New York – Lt.-Gen. Gregory Guillot, during his confirmation hearing for the position of North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) commander, responded positively to a U.S. senator’s call for tough conversations with Canada regarding defense spending. The hearing came amidst heightened scrutiny in the United States over Canada’s military expenditures, which fall below the NATO targets.
Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska, known for his concerns about Canada’s defense contributions, expressed disappointment and highlighted the Wall Street Journal editorial’s criticism of Canada being a “military free rider.” Guillot, if confirmed by the U.S. Senate, is set to become the commander of NORAD, an organization jointly run by the U.S. and Canada to defend North America’s airspace.
Canada’s military spending, although increasing significantly in recent years, still falls short of NATO’s two per cent of GDP benchmark. The country’s commitment has drawn criticism from some U.S. lawmakers, while Canadian officials have been advocating for a broader definition of defense spending that includes investments in space, cyber, and artificial intelligence.
During the hearing, Senator Sullivan emphasized the need for strong monitoring of the Arctic, suggesting that Canada should contribute financially to support Arctic security and missile defense, given its proximity to the region.
While President Joe Biden’s administration has not publicly pressured Canada about its military spending, experts note that Washington seeks a focused effort from Canada in areas where it can make a difference, with Arctic security being a top priority.
Guillot, addressing the U.S. military’s concerns, highlighted the growing capabilities of adversaries, especially in hypersonic weapons, which present a significant challenge for the U.S. in the face of competition from China and Russia. The U.S. is vigilant about the development of sophisticated hypersonic missiles that could potentially evade radar and target distant locations, including the Pacific region.
The confirmation of Guillot as NORAD commander is widely expected, pending resolution of unrelated issues delaying new military confirmations in the Senate.
https://weeklyvoice.com/u-s-senator-criticizes-canadas-military-spending-norad-nominee-pledges-tough-conversations/ U.S. Senator Criticizes Canada’s Military Spending: NORAD Nominee Pledges Tough Conversations