PLANS FOR EX­TEND­ING IRAQ MIS­SION ON DRAW­ING BOARD

Calgary Herald - - CANADA -

The Cana­dian mil­i­tary is draw­ing up op­tions for ex­tend­ing its mis­sion in Iraq even as grow­ing po­lit­i­cal in­sta­bil­ity threat­ens to plunge the coun­try into an­other cy­cle of vi­o­lence. The cur­rent mis­sion, which in­cludes hun­dreds of spe­cial forces sol­diers, trans­port and re­fu­elling air­craft, a mil­i­tary hospi­tal and counter-ex­plo­sive ex­perts, re­cently en­tered its fifth year and is set to ex­pire at the end of March. But Brig.-Gen. Colin Keiver, the com­man­der of Joint Task Force-Iraq, ex­pects the Iraqi gov­ern­ment will con­tinue to rely on Canada and other in­ter­na­tional part­ners for the fore­see­able fu­ture, which is why pro­pos­als are be­ing read­ied for cabi­net ap­proval this fall. Even with an ex­ten­sion, peace and sta­bil­ity ap­pear a long way off for many Iraqis, as a re­sult of po­lit­i­cal in­fight­ing and deep eth­nic and re­li­gious di­vi­sions.

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