Extending mission in Latvia

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau departs Ottawa for Riga Latvia on Monday

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau departs Ottawa for Riga Latvia on Monday

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in a NATO Engages Armchair Discussion at the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday, July 11, 2018.

"I am happy to announce today that Canada is extending our contribution... here in Latvia".

Canada also contributes mobile training teams to NATO's counter-improvised explosive device capacity building efforts for Iraq.

Some of those activities will continue, said Gen. Jonathan Vance, Canada's chief of the defence staff - including the deployment of Canadian special forces to Mosul to help Iraqi forces ferret out existing pockets of ISIL resistance as thousands of people displaced by years of fighting return to the city.

Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain, which is meeting that target, announced it would send 440 military personnel for a similar training mission in Afghanistan — by far the alliance's biggest foreign venture.

But this will be the first time a NATO-led operation in Iraq will be under Canadian command.


Both were delivered in advance of what's been billed as a tense meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders - including Trump himself, whose tweets and public statements in recent days have fuelled expectations that he will excoriate Canada and other allies for not spending enough on defence.

I wrote "FACTS" earlier in the Black sea flagship entered the U.S. Navy ship USS Mount Whitney to participate in joint Ukrainian-American exercises Sea Breeze-2018.

"Once all national procedures have been completed to finalize the name agreement, the country will join NATO as our 30th member", NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.

Asked directly whether Canada plans to meet the two per cent target, Trudeau said simply that there are no plans to double Canada's defence budget, which now stands at around $20 billion a year. All NATO allies agreed in 2014 to stop cutting their military budgets and work towards spending two per cent of their GDP on defence by 2024. "Are we contributing the kinds of resources and demonstrating the kind of commitment to the alliance that always needs to be there?'" Canada leads the mission, known as Operation Reassurance, which includes troops from Albania, the Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story.

Canada argues it has increased its defence spending, with a 10-year commitment to grow funding for defence, which will see $32.7 billion in annual increases.

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