Harper government's warm embrace of NATO an about-face, say defence experts | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Harper government's warm embrace of NATO an about-face, say defence experts

OTTAWA - The Harper government's newfound enthusiasm for NATO in the wake of the Russian seizure of Crimea has alarmed defence experts, who say Canada should be mindful that it could be called upon to match its rhetoric with action.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper told the House of Commons on Wednesday that Canada was talking with its allies "about further co-ordinated action" over the tension in eastern Europe.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird this week lauded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as a "spectacularly successful alliance," a ringing endorsement different from the cool reception the multilateral group received following the Afghan war.

Over the last four years Conservatives have been quietly cutting Canadian ties to the Brussels-based alliance and pulling the country's defence policy closer to Washington.

Participation in NATO surveillance programs were ended last year as part of deficit reduction, even though the decision will cost the country's aerospace industry millions of dollars in lost contracts.

A defence expert says Canada has been making a lot of noise, but it has yet to commit even token military resources to eastern Europe as other countries have done.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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