Gen. Jonathan Vance: Canada's NATO Contribution About More Than Just Money

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OTTAWA — The country's top soldier says measuring a country's military contributions to NATO solely in terms of defence spending is a shallow approach.

Gen. Jonathan Vance's comments to the House of Commons defence committee come amid expectations that Canada will face pressure from the U.S. to increase its defence budget in the wake of Donald Trump's election.

jonathan vance
Chief of Defence staff General Jonathan Vance speaks during a news conference in Ottawa on Aug. 30, 2016. (Photo: Fred Chartrand/CP)

Trump was critical of NATO during the presidential campaign, stressing that many members do not spend enough on their own defence.

Vance says there is sometimes a tendency to look only at spending, but Canada is pulling its weight with NATO in many other ways.

He says Canada's promise to lead a NATO force in Latvia is one example.

Soldiers have fired on ISIL forces pre-emptively

Vance also says his soldiers have fired on ISIL forces pre-emptively in Iraq.

But he is adamant they have only fired in what he describes as a defensive mode, which includes stopping an attack against Kurdish allies or civilians before it starts.

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