Canada does not intend to raise military spending to 4% of its GDP, as US President Donald Trump demanded on Wednesday at NATO summit leaders.
“During the president’s remarks today at the NATO summit, he suggested that countries not only meet their commitment of 2% of GDP in military spending, but that they increase it to 4% White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters.
Called to react, the Prime Minister’s Office has sent the QMI Agency back to the positions already expressed by the government, saying that the military commitment is not measured only in terms of money.
“We can talk about investments, but at the end of the day, it is the contributions that have an impact on the ground,” defense minister Harjit Sajjan told reporters on Wednesday morning.
As a sign of its good faith, Canada announced Wednesday morning that it would send 250 troops to Iraq for a NATO training mission in the fall, after announcing the day before an extension until 2023 of his mission in Latvia.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland spoke of these operations as “very concrete, very significant contributions”.
According to figures released Tuesday by NATO, Canadian military spending amounts to 1.23% of its GDP.
In addition to the United States, only four countries in the military alliance – which groups 29 – reach the 2% target: Greece, Estonia, the United Kingdom and Latvia. Poland and Romania are approaching it and pledging to respect it.
US President Donald Trump has sharply criticized, both on Wednesday and in the days leading up to the Brussels summit in Belgium, NATO members who do not respect the 2% commitment made in 2014.
“There are many ways to evaluate, to compare the involvement of different countries. The 2% is one. But for us the important thing is: a country with the ability to intervene, an ability to contribute concretely and necessary to NATO? On that measure, Canada is still doing well, “Prime Minister Trudeau said Tuesday in Latvia.
He then ruled out Canada doubling its military spending.