According to NATO’s latest annual report, Canada spent an estimated 1.3 per cent of its GDP on the military last year — well below the target. Coming out of the alliance’s summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, the Liberal government faced a storm of bad press and increased pressure from allies to step up its financial commitment.
How the planned cuts will affect Canada’s commitment to NATO is unclear. Germany also recently walked back its pledge to meet the two per cent target.
Meanwhile: Poland Becomes a Defense Colossus.
Poland was already spending 2.4% of GDP on defense by 2022, ranking third in NATO after the United States and Greece.
The government decided much more was required. In 2023, Poland estimates it will spend more than 4% GDP on defense, which would be the highest proportion in NATO, as well as the highest proportion of the budget spent on equipment (over 50%.)
As Europe’s sixth-largest economy, by far the largest on the Eastern Flank, these figures translate into very substantial increases in personnel and hardware.
The country plans to double its land forces to 300,000. Huge purchases from abroad include 366 Abrams tanks and 96 Apache helicopters from the United States; 980 K2 tanks and 648 self-propelled howitzers from South Korea; hundreds of US HIMARS rocket launchers; many more Patriot air defense systems; 22 UK-made air defense batteries and three UK-designed frigates; as well as 48 South Korean FA-50 combat aircraft from and 32 US F-35 aircraft, complementing its existing fleet of 48 F-16s.
Canada and Germany have no excuse.
Update: I forgot to add the sign, courtesy of CDR Salamander.