Murray Brewster

Defence and security

Murray Brewster is senior defence writer for CBC News, based in Ottawa. He has covered the Canadian military and foreign policy from Parliament Hill for over a decade. Among other assignments, he spent a total of 15 months on the ground covering the Afghan war for The Canadian Press. Prior to that, he covered defence issues and politics for CP in Nova Scotia for 11 years and was bureau chief for Standard Broadcast News in Ottawa.

Latest from Murray Brewster


Canada is waking up to China's quest for a 'new world order', says Japanese observer

One of Japan’s top academics says China is trying to create its own new world order and leading Western democracies, including Canada, have begun to look at their relationship with the rising superpower through that lens.

New NATO mission won't mean a net increase in Canadian troops in Iraq: Sajjan

Canada already has deployed a “significant contribution” to the NATO mission in Iraq and likely will only make  adjustments within its current allocation of troops going forward, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said Thursday.

NATO moves to expand Canadian-led military training mission in Iraq

NATO defence ministers agreed today to expand the Canadian-led military training mission in Iraq and take over some of the activities currently being carried out by the anti-Islamic State coalition of allies.

Canada's submarine fleet spent 'zero days' at sea last year: government documents

All four of Canada's submarines were tied up last year for repairs and maintenance — news that has the opposition Conservatives questioning whether the Liberal government can keep the second-hand fleet afloat for another two decades.

The Trump effect: How the U.S. president may be reshaping attitudes toward NATO

It’s no secret that Donald Trump dislikes NATO. But the U.S. president’s incessant hammering of alliance members to urge them to pay more for collective defence may be having a spillover effect, particularly among traditionally staunch western European allies.

Canada's front-line frigates have suffered 10 fire and smoke incidents since 2018

Canada's front-line frigates have suffered a string of minor onboard fires over the last two years. The Royal Canadian Navy has released a summary of the 10 incidents following a request by CBC News. At least one defence expert says the incidents should serve as a wake-up call for the Liberal government.

Why it's taking so long to get Canadians out of Wuhan, and other coronavirus airlift questions

As Canadians are airlifted out of Wuhan, China, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, many are asking how the exodus will unfold, why it took so long for Canada to get its citizens out of the country and what happens when these Canadians arrive back home. ​​​​​​​

Canadian special forces troops back on the job in Iraq, says commander

Canadian special forces troops are back to full employment in northern Iraq — but for how long?

Special forces soldier guilty of stealing military supplies released from military

A former member of Canada’s special forces who pleaded guilty to stealing supplies — including gun parts — and selling them online has been released from the military.

As Australia burns, a plan for a joint seaborne firefighting unit is getting a second look

The devastating wave of wildfires ravaging Australia has rekindled interest in an unsolicited proposal dropped on the Canadian government four years ago: a call for Canada and Australia to develop and share a couple of strategic water bomber squadrons.

Why Trump's call for an expanded NATO presence in the Middle East will be a hard sell

A NATO team has been meeting at the U.S. State Department in recent days to draft proposals on what an expanded alliance presence in the Middle East would like.

Ukrainian president asked Iran to bring Canada into downed flight investigation: envoy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has issued a direct plea to his Iranian counterpart to ensure that Canadian aviation safety officials are included in the investigation into the downing of Flight PS752.

Trudeau confirms Canadian military personnel were at airbase hit by Iranian missiles

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed today that Canadian troops were in harm's way when Iranian ballistic missiles slammed into a military base in northern Iraq early Wednesday, but he declined to condone — or criticize — the U.S. actions which precipitated the strike.

Northern Iraq airbase targeted by Iran has been key in Canadian fight against ISIS

There was a time when the sounds of war were a daily occurrence at the sprawling airbase in Erbil, in northern Iraq. That was in the fall of 2014, when Canadian special forces troops arrived to help Kurdish fighters to repulse what seemed, at the time, to be the unstoppable onslaught of Islamic State extremists. The sounds of battle returned in the early hours Wednesday with an Iranian ballistic missile attack — one of two in Iraq.

Canada pauses military operations in Iraq amid escalating U.S.-Iran tensions

Canada's top military commander has formally hit the pause button on operations in Iraq as fallout from the U.S. targeted killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad continues.