OTTAWA — Canada is looking to expand its military reach by setting up small bases in Germany, Jamaica and elsewhere to support humanitarian and combat missions abroad, officials and media said Friday.
Jay Paxton, spokesman for Defense Minister Peter MacKay, told AFP: "Military planners are pursuing logistical agreements to ensure Canada is ready to respond quickly to future humanitarian disasters and international crises."
The military bases would support "high-tempo expeditionary operations in places such as Afghanistan, the Middle East, Haiti, Africa and most recently in protecting civilian life in Libya."
However, he added, "this government and the Canadian Forces have no intention of creating permanent large bases in overseas locations."
According to Canadian media, Ottawa has so far reached agreements to open new bases in Germany and Jamaica, and is negotiating with Kuwait for another in that country.
As well, the Canadian Forces are eyeing a presence in Senegal, South Korea, Kenya and Singapore.
Canada was forced in October to close a top-secret military base in Dubai that was part of a key supply route to Afghanistan after refusing to grant the UAE's two national carriers, Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways, more landing rights.
During the Cold War, Canada also maintained two bases in Germany but closed them in the early 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union.