Years Of Neglecting Our Armed Forces Has Left Canada Vulnerable, And Less Able To Provide Equipment To Ukraine In Their Moment Of Greatest Need

A strong military is like insurance: You hope you don’t need it, but it’s great to have when disaster strikes. For far too long, Canada has acted as if we would never need it.

There’s a difference between promising something, and delivering it.

Canada has promised a lot of help to Ukraine, and rightfully so.

Canada should be standing 100% with Ukraine as they seek to save their nation from Putin’s invasion, and we should be doing even more to help.

Unfortunately, while we have delivered some needed assistance, some of what we have ‘promised’ is not materializing.

For example, Canada’s military aid to Ukraine is not arriving with rapid speed, compared to the aid sent by the United States:

“Canada announced a huge support of around $500 million for military support for Ukraine. But, unfortunately nothing has been purchased yet or delivered yet.” Ukrainian MP Oleksandra Ustinova says by comparison, the U.S. delivered arms just days after promising to do so.”

This is the result of years of neglecting our armed forces

Canada may be a wealthy nation on paper, but you can’t instantly ‘buy’ a military.

It takes time to make purchases, integrate new systems, and recruit/train those will will operate it.

And, you can’t give what you don’t have.

Canada’s military has been underfunded and hollowed out for so long, and our procurement system is so broken that we can’t do anything fast.

For many Canadians, this hasn’t been a problem, since we seemed to be immune from any major international conflicts.

But Ukraine doesn’t have that luxury.

They are in a life-and-death struggle against Russia’s attempt to rebuild the Soviet Union.

Ukrainians are dying every day in defense of their country, as Russia commits war crimes, murders innocent civilians, and seeks to erase the idea of Ukraine as an independent nation & people.

In a situation like that, you can’t afford to wait for a ‘process’ or ‘procurement’ system.

To fight an invasion, Ukraine needs weapons now.

Vulnerable and unable to help

Imagine if Canada had been meeting our NATO commitments over the past 10 years.

That would mean we would have been spending 2% of GDP on our military, and – compared to the much lower spending that actually took place – year after year, that would accumulate.

We would have already bought F-35’s.

We would have more tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, air-defense systems, anti-tank units, and artillery.

It would be easy for us to make large and rapid contributions to Ukraine without any concern over our own capabilities.

And, we would now be less insecure about the North – where Russia has been rapidly building up and where our forces are almost non-existent. 

In this way, we can see that a strong military is like insurance:

You hope you don’t need it, but when disaster strikes it is essential to have.

Getting it after the fact doesn’t get the job done, because it is too late.

Of course, we can’t go back in time and spend more on our military in the past.

All we can do is wake up to the reality of the world as it exists today, and realize that having a strong military is essential both for our own security and for our ability to assist our allies and nations like Ukraine seeking to gain their own freedom.

Spencer Fernando

Photo – YouTube