Mark Collins – Latvia with NATO vs UN Peacekeeping: Where Government’s Heart Truly is

Further to these posts,

US, New Government and Canadian Forces: UN Peacekeeping (Colombia, Africa)? NATO in E. Europe? Both?
[note possible UN mission in Colombia–smallish real traditional blue beret operation it would seem]

NATO in Latvia: 450 Canadian Army Troops, HQ, Six CF-18s (sometimes)

the Trudeau government’s heart certainly does not seem to be with the new east European mission facing the Bear; our foreign minister sounds positively distressed whilst the national defence minister maintains a brave can-do face (though in reality it is now unlikely that the Army can provide any significant field force for a UN peacekeeping effort, say in Mali):

Liberals still planning peacekeeping mission despite Latvia commitment

The Trudeau government says Canada is still in the market for a United Nations peacekeeping mission despite plans to send a sizeable military contingent to Eastern Europe…

“It’s terribly unfortunate that Canada has to deploy its forces in Latvia instead of having peacekeeping in Africa or in an area of the world where it’s much more needed,” Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion told the Canadian Press on the sidelines of the summit Saturday [July 9].

“But we need to do so. We need to do so because Russia had a completely unacceptable behaviour, regarding especially Ukraine.”

Yet both Dion and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said the Liberal government is intent on finding a peacekeeping mission for Canada. Sajjan said Canada can’t just respond to crises but must look at situations where it can help reduce or prevent conflict [how? with our military? pie-in-sky thinking].

“We are receiving requests from everywhere [why not be transparent and provide details?],” Dion added. “If we are saying yes to everybody, we’d have a big problem. We’ll need to be very selective and to choose the way where Canada will have value added within the coalitions in which we are.”

Sajjan the Canadian military has the resources to participate in a peacekeeping mission while also deploying forces to Europe and Iraq.

Pious Liberal hopes meet real world.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds


8 thoughts on “Mark Collins – Latvia with NATO vs UN Peacekeeping: Where Government’s Heart Truly is”

  1. A very astute comment I think at

    My guess is that Prime Minister Trudeau has been under intense pressure from NATO, the EU and the USA to “step up” since he was elected. He may think that Paul Heinbecker and his friends have the key to much desired, but really quite worthless, second class seat at the UNSC table but the Europeans and Americans can, effectively stop it … no matter what the Arabs and Africans might say…”,123461.msg1444388.html#msg1444388

    Mark Collins

  2. Looks like Canadian troops will be leaving Poland–and gov’t still desperately seeking than nice, easy UN peacekeeping mission:

    “…Canada has had 200 soldiers in Poland since 2014, but officials say that mission will end at the same time the effort in Latvia begins ramping up.

    Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Foreign Affairs Stephane Dion maintain, meanwhile, that the government is committed to signing up for a peacekeeping mission…”

    Mark Collins

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