Sajjan Attacks Trump’s NATO Comments

Donald Trump’s comments that, if elected president, the U.S. wouldn’t automatically come to the aid of allies are “not helpful,” Canada’s defence minister says.

The Republican nominee caused a stir this week when he said some NATO members aren’t spending enough on defence, and are instead relying on the U.S. to protect them. That would change if he’s elected, Trump told the New York Times.

“We’re talking about countries that are doing very well,” he said. “I would absolutely be prepared to tell those countries, ‘Congratulations, you will be defending yourself.’”

While Trump appeared to be directing his comments at European allies, Canada spends less than one per cent of its gross domestic product on defence. That is half the NATO target and puts Canada near the back of the pack among the alliance’s 28 members.

In an interview with The Canadian Press Thursday, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan defended Canada’s military contributions and NATO. He pointed to Canada’s recent promise to lead a NATO force in Latvia and its role in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant as proof the country is pulling its weight.

“We’re stepping up in a much bigger way,” Sajjan said. “When you put everything together, we have nothing to embarrassed about. In fact, we actually can be very proud of the fact of how much we’re doing.”

… says the guy whose country is doing the bare minimum in Latvia and only because other NATO members require it.

Trump has made some confusing remarks on international defense but asking allies to pay a little more isn’t one of them.

Sajjan and his government may be comfortable picking its battles and the money spent on them but those do not equal military might or moral fortitude. That’s smoke and mirrors.

  • Alain

    I can only hope that Trump is elected and makes good on this promise. He is absolutely right, and I say this as a Canadian.

    • Take a look at what he has said about the situation on the Korean Peninsula. I don’t think Trump has a handle on that.

      That being said, he’s right on expectations from allies. Defense isn’t cheap.

      • Drunk_by_Noon

        In a square off between North Korea and South Korea, the south is far stronger.

        • Let’s addend this appropriately: Chinese-backed North Korea will face off with US-backed South Korea.

          I keep saying this: there should be a new pan-Asian alliance and Japan and South Korea should nuclearise.

          Also, giant robots.

          • FactsWillOut

            Canada should also nuclearise.
            …and bring back the Avro Arrow!

          • EMPs is the way to go in my opinion.

    • john700

      For Trump, the problem with Canada is that the US have no other option but to defend Canada, even if Canada disbands its army.

      • Alain

        Valid point and true, but he could then make us cover the real cost.

        • G

          If Canadians were ever stupid and lazy enough to make this their official policy (and there are many who think this is a great idea) the U.S. would quickly make them regret their decision.
          There are economic levers the U.S. could easily use that would bring Canada to it’s knees very quickly. On 9/11 the Can/US border was closed for only a couple of days and Canadian subsidiaries of American Automakers went into lay offs.

          Many Canadians are complete arrogant assholes. They think they can spit on Americans constantly and there will never be any negative impact.

          I think they will soon be unpleasantly surprised.

          • G

            I’d like to add that in early 2002 when America was trying to form a coalition to invade Afghanistan The Canadian PM Jean Chretien tried to placate the American with empty reassurances but at the same time telling Canadians they were never going to send troops.

            Telling 2 different groups different stories worked well for Chretien on the campaign trail but it didn’t work with Bush. The president hauled Cretch’s wrinkled old corrupt ass into a private meeting at the white house. A few hours later Cretch couldn’t wait to commit troops. I’d have loved to have heard what was said at that meeting especially when Secretary of State Colin Powell publicly warned (un-named) “lukewarm allies” that their “favored economic standing would be re-examined” if they chose not to support the U.S.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    How is Canada fighting ISIS?
    Justin withdrew the CF-18s.

    • Alain

      It seems our government’s solution is to import as many of them as possible and as quickly as possible.

    • Trudeau isn’t fighting ISIS because that wouldn’t be sporting on his part to fight against his new friends.

    • Exactly. And Canada’s Defense Minister Sajjan wasn’t even invited to the anti-ISIS Defense conference in Paris in January because of that. We abandoned NATO where it really counts — we’re not pulling our weight. Precisely to Trump’s point.

      Do we even have a f**king Sovereign Nation-State here any more? Or is Justin merely a pawn in the U.S. Democrat’s political campaign for global fascist Socialism? Fascist Socialists on one side and fascist Islamists on the other, and freedom-loving people caught in the middle.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    Of course, Trump is right that NATO and our other alliances need to be brought up to date, their missions redefined to fit the real world and that American taxpayers can no longer afford to give them a free ride on defense while our national debt grows like a cancer.

  • FactsWillOut

    NATO, with Canada’s help, handed Kosovo and Libya to jihadists.
    Leaders of NATO countries are handing their own countries to jihadists.
    NATO leaders encouraged the Arab Spring, and lauded the temporary leadership of the MB in Egypt.
    They are trying to hand Syria to jihadists.
    Now they want to hand Latvia to jihadists.
    NATO is just another globalist org, just like the UN, only heavily armed.

    • Alain

      True, there needs to be a new form of alliance to replace NATO. Perhaps one limited to North America, perhaps minus Mexico, where there would be equal contribuation in relation to population. No matter Trump is spot on with his comment in this case.

      • FactsWillOut

        Agreed, with the caveat that there needs to be a reversal of our leaders policies before any alliance can be fruitful.

  • Scotch_Pine

    Latvia is a country with a population that is half the size Toronto, but whose total military force is near half of Canada’s
    active forces. If anything, Sajjan has pointed out the glaring
    inconsistency in the Liberal position regarding both the size and outfitting of our military and our contribution to NATO. Why is it that polticians both Liberal and Conservative get so upset when someone starts talking about upsizing the armed forces and increasing military spending? Trump has said he’s going to stop putting coins in the machine for Canada’s free ride. So Justin better put a hold on that $100 millilion dollar cheque to Pakistan, and stop a whole lot of other wasted frivolous spending, and focus on real sovereignty and defense issues.

  • J. C.

    Who cares what this turban-wearing douche thinks??? This multi-culti bullsh*t has got to go!

    • Joe Lice

      The fleas in his turban do the thinking for him!