War of the Words: Canada must improve its military

Photo via rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca

Photo via rcaf-arc.forces.gc.ca

Canada’s increased spending on military is good

By Davie Wong, Sports Editor

 

Canada has recently revealed a plan to increase the military budget by 70 per cent in the next decade. While some would argue that increased military spending is bad for the country, I would argue the exact opposite. An increased military budget is absolutely necessary, and is long overdue.

A large amount of that budget is being spent on a much-needed upgrade of the Royal Canadian Air Force. The Canadian government is planning to replace their current Air Force fleet with new age fighters. That project would cost $15–18 billion, which is the entirety of the current defence budget. Canada’s current Air Force fleet is McDonnell Douglas CF-188’s, which were introduced in 1982. Canada’s best planes are 35 years old. While upgrades and renovations are a possibility, it doesn’t come close to replacing them with a much better model. Without going too deep into details, it’s safe to say that the country is long overdue for an upgrade.

Why is it important that a peacekeeping country such as ours spend on weapons of war? Well, the short answer is “Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD).” This concept has kept the world at a relative state of peace for years, and Canada falls short of the line. However, without a fully-functioning nuclear program, it becomes very difficult to maintain the status quo, unless you have powerful allies.

That’s where the neighbours down south come in. With America providing Canada with some nuclear backup, Canada puts itself up there with the other big players in the world. Throughout the Cold War, and even after, the US has always been the proxy by which Canada can declare themselves a player in the game of MAD. However, as recent foreign relations with the US have dipped after the election of Donald Trump, so has this pressure. This takes away from Canada’s ability to be a global power on the world stage. Canada needs to be able to stand on its own, and without a proper military, it will never be able to do so. That starts with defence spending.

In terms of global status, Canada is one of the members of NATO (North American Treaty Organization) that spends the least amount of money on the military. Yet it remains one of the most active players in military endeavors. Our military spending doesn’t even allow the military to remain up to date with technology, but we insist on sending our soldiers out to keep the peace. It doesn’t make sense to limit our soldiers in the field.

As it stands, the current defence budget does nothing but hinder Canada on the global stage. If growth is the Canadian ideal, then the military needs to grow as well.

The Other Press

The Other Press, Douglas College's student newspaper since 1976. Articles, insight and updates from the New West and Coquitlam campuses.

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