Where is the threat? (questioning the necessity for buying Upholder subs).
How many of these subs pose a real or potential threat to Canada? In the past three years, Canada has sold military goods to the owners of 441 of them, which strongly suggests that the government does not anticipate military confrontation with those countries in the foreseeable future. Almost all of the remaining subs are museum pieces. Of the 41 that are owned by countries that have not bought military goods from us recently, only Iran's three Kilo class subs are modern. With the sole exception of Iran, all of the countries possessing modern submarines are Canadian military customers.
Of course, it is possible that we are selling military equipment to people who are going to use it against us. Before buying the Upholders, however, the government would have done well to consider these facts: NATO and our other close allies account for 63 per cent of the world's military spending, or more than one and a half times the amount spent by all other countries - most of which we have very friendly relations with - put together. Even if we were to drastically reduce our military spending Canada and its allies would continue to possess overwhelming strength. NATO members also account for more than 80 per cent of the world's arms exports, so, if there is a military threat out there, it is largely supplied by us. Surely our response to that kind of threat should come in the form of co-operative security efforts, arms control regimes, and restrictions on the export of high-tech combat capabilities.
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|Date:||Mar 1, 1998|
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