In common with sister Commonwealth nations like Australia and New Zealand, Canada gradually became autonomous and started to take notable actions on the international stage.
The Cold War began after World War II when Stalin’s Soviet Union assimilated a number of Eastern European countries into a communist dictatorship. Canada joined the other democracies of Western Europe and the USA in forming the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), an alliance of military powers; it also partnered with the USA in the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD).
Canada has not been slow to answer the call of international peacekeeping organisations like the United Nations (UN). Canadian forces fought to defend South Korea in the Korean War (1950-53), losing 500 dead with 1000 wounded. Since then Canada has participated in UN peacekeeping missions across the globe, for example in Haiti, Cyprus, and Egypt, and also fought in other operations to sustain international peace, for example in what was Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.