Signaling a realignment of Canada’s involvement with NATO, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised a three-year cash infusion to the military alliance’s programs in war-torn Afghanistan which provide more funds to developmental rather than military operations.
Canada will be providing $450 million over three years for Afghan security forces and developmental projects in the country, but this time bulk of the money will not go to military organizations. The Liberals will pump in as much as $90 million per year on aid and $56 million per year for training and support to the Afghan security forces.
The commit will renew Canada’s previous commitment to the country which will expire next year.
In previous years, the Conservative government’s contributions had the ratios reversed.
According to the prime minister, the new formula is a better fit with Canada’s current strategy for defeating the ISIS.
“The fact is from the beginning we have always talked about the broad range of activities we can do in support of the local troops,” said Trudeau.
Last Friday, he formally announced the deployment of roughly 450 troops to Latvia to augment NATO forces stationed in the country to act as a deterrent against a resurgence of Russia’s assertiveness in the region.
“We have consistently demonstrated a willingness to contribute, to deploy our troops in various places, and the opportunity to be part of the multinational framework by the leading efforts in Latvia was exactly something we saw as an opportunity for Canada to contribute security and stability, defence and deterrence at a time where that’s very much necessary,” Trudeau said.
However, the prime minister said, Canadian troops will not be in the Middle East will not be involved in bomb disposal missions.
Canadian soldiers will instead focus on training Iraqi soldiers.