Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace

DEFENCE POLICY REVIEW: MAKING PEACE OR MAKING MORE WAR?

Posted by strattof on May 26, 2016

Did you know that the Canadian government launched a Defence Policy Review and is holding “public consultations” on it across Canada?

Did you know that the Canadian government is considering

  • Expanding the Canadian military and doubling the amount of money spent on it?
  • Escalating Canadian military interventions on a global scale?
  • Making bigger commitments to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)?
  • Joining the US Ballistic Missile Defence system?

If not, you are not alone. There has been almost no discussion in the media—commercial or alternative—about this review. Yet, by the end of July, the review process is to be all wrapped up with the new defence policy to be announced early in 2017.

CANADA’S ENDLESS WAR

  • Canada has been continuously at war since 2003: Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine, Iraq, Syria.
  • In 2014, mere months after bringing the last soldiers home from Afghanistan, the Harper government committed Canada to military action in Iraq.
  • In April 2015, the Harper government extended Canada’s military mission in Iraq for another 12 months, until March 2016, and expanded it into Syria.
  • In March 2016, the Trudeau government extended Canada’s military mission in Iraq and Syria for another 12 months, until March 2017, and budgeted it over a three-year period to 2019.

DEFENCE POLICY REVIEW: PREPARING US FOR MORE WAR

The Defence Policy Review document poses a series of nine questions. These questions are, to say the least, leading questions: that is questions designed to take Canada in the direction of more war. For example:

  • Are there any threats to Canada’s security that are not being addressed?
  • How should Canada-US cooperation on defence of North America evolve in the coming years?
  • Should the size, structure, and composition for the Canadian Armed Forces change from what they are today?
  • What type of investments should Canada make in space, cyber, and unmanned systems?

DISASTERS OF WAR

War is a disaster for everyone it touches:

  • Soldiers are killed, maimed, traumatized.
  • Civilians in the war zone pay a tremendous price: death, injury, bereavement, displacement, trauma.
  • Civilians of countries engaged in war elsewhere also pay a price: Dead or injured loves ones. Money that could have been spent on education, affordable housing, and healthcare.

GET OUT OF NATO

NATO is a military alliance of 28 countries, led by the United States. It is a threat to world peace.

  • NATO has armed forces around the globe.
  • NATO has over two million troops.
  • NATO states account for over 70% of world arms spending.
  • NATO insists on its right to employ nuclear weapons on a first-strike basis.

It is about time Canada left NATO and its war-making policies.

KEEP CANADA OUT OF BMD

The U.S. Missile Defence system (BMD) is an anti-missile system that has been in development since the 1990s. Its stated goal is to defend against nuclear attack by “rogue” states.

It is currently located in a number of countries, including the US, the UK, Denmark, Greenland, and Romania. The US would like this system to be everywhere.

In 2005, the Liberal government of Paul Martin said “no” to joining BMD. The following were some of the reasons:

  • The viability of the program is unproven.
  • It would cost Canadian taxpayers billions of dollars.
  • The name “missile defence” is a misnomer, as the system is, in effect, a weapons development program and would lead to a new arms race.
  • It would not contribute to world peace or security.

These reasons still stand. The Liberal government of Justin Trudeau should also say “no” to joining BMD and start saying “yes” to working for peace.

TAKE ACTION FOR PEACE

  • Let Prime Minister Justin Trudeau know that ●you do not want Canada to join the US Ballistic Missile Defence system; and that ●you want Canada to work for peace in Iraq and Syria, as well as in Ukraine; and that ●you also want Canada to get out of NATO: justintrudeau@parl.gc.ca or 613-922-4211.
  • Send the same message to Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Minister of International Affairs Stephane Dion: sajjan@parl.gc.ca or 613-995-7052 stephane.dion@parl.gc.ca or 613-996-5789
  • Ask your MP to hold a “public consultation” on the Defence Policy Review. Also ask him where he stands on this review:  Ralph Goodale: goodale@parl.gc.ca or 613-947-1153; Andrew Scheer: andrew.scheer@parl.gc.ca or 613-992-4593; Erin Weir: erin.weir@parl.gc.ca or 613-992-9115.
  • Join Making Peace Vigil or another peace group. For information on Regina peace groups, email makingpeace@sasktel.net
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