Foreign Policy

Why Canada and Germany Deserved a G7 Smackdown

Both nations are failing miserably to uphold their NATO commitments.

Harold Hutchison · Jun. 13, 2018

While the recent G7 summit is seen in Leftmedia circles as a disaster, appearances in the immediate aftermath of a summit are often deceiving. President Ronald Reagan was widely assumed to have blown a chance for peace at Reykjavik, but in actuality, walking away won the Cold War.

In particular, President Donald Trump’s smackdown of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has drawn criticism. Well, let’s be honest, Canada deserved a smackdown. First of all, it does have exorbitant tariffs on American dairy products and has had them for a while. But worse, when it comes to fulfilling obligations as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Canada’s been slacking off. In 2015 and 2016, Canada needed Chile to bail it out when it was short on replenishment oilers.

So, Mr. Trudeau, where did the money from 270% tariffs that screwed over some American farmers go? This is the beef many Americans have: It’s one thing if Canada needed the cash for a strong military, but the Canucks obviously aren’t using it for such purposes. Heck, the United States might have been happy to have finished and given the Canadians two nearly complete Henry J. Kaiser-class oilers that sat around for most of two decades instead of scrapping them (that, itself, is a tale of the bipartisan responsibility for the decline of the U.S. Navy over decades). But Canada never asked.

As bad as Trudeau’s back-stabbing was, Canada isn’t the worst offender when it comes to failing to live up to NATO obligations. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been a sharp critic of President Trump, has overseen her nation’s military readiness take a nosedive.

Remember that “green” fuel that grounded the Luftwaffe’s Tornado strike planes? Well, that story was bad enough. Here’s what gets worse: Germany might not have enough gear to properly lead the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, which is intended to deter Russian aggression against Eastern Europe. Among the gear they are lacking? Tanks. And to hit Germany’s readiness even harder, it looks like setbacks in developing their new infantry fighting vehicle, the Puma, will force the aging Marders to serve for another decade.

If Merkel and Trudeau want to know why many Americans think they are freeloading on defense, their countries’ lack of military readiness is a clear example. It’s bad enough they are having these problems, but this stuff is occurring with an increasingly aggressive Russia. President Trump has been doing more to combat Russian aggression by selling arms to Ukraine and Georgia when Barack Obama wouldn’t, and yet he still must deal with claims of working in collusion with Russia.

Both Merkel and Trudeau, however, are darlings of a DC-Manhattan media axis that seems to be more interested in putting so-called “deplorables” in their place than actually reporting facts. So, these global leaders are likely to keep getting a pass, even though their countries have been less than ready to face much of any threat.

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