New figures show that Canadian military spending will be cut significantly, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prepares to defy President Donald Trump’s demands for higher NATO military spending at the alliance’s summit in Brussels.
According to the CBC, Canada will spend 1.23 percent of its GDP on defense in 2018, down from 1.36 percent last year. This is far below the 2 percent target set for NATO members, which has been a particular source of irritation for the American president.
Canadian National Defence spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier said the drop in investment was largely because of one-off payments, such as a retroactive pay increase for service members and a $1.3 billion payment to the fund that pays servicemembers’ pensions.
Few NATO nations have met the 2 percent pledge since the fall of the Soviet Union almost 30 years ago, and while the alliance has now committed to meeting the target, it will take time for them to deliver. Trump, meanwhile, said he expects the change “immediately.”
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