Canada Publishes National Defense Policy, Fails to Meet NATO 2% GDP Requirement

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau and Defense Minister Blair have published their defense policy report outlining their vision for the Canadian military over the next five years. The name of the report is “Our North, Strong and Free: A Renewed Vision for Canada’s Defence” which places Climate Change in the High North as the most pressing challenge to Canada and its military. Climate change is then followed by the rise of autocracies which challenge the global order and then finally new and disruptive technologies which are redefining conflict.

However, the report outlines that over the next five years the Canadian government will only spend 8.1 B USD and $73 B USD over the next 20 years, bringing defense spending to 1.76% of GDP, below that 2% mark required of NATO member states. The report recognizes this:

“The government is projecting our defence spending to GDP ratio to reach 1.76% in 2029-30. This is a significant increase in defence spending is a major step forward in our effort to reach 2% of GDP, as agreed by NATO members at the Vilnius Summit in 2023. Consistent with this commitment, Our North, Strong and Free also puts Canada on track to exceed NATO‘s target of 20% for major equipment expenditures as a proportion of defence funding, and lays the foundation for future growth in the Canadian Armed Forces, including through a more regular cycle of review.

Canada has not fulfilled its NATO treaty obligations of GDP spending since 1987 when it spent 2.06%, preceded by a four-year period of satisfactory spending back to 1983.

Canada Military Spending/Defense Budget 1960-2024. Credit: MacroTrends
United States Military Academy and American Military University Alumni. Victor covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.


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