Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Understanding the logic of Canada giving $2.26 billion in arms to Ukraine


Canada arms trafficking Ukraine hegemony colonialism repression NATO subjugation imperialism

Over the past year Ottawa has given Ukraine over $2 billion in weapons. The size of the arms donation is unprecedented in Canadian history.

According to a February 17 Le Devoir calculation, Canada has delivered $2.26 billion in weapons to Ukraine. The paper costed 17 different announcements, which include 4 heavy tanks, 4,200 single-use rocket launchers, an anti-aircraft missile system, 4 howitzers with 27,000 shells, 76 drone cameras, 247 armoured vehicles and more. On Friday the Liberals announced they were sending four more heavy tanks, an armoured recovery vehicle and more than 5,000 rounds of ammunition.

Since World War II, this quantity of arms donations is unprecedented. The only example that may be comparable is the arms Canada transferred through NATO’s Mutual Aid Program in the decade after the alliance was created. Between 1950 and 1958 Ottawa donated $1.53 billion ($9 billion today) in ammunition, fighter jets, military training, etc. to European NATO countries.

Through this program Canada armed France, Belgium and Britain as they violently suppressed independence struggles in Algeria, Congo, Kenya and elsewhere. In reference to France’s bid to suppress the Vietnamese independence movements, external affairs minister Lester Pearson told Parliament in 1953 that “the assistance we have given to France as a member of the NATO association may have helped her recently in the discharge of some of her obligations in Indo-China.” With 400,000 French troops in Algeria in 1956 Canada transferred hundreds of thousands of bullets to that country.

During the 1950s and 60s Ottawa armed the colonial powers rather than the independence movements. In subsequent years it sold significant amounts of weapons to the US, not the Vietnamese resistance. Likewise, it armed the South African apartheid regime in the 1970s, not Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress. During the 1980s Canadian firms sold Indonesia weapons, not the East Timorese independence movement.  (more...)

Understanding the logic of Canada giving $2.26 billion in arms to Ukraine

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