Trudeau the Reluctant Warrior? Canada and International Military Operations
This chapter provides an overview of historical trends in international military operations undertaken by the Canadian Armed Forces. It then proceeds to outline the Trudeau government’s role in military operations through an analysis of three major military operations: Operation IMPACT, which involves the deployment of special forces personnel with the mandate of training Kurdish forces in North-Eastern Iraq in their campaign to retake Mosul; Operation REASSURANCE, the deployment of conventional forces to Eastern Europe; and Operation UNIFER, the special training mission to assist Ukraine in combating Russian aggression. Prime Minister Trudeau is not a reluctant warrior, but he puts the emphasis in a different place from the Harper government—on the creation and professionalization of local forces and the offering of tactical and strategic support where possible but steering clear of kinetic operations. Although Canada does play an important role in international military operations, its overall impact is predicated in large part on the contribution of its other middle- and great-power allies. Canada’s presence can only be felt when it is among other nations.
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