News   Apr 18, 2024
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2022/24 Russian-Ukrainian War

That's very far fetched, to say the least.
To its full conclusion? Probably.

But there's concerns about how Putin will escalate. And in an era where Trump says he won't honour NATO commitments, what happens next? Putin will be awfully tempted to try and take back the Baltics.

Unfortunately, a lot of NATO has been slacking on defence about as much as we have.
 
Indeed. His pretext would be to 'save' the ethnic Russians in the Baltic states (many of whom were relocated there during the Soviet era) from oppression by the Nazi governments. Sound familiar?
 
As posted last week, there are strong parallels here to the 1930s. If these authoritarians believe they can get away with more invasions, they'll try.

And unlike the 1930s, it's not much easier for them to spread propaganda to democracies convincing our populations not to defend ourselves or help their victims.
 
To its full conclusion? Probably.

But there's concerns about how Putin will escalate. And in an era where Trump says he won't honour NATO commitments, what happens next? Putin will be awfully tempted to try and take back the Baltics.

Unfortunately, a lot of NATO has been slacking on defence about as much as we have.
Even if Trump causes that kind of chaos, they aren't the only nuclear-armed member of NATO. Trump's bluster about not honouring NATO commitments was while Russian aggression against Europe seemed hypothetical. The US political system would have a meltdown if he tried to abandon NATO.
 
Even if Trump causes that kind of chaos, they aren't the only nuclear-armed member of NATO. Trump's bluster about not honouring NATO commitments was while Russian aggression against Europe seemed hypothetical. The US political system would have a meltdown if he tried to abandon NATO.

But even if they have a meltdown that still undermines NATO. And the only recourse if he refuses to go to war with NATO is for Congress to impeach him.
 
I am no Trump fan. But this is not entirely wrong. If I was American I'd be pissed too that Canadians and Europeans rely on American protection and then look down on Americans for not having a decent welfare state.


Americans lack a decent welfare state for a host of other reasons than excessive defense spending.

And it is excessive, and not needed for security for Canada or Europe. Aside from a wide ranging global presence with bases all over the world, which are absolutely not necessary to global security and not used for that purpose, the U.S. also blows
all sorts of money on military pork, keeping every congress critter happy w/military base or manufacturing jobs in their state.

But back to the other welfare state issues. America spends vast sums on corporate welfare (see The Inflation Reduction Act); it spends vast sums on prisons and law enforcement, incarcerating more citizens per capita than any other major developed country on earth except for China; and it spends gobs too much on healthcare by allowed unfettered prices for prescription drugs; something they are the only OECD county to permit, and which does nothing to further research, and everything to line the pockets of exploitive capital.

The Americans also failed to segregate either Social Security or Medicare Funds from the General Fund of gov't; and hasn't allowed proper investment management of either fund.

Finally, they also have well below median levels of taxation. Notably, with the absence of a National VAT.

The notion that Americans can't afford better because they're protecting others is, at best, wildly exaggerated.
 
Americans lack a decent welfare state for a host of other reasons than excessive defense spending.

And it is excessive, and not needed for security for Canada or Europe. Aside from a wide ranging global presence with bases all over the world, which are absolutely not necessary to global security and not used for that purpose, the U.S. also blows
all sorts of money on military pork, keeping every congress critter happy w/military base or manufacturing jobs in their state.

But back to the other welfare state issues. America spends vast sums on corporate welfare (see The Inflation Reduction Act); it spends vast sums on prisons and law enforcement, incarcerating more citizens per capita than any other major developed country on earth except for China; and it spends gobs too much on healthcare by allowed unfettered prices for prescription drugs; something they are the only OECD county to permit, and which does nothing to further research, and everything to line the pockets of exploitive capital.

The Americans also failed to segregate either Social Security or Medicare Funds from the General Fund of gov't; and hasn't allowed proper investment management of either fund.

Finally, they also have well below median levels of taxation. Notably, with the absence of a National VAT.

The notion that Americans can't afford better because they're protecting others is, at best, wildly exaggerated.
We have been proving over and over again that we are non-serious about national defence.
26DC2092-7255-4983-BE6B-D00520958950.png

Never mind welfare and healthcare, if I were American, I’d just be pissed how little other NATO countries were spending on their own defense.
 
We have been proving over and over again that we are non-serious about national defence.
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Never mind welfare and healthcare, if I were American, I’d just be pissed how little other NATO countries were spending on their own defense.

While I certainly think there is room to consider funding additional/better capabilities and keeping equipment in better condition...........

I'm not really ready to endorse the above conclusion.


1) Lets use up to date statistics, for 2024, the estimate is that Canada will spend 1.4% of of GDP on the military, and is buying an entirely new, and larger fleet of fighter jets and naval vessels.

2) Second, Canada's National Defense budget is ~27B in 2023-2024 spending estimates, that's not chump change. Its also tied for the largest single direct program expenditure by the Federal Gov't (excludes transfers to provinces, and CPP).

3) The Americans are the cause of many global security threats, both as the arms supplier, including to many non-democratic, non-NATO countries, but also as non-signatories to the anti-land mine convention, the convention against chemical and biological weapons etc. They make the stuff everyone else has to defend against.

4) Yes, the Russians, the Chinese and others are building/developing their own stuff, but their spending in absolute dollars and their capabilities are well below that of the Americans. The world has been in a arms race to keep pace w/the globe's biggest spending on military R&D for decades.

None of that is to unduly bash the Americans nor to excuse our own failures. But I dislike this notion that Canada is somehow 'not serious' because we don't keep pace in military expenditures with a country I don't wish us to emulate.

Finally, let's review who the big spenders on the military as a percentage of GDP:

1707752520353.png


Hmmm, you've got 4 highly developed countries with high standards of living there. Excluding the U.S. one is currently at war and surrounded by hostility and another is on a war-like footing with its immediate neighbour.

Now, let's review an admittedly non-scientific list of the countries with the best quality of life in the world:


Of the above, Australia and Sweden are the only 2 cresting 2% of GDP on the military, only just, and only as recently as last year.

So 8 of the top ten countries spend less, often much so.
 
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And it is excessive, and not needed for security for Canada or Europe.

What are you basing this on? Ukraine has substantially demonstrated that Europe and Canada would be hopped without the US. Our countries don't have enough in store to stave off Russia together without devastating losses. For example, Canada has zero air defences right now. Our armour is mostly two decades old and not enough to fit out a full division. Our fighters are over 40 years old. Our helicopters are over 30 years old. Our ships are over 30 years old. Heck, we don't have enough submarines to patrol our own waters. And a lot of the European countries are only marginal better than us. We can't have our cake and eat it too where we simply insist that Americans carry the load but then kvetch when they chafe at such demands.
 
1) Lets use up to date statistics, for 2024, the estimate is that Canada will spend 1.4% of of GDP on the military, and is buying an entirely new, and larger fleet of fighter jets and naval vessels.

2) Second, Canada's National Defense budget is ~27B in 2023-2024 spending estimates, that's not chump change. Its also tied for the largest single direct program expenditure by the Federal Gov't (excludes transfers to provinces, and CPP).

Absolute spending doesn't mean much. Purchase Power Parity means developing countries get more for their dollars than developed countries.

Also, how soon we forget the 2% target. What would you say if the same attitude was applied to climate and foreign aid targets?
 
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Another thing about the American military budget is that there are multiple clearances for humanitarian aid to different countries such as Guyana and that not military humanitarian as it is considered in the interest of the national security of the United States. So a lot of the actual meat in their budget ends up going to other countries in the form of humanitarian aid
 

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