Thursday, 16 August, 2018

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation approves training mission in Iraq, new command structure

Canada To Lead NATO Training Mission In Iraq As NATO seeks to prove relevance, Canada offers to lead Iraq mission
Patty Aguilar | 13 July, 2018, 20:56

"We will also help set up military schools, to increase the professionalism of Iraqi forces", Mr. Stoltenberg said during a speech ahead of this week's alliance ministerial.

The country's future contribution will include CF-18 fighter jets of the Royal Canadian Air Force as well as have a cybersecurity as well, in line with Canada's defence policy, Trudeau said.

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. He called the extended mission of Canadian troops in Latvia "a great present" that will contribute significantly to national security.

That will serve as the backdrop for the news that Canada is renewing the mission, the current three-year mandate for which is now run out on March 31, 2019, sources told The Canadian Press, speaking on condition of anonymity in order to discuss details not yet made public.

"When America spends three per cent plus of the world's biggest GDP on its armed forces - and the rest of the Western world scarcely two per cent, it's hard to dispute Trump's view that most of us have been keeping safe on the cheap", Mr Abbott says.

Canada's mission leadership role faced a self-imposed government deadline of spring 2019, but has now been extended until 2023.

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"When you think of it, what Trump is making clear - to us and to others - is what should always have been screamingly obvious: that our nation's safety now rests in our own hands, far more than in anyone else's". The commitment was part of the alliance's expansion of the number of trainers from around a dozen now to several hundred operating out of the capital, Baghdad.

Russia, NATO's most prominent rival, has bemoaned the possible addition of another alliance member — reviving Cold War-style tensions.

On Tuesday, Trudeau said Canada continues to "deplore Russia's interference and illegal actions".

"The US puts its troops in different parts of Europe and it occurs, including within the processes of rotation, in particular in the Baltic States", - said Stoltenberg.

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

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