With 450 troops stationed in Latvia, Canada has a key role in the defence of freedom in the Baltics and Eastern Europe, and it is important that Canadians understand the rationale for the presence of Canadian troops on the ground at the fragile frontier with Russia.
It has been one year since the Canadian-led Enhanced Forward Presence in Latvia was finally stood-up as part of Canada’s Operation Reassurance. It is an ideal time to examine the logic behind the mission, particularly the importance of European and Baltic security, and the need to demonstrate to the United States the commitment of its allies to NATO. Canada should be there for the long haul.
The possible risks inherent to this mission cannot be ignored. What happens if “little green men” cross the border and engage in combat with Canadian or NATO troops leading to Canadian casualties? What is Canada’s response if (when) we become the target of a disinformation operation? In such circumstances, how do we ensure that Canada’s commitment to Latvia, the Baltics and NATO more broadly continues to be unwavering?
"An Enduring Commitment: Trans-Atlantic Security and Canada’s Mission in the Baltics" takes a deep dive into these issues.