Spending two per cent of GDP is misleading

  It constitutes a small part of the government’s recently released defence policy review, but it’s a telling one. Just 579 of 8,805 words are devoted to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s two-per-cent-of-GDP standard for defence spending, but the words and the numbers suggest Ottawa will likely never meet the alliance’s ideal. The much-anticipated...
  • Defence full of future promises

    June 14, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
    The fundamental challenge to change within the Canadian Armed Forces is commitment, not by troops, bureaucrats or military brass, but by governments. It’s easy enough to say Canada’s military needs more and better ships, planes and armoured vehicles, but acquiring them takes time and inevitably...
  • They assembled in Bedford Basin and Sydney Harbour, and picked up additions from St. John’s and the Gulf of St. Lawrence along the way, time after time after time. Each voyage totalled dozens of ships of all kinds, massed to carry personnel, food and war...
  • Defence review to improve deployment benefits

    May 31, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
    The federal government will no longer tax deployed military and police personnel, regardless of their mission’s risk, under changes proposed by Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. The measure is part of the coming defence review and is retroactive to Jan. 1. It will apply to all...
  • Our vulnerable Arctic

    May 24, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
      The Arctic’s vast expanse and stirring emptiness are rarely top of mind but always at the core of Canadians’ collective soul. It is a land of breathtaking beauty, profound challenges and stark contrasts. Nearly 40 per cent of Canadian territory lies above the Arctic...
  • What to do about North Korea?

    May 17, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Canada went to war in 1950 because North Korea’s invasion of South Korea was a clear affront to the principles of the still-fledgling United Nations and was viewed as a potential stepping stone to more serious confrontation in Eastern Europe. In fact, for decades it...
  • Testing North American air space

    May 10, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Recent approaches by Russian Cold War-era bombers off Alaska and the Canadian Arctic mark a significant escalation in such activity representing the most concentrated batch of Russian long-range missions in some time. But in all the years that Soviet and, later, Russian aircraft have embarked...