The NATO-United Nations Link: Canada and the Balkans, 1991–95

  • Norman Hillmer
  • Dean Oliver


There were two striking aspects of Canada’s European security policy in the early 1990s: the indecent haste with which the government pulled its troops from their NATO base in Germany, and the crusading zeal with which it sent them back, this time to the Balkans under United Nations command. The withdrawal of troops from a theatre where they were no longer required made some sense, as did the reallocation of the resources committed to their maintenance. But so too did the despatch of blue berets when the UN came calling for messy missions in the former Yugoslavia. A display of enthusiasm for European stability was probably necessary to counter the fury of alliance members over Ottawa’s poorly handled departure, but this was not the whole story. Given the interventionist rhetoric which accompanied the end of the Cold War and Canadians’ addiction to peacekeeping, Ottawa’s activism was far more than a mea culpa for its exodus from a longstanding army commitment to NATO in Europe. 1


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norman Hillmer
  • Dean Oliver

There are no affiliations available

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