Canada's Troop Deployments in Germany: Twilight of a Forty-Year Presence?
Canada's military commitment in Central Europe, undertaken as part of its obligations within the North Atlantic Alliance, was made primarily to contribute to the deterrence of Soviet military aggression and to assist in the defense of Western Europe, if deterrence failed. The 1964 defense white paper had justified the continued presence of Canadian troops in Europe in their existing roles for essentially political reasons. Critics of the mooted northern defense orientation stressed the vital political importance of the Central Region, and especially of Germany, in the East-West balance of power. The Canadian Forces deployed in Germany, being fully integrated into the military command structure on the Central Front, were also fully integrated into Allied defense strategies. In 1968, the newly elected government of Pierre Trudeau began a comprehensive review of Canada's defense and foreign policy. A more substantive review of Canada's defense policy was begun within Department of National Defence during 1990.