Canadian General to Lead NATO Mission in Libya

Global Research Editor’s Note

The appointment of a Canadian Commander to lead NATO forces implies that the Pentagon will essentially oversee the operation via its close bilateral military ties with Canada’s Department of Defense.

It is worth noting in this regard that Lieutenant General Charlie Bouchard is currently in charge of a bilateral US-Canada command as Deputy Commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). Bouchard has close ties to the US Air Force. He is a de facto US appointee.

Michel Chossudovsky, March 26, 2011

“the Canadian government refused to comment on reports that it had also moved elements of its elite commando unit JTF-2, the Canadian equivalent of British SAS, to the region….” 

Ottawa –  A Canadian Air Force general will take over command of the NATO mission in Libya, Canadian officials confirmed Friday morning.

Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Lt Gen Charles Bouchard, deputy commander of NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command in Naples, has been designated head of the alliance’s military campaign in Libya.

Bouchard, a former combat helicopter pilot, will work with his naval and air component commands to enforce both the no-fly zone…in Libya. …. Last week, Canada dispatched six CF-18 Hornet fighter jets to Italy, in addition to the Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Charlottetown, which was sent to the waters off Libya in early March.

Canada’s current deployment in Libya comprises 435 personnel, mainly stationed at air bases in Italy and on the HMCS Charlottetown.

The fleet of six CF-18s and two refuelling planes grew on Thursday to include two CP-140 Aurora reconnaissance aircraft. Armed with sophisticated surveillance equipment, the reconnaissance planes will patrol the Mediterranean….

The Canadian government refused to comment on reports that it had also moved elements of its elite commando unit JTF-2, the Canadian equivalent of British SAS, to the region. …. US President Barack Obama and Defence Secretary Robert Gates have both said that American command of the operations would last only a few days.

MacKay urged NATO to take over the command.

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