Canadians To Iraq?


CTV is reporting that President Bush will probably ask Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin to contribute troops to efforts in Iraq. If the answer is "Sure, we'd love to help", it is anticipated that the initial contribution would be small, only 40 or so soldiers. But, it could translate into good political/PR capital for the President.

More can be found at:

Could be interesting. Have heard rumours of reductions in other Theatres (we're basically out of Bosnia and talk is strong of other places being either scalled back or significantly reduced). Any thoughts on this one?
Would be good to see, in my opinion. Bearing in mind the outstanding contributions of the Canadian Armed Forces both to humanitarian and observer work and the rougher end of peace support in the past, it is sad to see an initial contribution of only 40 being mentioned.

Perhaps as much to do with a decline in defence capabilities as with Canadian opposition to the Iraq war? Canadian 'arrsists' may wish to correct me on that point?

I think its now time for countries like Canada, NOT to change their opinion on the war or to provide political/PR capital for the US president, but to get directly involved in supporting the coalition and continued transition in Iraq. It would be a convincing demonstration to the Iraqi people that progress toward a free democratic nation really is taking place. (As well as providing an articulate counterweight to any wild ideas which might ever surface within elements of the coalition?)

Any casualties in a war they did not support would be particularly hard to bear, but there are no grounds in Canada's military history to doubt the basic robustness of either their armed forces or their people.

Interesting to see the ' scuttlebutt ' percolate to the surface..have had intimations of suchlike from a ' usually reliable source ' who has been involved in determining deployment workups...

Expect the PM to make some nicey-nicey announcement by end of Feb when policy/budget comes out in Parliament...
Whilst Canada did not contribute troops directly, they supported the war in as much as they allowed exchange officers embedded in Brit units to play. I know I worked for one.
Any contribution would be most welcome but from a practical standpoint what forces would be available on a sustainable basis ?


I'm hearing talk of Canada having two battlegroups continuously deployed over the long term. Don't know where the troops are coming from, but as for where they would be going to, one in Afghanistan (already there) and a second at a location yet to be determined. Although there is talk of "other places" I figure the two big contenders would be anywhere in Africa (PM Martin's continent of choice) or Iraq.

The idea of having two battlegroups continuously and simultaneously deployed will put a fantastic strain on the Forces. If you figure between them they will have between 2,000 - 3,500 troops (mostly army trades), that's quite a load for a force that totals slightly less than 50,000 regulars and 20,000 reserves of all trades, army, navy and airforce. Especially when 12,000 of that number are sitting on their asses in National Defence Headquarters.

As well, for this to be sustained, you have to triple that number. Even at the low end that is 6,000 troops (2,000 just having returned from Theatre, 2,000 in Theatre and 2,000 getting ready to go to Theatre). We did it for a short time right after 11 Sep 01, we had a battle group in Afghanistan and one in Bosnia. We are out of Bosnia now, but the resources, I think, aren't there to commit another battle group out of country. As well, what's left for in Canada should another flood, ice storm or snowfall hit Toronto?
Hopefully this would mean that the government would bring the Land Forces up to full strength and maybe add a couple more BG's[battle groups].

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