NewsAlert: Canada extending mission in Latvia; adding more troops


Trudeau informed that Canada would contribute CF-18 fighter aircraft to help guard Baltic airspace and would also provide assistance to Latvia in cyber-defense.

Canada's defence spending was estimated at 1.36 per cent of GDP in 2017 and is only expected to rise to 1.4 per cent by 2024.

But Trudeau appeared to be far from Trump's orbit during the traditional gathering of leaders for the NATO family photo op and ceremony, standing quietly to the side as Trump chatted with Britain's Theresa May, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel. He wrote Trudeau ahead of the summit expressing "growing frustration" with the fact the two per cent target is still not being met by the majority of alliance nations.

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sits down Wednesday in Brussels with U.S. President Donald Trump and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders, much of the discussion will focus on how much each member of the alliance is spending on defence.

"This need not presage a darker time, like Rome's withdrawal from Britain, but more will be required of the world's other free countries".

That is, we see the increasing presence of the United States and Canada to Europe,"he said".

Asked directly whether Canada plans to meet the two per cent target, Trudeau said simply that there are no plans to double Canada's defence budget, which now stands at around $20 billion a year.

The mission's activities have since been curtailed, and in some cases suspended, as a result of ISIL's defeat and ongoing fighting between some of the different Iraqi factions that Canada and its allies had been supporting.

The only true growth will be in Latvia, where the government plans to add 80 new soldiers to 450 already there.

The Prime Minister's Office said Trump and Trudeau "had a conversation on the margins of the meetings today about trade, including NAFTA".

"In order to trade we have to have safety", he said.

But given that Trump has followed through on other threats - including tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada and the European Union, as well as a full-blown trade war with China - Perry said allies ought to be concerned about the possibility that Trump isn't bluffing. Canada is stepping up. We do have disagreements. "Two world wars and a Cold War taught us that we are stronger together than apart", he said, adding that the U.S. troop presence in Europe allows Washington to project military power into Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. "The reason to invest more in defence is because it's needed because we live in a more unpredictable world".

Note to readers: This is a corrected story.

The president acknowledged Monday on Twitter that other member states have increased their defence spending, but repeated his complaint that the USA contributes far more than other countries, which he said "is not fair nor is it acceptable".