Canada offers to lead new NATO operation in Iraq

Share

Canada will take command of a new training mission in Iraq created to counter the threat of a Daesh re-emergence, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Wednesday at the NATO Summit in Brussels. "We would like Russian Federation to get back to normality", Sajjan told The Canadian Press in January during a joint interview with Latvian Defence Minister Raimonds Bergmanis.

Prior to the June NATO meeting and this week's annual ministerial, Pentagon sources told The Washington Times that Mr. Mattis meant to present the US plan to expand the size and scope of the Iraqi military training operation - putting it on par with the ongoing mission in Afghanistan.

The Canadian-led battle group is one of four in the region, and includes troops from Albania, the Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

The NATO Secretary General announced that in future the Alliance will be able to quickly transfer troops from the U.S. and Canada to Europe if necessary.

U.S. President Donald Trump and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg have latched onto the target as an important indicator of how much individual members are contributing to the alliance. And the $40-million cost of Canada's training efforts in Iraq will come from previously approved funds, one senior official said, speaking on condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the talks.

More news: Mueller team indicts 12 Russian agents for hacking in 2016 election season
More news: Republicans mull holding former Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer Lisa Page in contempt
More news: The Queen sports TWO pairs of shoes at RAF centenary

A new report released by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ahead of the summit predicted Canada would spend 1.23 per cent of its GDP on defence this year - less, it turns out, than last year's level of 1.36 per cent, leaving Canada ranked 18th out of the alliance's 29 members.

Derow is also co-author of a recent Macdonald-Laurier Institute report stressing the importance of Canada's military presence in the Baltic region. Canada's contribution will help build security capacity and improve democratic governance.

Eihenbaums said security is also a concern when it comes to trade - Latvia has been trying to grow its exports to Canada under the Canada-EU trade agreement. That is, we see the increasing presence of the USA and Canada to Europe,"he said". "We should not stop (the Latvian mission), probably we should go further because we have to think about the air, we have to think about the water, we have to think about the seas".

But while he acknowledged the tensions between Canada and the US playing out in a trade dispute triggered by American tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, Trudeau said the USA remains a close friend and trading partner regardless of who is prime minister or president.

Share