The exped force is pretty obviously being created to respond to Russia. That much is clear from its membership. The countries providing the troops include Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia along with Norway, Denmark and Holland all under the command of Britain. At the same time, Finland and Sweden are preparing to sign "host" agreements to permit NATO forces to operate in their countries. Finland is expected to join NATO and so too may Sweden, ditching the Swedes' historic neutrality.
This has got to be irresistible to the current management. A standing army of the northern latitudes. Air, land and sea units - perfect for an ice-free Arctic. Let the coldest ever Cold War begin.
Then again, we have done this sort of deal before. In the cemetery in Vladivostok are 14 Canadian war graves marking a long-forgotten military blunder Stephen Harper won't be rejoicing in celebrating. It was called the Canadian Expeditionary Force (Siberia) and it too operated under overall British Command during the Siberian Intervention of 1918-1922.
Canada's 4-thousand troops, almost half of them conscripts, mainly stayed in Vladivostok and spent less than a year before being withdrawn. Most of our allies - the UK, US, China, Japan, and Czechoslovakia - were gone a year later as it became clear the White Russians were finished.
Canada's first expeditionary force to Russia was something of a flop. Perhaps the most notable event was a mutiny - on the streets of Victoria. French-Canadian conscripts didn't quite get why they were being marched off to war in Russia but they were duly herded back into formation at bayonet point and loaded aboard their transport. The errant soldiers were going to be charged with mutiny until the Canadian brass realized they probably lacked the authority to send conscripts to fight for Russia.
While the CEF(S) cost the lives of 14-Canadian soldiers in Siberia, almost all of them to disease, it claimed over 100 civilian lives in Victoria, B.C. Research has discovered that the Siberia-bound troop trains brought the Spanish Flu to the west coast.