Peter Navarro, an economist, serving as director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy for the U.S., stated that each time a Canadian shows up in a uniform, it’s doing him/her a favour. President Donald Trump published in a new book called “The Madman Theory: Trump Takes On the World.”
The comments from Navarro were targeting Canadian soldiers who served in the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. After Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, more than 40,000 members of the Canadian Armed Forces took part in the NATO mission. 158 Canadian soldiers died during the 12-year operation. At the same time, thousands of more soldiers returned home with mental and physical injuries.
Navarro was quoted in his book asking whether Canadian soldiers were doing them a favour. He wondered if they were brought into the idea they needed to do as part of the global effort against terrorists. He argued that if they were doing them a favour, the Canadian government should have been thrown out of office. However, Author Jim Sciutto was shocked by Navarro’s comment saying that it was mind-blowing to him. Jim noted that they have arguably America’s closest ally in many respects.
Gen. Rick Hillier, the former Chief of the Defence Staff, who at one point commanded the NATO ISAF in Afghanistan, stated that Navarro’s comments were outrageous. He said, “it shouldn’t be men and women in uniform and those who served in Afghanistan, every Canadian should be insulted by comments like that … to put it all in that view is ignorant, and ignorance is perhaps more frightening than being insulted.”
Sciutto’s book navigates the way Trump’s erratic style and threats are alienating U.S. allies and empowering U.S. enemies.
Sciutto is the chief national security correspondent for CNN. He stated that there is a very zero-sum approach that Navarro and president Trump have, the kind of, ‘What have you done for us lately?’ type of attitude.
Over the weekend, Navarro forecasted that voters would give “tough guy” Trump a second term as “they know the world’s a dangerous place.” Navarro also showed condescension for Canada’s Liberal government in his book, saying, “I mean, what’s good about Canada? They’re much more kind of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.” On Tuesday, Navarro called Melania Trump the “Jackie Kennedy of her time.”
While sidelining long-time allies like Germany, South Korea and Canada – a friend since the Second World War, critics warn that Trump has courted dictators like North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Russia’s Vladamir Putin. Leon Panetta, former secretary of defence under then-President Barack Obama stated that he saw Canada basically join them in the foxhole. He added that they too cared about the principles they were fighting for, and it sends a signal to the rest of the world they cannot trust the United States.