Military

The Sun Never Sets on the Canadian Military

Most Canadians would be surprised to learn that the sun never sets on the military
their taxes pay for.

This country is not formally at war yet more than 2,100
Canadian troops are sprinkled across the globe. According to the Armed Forces,
these soldiers are involved in 28 international missions.

There are 850
Canadian troops in Iraq and its environs. Two hundred highly skilled special
forces have provided training and combat support to Kurdish forces often accused
of ethnic cleansing areas of Iraq they captured. A tactical helicopter detachment,
intelligence officers and a combat hospital, as well as 200 Canadians at a base
in Kuwait, support the special forces in Iraq.

Alongside the special forces mission, Canada commands the NATO mission in Iraq.
Canadian Brigadier General Jennifer Carrigan commands nearly 600 NATO troops,
including 250 Canadians.

A comparable number of troops are stationed on Russia’s borders. About 600
Canadians are part of a Canadian-led NATO mission in Latvia while 200 troops
are part of a training effort in the Ukraine. Seventy-five
Canadian Air Force personnel are currently in Romania.

Some of the smaller operations are also highly political. Through Operation
Proteus
a dozen troops contribute to the Office of the United States Security
Coordinator, which is supporting a security apparatus to protect the Palestinian
Authority from popular disgust over its compliance in the face of ongoing Israeli
settlement building.

Through Operation Foundation 15 troops are contributing to a US counter-terrorism
effort in the Middle East, North Africa and Southwest Asia. As part of Operation
Foundation General A.
R. DAY
, for instance, Directs the Combined Aerospace Operations Center at
the US military’s Al Udeid base in Qatar.

The 2,100 number offered up by the military doesn’t count the hundreds, maybe
a thousand, naval personnel patrolling hotspots across the globe. Recently one
or two Canadian naval vessels – with about 200 personnel each – has patrolled
in East Asia. The ships are helping the US-led campaign to isolate North Korea
and enforce UN sanctions. These Canadian vessels have also been involved in
belligerent
“freedom of navigation” exercises through international waters that
Beijing claims in the South China Sea, Strait of Taiwan and East China Sea.

A Canadian vessel is also patrolling in the Persian Gulf/Arabian Sea. Recently
Canadian vessels have also entered the Black Sea, which borders Russia. And
Canadian vessels regularly deploy to the Caribbean.

Nor does the 2,100 number count the colonels supported by sergeants and sometimes
a second officer who are defense attachés based in 30 diplomatic posts
around the world (with cross-accreditation to neighboring countries). Another
150 Canadian military personnel are stationed at the North American Aerospace
Defense Command headquarters in Colorado and a smaller number at NORAD’s hub
near Tampa Bay, Florida. These bases assist
US airstrikes in a number of places.

Dozens
of Canadian soldiers are also stationed at NATO headquarters in Brussels. They
assist that organization in its international deployments.

There may be other deployments not listed here. Dozens of Canadian soldiers
are on exchange programs with the US and other militaries and some of them may
be part of deployments abroad. Additionally,Canadian Special forces can be deployed
without public announcement,
which has taken place on numerous
occasions
.

The scope of the military’s international footprint is hard to square with
the idea of a force defending Canada. That’s why military types promote the
importance of “forward
defense
“. The government’s 2017 “Strong,
Secure, Engaged: Canada’s Defence Policy” claims Canada has to “actively
address threats abroad for stability at home” and that “defending
Canada and Canadian interests … requires active engagement abroad.”

That logic, of course, can be used to justify participating in endless US-led
military endeavors. That is the real reason the sun never sets on the Canadian
military.

Yves Engler is the author of ten books, including his latest, Left,
Right – Marching to the Beat of Imperial Canada
.

Show More
Back to top button

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!

Close