Sunday, February 2, 2014
Chile to Provide Peacekeeping Troops to European Union
Chile signed an agreement that formally commits its troops to assist the European Union in its peacekeeping missions. Chile becomes the first Latin American country to become such a partner with the EU. Chileans are no strangers to peacekeeping in Europe. They served for more than a decade alongside EU troops in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where they earned praise for their work. The agreement extends Chile's role as a peacekeeper. Already, the Chilean military has been a major component of the United Nation's effort in Haiti, and it has formed its own peacekeeping force with neighboring Argentina. The 2011 acquisition of a multi-role ship gave Chile a valuable resource to carry out such missions, and the Navy has already expressed interest in acquiring another one. For Chile, a country that has not had a war in more than a century, peacekeeping affords a way to expose its military to crisis situations and gain some experience dealing with enemies, although Chilean troops have seldom come under fire.