Canada sending two small, slow naval ships to Haiti: Here’s what they might do there
Haiti is definitely a country in need. Armed gangs have taken control of much of the nation. Murder and kidnapping is rampant. And the government seems incapable of asserting its authority over the widespread lawlessness.
What’s less clear is how two small, relatively slow and lightly armed Canadian naval ships just deployed to Haiti can help alleviate its troubles — troubles that for the most part exist on land, not at sea.
The federal government has shed little light on the details of their mission, except to say they’ll concentrate their work in the area of capital Port-au-Prince.
Naval defence experts said Friday the Glace Bay and Moncton — part of Canada’s Kingston class of coastal defence vessels — should be able to map “pattern of life” on the waters surrounding the country, watch out for illicit marine activity by gangs and monitor for unsafe boatloads of refugees.
Otherwise, the Royal Canadian Navy ships with their small crews may end up playing a limited role, says former naval officer Adam MacDonald, now at Dalhousie University’s Centre for the Study of Security and Development.
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