Canada plans military bases in global hot spots

Canada`s military plans to establish bases in Latin America and Caribbean region, in area marked by conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Ottawa: Canada is finalising agreements with five countries to host Canadian military bases in some of the world`s most volatile regions, a media report said.

Under the Access to Information Act, the Toronto Star newspaper obtained nearly 200 pages of Department of National Defence documents that revealed that the military plans to establish bases in the Latin America and Caribbean region, on both sides of the African continent, in the area marked by conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and in Southeast Asia.

Last week, Canadian Minister of National Defence Peter Gordon MacKay said that one of those operational support hubs would be situated in Singapore.

"It is expected that the hubs will be capable of supporting a wide variety of operations, including combat missions, peace support operations, disaster relief, humanitarian assistance and non-combat evacuation," said a Canadian military briefing note obtained by the Star.

General Walter Natynczyk, chief of the Defence Staff of the Canadian Forces, ordered the search for bases in November 2008 to help the military to cut costs by storing equipment and supplies at overseas hubs, reported Xinhua.

The overseas hubs are saving the government millions of Canadian dollars every quarter while only costing hundreds of thousands of dollars on their operation and maintenance, according to the Canadian military documents. However, Canada has set aside more than half a million dollars to set up bilateral agreements for the military hubs.