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War hawks quietly positioning Canada to participate in US-led Ballistic Missile Defence program

War hawks quietly positioning Canada to participate in US-led Ballistic Missile Defence program,  The Canada Files: Joyce Nelson  , 20 Sept 21, 

During the 2021 federal election campaign, there has been almost no emphasis or discussion in the media on the Liberal government’s plan to spend more than $553 billion on the military over the next 20 years, including the awarding of contracts for purchase of military fighter jets and armed drones in the next few months. The contracts for new frigates have already been awarded, including design components by Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and BAE Systems.

Even more telling, there has been virtual silence about the fact that Canada is quietly being moved into position to participate in U.S. ballistic missile defence (BMD) – a hot-button issue in Canada since December 2001, when U.S. President George W. Bush withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

Since then, the U.S. has spent more than $100 billion attempting to build a missile shield, and for almost two decades the U.S. and defense industry lobbyists (Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin) have been pressuring Canada to join in.

In January 2021, CBC News reported, “The recent Liberal defence policy reaffirmed the 2005 decision by Paul Martin’s government to remain on the sidelines of any continental BMD effort, despite pleas from both the Senate and House of Commons defence committees to reconsider joining.”

Only six months later, however, that Liberal policy appears to have dramatically changed.

In fact, the day before the election call, Canada’s Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a joint statement agreeing to “modernize” NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, and outlining “priority areas for new investments”.

Their August 14th joint statement says: “Canada and the United States share a desire to coordinate in fielding new capabilities to complement and eventually replace the North Warning System with more advanced technological solutions as soon as possible, including next-generation over-the-horizon radar systems that can dramatically improve early warning and persistent surveillance of North American airspace and approaches. Ensuring effective awareness ultimately requires a system-of-systems approach including a network of Canadian and U.S. sensors from the sea floor to outer space.”

“System-of-systems” is Pentagon jargon for BMD.

Political/Defense analyst Keith Jones has stated that this joint commitment is meant to pave the way “for Canada’s participation in the US ballistic missile shield, whose underlying purpose is to enable the US to wage ‘winnable’ nuclear war.” 

That may be why there has been so much silence around the joint statement. If no one knows about it, or what it means, then there can be no opposition to it.

A Bit of History………

Renewed BMD Rhetoric……….

Increased Insecurity Both Russia and China have warned that the Pentagon’s relentless pursuit of ballistic missile defense destabilizes security for their countries and causes nuclear escalation.  

Both Russia and China have warned that the Pentagon’s relentless pursuit of ballistic missile defense destabilizes security for their countries and causes nuclear escalation.  

As Canadian peace activist Peggy Mason, president of the Rideau Institute, recently wrote, “So the untold billions spent by the USA on nuclear modernization and missile defences have played a key role in convincing China that it, too, must increase its nuclear arsenal. Can there be clearer proof of the utter disconnect between the US nuclear posture and the security of that country (and its allies)?”

For a thorough analysis of BMD, a must-read is the lengthy July 26, 2021 report by Ernie Regehr, called “Canada and the Limits to Missile Defence,” available on The Simons Foundation website. Regehr is particularly scathing about U.S. “first strike,” pre-emptive attacks and the chronic strategic destabilization and instability that BMD is causing around the world.

Perhaps a deeper dive into the origins of the missile shield concept will reveal the urgency of stopping it.

A Deeper Dive…….

Canada & BMD Presently, the NDP is further embracing militarism. Their current party platform complains about “outdated” military hardware

and states : “In contracting for new military equipment, including ships and fighter jets, New Democrats will ensure maximum industrial benefits and jobs. This will help ensure the survival of healthy shipbuilding and aerospace industries all across Canada.”

With anti-Russia and China rhetoric so paramount, with militarism and military spending so rampant, and with Canada’s war hawks (especially Harjit Sajjan and Chrystia Freeland) eager to please the U.S., it looks like BMD is quietly back on the federal agenda in Canada.

Ernie Regehr asks the important questions about ballistic missile defence: “Would Canada want to be partnered to a system headed for the weaponization of space? Would Canada want to be a partner in a defence system that depends on pre-emptive attacks?” 

Regehr urges that Canada “maintain its decades-long wariness of strategic missile defence” and instead pursue, “in the company of like-minded states, the arms control/disarmament and prevention strategies on which Canadian and global security really do depend.”


October 29, 2021 - Posted by | Canada, weapons and war

1 Comment »

  1. The centrist claim is that the West is militarily defensive only against supposed aggression by Russia, China et al. Historically, that is nonsense. For a thought-provoking view on war itself as a crime committed by our leaders, I recommend

    Comment by John Smith | October 29, 2021 | Reply

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