Operation IMPACT (Iraq)

Summary

  • Operation IMPACT is Canada’s military contribution to its whole-of-government strategy to address the instability caused by Da’esh in the Middle East. In April 2019, Canada renewed this strategy until 31 March 2021, investing an additional $1.39 billion in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon.
  • Through Operation IMPACT, the Canadian Armed Forces deploy up to 850 personnel to the Global Coalition against Da’esh, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Mission Iraq, and bilateral defence capacity building activities with the Jordanian and Lebanese Armed Forces.

Background

  • Global Coalition against Da’esh. Canada is a member of the US-led Global Coalition against Da’esh in Iraq and Syria. The Coalition was established in September 2014 and is focused on degrading the capabilities of Da’esh and preventing it from controlling territory.
  • The Coalition comprises 75 members (including the European Union, the International Criminal Police Organization, and NATO), though most countries limit their contributions to non-military support.
  • A smaller number of countries provide military support to the Coalition, mostly to the Iraqi Security Forces combating Da’esh, but also to Coalition operations in Syria. [REDACTED]
  • In addition to its military operations, the Coalition includes four civilian lines of effort: stemming the flow of foreign fighters; restricting Da’esh financing and funding; ensuring Iraq’s long-term stability; and undermining Da’esh’s narrative. Coalition partners are also working to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the region. These civilian lines of effort are increasingly coming to the forefront as Da’esh has transitioned to an insurgency in Iraq and Syria.
  • Canada participates in both the Coalition’s civilian and military lines of effort and is one of the few members participating in all Coalition civilian working groups.
  • Current Canadian Armed Forces contributions in support of the Coalition include:
    1. A Canadian Armed Forces train, advise, and assist mission with the Iraqi Security Forces to build capacity and support counter-Da’esh efforts;
    2. Deployment of a Tactical Airlift Detachment consisting of two CC-130Js with associated aircrew and support personnel, in support Coalition air operations;
    3. Deployment of a Tactical Helicopter Detachment of up to four CH-146 Griffon helicopters to support Canadian Armed Forces, Coalition or other whole-of-government operations in Iraq;
    4. Deployment of staff and liaison officers to various Coalition headquarters, including contributions to the Coalition’s multinational Ministerial Liaison Team, which is Canadian-led;
    5. Augmentation of intelligence capabilities to the Canadian Armed Forces Joint Task Force – Iraq, to enable the planning and execution of Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces military operations; and,
    6. A dental support unit embedded in the US-led Role 2 (basic) medical facility.
  • NATO Mission Iraq. NATO Mission Iraq is a non-combat, advisory and training mission designed to help build more effective and sustainable Iraqi defence and security institutions. Canada assumed command of NATO Mission Iraq in November 2018 and is currently the largest contributor to the mission. For details on this mission see TAB 5.
  • Defence Capacity Building with Jordan and Lebanon. Since 2016, the Canadian Armed Forces have provided training and assistance to the Jordanian and Lebanese Armed Forces. Both Jordan and Lebanon were significantly impacted by spill-over from the conflict in Iraq and Syria.
  • Canada provides a 12-person Canadian Training and Assistance Team that works closely with the Jordanian Armed Forces to identify their training and equipment needs and facilitate the delivery of programming [REDACTED] This includes materiel support and handling equipment for the Quick Reaction Force, personal protective equipment for the Female Engagement Team, border tower upgrades, and a rehabilitated border road.
  • The Canadian Armed Forces also provide training and assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces, with a Canadian Training and Assistance Team [REDACTED]. This includes logistic support vehicles, snowmobiles and trailers, winter weather and wet weather gear, and complementary training designed to help the Lebanese Armed Forces to secure Lebanon’s border with Syria.

Considerations

  • The current mission mandate for Operation IMPACT expires on 31 March 2021. The total cost of Operation IMPACT for 2018 was $138.5 million.
  • From a whole-of-government perspective, the renewed Middle East Strategy is focused on promoting long-term stability and resilience in the region through capacity building in governance and democracy.
  • Canada’s efforts are based on three pillars: security and stabilization, humanitarian aid and resilience-building, and diplomatic engagement.
  • Despite its territorial losses, Da’esh is adapting and continues to pose a significant threat to the security and stability of Iraq. Canada remains a committed and reliable partner to the Coalition in the fight against Da’esh and to NATO in order to strengthen Iraqi security institutions and prevent a resurgence of violence or threats against Canada and Canadian interests.
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