Saturday, June 11, 2016

Justin Trudeau's Latest NATO Invitation

"There has been extremely hard lobbying. It is an unfolding story. Canada has been asked to be a framework nation."
"[What is being asked for now] is a significant increase [in Canadian troops to be positioned in Latvia]."
Unnamed Canadian source
Black Sea. 5 April 2016 – Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) FREDERICTON performs a PASEX with the Bulgarian Frigate, BGS RESHITELNI (F13) and the Romanian Frigate, ROS REGINA MARIA, during a patrol in the Black Sea during Operation Reassurance. (Photo: Master Corporal Sebastian Allain, HMCS FREDERICTON Air Detachment)
Black Sea. 5 April 2016 – Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS) FREDERICTON performs a PASEX with the Bulgarian Frigate, BGS RESHITELNI (F13) and the Romanian Frigate, ROS REGINA MARIA, during a patrol in the Black Sea during Operation Reassurance. (Photo: Master Corporal Sebastian Allain, HMCS FREDERICTON Air Detachment)

Russian President Vladimir V. Putin may be amused at the concern and consternation his erratic and certainly provocative behaviour has caused among former satellites of the Soviet Union, but eastern European nations are anything but amused. They anticipate the potential for aggression mounted by Russia against their nations which have been unequivocal in their wish to move beyond Russia's traditional bullying.

What does enrage Moscow is the too-close presence in its geography of NATO and its troops, imfringing where they have no right to be, as far as the Kremlin is concerned. The good feeling vibes that were definitely present when Vladimir Putin first took power from Mr. Yeltsin did not take long to evaporate. Under Mr. Putin too many 'incidents' took place, from Chechnya to Georgia to Moldova.

And that was before Moscow's outrage when Ukraine decided to oust its Kremlin-approved president leading to the rise of ethnic Russian-Ukrainian rebels claiming the east to be autonomous and pledged to Russia, and Vladimir Putin's decision to plunder Ukraine of the Crimean Peninsula. Since the imposition of European sanctions against Russia, Mr. Putin has enjoyed challenging the patience of NATO member countries through unauthorized fly-by intrusions and mysterious submarine incursions.

And despite Russia's investment in the Syrian conflict where it has been assisting Bashar al Assad to bludgeon Syrian Sunnis and Turkomen in rebellion against the Baathist Alawite regime, the potential for aggression by Russia against eastern Europe remains a worrying issue to be addressed. The U .S., Britain and Germany have agreed to reinforce NATO's eastern flank, contributing infantry battalions in Poland, Lithuania and Estonia, leaving NATO short of troops for Latvia.

And whereas infantry battalions represent 600 to 700 troops, for this mission NATO has established a need for "a battalion, plus, plus", to include armoured reconnaissance, artillery and combat engineers. All of which sounds like serious, very serious business ahead. Which if it is approved, Canada would be sending one of its nine infantry battalions to rotate through Europe to serve six to nine months at a tranche.

Another NATO request is for Canada to maintain a continuous warship presence on patrol in Europe's waters along with contributing CF-18 fighter jets to the Baltic Air Policing mission, set up in the wake of repeated violations by Russian aircraft into NATO airspace.

This presents as a challenge to the new Liberal government of the country whose prime minister has stated his preference to renew a working relationship with Russia rather than keeping it at wary arms-length as was done by the previous Conservative-led government, reflecting Moscow's ongoing belligerence.

2 March 2016. Members of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship FREDERICTON Air Detachment and the ship's divers perform rescue training from the CH-124 Sea King helicopter during Operation REASSURANCE on March 2, 2016. (Photo: Corporal Anthony Chand, Formation Imaging Services)
2 March 2016. Members of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship FREDERICTON Air Detachment and the ship's divers perform rescue training from the CH-124 Sea King helicopter during Operation REASSURANCE on March 2, 2016. (Photo: Corporal Anthony Chand, Formation Imaging Services)

Labels: , , ,

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Follow @rheytah Tweet