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Biden’s Inaction Lets NATO Laggards Canada, Germany Off the Hook

Posted on Saturday, September 16, 2023
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by Ben Solis
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AMAC Exclusive – By Ben Solis

Canada and Germany flags merged together

After four years in which President Donald Trump aggressively called American allies to account for failing to meet their defense spending commitments, Joe Biden has once again allowed funding to lag, leaving U.S. taxpayers on the hook to make up the difference. Two of the worst offenders are Canada and Germany.

Canada’s defense shortcomings are particularly alarming given the country’s status as a de facto buffer for the United States to the north. The arctic has become a region of concern for U.S. military leaders in recent years, with Russia continuing to build up its fleet of icebreaker ships.

China and Russia have both made significant advancements in hypersonic missile technology which render most Western radar installations obsolete. The threat of Chinese and Russian submarines lurking beneath the polar ice armed with missiles that can travel more than seven times the speed of sound and are undetectable by radar is now very real.

As a result, there has been major urgency behind a push to upgrade the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), a joint U.S.-Canadian defense agency charged with providing early warnings of airborne attacks.

According to one of the prime Canadian visionaries behind NORAD, General Charles Foulkes, the program “successfully processed intelligence information from all sources, managed anti-bomber defense, and was an indispensable channel for planning.” In the early years of the project, which began in 1958, Canada’s “pine tree radars,” spread from the Barter Islands in the west to Cape Dyer in the east, were integrated into the permanent radar network that the United States military had been building since the end of World War II.

As an outgrowth of this cooperation, President Ronald Reagan and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney also established the first segments of the North Warning System in 1987. Comprised of 44 radars stretching along the Arctic from Alaska to the eastern shores of Canada, the North Warning System proved one of Reagan’s most forward-thinking military investments.

But today both the North Warning System and NORAD’s radar network, last updated in the 1990s, are seriously outdated. NORAD Commander General Glen VanHerck has warned that defense of the homeland in the future must look “vastly different” than it does today in order to stay ahead of advancements by Russia and China.

VanHerck also told the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this year that the United States and Canada “are not organized, trained, or equipped to respond in the Arctic.” Another witness at the same hearing compared the polar regions to “a dark area on the map” in terms of radar capabilities. U.S. defense analysts have advised that, in order to respond to the deterioration of defense capabilities in the region, major investments are needed in fields like artificial intelligence and missile interceptor technologies.

Canada’s military leaders have offered similar warnings. In April, former senior Canadian military, security, and intelligence officials and experts said in an open letter that “years of restraint, cost cutting, downsizing and deferred investment have meant that Canada’s defense capabilities have atrophied.”

Reversing this alarming decline will require a heavy financial investment – one that it currently does not appear as if Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is willing to make. Although Trudeau announced $4.9 billion to upgrade the country’s continental defense last year, he later walked back the promise. In doing so, Trudeau appeared to follow in the footsteps of his father, Pierre Trudeau, who as Canada’s 15th prime minister also opposed spending to modernize defense systems.

Leaked Pentagon documents earlier this year also revealed that Trudeau secretly told his NATO allies that Canada will never meet the treaty’s required two percent defense spending target. Currently, Canada spends just 1.4 percent of its GDP on defense, including pensions for retired military members. However, just this year, Canada, which is the world’s ninth-largest economy, pledged $30 billion – more than it needed to fill the gap in the annual defense budget – as subsidies to two carmakers for electric vehicle battery plants.

Unsurprisingly, Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan has called Canada “a military free-rider in NATO.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz seems to have followed Trudeau’s lead since Biden took office and once again made Germany into a NATO laggard.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, Scholz initially promised a Zeitenwende, or a major overhaul in Germany’s security policy. This included the signing of a legal pledge to meet NATO’s two percent defense spending requirement.

But last month, Scholz suddenly reversed course, instead saying that Germany will only meet the two percent target on average over the next five years. Berlin claims that its weapons deliveries to Ukraine are too costly, and thus there is no money left for Germany’s own defense.

According to senior German military officials, Germany’s current defense spending levels, just 1.6 percent of the country’s GDP, won’t even suffice to replace old and defective equipment.

All of this represents a dramatic reversal from the situation just a few years ago. President Trump spared no effort in challenging then-Chancellor Angela Merkel over her reluctance to meet defense spending requirements, eventually extracting major concessions. Pressure from Trump also led to Canada boosting its military budget more than 70 percent.

Biden has yet to offer even a semblance of such pressure or demands that America’s allies fulfill their promises to the United States. The world is more dangerous as a result.

Ben Solis is the pen name of an international affairs journalist, historian, and researcher.

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PaulE
PaulE
9 months ago

The members of NATO, like Germany and a few others, are thrilled Biden is POTUS. President Trump actually called out the deadbeats in NATO and forced them to pay what they are obligated to do under the terms of the NATO treaty, as well as up their manpower and military resources to what they are supposed to be. Now, the United States is back to being “Uncle Pushover” under Joe Biden, who doesn’t hold the other NATO members to their obligations and Biden just writes a bigger taxpayer-funded check to make up for the financial and resource obligations NATO nations like Germany refuse to honor. In short, the United States is back to business as usual on the foreign policy stage. We are the rich, dimwitted uncle who just bankrolls everyone else. All so they don’t have to have any real skin in the game.

Harry
Harry
9 months ago

A damn good example of the worthlessness of Liberalism , evident with our brain dead leader in charge. If there ever is an attack by anyone you will always be able to blame Liberal leadership!!!

sdg
sdg
9 months ago

When do we start flying the Chinese flag as it appears we have already surrendered

David Millikan
David Millikan
9 months ago

Very interesting article.
Add to the Fact that Dictator Beijing biden has allowed Communist China to acquire $1.8 Billion in U.S. land Dangerously close to U.S. Military Bases.
More than 100 instances of U.S. Military Bases being Infiltrated by Chinese nationals.
Communist China SPY Balloons flying all over the U.S. and U.S. Military Bases.
The Communist Chinese military is Targeting U.S. Servicemembers with Jobs to boost their military capabilities.
Communist China Police Stations popping up all over the U.S. mainly in Blue States.
And Thousands of Communist Chinese SPIES walk across Dictator Beijing biden’s OPEN BORDERS not including the Thousands of TERRORIST that have just walked across our borders.
ALL thanks to Dictator Beijing biden and his Communist Administration.
Vote democrat is a Vote for Communist China and be LAST.
Vote Republican and KEEP YOUR COUNTRY AND FREEDOM WITH BORDERS SECURED AND BEING NUMBER ONE IN THE WORLD UNDER PRESIDENT TRUMP.

Realist
Realist
9 months ago

You don’t preach here Kristoll idiot. Clinton deserved impeachment, as he admitted to DEFILING WHITE HOUSE with his act of sexual crime. He asked for forgiveness.
Biden lost, not Trump. Because you hate Trump does not entitle you to be dictator here.
Your place is in aged care center or a museum. You are more or less interesting artifact now. Your elite party will NEVER RETURN. Do you understand? NEVER. You are loser. You and similar like you individuals were rejected. You do not belong to GOP anymore. Go away now and dream.

sdg
sdg
9 months ago

I would love for Trump to be a dictator, better to be ruled by Trump and have the economy, oil & gas leader, strong military, and so many other things that made it better for middle & lower classes of Americans, then have the brain dead Marxist rulers we have now that are destroying America for all but the elitists!!!

Viet Vet
Viet Vet
9 months ago

This loser would be a good deminer in Ukraine. All of these never-Trumpers should be delivered in one container (they would fit in one container) to Kyiv as our shipment of the super weapons. Cost-effective. Then, they would have their sense of “the transatlantic” mission completed.
These utopists constantly want us to pay for cowards in Europe. Make your Macron and Scholtz send what they promised to Ukraine. We have had enough of our money to be spent there.

Mike Swan
Mike Swan
9 months ago

You should choose another name, not Reagan. You are acting unworthy of that name. Your behavior shows how uncultured and frankly immoral you are. The author cautiously and diligently presented facts. If you know more, write here. But do not attack people. It is Soviet behavior, or if you do not understand this comparison, pro-Putin will probably be more understandable for your group.

Norman S. Robertson
Norman S. Robertson
9 months ago

I do not understand why you attacked this author ad personam. Did he miswrite anything? No. He was even too soft on the morons like Sholtz and German rats who should return the money we lent them after WWII.
Do you want to sponsor Canada or Germany? Sell your house and yourself, maybe one-hundredth of the radar we would get.
Better read what Caspar Weinberger wrote in his memoir about Reagan’s effort to make Europeans fulfill their obligations to NATO.
You look like all these libs who protested when Reagan presented his NDI plans. You are attacking a decent author who honestly wrote what Canada and Germany do – cheating on NATO.

Harry
Harry
9 months ago

Your point being? Or just more liberal BS?

John
John
9 months ago

He should write how Cheney gave forged documents to Powell, who convinced the UN to attack Saddam. Do you remember it? Perhaps your memory should be refreshed? He should disclose how socialist idiots, one after the other, were appointed with our consent as the NATO leaders. Do you know that the next socialist is standing in the line? Are you concerned?
I have a question. Are you one of those who “advise” or benefit from public money?
Only those mourn the demise of the party that ignored Americans.

Angry Bush Supporter
Angry Bush Supporter
9 months ago

What an imbecile! Another sucker of our, taxpayers money. You want wars? Go to Ukraine dude. Get out! Don’t use Reagan name. You are worthless creature. Even garbage has more value than you.

Ed Grossman
Ed Grossman
9 months ago

This so-called “ronald” thinks that the globalist party is Lazarus and his candidate Ron, Christie, or CIA guy (who did not qualify for debate), or another buffoon is Messiah. No, they have no power of resurrection. The party of the past is dead. You achieved nothing for Americans except thousands precious killed American lives, thousands of badly wounded vets, massive bailouts, and the sale of America to international interests. All of this is past. Thanks God.
You may shout and scratch, but the Trump-shaped party is here for the young generation and those who can appreciate it.

Eve Fruchstein
Eve Fruchstein
9 months ago

GOP’s modern problem began in the Nixon era when Rockefeller founded his opposing group in NY. Then, the issue progressed. When Reagan received the nomination, he graciously took Bush, who represented Rockefeller’s interest. Before, however, Bush smeared Reagan in many ways. Then, in the 2nd term, Democrats attacked the Reagan administration with their accusation of so-called ‘Iran-Contra’. Rockefeller’s group watched and waited eagerly when the Reaganites would be out of office. They did nothing for Reagan and even leaked as much as possible to their friends in the NYT and Washington Compost.
In the meantime, people like Weinberger were unjustly indicted. Democrats got away with this scandal and continued because it was a successful method. Now, they indicted Trump because Biden participated in that anti-Reagan scandalous witch-hunt. He knows that Republicans did nothing to punish those responsible.
So better have your fact right, not teach here anyone. Your claims belong to garbage with all your posts.

Leslie Jones
Leslie Jones
9 months ago

Some countries have chosen expensive social programs over defence, but only when they can depend on the USA to defend them. Germany has now been sucking US tax payers for almost 80 years and have enviable subsidized social medicine we essentially pay for.
It says a lot about these wokish countries when they won’t even spend the NATO target minimum 2% of GDP. Canadians, with their current liberal mindset, would likely welcome a Russian invasion by serving roadside tea!
Why do we keep doing it?

FJB
FJB
9 months ago

We should withdraw from NATO immediately. NATO exists for the sole purpose of the US to defend Europe at the US taxpayers expense. What do we get from NATO other than paying more taxes? Access to bases? Those bases are so we can defend Europe. If we were attacked without any other NATO country being attacked, do you really think these so called “Allies” would risk coming to our aid (most likely not needed anyway)? Let Europe defend themselves and pay for it themselves!

Col. Rob Casey Jr (Ret.)
Col. Rob Casey Jr (Ret.)
9 months ago

I commend this author highly.
I served President Reagan, and he would certainly not allow even a portion of such damage.
Americans must be informed and prepare for the election, which is likely the most important of all times. Indeed, this coming election can be compared to our decision to join allies in World War II. This time, the choice is between reasonable build-up of economy and defense or mindless involvement in conflicts without any grand design.

Jimm
Jimm
9 months ago

NATO is useless. NATO should be disbanded. The threat that originally prompted its’ creation no longer exists. The Soviets are not invading West Germany through the Fulda Gap anymore. Hell…West Germany doesn’t even exist anymore. Neither does the Soviet Union. Weak Russia can’t even successfully invade Ukraine, much less Germany. NATO is an expensive anachronism.

Gabe Hanzeli kent wa
Gabe Hanzeli kent wa
9 months ago

FJB

lets go bradon

Jeri
Jeri
9 months ago

As Americans we are doomed if World War III breaks out.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
9 months ago

This government is dooming America. Seeing as all the ppl in South America are now here, let’s all board the return bus and move there and start over. Hopefully we’ll get it right this time. Just make sure to keep Democrats OUT…

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
9 months ago

Dont sell the Chinese anything. Stay outta Wal-mart. Kyle L.

Melinda
Melinda
9 months ago

I’m opposed to US money to Ukraine in general. But I would think Germany would help defend them because Russia is so close. What do I know? The back room shenanigans that go on here, and internationally, are not publicized.

Y
Y
9 months ago

Did Hillary ever accept defeat?

Sue
Sue
9 months ago

Responsibility and accountability, neither of which our president remembers to do. How can such a man as Biden claim to make America better than before (Trump)? I am disgusted and betrayed by this administration—all they have done is take, take, take, take, and take some more with no conscience. He is selfish and cares only for that which would enhance his life.

CLIFFORD F GERACI
CLIFFORD F GERACI
9 months ago

Why do Democrats hate America so much?

NIcholas Elder
NIcholas Elder
9 months ago

Commie Trudeau is aiding and abetting our enemies! Why should they pay when they know that Biden can’t remember that they are in arrears!

Phillip Nagle
Phillip Nagle
9 months ago

Why does NATO still exist? We can see from Russia’s failed invasion of Ukraine, it is not much of a threat to our NATO allies. The only thing that NATO protects is the Europeans from having to pick up the tab for their own defense. In the mean time it drains US resources from where they are really needed in the Far East.

John Shipway
John Shipway
9 months ago

It sure would be less expensive and would benefit everyone if the collective western nations competed with their economic rivals rather than trying to destroy competing nations using hapless, usually extremely corrupt small countries to act as warfare proxies..
We all hear, “Russia bad”, now coupled with “China bad”……..but are given no examples of how either are “bad”. What has either country ever done negatively to the US or even the entire collective west? Think about it and when you can’t find anything perhaps contact your Representative and your Senators and demand they stop with the senseless warfare and start working toward at least attempting to fix what is destroying this country, Look at the cities, look at what passes for the arts, society in general. For goodness sake many politicians are now defending pedophiles and demanding they stop being denounced and even demanding they now be called “minor attracted people”. We have REAL problems that need addressing NOW.

Melinda
Melinda
9 months ago

Don’t reply to this guy, he just wants attention.

FJB
FJB
9 months ago

Let’s hope he succeeds! Maybe not “Destroying NATO” but at least getting us out of it!

Joe Farrell
Joe Farrell
9 months ago

After watching what has happened in Ukraine, its pretty clear the russians have zero chance of successfully invading Germany at this point – what do the Germans care about defense?
As for Canada – well – canada has less risk than Germany. . . .

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