Canada To Join Red Sea Mission Despite The Lack Of Capability

In response to increasing threats faced by commercial ships in the Red Sea from Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, Canada has announced its decision to join a U.S.-led naval mission. The move comes as part of a broader international effort to protect vessels navigating through the strategically important waterway.

U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin unveiled the initiative, dubbed “Operation Prosperity Guardian,” during a visit to Bahrain. Canada’s initial involvement will consist of deploying a small number of personnel, according to government sources. These staff officers are expected to be assigned to work at a regional U.S. command, assisting with operational planning.

Notably, Canada, with its fleet of 12 naval frigates, faces constraints as six of these vessels are currently undergoing deep maintenance. The preferred maritime asset for this mission would be an air-defense destroyer capable of countering threats like anti-ship ballistic missiles. However, Canada lacks this specific capability at the moment, although new surface combatants with such capabilities are still in production.

The decision to contribute personnel rather than ships has raised concerns, with Conservative defence critic James Bezan expressing disappointment. Bezan emphasized the need for Canada to provide tangible naval assets, criticizing the government’s alleged failure to ensure the Royal Canadian Navy has the necessary resources.

The security situation in the Red Sea has escalated due to increased Houthi attacks on vessels. These attacks, aimed at showing support for Hamas during the Israel-Gaza conflict, include the firing of drones and ballistic missiles. Shipping companies have altered routes, avoiding the critical Bab el-Mandeb gateway, as the Houthis target ships passing Yemen’s coast.

Operation Prosperity Guardian brings together a coalition of nations, including the United States, Canada, Britain, Bahrain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles, and Spain. The goal is to safeguard shipping in the Red Sea and the adjoining Gulf of Aden.

U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin highlighted the significance of the Red Sea as a vital waterway essential for freedom of navigation and international trade. However, key questions remain unanswered, including whether participating countries are prepared to take direct military action against Houthi threats.

The Houthi attacks have prompted concerns among shipping companies, leading to increased war-risk premiums since early December. This has resulted in additional costs for shipping goods through the Red Sea, affecting approximately 15% of global shipping traffic passing through the Suez Canal.

As the crisis broadens to include energy shipments, major players like BP have temporarily halted transits through the Red Sea. Oil tanker group Frontline also announced its vessels would avoid passage through the waterway, underlining the growing impact on the shipping and energy sectors.

Information for this story was found via The Globe And Mail and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

One thought on “Canada To Join Red Sea Mission Despite The Lack Of Capability

  • December 19, 2023 3:49 PM at 3:49 pm

    These stupid idiotic Liberals have decimated our armed forces so much they can only send staff members to help the coalition in the Red Sea ! It’s a disgrace ! I can’t wait for the day these Liberals finally booted out ! It will be a day of celebration !


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