Operation IMPACT: NATO Mission Iraq

Summary

  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (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.
  • Canadian contributions to NATO Mission Iraq closely align with Canada’s renewed focus on increasing stability and longer-term resilience in Iraq, given the institutional capacity-building mandate of the mission. Canada’s contribution is also a meaningful demonstration of Canada’s commitment to NATO.

Background

  • NATO Mission Iraq conducts two lines of operation: advising on security sector reform, primarily at the Iraqi Ministry of Defence and the Office of the National Security Advisor; and developing Iraq’s professional military education institutions, including establishing or further developing Iraqi military specialist schools, academies, and command and staff colleges. NATO also provides technical courses to the Iraqi Security Forces on countering improvised explosive devises (Canada-led), military medicine, Soviet-era armoured vehicle maintenance, explosive ordnance disposal and demining.
  • Canada assumed command of NATO Mission Iraq for the first two years of the mission and contributes up to 250 Canadian Armed Forces personnel and assets to the mission during this time. This includes [REDACTED] advisors and trainers, mission headquarters staff, and a helicopter detachment, including three CH-146 Griffon helicopters and associated personnel. The Canadian Armed Forces also provide training on countering improvised explosive devices and route clearance patrols.
  • In total, the mission includes proximately 580 NATO personnel. Canada is the largest contributor to NATO Mission Iraq, with Spain, Poland, the United Kingdom, and Turkey also providing significant contributions.

Considerations

  • The Government of Canada has authorized the Canadian Armed Forces to contribute to NATO Mission Iraq until 31 March 2021.
  • Canada seeks to be a responsible, value-added Ally at NATO, and assuming the command of this mission is an example of Canada’s unwavering commitment to the Alliance. It also demonstrates Canada’s commitment to fairer burden sharing with NATO Allies, and reinforces Canadian messaging as a notable contributor to the Alliance in advance of the December 2019 Meeting of Allied Heads of State and Government.
  • Canada’s robust contribution and leadership role allows Canada to advance notable Canadian priorities through the mission, such as Canada’s G7 commitment on promoting the implementation of International Humanitarian Law. This commitment requires the G7 to assist partners in incorporating International Humanitarian Law into their doctrine, education, field training, operational decision-making processes and rules of engagement.
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