Sunday, February 20, 2005

Defence - our common interests

Too often Canadians are misguided by the luxury of irresponsibility. The liberal delusions about international law and peace are easy to promote in a country where our liberty, should it ever be tested, will rest in the hands of the United States. We are, as Canadians, behaving like adolescent children. We want independance, the rights to form our own policy; yet, we are not prepared to responsibly enact the machinery to effectively assert it. This is very naive.

Currently, Canadian Defence expenditures account for about 7% of total federal government expenditures. On a per capita basis, Canadians spend less than $US 315 per person on our defence budget. By comparison, the the world's superpower to our south spends about $1,400 per capita on Defense, accounting for 18% of total federal government budgetary outlays. What do Americans get for their commitment to security? They are the world's greatest military power, their hegemony protecting liberty not just for Americans, but for the free world. Canada? We have a military incapable of meeting even the barest obligations of a sovereign nation. Our forces are minimal, their resources embarrassingly inadequate.

If ever there was a waste of taxpayer money, it would be for a defence that provides us no security. Surely, if we are resting on the good fortune of having U.S. self-interests protect us from national threats, then it would be worth asking in what ways we might amalgamate our military under a U.S. command. Efficiency goes beyond economic consideration: the integration of defence command and homeland security would improve our security immensely. And surely it would allow for even broader economic benefit by allowing for unrestricted border crossing between the United States and Canada. It would also allow Canadian military personel the opportunity to move into the 21st century with the U.S. military and its technological infrastructure. Canadians would be able to make military careers that make a difference in the world. More importantly, Canadians would be actively involved in their own security in a realistic way.

The current U.S. initiative for a joint missile defence program should be an important starting point, but truly, it is imperative that Canadians look at the big picture. An amalgamation of defence interests with the United States should take on a formal structure. I would sooner our tax dollars for defence priorites be directed to a new joint command with the U.S. We currently spend about $12.4-billion dollars on defence...we could get a lot more for our money by dispensing with the nationalistic pride that continues to obstruct us from being responsible to ourselves and the international community.

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