At the same time as it was publicly refusing to join the U.S.-led effort of Iraq, the Canadian government was secretly promising American officials clandestine military support for the controversial invasion, a U.S. diplomatic cable obtained by CBC News from WikiLeaks reveals. On March 17, 2003, two days before U.S. warplanes started their raids on Baghdad, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien told the House of Commons that Canadian forces would stay out of what the Americans had dubbed the “coalition of the willing.” The statement was widely held as a rare assertion of foreign policy independence. But the classified U.S. cable shows that a high-ranking Canadian official was privately reassuring American and British counterparts that Canadian naval and air forces could be “discreetly” put to use during the pending U.S.-led assault on Iraq and its aftermath.
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Canada offered secret support for Iraq invasion
Despite public opposition to invasion, Canadian official promised naval and air support: WikiLeaks