Re: “Trudeau is right to resist defence lobby’s call for more military spending,” (The Hill Times, April 24, p. 12). No one should celebrate war or war machines, including the NATO alliance. However, there are several problems with the case Douglas Roche makes against Canada’s membership in and support for NATO. Canada’s slip-sliding refusal to commit to the two per cent NATO military funding threshold is not principled resistance, as Roche suggests. It is a product of decades of wilful blindness and neglect: our refusal to come to terms with our sheltering under the military umbrella of the United States, or to accept full responsibility to defend our borders and our slagging off full-throated commitment to peacekeeping. Our allies and our neighbours have a right to be annoyed. We are—despite protestations that Canada punches above its weight—refusing to carry our fair share of the burden of defending ourselves, our values, democracy, and peace. Roche ignores the fact that Canada has not contributed in any significant way to peacekeeping missions over the past quarter century. Without personnel (the Armed Forces are down 10,000 people) and equipment (Canada’s war kit appears to be in dismal shape), Canada cannot be a leader in preserving the peace. He also ignores the real threat to Canada’s northern borders—Russian and Chinese incursions and territorial claims to our vast northern regions—or that we have historically relied on and benefited from the peace dividend (a nod to Peter Worthington) which Canada enjoys courtesy of the U.S. Though Roche questions our attachment to NATO, the Ukraine war is teaching us that democracies must—if they wish to survive—stand together. On this issue, I have looked at what Margaret MacMillan and John Polanyi, sources Roche relies on, have to say. Professor MacMillan is clear that if we allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to seize territory on Russia’s borders, we risk empowering other brutes to do the same. She also counsels us to strengthen international agreements and defend shared values. Surely, this offers some support for NATO allies defending not only their borders but democracy and international law. With respect to achieving peace in Ukraine, Polanyi joined 149 other Nobel laureates in a Call for Peace. But the call is for Russia to respect international law, and recall its armed forces, and then, and only then, to start negotiations. Putin has yet to bend. Arming Ukraine and imposing sanctions are the necessary tools to force him to do so. At this point in time, Canada and NATO must leave it to others to do the talking and seek an agreement to end the war. Peter Kirby Kenora, Ont.