Canada Seeks More Overseas Military Bases
Canada is seeking to expand its overseas military presence by establishing staging points and small bases around the globe to help Ottawa better support humanitarian and combat missions, Agence France-Presse reports.
“Military planners are pursuing logistical agreements to ensure Canada is ready to respond quickly to future humanitarian disasters and international crises,” Jay Paxton, a spokesman for Canadian defense minister Peter MacKay told AFP.
Canadian imperialism? Hardly. “This government and the Canadian Forces have no intention of creating large bases in overseas locations,” Paxton added.
What Ottawa does want are small bases that can support “high tempo expeditionary operations in places such as Afghanistan, the Middle East, Haiti, Africa and most recently in protecting civilian life in Libya,” Paxton told AFP.
Canadian troops are currently deployed in support of UN missions in Haiti, Sierra Leone, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Cyprus and Kosovo. Canadian forces are also heavily involved in the war in Afghanistan as well as the NATO mission against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in Libya.
The Canadian government has finalized negotiations with Germany and Jamaica to open new bases in those countries. Ottawa is also keen to open bases in Senegal, South Korea, Kenya and Singapore.
Currently, Canadian forces use allies’ bases, notably a US base in Germany and a British base in Cyprus.
AFP reports that Canada was forced to close a top-secret base in Dubai last October in retaliation for denying the UAE’s two national airlines, Emirates and Etihad, expanded landing rights.
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