We Need To Build More Weapons & Ammunition

Canada must prepare for war. And no amount of ‘convening power’ or naive wishful thinking can change the fact that preparing for war means ramping up military production.

Imagine for a moment that two hockey teams were on the ice, but one team thought they were practicing, and the other thought they were playing a real game.

Who would play more aggressively?

Who would be more ruthless?

Who would score more goals?

The answer is obvious.

The team that was actually playing to win would perform at a higher level, while the team that thought it was just a practice would get pushed around, dominated, and outscored.

Even if they were the better team.

Even if they were stronger, faster, and more well-coached.

Of course, this isn’t a perfect analogy, but it is a good way to understand the situation we are facing today.

Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea are already waging war against the Western world.

North Korea provides weapons to Russia to help continue Putin’s war against Ukraine. 

China provides Russia with financial assistance and technology transfers to continue the war.

China blocks any international action to hold North Korea accountable.

Iran mass produces drones used by Russia to kill Ukrainians. 

Iran funds and trains terror groups like Hamas and the Houthis, who distract American attention away from confronting Russia.

China blocks any UN response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

China & Russia block any strong UN condemnation of Hamas by the UN Security Council.

Russia, China, and Iran flood the Western world with propaganda meant to keep us divided, make us doubt our own values, and forestall any military build-up that could challenge the authoritarian states.

And, perhaps most importantly given the disturbing implications, Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea are relentlessly bombarding their own populations with propaganda meant to prepare them for and justify a massive war against the world’s democracies.

They are also arming themselves at a rapid pace.

Russia is shifting to a total war economy:

“Russian President Vladimir Putin gave his official approval to a significant increase in military spending that will see around 30% of fiscal expenditure directed towards the armed forces in 2024 as he signed draft budget plans into law on Monday.

Moscow is diverting ever more resources towards prosecuting its war in Ukraine. Spending on defence and security combined is set to reach around 40% of all budget expenditure next year.”

China countinues a massive naval build up:


Iranian drone production is surging, and their drones are increasingly sophisticated:

“Iranian drone usage is following a concerning trajectory: The more these drones proliferate, the more lethal and sophisticated they become. Iran tested and refined its drone systems with sales to its proxy network before delivering them to Russia at scale during the Ukraine conflict, and its drones and manufacturing plants have also recently appeared in South America, Africa, and Central Asia.”

Meanwhile, North Korea appears able to produce more ammunition than all of Europe & North America:

“North Korea is likely to ramp up production of munitions after shipping thousands of containers full of suspected artillery ammunition and weapons to Russia, according to an expert interviewed by the JoongAng Ilbo.

North Korea is locked into the inter-Korean standoff, so if they gave up [weapons from] its inventory, they will have to replenish their supplies by a similar amount,” an expert told the JoongAng Ilbo on condition of anonymity.

An official from the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) told reporters last week that Seoul’s military intelligence estimates about 2,000 containers of military equipment and munitions were shipped from Rajin, North Hamgyong Province, to Vladivostok in the Russian Far East.

The JCS believes that the containers could contain more than 200,000 rounds of 122-millimeter artillery shells or more than 1 million 152-millimeter shells, as well as other weapons, such as T-series tank ammunition, anti-tank guided missiles, rocket launchers, rifles and even possibly SRBMs.

The expert interviewed by the JoongAng Ilbo said that North Korea “seems to have provided Russia with six months’ worth of production,” based on current South Korean estimates of the North’s annual production capabilities.

“Although exact production figures cannot be determined because the manufacturing process and raw materials vary according to the different types of artillery shells, we estimate that the North can produce around 2 million 152-millimeter shells per year,” he said.”

Canada sleeps

While our enemies manipulate us here at home and build up their forces abroad, Canada is sleeping.

Even amid the sluggish response from most of the free world, Canada stands out in our refusal to ramp up military production.

“It would seem that the one area – literally, the only one – in which the Liberal government is unwilling to spend money is when it comes to strengthening our armed forces:

In the fall of 2022, a little more than six months into the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, two of Canada’s major ammunition manufacturers submitted proposals to the Liberal government to drastically increase production of artillery shells.

Almost a year and a half later — with Canadian stockpiles drained by donations to dangerously low levels, and with Ukraine running out of ammo — a major agreement to ramp up production in this country still hasn’t been signed.

And there doesn’t appear to be one on the immediate horizon, despite pressure from allies who already have moved to increase their own munitions capacity.”

To get a sense of how feckless and naive the federal government is, consider the following:

The Liberal government has approved an addition $77 billion in new borrowing – above what they originally expected to spend – but $400 million in ramping up artillery production is apparently too costly:

“The Liberal government’s hesitation stems in part from the fact that boosting production of the NATO-standard 155 millimetre shells that both Canada and Ukraine need requires a federal investment of as much as $400 million in the factories where they’re made.”

Echoing their refusal to support expanded LNG exports, the Liberals appear to believe there is no ‘business case’ here:

“But more than anything else, the federal government seems stuck on the investment question. Sources say federal officials are skeptical and believe there won’t be enough long-term demand to justify ramping up production of the M795 variant of the 155 millimetre shell known as the “operational round” — the NATO-standard ammunition needed by both Ukraine and the Canadian Army in Europe.”

Not only is that absurd, but it shows how horribly the government is misjudging the situation in which Canada and our allies find ourselves.

Spending on the military is by definition ‘inefficient.’

In the best case scenario, all the spending turns out to be unnecessary in the absence of a major war.

And yet, the whole point of military spending is to be ready if a war takes place.

Additionally, military spending can dissuade aggression, by raising the potential costs to the aggressors.

There is also an ethical issue here.

Canada has troops stationed in Eastern Europe.

If a NATO country is attacked, our troops and our allies will quickly find themselves needing large amounts of ammunition.

By refusing to expand our artillery production, we increase the likelihood that our troops will be deprived of what they need. As we are seeing in Ukraine, ‘shell hunger’ can have devastating consequences.

To deploy our troops and then refuse to ramp up production of artillery is unacceptable.

And it’s even worse, given news that Canadian components have been founded in weapons used by Russia against Ukraine.

According to the Globe & Mail, components from four Canadian companies have been founded in Iranian Shahed-136 drones, Shahed 131 drones, Mohajer-6 drones, and the Russian Orlan-10 drone, all of which Russia is using in their war against Ukraine.

This is what happens when one side understands it is at war, and the other side doesn’t.

We don’t produce enough for ourselves. We don’t produce enough for our allies. And our own components are being used by the enemy.

Also, do you not find it odd that the Liberal government only seems to care about ‘efficiency’ and watching their spending when it comes to our national defence?

They spend money at an absurd pace, yet get stingy when it comes to the military.

Perhaps they think we can talk our way out of a major conflict, but that isn’t always possible, and it’s dangerously naive to think otherwise.

Convening power isn’t what we need right now

The Liberal government has sought to portray Canada as a ‘convening power,’ rather than a military power.

Yet, ‘convening’ didn’t stop Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Convening didn’t stop Hamas from launching a brutal attack on Israel.

Convening won’t counter China’s massive military build up.

Convening won’t help our allies catch up to Russian artillery production.

Convening won’t help us match and exceed Iranian drone production.

In short, there are cold & practical realities we must consider.

If we want to ensure the long-term survival of freedom and democracy, we must extract resources from the ground, refine those resources, pay people to turn those resources into weapons, and get those weapons into the hands of our men and women in uniform.

There is no magical way around this.

There is no way to talk our way out of this.

We must wake up and realize that we are already at war. Whether we call it a ‘hybrid-war,’ or a ‘cold war,’ we must understand that it is a war.

Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea are determined to defeat us in order to impose a brutal, ruthless, anti-democratic, anti-freedom vision on the world.

We can either rearm and prepare to work with our allies to stop them, or we can bury our heads in the sand and hope it all goes away – which it won’t.

And so, there is only one thing we can practically do:

We must build more weapons.

Spencer Fernando

Photo – YouTube


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