The Trudeau government's second budget is more a cautionary one than one with the revolutionary zeal of the first. The budget does show us that the military is not a priority, with no increases and deferred spending on purchasing for eight years. From the time of Trudeau's father and former prime minister Pierre Trudeau to the times of Jean Chretien, the military has never been the priority of the Liberals.
According to Michael Ferguson's latest audit, the Army Reserve is clearly lacking "clear guidance on preparing for international missions, had lower levels of training as cohesive teams, and had not fully integrated this training with that of the Regular Army." Adding to that, the number of reservists is lower than needed and are not fully prepared to deploy when required.
A little over a decade ago, Canada -- under Paul Martin's Liberals -- rejected taking part in the United States Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system along its U.S. counterpart. The Canadian government is currently reviewing its defence policy, including the possibility to reconsider its position on their participation to the U.S. BMD system.
The Liberals promised a "leaner, more agile" military, raising concerns over the size of the military. With our current commitment and the promised renewal of UN peacekeeping missions, Canadian soldiers will not be able to sustain such a high operational tempo, let alone if we slash our military numbers.
The Conservative government's approach to countering the Islamic State (ISIS) threat was a three-pillared plan that combined allied military action, alongside direct foreign aid, and support for refugees and the dislocated in the region. In many ways, the plan brought to the last Parliament by the Conservatives was consistent with the Pearsonian worldview that Canada has a duty to take collective action with our friends to advance liberty for others and provide security at home.