The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) calls on everyone to condemn the “new defence policy” announced by the Trudeau Liberals on June 7. The policy does not respond to Canada’s defence needs but to the demands of the U.S. imperialists through NATO and the biggest defence monopolies and other private interests to increase military spending and step up war preparations. The announcement included a 70 per cent increase to Canada’s military budget over the next 10 years, increasing the size of the armed forces, the adoption of drone and cyber-warfare, further militarization of the arctic and purchasing additional warplanes and ships.
The scenarios the Liberal government is presenting in which Canadian soldiers will be sent to fight wars of aggression and occupation overseas, and a “defence policy” contrived on the basis of consultations it held from April to July 2016 with such “stakeholders” as the arms industry and foreign powers, pose grave dangers. In line with the Liberal government’s public relations approach, Canada’s participation in and launching of wars is presented as a factor for a “more stable and peaceful world.” It is not. The great insecurity felt by the world’s peoples today is a direct result of the imperialist wars that have devastated and threatened countries and whole regions. Canada’s “new defence policy,” called “Strong, Secure, Engaged” and filled with other similar buzz-phrases promises further war under a more dizzying array of pretexts that will put Canadians and peoples everywhere in harm’s way.
Some of the pretexts for war laid out in the policy documents are:
– Detect, deter, and defend against threats to or attacks on Canada;
– Detect, deter, and defend against threats to or attacks on North America, in partnership with the United States, including through NORAD;
– Lead and/or contribute forces to NATO and coalition efforts to deter and defeat potential adversaries, including terrorists, to support global stability;
– Lead and/or contribute to international peace operations and stabilization missions with the United Nations, NATO, and other multilateral partners;
– Engage in capacity building to support the security of other nations and their ability to contribute to security abroad;
– Provide assistance to civil authorities and law enforcement, including counter-terrorism, in support of national security and the security of Canadians abroad.
This reckless course announced by the Trudeau government is a coup d’état for the defence industry. The arms industry in Canada is one with that in the United States, which is “home” to the largest contractors. This is so much the case that Canada’s direct arms sales to the United States are not even officially reported. Unlike sales to other countries, they do not require permits. Figuring out where a Canadian “defence industry” begins and a U.S. one ends is a vain pursuit, let alone investigating the idea promoted that this will be “good for the economy” and “create jobs.”
The more than $30 billion in announced additional military spending over the next decade alone, most of which will be paid to the biggest arms monopolies, will result in the great parasitism of Canada’s economy and social wealth. This figure does not include costs related to future military deployments or any of the government’s subsequent “decisions related to continental defence and NORAD modernization.” Although it is a truism to note how far these sums of money would go towards providing for the people’s well-being, just as significant is the fact that this wealth is directed away from the all-sided development of the economy towards militarism.
Underscoring the insecurity felt by Canadians and others today is the people’s lack of control over their lives and work, including the direction of their societies. This “defence policy” is a clear example of the consequences of this lack of control and of a depraved ruling elite usurping control from the vast majority. CPC(M-L) affirms that the people have the right to deliberate on matters of war and peace. The Trudeau Liberals’ Defence Policy Review and consultation has instead empowered private interests and imperialists to determine where Canada stands on these matters, resulting in a more aggressive, warmongering course for the country. It must be rejected.
No to Paying the Rich Arms Monopolies!
Canada Needs an Anti-War Government!
Step Up the Struggle to Make Canada a Zone for Peace!
- As one example, studies estimate that for $10 billion annually Canada could fully fund public post-secondary education and eliminate student fees. Universal child care has been estimated at $11 billion annually. The great need for additional resources for Canada’s health care system is also well known.
Anti-social and anti-national consequences of militarizing the economy
Canada’s Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, was unveiled on June 7. The policy was originally set to be released in December 2016 but has been delayed several times. Who it is designed to serve was made more than clear when the policy was revealed to the U.S. weeks ahead of its public release in Canada.
The phrase “Strong, Secure, Engaged” is elaborated as follows:
“Strong at home, with a military ready and able to defend its sovereignty, and to assist in times of natural disaster, support search and rescue, or respond to other emergencies;
“Secure in North America, active in a renewed defence partnership in NORAD and with the United States; and
“Engaged in the world, with Defence doing its part in Canadian contributions to a more stable and peaceful world.”
Since its Canadian release, Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan has been making appearances to promote the policy, including at a meeting of the Vancouver Board of Trade on Friday, June 9. The “new policy,” which contains a massive increase in military spending is to “do our part on the international stage to protect our interests and support our allies, guided by values of inclusion, compassion, accountable governance, and respect for diversity and human rights,” the Department of National Defence said.
The Trudeau Liberals talk about “Open and Accountable Government.” Who is it open and accountable to? One is supposed to understand that it is to the people, but how can it be so when the citizens cannot exercise control over it, not even on issues of war and peace? Canada’s defence policy makes clear that the Trudeau government is accountable to the interests of the financial oligarchy who will benefit tremendously from the windfall profits to be made from the more frantic military buildup. The idea that is promoted that Canada’s economy will be strengthened by militarization, also has feet of clay.
According to the documents released, Canada’s annual military budget will increase as follows (table in $billions):
|16-17||17-18||18-19||19-20||20-21||21-22||22-23||23-24||24-25||25-26||26-27||10 year||20 year|
This increase amounts to more than $62.3 billion over a 20-year period. Total funding for Canada’s military over the next 20 years is estimated at $553 billion but will be far more. The documents note, “While some operations can be managed from within the existing defence budget, for others National Defence will seek additional funding.” This does not include “funding decisions necessary for future military deployments as well as decisions related to continental defence and NORAD modernization.”
The media and official circles obscure the real aim of the militarization of the economy by falsely asserting that it will strengthen the economy, or that it is for “defensive” purposes and to guarantee peace. It has no aim other than to support aggression and to make maximum capitalist profits for the defence contractors and other big financial interests. Workers have to be especially vigilant as they are constantly told that military production has benefits, such as the “creation of jobs” and that technological breakthroughs in military fields will provide them with job security.
Further evidence of who the Trudeau government is accountable to is the fact that the “costing” for the new defence policy was all produced by private consulting firms. The Department of National Defence (DND) relied primarily on “global defence costing experts from Deloitte, who contributed expertise gained from Defence Reviews in allied nations.” As well, “a detailed third party review” was conducted by “five external accounting firms: Ernst & Young, KPMG, FMC, Samson and Associates, and Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton (RCGT).”
At a 2014 summit, NATO member states formally agreed to the demand of the United States that each spend at least two per cent of GDP on military, a demand that U.S. President Trump has reiterated. Canada’s new defence policy announces that “after consultation with allies,” Canada has changed the way it calculates military spending as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). According to the policy, Canada “has been under-reporting its defence spending” for NATO purposes, including “the exclusion of defence spending incurred by other government departments.” Based on the new calculations, Canada’s 2016/2017 defence spending amounts to 1.19 per cent of GDP, and will be 1.40 per cent of GDP by 2024/25. By 2024/25, purchases of “major equipment” will amount to 32.2 per cent of all military spending, above the NATO demand of 20 per cent.
Canada’s armed forces will increase in size, with the number of Regular Force soldiers increasing by 3,500 to 71,500 while the Reserve Force will increase by 1,500 to 30,000 members. Canada will purchase 15 new warships and 88 fighter jets to replace the existing CF-18s. This policy builds on the purchase of 65 new jets, previously announced. The defence policy does not commit to buy either the Boeing Super Hornets as an interim replacement or the Lockheed Martin F-35. Canada has contributed around $450 million to the F-35 development program to date.
The “new policy” leans heavily on specializing Canada’s armed forces in black ops and cyber-warfare, whose target is the peoples of this country and abroad. DND will create 120 new military intelligence positions and 180 new civilian intelligence positions, as well as build “Canadian Forces Intelligence Command” capacity. It prioritizes “the expansion of CAF Joint Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (JISR) capabilities, while enhancing intelligence collection, analysis and fusion capabilities, and supporting and leveraging the expertise of Canada’s defence and security academic community.”
Canada will purchase and utilize combat drones “capable of conducting surveillance and precision strikes.” The new policy announces that Canada will further “Develop active cyber capabilities and employ them against potential adversaries in support of government-authorized military missions.”
Canada’s new defence policy is a boon not only to the biggest private defence contractors through their privileged positions within DND. Canadian universities and research centres are also increasingly being turned over to the defence industry. In that regard, DND will adopt a research model “that draws more heavily on academic and private sector research and development (R&D),” documents say. Focus areas include: “surveillance, cyber tools for defence, space, artificial intelligence, remotely piloted systems, data analytics, and solutions to counter improvised explosive devices.”
The negative consequences of the policy do not end there. The Globe and Mail reports, “While the document is supposed to be comprehensive, the Liberals have yet to make key decisions, such as whether to join the American ballistic missile defence (BMD) system.” In fact, referring to upcoming meetings that will “modernize” NORAD arrangements, Sajjan did not rule out Canada joining the U.S. BMD program. Far from it, his answer shows all options are on the table. “Our policy is not changing on BMD. What we are going to be doing is to look at all of those threats, from air, maritime and underwater,”Sajjan said.
On NORAD, the policy states that Canada will “expand our capacity to meet NORAD commitments by improving aerospace and maritime domain awareness and response, and by enhancing satellite capability. We will also procure an advanced fighter capability and ensure we remain interoperable with our American allies.”
This “new defence policy” is not for peace but for war. It is not only anti-national but also anti-social. It puts the state treasury at the disposal of the all-out militarization of the economy, which has ruinous effects, the propaganda of the DND and the monopoly-owned media that it is a boon for jobs and stability notwithstanding. The fundamentals of the economic system determine its state of being, not self-serving public relations exercises of governments that are accountable to private interests. These public relations exercises are also intended to cover up the consequences to the economy which will result when its all-out militarization takes place.
One such consequence is the effect on inflation. Heavy expenditures for military purposes give rise to inflation because, in the final analysis, the increase in these expenditures and the militarization of the economy in general represent a reduction in the production of material goods and services for the working people and hence a reduction in the circulation of such goods. Instead of the production of goods for the working people, goods are produced which serve to maintain a standing army, forces of repression and to increase the military arsenal. The weapons produced do not go into circulation in the economy. The massive military spending contributes to creating deficits which the government will seek to pay off by printing more money, as well as through other means such as raising taxes, cutting back on services, etc. In this way, an inflationary disproportion is created, referred to as “too many dollars chasing too few goods and services.”
TML Weekly will provide further information in subsequent issues on the disastrous effects of Canada’s increasing militarization of its economy. TML Weekly calls on Canadians to oppose this militarization of the economy and the accelerating war preparations. All out to step up efforts to make Canada a zone for peace!
TML Weekly, June 10, 2017