PM Trudeau: Canada Will Offer to Command NATO Forces in Iraq
BRUSSELS — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today in a conversation with GMF President Karen Donfried that Canada would offer at the NATO Brussels Summit to command the Alliance’s new training force in Iraq.
“We are going to be looking with great interest this afternoon, as NATO announces that we are going to engage in Iraq as an Alliance: capacity building, training. That next step in the challenge in Iraq, which was first defeating Daesh, is now that we have to build that democracy and strengthen it,” said Trudeau. “NATO is going to take a significant role in that and Canada is going to commit 250 troops, a number of helicopters, and we are actually offering to command that mission for the first year. This is something in that we believe in deeply.”
The conversation took place during NATO Engages: The Brussels Summit Dialogue, held July 11–12 on the sidelines of the NATO Brussels Summit and organized in partnership with The German Marshall Fund of the United States, NATO, Atlantic Council, Women in International Security, and Munich Security Conference.
PM Trudeau focused on the need for NATO to take actions that have a concrete effect. “This mission we are taking on in Iraq, which is an extension of what we’ve been doing in the Coalition, that’s moving into that next phase of how do we help in governance, how to we build institutions and capacities in Iraq to make sure that it stands as a fledgling democracy that becomes stronger and stronger,” he said.
“Those sorts of tangible elements are at the heart of what NATO stands for.”
Donfried and Trudeau were also joined by Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland and Canadian Minister of National Defense Harjit Singh Sajjan. Their discussion focused on the shared global values of the transatlantic community, as reflected in the NATO Alliance.
NATO Engages continues on June 12 with further appearances from heads of state, U.S. Senators, military leaders, and policy experts. The event is livestreamed at gmfus.org. See photos of the conference activities and sessions at GMF Flickr and follow #NATOEngages and @GMFUS for updates.
FOOTAGE AND PHOTOGRAPHY
Footage and stills from the event will be available on NATO’s new multimedia portal, a one-stop shop where you can browse and download professional-quality videos and b-roll. Visit the portal at www.natomultimedia.tv and click ‘Register’ on the top right. Consortium partners are also making additional footage and photography available at https://germanmarshallfund1.app.box.com/folder/5105637617