Friday, March 04, 2005

Little Lost Canadians

THERE has been a great deal of muddled thinking over the missile-defence issue and its relationship to the North American Aerospace Defence Command: "The clear and simple fact is that Paul Martin and the Liberals have already given the United States exactly what it sought to begin with -- full co-operation by NORAD in missile-defence work. Last August, Ottawa and Washington agreed that NORAD's aerospace warning function would be used 'in support of the designated commands responsible for missile defence of North America.' NORAD was already, by signature of Canadian ambassador Michael Kergin, an integral part of the missile-defence structure.
Since Canada already provides manpower for the NORAD early-warning and battle-command posts at our expense, and as these are free gifts to the operation of the missile-defence program, there is no reason to think that Canada is getting a free ride. In fact, Washington gets the extra staffing without paying the bill. The lesson of history is that Canada does not have to participate in U.S. missile-defence plans, and that NORAD was never at risk. A desire to placate Washington is the only reason for further involving Canada in the current U.S. missile-defence scheme through back-door deals and quiet support."

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