Mark Collins – NATO: “Albania, Italy, Poland and Slovenia will contribute to the Canadian-led battalion in Latvia”

Further to this September post,

455 Canadian Troops to Latvia with NATO Spring 2017–Italians Too?

the Italians are indeed in along with others–company-sized contingents from Canada and the rest plus a Canadian HQ? NATO’s Secretary General makes the announcement:

I am proud to announce that many other Allies confirmed contributions to these forces today [Oct. 26].

Albania, Italy, Poland and Slovenia will contribute to the Canadian-led battalion in Latvia [coherence, effectiveness?].

Belgium, Croatia, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and Norway will join the German-led battalion in Lithuania [coherence, effectiveness?].

Denmark and France will contribute to the UK-led battalion in Estonia [looks militarily sound–large British contingent with tanks].

And Romania and the United Kingdom will join the US-led battalion in Poland [pretty decent].

Our forces will be truly multinational. Sending an unmistakable message: NATO stands as one. An attack on any Ally will be considered an attack on us all.

In Warsaw, we said that we expected to deploy the four battalions in early 2017.

I am pleased to confirm that we are on track…

But how militarily effective might such motley crews be? Interesting that most northern and southern look best. And a tweet:

Good luck, tripwires.

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


13 thoughts on “Mark Collins – NATO: “Albania, Italy, Poland and Slovenia will contribute to the Canadian-led battalion in Latvia””

    1. Indeed–Italy invaded Albania in Apriil 1939 and occupied it until 1943; Italy also invaded Yugoslavia in April 1941 and occupied much of Slovenia until 1943 (when Italy surrendered to the Allies and the Germans took over Italian-occupied territories).

      Mark Collins

    2. This is a dog’s breakfast–a multilingual force with no common language or standards and with the Latvian military added in for a further complication. We should be supporting the Baltic states but with a full Cdn battalion, not this rampant adhockery. Heaven help us if they must fight.

    1. Leapin’ Polish Leopards for Canadian-led “battle group”?

      Canada will deploy 450 troops as well as light armoured vehicles and other military equipment to the force while Italy has said it will send 140 soldiers.

      It wasn’t immediately clear what the other countries will contribute, though media reports have indicated the Polish contribution will include tanks…”


      NATO’s plan is to set up four battle groups with a total of some 4,000 troops from early next year, backed by a 40,000-strong rapid-reaction force, and if need be, follow-on forces.

      As part of that, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced a “battle-ready battalion task force” of about 900 soldiers would be sent to eastern Poland, as well as another, separate force equipped with tanks and other heavy equipment to move across eastern Europe.

      “It’s a major sign of the U.S. commitment to strengthening deterrence here,” Carter said.

      Britain’s Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said Britain would send an 800-strong battalion to Estonia, supported by French and Danish troops, starting from May. The United States wants its troops in position by June.

      London is also sending Typhoon fighter aircraft to Romania to patrol around the Black Sea, partly in support of Turkey…’

      Mark Collins

  1. Slovene and Polish troop numbers at (further links at original):

    “Quote from: MarkOttawa on Yesterday at 16:22:20

    ‘So a company of Italians for the Canadian-led Latvia “battle group”–what about Poles, Slovenes, Albanians (platoons from last two?):’

    [ adds]
    Platoon-ish from the Slovenians (50), ~150 from the Poles, and no public word yet on how much Albania’s throwing into the stew.

    So, according to English-language open sources, we have ~800’ish accounted for so far for CANLATBAT*.

    * – Note to [CAF] Info-machine: feel free to use that (or LATCANBAT if you want to play up the host country more, or CANITAPOLSLVALBLATBAT if you want to be truly inclusive) royalty-free as my modest contribution to Cold War 2.0″,123461.msg1461198.html#msg1461198

    Mark Collins

  2. RCAF CF-18s to alternate between Latvia and Romania?


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

    Mark Collins

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