Chief of the Defence Staff announces Canadian Armed Forces General and Flag Officer senior appointments, promotions, and retirements

    February 13, 2019 | Local, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR

    Chief of the Defence Staff announces Canadian Armed Forces General and Flag Officer senior appointments, promotions, and retirements

    February 12, 2019 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff, issued a CANFORGEN announcing the list of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) General and Flag Officer senior appointments, promotions, and retirements that will occur in 2019. General Officers (Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force) and Flag Officers (Royal Canadian Navy) lead the CAF in defending our country's values and interests, here at home and abroad. They share the responsibility for the stewardship of the entire institution, and for the profession of arms as a whole. For 2019, the total number of permanent General Officer and Flag Officer positions required to meet the demands of the Canadian Armed Forces is 116 (105 Regular Force and 11 Reserve Force). The number of senior staff fluctuates as a result of the needs of the military to meet Government of Canada and institutional objectives, which is constantly changing. Certain positions have been created to help us meet the following commitments found in Canada's defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged: supporting health and resilience, investments in the Royal Canadian Navy, enhancing cyber capabilities, transforming innovation for defence excellence and security, and continued global defence engagement. Biographies of senior officers may be made available upon request by contacting Media Relations. Quotes “The role of a General and Flag Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces comes with enormous responsibility. Those selected demonstrate they are capable of surmounting the significant challenges associated with leading and improving Canada's armed forces. For those leaving the Forces, they should do so proudly, as they are a testament to the qualities required to keep Canada's military strong and effective.” – General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff Quick facts In order to align authorities, responsibilities, and accountabilities with the US NORAD, Major-General D.W. Joyce will be appointed Deputy Commander Continental US NORAD Region, in Tyndall Florida, in a position that has been up-ranked to Major-General. To lead the modernization and growth of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group, Brigadier-General A.M.T. Downes will be promoted to the rank of Major-General and will continue to serve in his current appointment as Commander Canadian Forces Health Services Group / Surgeon General for the CAF, at NDHQ in Ottawa, in a position that has been up-ranked. Colonel J.G.M. Bilodeau will be promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General and appointed to a new position as Director General Clinical Services / Deputy Commander Canadian Forces Health Services Group, in Ottawa and will become the Department Health Advisor to the CDS. In order to enhance continental maritime command, control, and cooperation with the US Navy, Commodore S.M. Waddell will be promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral and appointed to a new position as Vice Commander 2nd Fleet United States Navy, in Norfolk Virginia. To develop CAF/DND data strategies, policies and to lead data management governance, Brigadier-General A.T. Benson will be appointed to a new position as Deputy Director General Data Strategy and Innovation, in Ottawa. Additional capacity is required to focus on key departmental initiatives. As such, Brigadier-General S.T. Boyle will be appointed to a new position as Deputy Director General Continental Policy, at NDHQ in Ottawa.

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