Mark Collins – Canada Should Just Say “Yes” to Missile Defence, Cont’d (plus Russian cruise missile threat)

Further to these posts,

Canada Should Just Say “Yes” to Missile Defence, North Korea in Mind

A retired Canadian diplomat, most recently our government’s political adviser to NORAD’s (and US NORTHCOM’s) American commander, makes the case…

“Time to say ‘yes’ to a missile shield, Canada”
[note first comment on RCN and missile defence]

a House of Commons committee weighs in sensibly:

Canadian Debate Reprises Over Role in US Missile Shield
By: David Pugliese [good digging]…

A Canadian parliamentary committee has recommended the government reconsider its earlier rejection to contribute to US missile defense, moving participation in the ground-based system to protect North America one step closer to reality.

In 2005, then-Prime Minister Paul Martin of the Liberal Party declined to take part in the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system, despite being lobbied directly by US President George W. Bush. At the time Canada reaffirmed its support for the US as a military ally but noted it did not want to focus on missile defense.

But potential participation in the system is now back on the agenda, this time being pushed by the current Liberal Party government.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said a defense review, now underway, is examining whether Canada should play a role in the US system. Former Liberal Party defense minister Bill Graham, an advocate for Canadian participation in the system, is one of the advisors on the review.

That view also now has support from the House of Commons defense committee.

In a newly released report it has recommended that the defense review reconsider Canada’s previous position not to take part; it has also suggested the country’s research and development capabilities be considered in any new role in ballistic missile defense.

In the 100 page report, titled “Canada and the Defence of North America [NORAD and Aerial Readiness]” [see here],” the committee also recommended the Canadian government recognize the proliferation of cruise missiles [see end of the post], as well as related emerging technologies, and “take the necessary action to protect Canada from this threat.”

Canada could contribute sites for interceptors or radars for the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system, according to Canadian military officers. Another potential contribution is a multi-purpose sensor system in Arctic which could not only track ballistic missiles but also ships and aircraft in the region. That capability could be one of Canada’s major future contributions to the joint US-Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD [see from 2015: “The Bear’s Bears: New NORAD Radars for Canadian North…“]…

And, as noted at the top of the post, perhaps some of the RCN’s planned Canadian Surface Combatants could be given an ABM capability, at least radar tracking if not actual missile firing–NORAD would surely welcome that. As for cruise missiles:

NORAD and Russian Cruise Nukes: “de-escalation”? Part 2
[note the links at the end]

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

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