We have too many people living in the streets; we have Native reservations with no clean water, and we are spending these amounts of money? For what? Appeasing our Southern bloody doofus neighbors? Bring them troops back Justin and don’t do this again. Ever. We are not a military country.
June 19, 2017
If you’re going to get into a mess with no idea when you’ll ever get out, there are worse places to do it. On Monday more than 400 Canadian soldiers stood in the midday sun on the parade square at Camp Adazi, a Latvian army base tucked into a pine forest northeast of Riga, the tiny Baltic nation’s capital. To the right of the Canadians stood about as many Latvian troops. On either side were smaller groups of Spanish, Italian, Polish, Slovenian and Albanian soldiers.
This is the Canadian-led battlegroup, 1,138 troops in full from the six visitor nations, plus their Latvian hosts, and Monday was the newcomers’ first official day on the job. On hand for a welcoming ceremony were Latvia’s president Raimonds Vējonis, NATO’s secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg, Canada’s defence minister Harjit Sajjan, and the top soldier in every participating country’s armed forces, including Canada’s chief of defence staff, Gen. Jonathan Vance.
Their mission is to scare off the Russians. Probably it will work. Everybody’s pretty sure it will work. If it didn’t work, things would get very nasty here.
But this was a day for looking on the bright side. “Many of you have travelled over 7,000 km, all the way from Alberta, Canada, to serve here in the Eastern part of the alliance,” Stoltenberg told the troops. And indeed it’s so, because the first Canadians to serve a six-month rotation here are from the 1st Battalion of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, stationed in Edmonton. “You embody the unique spirit and solidarity of NATO,” Stoltenberg told them.
There was much talk of solidarity. “Our alliance stands as one,” Stoltenberg said. “An attack on one ally will be regarded as an attack on all.”
That’s what NATO was designed for, back in the middle of the 20th century, during a cold war everyone here insists they don’t want to see returning. Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty says that an attack on any member state will meet a response from them all. NATO didn’t have Georgia’s back when Vladimir Putin invaded that country in 2008, nor did it really have Ukraine’s when Russia annexed Crimea and made trouble in other regions of Eastern Ukraine in 2014. They weren’t NATO member states. Latvia, Lithuanian and Estonia are, which is why there is a NATO battlegroup in each of those Baltic countries and in Poland, starting today: To make it crystal-clear that invading a NATO member state would not be fun.now begun to patrol.