Donald Trump’s election victory is likely to pressurize the Canadian government to boost its defense spending and to reconsider its participation in US missile defense shield, military analysts in Canada predict.
Further the victory could affect some of the Canada’s high-profile missions in Eastern Europe, said Department of National Defence officials in Ottawa, who are working, analyzing about Trump presidency. Already, Trump has provided a preview of the directions he is planning to take, National Post reported Wednesday.
Trump has assured to boost the size of the US military and drastically raise the number of warships in America’s arsenal. He has talked about improving missile defense, focusing on outfitting naval ships with such a capability.
Trump has also warned that NATO nations as “free riders” and also he has said, they will have to share more of the financial burden on the security front. Canada was not mentioned any where specifically but the Washington will send a message in the future that more money as well as military weapons are required, analysts expect.
Canada spent just one per cent of GDP on defence last year, the smallest amount since before the Second World War, NATO said. It is currently in the bottom third in terms of defence spending as a percentage of GDP.
Trump also spoke about a type of Fortress America, which in other words mean that it could affect the Canadian borders as well, Martin Shadwick, who teaches strategic studies at York University in Toronto said.
Trump victory will also affect Canadian defense policy because Trump is promoting protectionist trade policies and tighter border security, Steve Staples, vice president of the Rideau Institute in Ottawa, said. Canada may also have to make security concessions if it wants to keep the border open for trade, Staples said.
However the pressure will be intense to strengthen military spending and to buy new equipment especially from Amercians, Staples added. "The defense policy makers of Canada will have little room to maneuver with this new president," he added.
Trump has said he would seek to form a new relationship with Russia. He also has suggested about US cooperation with Russia in their battle against IS militants.
Moreover, Trump is keen on focusing on a missile defence system outfitted on naval vessels, "something Canada’s navy is also thinking of", Martin Shadwick said.