ibusinesslines.com September 20, 2018

Canada to head new North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission in Iraq

14 July 2018, 09:03 | Erica Roy

As NATO seeks to prove relevance, Canada offers to lead Iraq mission

Canada To Lead NATO Training Mission In Iraq

Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kučinskis said that despite the great distance separating the two countries, cooperation between Canada and Latvia is a lot better than is the case with plenty of countries that are a lot closer to each other.

Tuesday was spent paying homage to Latvia's own military efforts - laying flowers at war memorials, inspecting military vehicles at the Adazi military camp outside Riga, and engaging in conversation with the youthful soldiers from numerous countries that make up the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation battle group.

Speaking ahead of the NATO Summit, Trudeau said that Canada would assume command of the training and capacity building mission in Iraq for its first year, a Defense Post reporter at the "Our Shared Global Values" event in Brussels said.

Canada's defence spending is now 1.23 per cent and only projected to reach 1.4 per cent in 2024.

Meanwhile, Trudeau will be framing his key message that Canada remains committed to the alliance by lending its military expertise to bolster the stability and security of a region that remains essential to Canada's national interests.

Canada is expected to spend an estimated 1.23 per cent of its GDP on defence in 2018 - down from 1.36 per cent past year, says the annual report, which looks at military investments for all member states.

Questioned repeatedly about Trump's attacks on European allies and Canada, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg acknowledged the trans-Atlantic differences but refused to say whether the USA leader's attacks are damaging the alliance.

"This need not presage a darker time, like Rome's withdrawal from Britain, but more will be required of the world's other free countries". And we should understand that despite the fact that the Cold war ended and there was a significant reduction of the military presence of the United States of America and Canada to Europe (the last battle tank U.S. in 2013 left Europe), is now being moved to Europe armored brigade!

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg applauded Canada and European allies Tuesday for having reversed years of cuts by investing more in defence and contributing more troops and equipment to collective security - even as he pushed back against suggestions the alliance was in trouble.

"Since NATO's creation in 1949, Canada has played a strong and active role in missions to advance peace and security for our citizens and people around the world".

Trudeau's photo ops with Canadian troops overseas will be aimed at buttressing Canada's argument that it provides meaningful and substantial contributions to the alliance, even if it isn't meeting the two per cent target.

"In order to trade we have to have safety", he said.

An earlier version said defence spending in Canada as a percentage of GDP was higher in 2018 than in 2017.

"We certainly hope that Russian Federation will choose to become a more positive actor in world affairs than it has chosen to be in the past".

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