Canada questions future role of US world leadership
Canada Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told that Canada needed "hard power" because it could no longer rely on the United States for global leadership.
Canada announced Wednesday it will increase its defense spending by 70 percent over the next 10 years in part because, said its Foreign Affairs Minister, many Americans want to "shrug off the burden of world leadership".
The additional CAN$13.9 billion ($10.3 billion) will be used to bolster troops by 5,000, increasing technology so that the military can conduct cyberattacks and purchase armed drones that have the capability of performing airstrikes, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported.
The spending increase announcement comes one day after Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told the House of Commons that Canada needs "hard power" because it can no longer rely on the United States for global leadership.
"The fact that our friend and ally has come to question the very worth of its mantle of global leadership puts in sharper focus the need for the rest of us to set our own clear and sovereign course," Freeland told Members of Parliament on Tuesday.
She added that while Canada has previously been able to rely on the U.S. to protect the country, those days could be over.
"To rely solely on the U.S. security umbrella would make us a client state," she said, as reported by the Globe and Mail newspaper. "To put it plainly: Canadian diplomacy and development sometimes require the backing of hard power."
Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan said Wednesday the increase in military spending would enable Canada to protect itself and meet international commitments.
The increase will help finance 15 new warships, expected to cost about $60 billion, and the purchase of 88 new fighter jets, costing up to $19 billion.