Canada Defenseless

I’m finally getting around to my copy of Foreign Policy and read a surprising short article on Canada that’s, unfortunately, unavailable online. Researchers at Ontario’s Queen’s University project that

If the Canadian government fails to significantly increase its defense budget immediately, “the air force will likely disappear throught he 2008-2013 time-frame and either the army or navy will disappear” over the same period.

Basically, Canada has a tiny military, spends next to nothing on it (1% of GDP or roughly $7.6 billion US equivalent), and is the world’s most eager participant in peacekeeping missions.

I knew that Canada’s force was small and were prolific peacekeepers, but had no idea things were this dire.

FILED UNDER: Military Affairs
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Canada defense? Come on, if anything really bad happened they would come crying to their big neigbor to the south to PLEAASSEEE save us, sort like the Europeans do from time to time.

    We should just take a short cut and annex the provinces that are interested (i.e. nearly all except Quebec), add a few more stars to the flag, and be done with it.

  2. Your Friendly Neighbor says:

    Its great that you yanks are so well educated and believe that your super military will always protect you. Your military, after taking over Afghanistan, can’t even track down an old man on dialysis. But I mean, he’s able to avoid all of the super high tech gear you have because he can hide in caves. Guess you dont want to get your boots dirty since that means you’ll have to push your debt even higher to get new ones huh?

    Everything about you guys are awesome. Hell, I want to be an American. Why wouldn’t I want to be represented by a president who chokes on a pretzel watching TV?

    Now that’s leadership for you

  3. BigFire says:

    Re: YFN

    In your case, we really don’t have a choice. When my next door neighbor’s house is about to burst into flame due to his insistent on using gasoline as lawn sprinkler, I have no choice but to intervent if only to protect my own property.

  4. keith taylor says:

    Canada don’t need a military anyway, and the money saved can fund their universal healthcare. Bonus.

  5. Rodney Dill says:

    You would think with that much extra money that they already have for universal health care that there care would be faster and better than there curren poor state of service.

  6. McGehee says:

    Canada defense? Come on, if anything really bad happened they would come crying to their big neigbor to the south to PLEAASSEEE save us, sort like the Europeans do from time to time.

    Yup. And afterward, they’d never forgive us for saving them.

  7. Kate says:

    “Everything about you guys are awesome. Hell, I want to be an American. Why wouldn’t I want to be represented by a president who chokes on a pretzel watching TV?”

    Comrade, their President’s party isn’t being investigated for funneling public funds into Quebec based Liberal donors, and the average citizen in the US enjoys a standard of living 25% higher than the average citizen in Canada – so please do shut the f*ck up while you’re still behind.

  8. StarBanker says:

    Canada no longer has an independent military and hasn’t for quite some time. For all their high falutin talk of deployments they rely on the United States for nearly all their logistical support. You didn’t really think that Air Canada flies in their artillery or armored personel carriers? Think of the Canadian Armed Forces as a foriegn version of Vermont National Guard with 1960’s equipment.

  9. Fred Boness says:

    Paul Martin was given a report from the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University last November on the state of Canada’s military. The one word executive summary of the report is “bleak.”

  10. I remember in the 80s all the wailing “for the cost of just one B-1 bomber we can feed 12,000 hungry children.” “For just one MX missile, we can build 4800 homes.”

    Repeat that enough and you have Canada. The difference is that no one would rescue us from such folly.

  11. Sortapundit says:

    Canada’s Vanishing Military
    If this is true we’ll get to watch an interesting experiment. Can a major nation successfully protect its interests without a military force? It’s a mistake to believe that the sole purpose of a nation’s armed forces is purely offensive. Naval Forces…

  12. Canadian Military Spending: 2004
    Our allies in the WOT are going to be rocked back on their heels by the military spending increases in today’s 2004 budget. An additional $250 million over two years for peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan and the fight against terrorism….

  13. The next Europe?
    At current spending levels, Canada will have no military in less than 10 years. Guess we can annex it scot-free then, eh?…

  14. Kalblog says:

    Common Goods
    James Joyner has a piece on the vanishing Canadian military. It seems like “defense” is in many ways a common good, much like street lighting, at least as the US does it. The fact is, the US would never allow…