Mark Collins - The Canadian Forces and Training the Afghans Mark Collins - If the RCAF Gets F-35s it Can’t Refuel Them–and They Couldn’t Make a Short Stop in Icy Conditions
Dec 21

Further to this post,

Whither the CF? MND MacKay and Top Officers Looking Very Southerly

this proposal would seem to fit very well within that gaze:

More Canadian peacekeepers may be bound for troubled Haiti in 2013

The Harper government has quietly considered a proposal to contribute more peacekeepers to the UN stabilization mission in Haiti [MINUSTAH, note the blue helmet!] in a goodwill gesture aimed at Brazil.

The emerging economic power in South America is the biggest contributor to the international military force in the hard-pressed Caribbean nation.

Ottawa and Brasilia have discussed the idea of embedding a Canadian platoon of soldiers in an existing Brazilian unit, as well as deploying additional Canadian troops to help with headquarters and logistics, according a set of internal Defence Department briefings.

The initial contribution plan, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, calls for a force of 50 Canadian soldiers…

The proposal has been floating around National Defence headquarters for almost two years, but has yet to receive the blessing of the federal cabinet despite — according to the documents — the backing MacKay and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird…

There are roughly 8,800 international troops in Haiti and an additional 1,200 police officers conducting training under the UN flag. After sending a battalion of the Royal 22e Regiment to deliver humanitarian relief in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, the Canadian presence was scaled back to 141 police officers, 25 corrections officers and five military staff officers.

The army has long had a detailed plan for the new deployment.

Defence sources said contributing to the Brazilian military mission was an off-shoot of high-level discussions between the two armies [emphasis added]…

“Brazil currently makes the largest contribution … where it provides the Force Commander and 2,190 troops, and has been the largest troop contributing nation since 2004,” said the briefing to MacKay…

Defence expert Rob Huebert of the University of Calgary said contributing to the UN mission in Haiti would likely be well received by the Canadian public following the trauma of the war in Afghanistan, and given the political accolades that flowed in the aftermath of Ottawa’s swift response to the earthquake…

Indeed the Canadian public largely remains enamoured of the “peacekeeping” concept–though with little appreciation of current realities in such places as the Congo. And a Haiti mission would go down especially well in Québec.

Mark Collins is prolific Ottawa blogger

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