Canada's International Involvement between 1950-2011

  • Gouzenko Affair

    Igor Gouzenko, a young clerk with the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa, asked Canada for political protection from the Soviet Union in exchange for him giving the Canadian government documents proving the Soviet Union was operating two spy rings in Canada.
  • Canada joins United Nations

    The United Nations was a group of 50 countries whose goals were to keep world peace, prevent new wars, encourage cooperation among nations, defend human rights, help promote equality and improve the standard of living for all nations.
  • Iron Curtain Speech beginning of Cold War

    British Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared that an Iron Curtain had fallen across Europe which divided the communist states in the east and non-communist states in the west. The domination of the Soviet Union was as strong as "iron". There was also an actual fence built down the centre of Berlin.
  • Berlin Airlift

    The Soviet Union blocked transportation corridors into Eastern Europe which prevented Western Europe from accessing West Berlin. In response, the West supplied West Berlin for fifteen months by flying supplies into the city.
  • Canada joins NATO

    NATO stood for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and was created for mutual defense and because a stronger and more permanent military presence was needed to prevent Soviet expansion in Europe. Each state that was a member of it contributed to NATO's defense force.
  • Canada enters the Korean War

    After 1945, Korea was divided between the communist North and the democratic South. North Korea, supported by Soviet machinery, invaded South Korea which persuaded the United Nations to step in and defend South Korea in what would become the Korean War. Canada showed that it supported the United Nations and was willing to fight to support its goals.
  • The Suez Crisis

    Egyptian President Nassar took the Suez Canal, which was a trade route, from Britain and France. Britain and France then joined with Israel to attack Egypt which caused the Soviet Union to side with Egypt. Lester Pearson, Canada's Prime Minister, created a United Nations Emergency Force to keep the opponents apart while a solution was figured out. United Nations peacekeeping efforts replaced battle forces.
  • Canada Joins NORAD

    The North American Defence System was created between Canada and the United States that included radar stations set up to detect Soviet planes or missiles. Three radar lines were built in Northern Canada to provide advance warning of a missile attack.
  • Canadian Peace-Keepers in Cyprus

    Civil war broke out on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus between the Greek and the Turkish. Canadian troops were sent there from 1964-1993 to accomplish peace in Cyprus which turned out to be successful.
  • Canada recognizes Communist China

    The communists, led by Mao Zedong, took over the government of China but the United Nations failed to recognize the communist government. They allowed China's former government in Taiwan to have a permanent seat on the United Nations Securtiy Council. Canada recognized that China had a communist government but the United States did not. Under world pressure, the United States eventually allowed the communist government to replace Taiwan on the Security Council.
  • Canada enters the Gulf War

    The Iraqi Army invaded Kuwait which was abundant in oils because Saddam Hussein claimed it "belonged" to Iraq. The United Nations created an economical boycott on Iraq and cut off its oil trade. It then used a multinational force to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait in what was to be called Operation Desert Storm. Canada sent ships and fighter planes to patrol the Persian Gulf.
  • Cold War ends

    After the Cold War ended, there was an increased demand for UN peacekeeping missions. As well, peacekeeping started to include organizations (not just UN) such as NATO, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Organinzation for African Unity.
  • Canadian Peacekeepers in Bosnia

    A civil war broke out in Bosnia between the Serbs, Bosnians and Croats. A UN peacekeeping mission called UNPROFOR was established in Sarajevo and attempted to open a way for food and medical supplies by occupying the demilitarized zone. The UN troops became involved in trying to remove the negative impact of the war. Croatians began attacking Canadian soldiers to occupy the safe zone and the entire mission was one of the worse since the Korean War that involved Canadian soldiers.
  • Canadian Peacekeepers in Somalia

    The Canadian Airborne Regiment were sent to Somalia on a peacekeeping mission called UNISOM. Somalia had just suffered a famine and civil war and didn't have a government. Events such as the shooting of Somali intruders at the Canadian compound and the beating to death of a Somalian teenager tarnished the reputations of Canada as a country. The Canadian Airborne Regiment was disbanded.
  • Canadian Peacekeepers in Rwanda

    In Rwanda, the Hutus were committing genocide against the Tutsis. UN forces were sent to make peace but it failed because there weren't enough peacemakers sent to Rwanda to really make an impact and it encouraged the conspirators because they knew that they didn't need to be afraid of international forces.
  • War on Terror

    The War on Terror began when two terrorist planes crashed into the World Trade Centers in New York and one plane hit the Pentagon in Washington, DC. The United States then deployed troops into Afghanistan and entered the war on terrorism called Operation Enduring Freedom. Canada increased its commitment to NORAD and increased its level of emergency preparedness. Its military contribution to the fight against terrorism was Operation Apollo which supported the American Operation Endurinng Freedom.
  • Canada with NATO enters Afghanistan

    After 9/11, NATO stated that an attack on one member would be seen as an attack on all. NATO Allies led the International Stabilization Force in Kabul, Afghanistan and Canada was only to join military action against Iraq if approved by the UN Security Council. Canada has committed over $100 million to humanitarian assistance in Iraq.