Vanguard Magazine

Vanguard April/May 2023

Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR

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T his year has taught us that we cannot be complacent in funding our defence sec- tors—one need only look at the invasion of Ukraine to see how possible global threats are on any shore. While a globalised economy has its many benefits, we now know that it does not mean harmony will endure between nations—not everyone will always follow the same rulebook. Defence spending has always been somewhat of a political battlefield—de- spite it being very well known that coun- tries are only as protected as they have paid to be—and the pandemic has only intensified the complexities surrounding budgeting decisions. In a post pandemic world, governments are now faced with a set of new and very difficult challenges including navigating unprecedented economic uncertainty, deeply concerning geopolitical shifts, and relying on electorates that have only ever experienced "the good times". How gov- ernments will tackle allocating budgets in the context of these rapidly evolving com- plexities will be interesting to see. And while budgets have been increased across NATO governments (or are at least earmarked to) the full extent at which these governments will truly increase spending and what this will mean in rela- tion to rising inflation and falling or static GDP, remains to be seen. In good news however, signs are point- W H Y D E F E N C E N E E D S ing to investors being more inclined to back Defence. NATO's recent announce- ment of its launch of a €1bn fund to attract VC funding illustrates this appetite shift to- wards Defence from investors. The fund, called 'Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic', has an aim to spend €70m annually over the next 15 years in- vesting in early-stage tech start-ups how- ever it will only be operational in 2023. Traditionally investors have been hesi- tant to invest in Defence, with many in the past claiming conflict with ethical be- liefs. Whether their change of heart comes down to them now seeing Defence to be a good investment, or them caring more about national security, it should be en- couraged regardless. Exercise Maple Resolve. Photo: DND APRIL/MAY 2023 45 T H E LA S T W O R D B Y M A R K F O R T U G N O TO T H I N K M O R E L I K E A S TA RT U P

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