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CBCNews.ca readers debate Canada's military cuts

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Our feature article on looming cuts to the Canadian military sparked hundreds of comments from members of the CBC Community, some calling for a stronger military and some calling for Canada, like Iceland and Costa Rica, to abandon the standing army. 

  • "What kind of military can Canada afford? What a stupid question. How about what kind of military does Canada need? Answer: none. It is time to stop the militarization of what was once a peaceful nation of peacekeepers," said kd1950.

  • "No military? Are you crazy? Who does disaster relief, search and rescue and even peacekeeping? Canada needs a military. The military does more than just fight wars. The military does things the rest of us do not want to do to keep Canada safe and peaceful. Canada is a great country and most Canadians enjoy a peaceful and high standard of life. One reason is because of the Canadian Forces," replied Choobooloo.

  • "I would say to those who do not think we need a military or that it should not be adequately equipped or funded do they also believe we should be a sovereign nation? If we do not have a military capable of maintaining control over our territorial waters and airspace the U.S. and Russia will do it for us. If we do not have a military capable of rapidly deploying anywhere in the world (albeit as part of a coalition) then we do not have a say at the table as regards international affairs," said dictum sapienti sat est.

  • "Canada needs to be able to protect its maritime coasts, and with the Arctic waters opening and resources becoming accessible we need to be able to patrol the North. We need to focus on building up the resources (human and mechanical) for the domestic mission, before looking to the world scene," said THG012.

  • "We need to make sure we can protect our High North and surrounding coasts, by air and sea, and also meet obligations that our NATO membership may require. IMO, these are non-optional, as we need to be able to secure our nation, as well as assist in global security, if needed. That said, spending should be prudent," said LiveFreeOD.

  • "We did not have the respect of the world when we cut our military down to the point where they could not afford new and modern equipment. We went for decades with the lowest investment in defence as a percentage of GDP than any other modern NATO or western nation. We cut so much capability out of the military during the Liberal years (Trudeau and Chretien) that the only mission left that Canada could do was handing out flowers and candy," said tumbler.

  • "With the world population pushing seven billion, powerful empires facing imminent bankruptcy, and the developing world's insatiable thirst for natural resources, Canada appears wealthier every day in almost every measurable dimension. We have more fresh water, oil, minerals, and, probably the most valuable commodity of all, wide open space, per capita than any other nation on Earth. As global economic pressures transform into survival pressures, Canada had better be prepared to defend itself if it hopes to remain a free and sovereign nation. We have to be ready to defend ourselves economically, intellectually, morally, and if necessary, militarily," said Pineapple Frenzy. 

Some of the commenters called for a limited military. 

  • "We need a military that fits our national interests - small, designed for disaster relief and peacekeeping, and no longer part of NATO. We'd be much better off with an army of well educated, healthy civilians than to have our current military, which eats our taxes and harms our international reputation. The cold war is over, and while the military has become one of the most entitled groups in Canadian government, we need to take a good hard look at what they actually do. The most serious threat to our sovereignty comes from the United States, and our response has been to integrate our forces with theirs - none too sensible," said Sam Jenkins. 

Thank you for following our news coverage on CBCNews.ca. Please continue the debate in the comments below. 

Tags: Canada, Community, Community Reaction

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