OTTAWA – A carefully cultivated military relationship with Brazil could be damaged by the unfolding spy drama involving Canada’s super-secret eavesdropping agency, defence and diplomacy experts say.
Since late spring, a platoon of Canadian soldiers has been embedded with a Brazilian army unit as part of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti.
The deployment is slated to run until Christmas, but the entire exercise has been considered an important bridge-building effort with South America’s biggest military power.
The Conservative government attempted to contain the damage Tuesday. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he is “very concerned” and that Canadian officials are “reaching out very proactively” to their counterparts in Brazil.
But experts say the relationship of trust built up by the joint mission and over the last few years by the country’s top military commanders has been badly damaged.
The government in Sao Paulo actually sought out Canadian participation in the Haiti operation because of the country’s reputation as a peacekeeper, said Walter Dorn, a professor at the Canadian Forces Staff College in Toronto….
- Spy cases strains Brazil military ties (globalnews.ca)
- CSE Spying Allegations Could Hurt Canada-Brazil Military Relationship (blogs.ottawacitizen.com)
- Canada in diplomatic hot water following report it spied on Brazilian government (vancouversun.com)
- Harper ‘very concerned’ about reports of Canada spying on Brazil (thestar.com)
- Harper ‘very concerned’ over Brazil spy claims (globalnews.ca)