Trudeau must hold the line again at upcoming NATO Summit

In a 25 June statement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that he would travel to Brussels, Belgium, to attend the NATO Summit on July 11 and 12, 2018:

NATO is a cornerstone of Canada’s international security policy, and an important alliance as we look for more stability in a world going through rapid change. I look forward to meeting with leaders from NATO member states in Belgium to deepen our already strong relationships, and to discuss what more we can and must do to advance peace and security for our citizens and people around the world.

The NATO Secretariat has issued a NATO Summit Guide which summarizes the Summit goals as follows:

NATO remains committed to fulfilling its three core tasks: collective defence, crisis management and cooperative security. At the Brussels Summit, the Alliance will make important decisions to further boost security in and around Europe, including through strengthened deterrence and defence, projecting stability and fighting terrorism, enhancing its partnership with the European Union, modernising the Alliance and achieving fairer burden-sharing.

But the Prime Minister, with the undeserved G7 debacle still fresh in his mind, will no doubt wish he could avoid yet another multilateral meeting where President Donald J. Trump promises to cause trouble.

In the summit lead-up Trump is already  haranguing NATO members about their allegedly low levels of defence spending. Not even Canada’s gargantuan increase of 70% over 10 years is enough for him.  In a June 19 letter, he writes:

The United States is increasingly unwilling to ignore this Alliance’s failure to meet shared security challenges….

So far the Defence Minister is giving no hint of capitulation, instead taking up an argument first raised by Rideau Institute Board member Michael Byers that Canada ought to be smarter about how it calculates its defence dollars.

Alas, one wonders why facts would influence Trump any more in future than they have to date!

But we expect our government to do more than hold the line on further defence budget increases. Canada must also resist any Summit declaration consensus that appears to endorse the extraordinarily reckless American Nuclear Posture Review proposals released in February 2018.  In the words of the Washington Post:

The Pentagon released a new nuclear arms policy Friday that calls for the introduction of two new types of weapons, effectively ending Obama-era efforts to reduce the size and scope of the U.S. arsenal and minimize the role of nuclear weapons in defense planning.

Prime Minister Trudeau stood firm in the face of Trump’s bullying at the G7 Summit in June.  Now the focus is not trade, but international security, and our Prime Minister must work with his German, French, Dutch and other likeminded European counterparts to avoid being complicit in further destabilizing moves by an increasingly unhinged American President.

For the full Prime Ministerial statement see: Prime Minister Trudeau to attend NATO Summit  (Statement on 25 June 2018).

See also: Armed with facts, Canada braces for another Trump tirade at NATO summit (Murray Brewster, cbc.ca, 27 June 2018).

For an analysis of the new USA Nuclear Posture Review, see: Trump seeks expanded nuclear capabilities (Kingston Reif, Arms Control Association, March 2018).

Photo credit: SOM architect images (New NATO Headquarters).

 

 

 

 

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7 Responses to “Trudeau must hold the line again at upcoming NATO Summit”

  1. Paul WhittakerJuly 9, 2018 at 2:05 pm #

    The demonizing of Russia is bizarre. Russia is a sovereign country with every right to defend its reputation and borders. NATO creeping up to Russian borders is simply war warmongering on our part. The recent bovine droppings over a suspected nerve gas attack, without a shred of evidence, while the British chemical weapons center is within spitting distance from both incidents, and the USA holds patents on “nerve gas delivery systems” is so evident of yet another false flag event.

    • Bob StevensonJuly 9, 2018 at 7:47 pm #

      Tonight’s CBC radio news told of Russian fake news directed at Canadian troops in Latvia. How about some real news such as why are we there and in Poland and Ukraine and Iraq in the first place? How much is this costing Canadian tax-payers. The latest Monitor from CCPA states that Russia has 7000 nuclear missiles. Their border is not a good place for Nato war games

  2. DemetriosJune 29, 2018 at 7:14 pm #

    More than ever, today’s world finds itself in a whirlwind of unpredictable and potentially dangerous development. The reason Canada is a member of NATO is because it joined after WW2, when things were still raw and the threat of Soviet expansion was evident. The USSR dissolved almost 30 years ago, and anybody with a sane frame of mind knows that Russia isn’t going to attack anybody unless seriously provoked. In fact, the Russian bear is mainly responsible for curtailing the madness in Syria after 7 years of war with Daesh/Al Nusra/Al Qaida/Free Syrian Army: they’re all mercenaries paid to create chaos and destruction for a coterie of states, NATO included.

    So Canada, as a NATO member, is partly responsible for these questionable acts and it makes no sense why. But of course we are there because our military wants us to be, and we’re so polite and amenable to the wishes of you-know-who, which can be unnerving.

    America practically gives European members the arms and technology to ‘defend their borders’, and has the gall to claim that they’re not doing their part in the effort. Practically all the NATO members don’t want to ruffle the feathers of the USA, partly because they like the perks, are brainwashed by American (so-called) democratic (pop culture) values, and don’t want to annoy Washington. Having a twit like Trump in this mix makes the situation even more precarious. The man is so egotistically self-absorbed and pays little attention to others who get affected by his dangerous whims. We definitely don’t want this man to become unhinged.

    We can only hope that this next NATO summit doesn’t make things worse. The Pentagon’s new nuclear arms policy is sure to be unsettling to those countries and organizations (like Ceasefire) who’re weary of the trouble ahead.

    All we here can do is press our own government to do the right thing and try not to get caught up in the relentless consumerism and propaganda being fed to us daily by the media. We should ask ourselves why it can take almost a lifetime to realize that we’ve been led on by both the government and the corporations.

    • Gordon Yanchyshyn, M.D.June 30, 2018 at 3:58 pm #

      One silver lining in the cloud that is Donald Trump is the questioning of assumptions about established multinational alliances like NATO. One of NATO’s “core tasks”, collective defence, involves nuclear stockpiling . Continuing to promote this misguided strategy only perpetuates the possibility of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) rather than deterring nuclear weapons use. Nuclear proliferation follows in its wake: ‘have-not’ nations understandably want to have the same destructive capacity as nuclear weapons states, regardless of the cost. North Korea is only the most recent example.

      NATO is a Cold War relic needing a major overhaul in its mandate. I never thought I’d say these words, but in this case, thank you, Donald.

  3. Toby DentJune 29, 2018 at 5:26 pm #

    The increasingly unhinged Trump is a danger to America and the world.
    He’s wilful, ignorant, a compulsive liar and a paranoid narcissist which means he’s unfit for the job. Is everyone afraid of him walking out on Nato…because this man is not trustworthy…he’s too obsessed with himself. Again unfit. The only choice is for allies to stand together against this maniac, let him walk away as he always does anyway and have another meeting without him. He’s doing a hitler…destroying everything in his path so he can make war and destroy whoever he wants to. Very foolhardy. But he’s not dictator of the world just a 3rd world tinpot twittering dictator like the ones the US has supported in 3rd world countries. And his bark is worse than his bite. I hate him and hope the midterms finish this maniac off.

    • Ann CoffeyJune 29, 2018 at 5:46 pm #

      I couldn’t agree with you more, Toby. Almost unbelievably, Trump’s popularity rating in the U$ has been rising since January and it now stands at 49%. It seems as though he’s not the only nutcase south of the Canadian border.

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