Dimsum said:Wait what?
... Since 2014, Canada and other allies have partnered with local groups like the Kurds to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. Canada began working to train and equip the Peshmerga in Iraq, while its fighter jets supported the YPG in Syria. Under the then-Conservative government, Canadian military aircraft carried equipment into Iraq, while private companies began exporting arms, mostly to the Peshmerga — nearly $2 million worth in 2015, and $1.3 million in 2016.
With the Liberals in power, that help ground to a halt, even as the Kurds were waging a costly fight against ISIL’s strongholds in the area. Trudeau immediately halted Canada’s bombing campaign in Syria. And while special forces had been training Kurdish fighters in Erbil, the Trudeau government put a halt to that mission in 2018 and diverted the resources towards the central Iraqi government in Baghdad.
North Eastern Arms, an Ontario-based rifle manufacturer, was one of the bigger exporters to the Kurds.
“We, under the Conservatives, shipped about 2,000 rifles over there,” said Jeff Hussey, former president of the company, which has since been acquired by a larger defence contractor.
Hussey said the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq subsequently placed orders for 18,000 more rifles. But the new Liberal government required they get approval from both Kurdistan and Iraq — which he did. Hussey supplied to the National Post proof that both Erbil and Baghdad signed off on the deal, but he said that didn’t sway Ottawa. “They basically slow played us.”
In this case, and others, the Canadian government hasn’t explicitly denied the request for export permits, but it hasn’t approved them either.
A representative from a second arms company that had done business with the Iraqi Kurdish government confirmed similar problems with their export permits.
Global Affairs refused to comment on any aspect of these sales, writing in a statement that “permit applications, and decisions related to applications, are confidential. Global Affairs Canada does not release this type of information.”
The Canadian government also didn’t send the aid it had explicitly promised. In 2016, Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan committed $9.5 million in military aid to Kurdistan, including rifles and mortars. The government procured the weapons, but they have sat in a Montreal warehouse ever since.
The Department of National Defence confirmed this week that the weapons haven’t moved, and it appears that won’t change.
( ... )
Hussey has largely given up on Canada. “We used to brag to the Americans and the British about how great Canada was to do business in,” he said, adding that the problem isn’t just with the Middle East. Ottawa also held up another $6 million contract with Guatemala, he said. The second defence contractor confirmed that Ottawa has held up or kiboshed several other deals.
Now, with an order for another 30,000 rifles and 150,000 pistols from the Kurds, Hussey says he’s moving the manufacturing to the U.S., where the State Department is more supportive of his deals.
“We were going to make them in Canada, but it’s just not worth the risk,” Hussey said, shrugging off the idea of getting the Liberals to change their mind on these exports.
“I’m not SNC-Lavalin.”
Eye In The Sky said:I don't disagree that there is a huge variance in equal ranks in coalitions, but my own time in the IMPACT theatre was spent on a coalition base as well with Canadian, US, Kuwait, British, Spanish, and other countries all occupying a (somewhat small) shared space. None of the Canadian GOFOs (I served under several JTF-I Commanders), Senior Officers Task Force CWOs, etc sported non-Canadian ranks.
PPCLI Guy said:The stars are not for the other members of the coalition, or those who command ops in Iraq from Kuwait. They do however matter to the Iraqis, which is where the actual operations occur.
* - Jordan-based Middle East North Africa Financial Network.(MENAFN* - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) BRUSSELS, Nov 7 (KUNA) -- One of the main objectives of NATO's training mission in Iraq is to establish a long-term partnership with the Arab country, according to Major General Dany Fortin, outgoing Commander of the NATO Mission Iraq.
Addressing a press conference at NATO headquarters Thursday, he said setting the conditions for long-term partnership between NATO and Iraq is considered to be among the successes of the mission in Iraq launched in October 2018.
"NATO is here to stay not necessarily physically with people day and day out. We want to establish this partnership that will allow Iraq to benefit from what NATO has to offer," said the NATO General.
Commenting on the current turmoil and protests in Iraq, he clarified that "we are not involved in providing advice on the current ongoing domestic issues."
"Our activities continue. We have continued our training in school in Baghdad and that has not effected our activities," he said, but added that "someactivities have been curtailed temporarily so that we do not put the NATO men and women in Iraq in areas or routes that are being used for protests or security forces."
"We want to stay clear of that," he stressed.
Fortin, who hails from Canada, said the NATO mission in Iraq is a non-combat training and capacity building mission that works primarily with the Ministry of Defence on security sector reform, institutionalbuilding,strengtheningtheprofessionalmilitary education system and Iraqi military school.
"We are putting a lot of energy on making sure that together we establish mechanisms to make Iraq into a helpful partner in the region. They can participate in NATO exercises, conferences and activities in the region. We are giving them advice on how to do this," he said.
The mission has about 500 hundred military and civilian trainers, advisers and support staff from NATO countries and some non-NATO countries.
However, the NATO commander did not say how long the NATO mission will last and how many Iraqi security forces have been trained till now.
"The operational capability of the armed forces must become the measure for success, not numbers," he said.
Fortin noted that he was in Brussels to provide the NATO leadership with an update on the Iraq mission and that he will transfer the command to his successor at the end of the month. (end)
More @ linkThe targeted killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, could lead to the withdrawal of Canadian troops from Iraq and the Middle East, according to national security experts, as the threat level in the region has escalated rapidly.
Canada has approximately 955 troops serving across six different operations in the Middle East, with about 850 of them serving in Operation Impact in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait and Qatar — where Canada is leading a multinational coalition fighting against the so-called Islamic State.
There are approximately 200 members in Iraq, according to the Department of National Defence.
Operation Impact includes air operations, explosive threat training, advising to Iraqi forces and regional capacity building.
The RCMP said Friday there are currently 12 Canadian police officers in in Iraq including members from the RCMP, Sûreté du Québec, Ontario Provincial Police, Saskatoon and Halifax police.
Experts said the targeted killing and any retaliation by Iran could set off a major regional conflict, endangering Canadian troops in Iraq and elsewhere.
“If this looks like there may be retaliation or further unrest in the region, it may no longer be a viable training mission and Canada would most likely withdraw its troops,” said Leah West, a lecturer specializing in national security issues at Carleton University ...
Nothing yet on Canada's Op IMPACT page.NATO has suspended Canadian-led training of Iraqi security and armed forces to ensure the safety of several hundred mission members after a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad killed a top Iranian general, an alliance spokesman said on Saturday.
"The safety of our personnel in Iraq is paramount," acting NATO spokesman Dylan White said in a statement. "We continue to take all precautions necessary. NATO's mission is continuing, but training activities are temporarily suspended."
He said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had spoken by phone with U.S. Secretary of Defence Mark Esper since Friday's attack that killed Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Qassem Soleimani at Baghdad airport.
NATO was monitoring the situation in the region very closely, he added, amid mounting concern that the killing of Iran's second-most powerful man could trigger a conflagration in the Middle East.
NATO Mission Iraq (NMI), which includes up to several hundred trainers, advisers and support staff from alliance countries and non-NATO partner countries, includes military and civilian personnel. Canadian Major-General Jennie Carignan is the current commander of the mission.
Established in Baghdad in October 2018 after three years of war against Islamic State, NMI is a 'train-and-advise' mission to help Iraqi security structures and institutions fend off future insurgencies ...
More @ linkThe Canadian military is resuming some operations in Iraq following a temporary suspension of activities last week.
Brig.-Gen. Michel-Henri St-Louis says the military is again flying transport aircraft in and out of Iraq to supply troops there.
St-Louis is the commander of Joint Task Force Impact, which oversees many of Canada’s anti-ISIS efforts in Iraq and the surrounding region.
He tells The Canadian Press the military also recently swapped out some of its helicopters that were in the country and due for replacement because of wear and tear ...
Canada already has deployed a "significant contribution" to the NATO mission in Iraq and likely will only make adjustments within its current allocation of troops going forward, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said Thursday.
Sajjan was responding to the western military alliance's proposal to expand its military contribution in the war-torn country.
The pitch to assume some of the responsibilities of the U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition is still a work in progress, he told CBC News in a telephone interview following a two-day ministerial meeting.
NATO Secretary-General Jen Stoltenberg delivered largely the same message this week at the conclusion of a two-day alliance meeting in Brussels, saying that alliance members had "agreed in principle" to expand NATO's role in Iraq with the consent of the Iraqi government ...
Eye In The Sky said:I guess....they're asking for more than we can give right now??
CBH99 said:On the Army side, I'm guessing we've hit our limit of what we can deploy without overly stretching ourselves to the breaking point.
Anywhere from 800 to 1000 troops in Iraq, 650 in Latvia, 250 in Ukraine, sounds about right when pre-deployment & post-deployment are taking into consideration.
Reserve units contribute also, but we need them more & more locally, especially during fire season.
I stand to be corrected and will google the info later, but I'm guessing there's a few countries in the EU that could each contribute a few hundred each, and make up for a shortfall.