The role of the Canadian Military under the previous Conservative Government focused on assisting NATO Allies fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan beginning in 2001. However, after country-wide public consultations and a Defense Policy Review that has not been done for over 40 years, the Liberal Party has decided to commit Canadian Troops to be part of U.N Peacekeeping efforts.
With the disastrous U.N peacekeeping missions of the Rwanda genocide and the Bosnian conflict still very fresh in Canadian consciousness, the Liberal government is committing $450 Million on a Peace and Stabilization fund and will commit to 600 Canadian troops to U.N peacekeeping efforts in Africa. What is unclear is where these troops will be deployed and under what conditions.
Two potential African countries that have been mentioned, are Mali and the Central African Republic, both very volatile and dangerous. But the most salient and debated question is, will Canadian troops have command and control on the ground, or will the ineffective and confused U.N be once again be in charge putting Canadian troops at risk?
Brampton Focus sat down with MP John McKay, Secretary to the Minister of Defense Harjit Sajjan and asked him these, and other questions regarding, defending Canada’s North, and Canada’s changing military role on the world stage under the Liberal government.