NATO historically complacent?

British Defence Secretary, considered a potential successor to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, a Norwegian politician who has held the post since 2014, says members’ military budgets must grow if Russian expansionism is to be countered. “The world is getting more dangerous, more insecure and more anxious, and the next secretary general has to be able to deliver that,” he says. “Until Ukraine happened, there were too many people who didn’t want to see the threat from Putin, and look where we are now.” [node:read-more:link]

Sweden’s NATO status at renewed risk

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s weekend re-election has been followed by his government’s demand that Sweden take legal action against a Kurdish separatist group which mounted a May 28 political stunt in Stockholm. Turkey considers the group terrorists and has blocked Sweden’s NATO membership over what it says is Sweden’s inaction to date. [node:read-more:link]

Fortin case under more scrutiny

The Military Police Complaints Commission is looking into how military police handled the sexual-assault allegation against Major-General Dany Fortin, who was cleared of misconduct and acquitted by a Quebec Court last December. Fortin says he was the victim of a biased investigation and the Commission said today that his statements about senior military officials make it a matter of public interest. [node:read-more:link]

CAF in crisis: undermanned, underfunded, under-appreciated

The CAF is in crisis mode, attempting to deal with a lack of personnel and equipment, efforts to change its culture, operational pressures and reputational challenges. This huge machine cannot rapidly ramp up from dereliction when needed – it's time for Canadians to begin to recognize service to country as important, and give it the priority it deserves. [node:read-more:link]

New U.S. Army chief

General Randy George, the U.S. Army’s vice-chief of staff, has been nominated by President Joe Biden to be the service’s next chief, subject to Senate confirmation. [node:read-more:link]

Canada-U.S. interests “interwoven”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden used a day of talks in Ottawa March 24 to tackle a range of shared issues, including defence and security, third-country refugees, Haiti, clean energy and trade in what Trudeau said was a demonstration of how their countries’ interests are “interwoven.” Biden, on his first visit to Canada as President, agreed, saying, “I can't think of a challenge we haven’t met together.” [node:read-more:link]

Putin’s “spontaneous” Mariupol tour

Ten months after his forces flattened and then occupied the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, Vladimir Putin “spontaneously” made a nighttime visit March 18. Video released by Russian media shows him driving around the city, whose mayor-in-exile said is “symbolic” for Putin in that “he has come in person to see what he has done.” [node:read-more:link]

Fortin saga far from over

Major General Dany Fortin, summarily fired by the government in 2021 as head of its pandemic vaccine rollout and then prosecuted unsuccessfully for alleged sexual assault while a student three decades earlier, is suing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the federal government and senior military and political figures for more than $6 million in damages. In a statement filed today, his legal team claims defamation, misfeasance in public office, conspiracy and negligent investigation. [node:read-more:link]

Chinese leader consolidates hold

Xi Jinping was unanimously endorsed today for an unprecedented third term as China’s president. His reappointment by the political elite, largely seen as a formality, makes Xi the longest-serving head of state of Communist China since its founding in 1949. [node:read-more:link]

Turkish election May 14

It was confirmed today that Turkish voters will go to the polls for parliamentary and presidential elections May 14. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has led the NATO country for 20 years, initially as prime minister, is expected to face serious challenges from two main opposition parties. [node:read-more:link]

Trump dishes out dozens of whoppers

Fact-checking shows that Donald Trump’s speech to the annual U.S. Conservative Political Action Conference pushed the boundaries of creduility even for him. His lengthy March 4 address to the right-wing gathering in Maryland was packed with inaccurate claims about not only domestic politics but also, among other things, NATO, China, Russia, Ukraine and terrorism. [node:read-more:link]

CDS Eyre visits Kyiv

General Wayne Eyre, the Chief of the Defence Staff, wrapped up a visit to Ukraine’s capital today. His visit included a briefing from his counterpart, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, as well as meetings with Canada’s ambassador to Ukraine, Larisa Galadza and with Ukrainian troops, some of whom were Canadian-trained through Operation Unifier. [node:read-more:link]

Senior Ukrainian officer dismissed

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has dismissed Eduard Moskalyov, the joint forces commander who has led the counteroffensive against Russian forces in the Donbas region since last March. No explanation was given but Zelenskyy has described the situation in the region as difficult and painful. [node:read-more:link]

No NATO aspirations in Serbia

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told his parliament today that he has no plan to join NATO and will remain militarily neutral while maintaining ties with alliance members through weapons procurements. Kosovo and Bosnia & Herzegovina are the only other Balkan states which have not joined NATO. [node:read-more:link]


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