on Canadian-American security relations
in the wake of September
Joint Planning Group:
Greater Canada/US military cooperation
On 09 December, Bill Graham, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and John McCallum, Minister of National Defence, announced
the institution of a 'Joint Planning Group' between the militaries of the United States and Canada. Implementation of
any of the group's contingency plans would mean the highly coordinated mobilization of both US and Canadian
forces. Of particular interest for the new group is improved maritime surveillance given the lengthy, vulnerable
coastlines that outline the continent.
Leader of the group is Lt-Gen Ken Pennie, deputy commander-in- chief of NORAD, a joint US-Canadian command
headquartered in Colorado. The agreement governing the operation of NORAD is up for renewal in 2006. It is possible
that the duties of the Joint Planning Group may be folded into an expanded NORAD that included dedicated land and naval forces in
addition to the current 'aerospace' assets. Such a development would be in keeping with the stated goal
of the United States to create and defend a security perimeter around the entire North American continent. Canada will
feel pressed politically, economically, and militarily to take part in the defence of this perimeter.
For a timely article on the subjects of interoperability and continental defence, see two excerpts from a paper by Dan
Middlemiss and Denis Stairs of Dalhousie University:
Part I Interoperability: The Way Ahead for Canadian-American
Part II Interoperability: Some Observations on the Wider
NATO Rapid Response Force, Strategic Lift,
and Interoperability with Major Allies
Rapid response, strategic lift, and interoperability — all of these will be key issues for Canada at the upcoming
NATO summit scheduled for 21-22 November 2002 in Prague. Can Canada afford to hold its own in continental defence and
interoperability with the United States and, at the same time, maintain combat-readiness to participate in a
NATO-commanded rapid deployment force ready to go anywhere in the world? Canada has limited military resources. How
should those resources be allocated? What are our priorities? Which military activities are really in the best
interests of our nation? Perhaps these questions should be discussed before we go to Prague.
Defence Minister McCallum argues that Canadian Forces
should take part in North American defence
Minister of National Defence, John McCallum, gave his first major speech to the Toronto Board of Trade on 25 October
2002. Encouraged by growing public support for increased defence spending, he will be urging his cabinet colleagues to
allocate a much larger budget for Defence.
Beyond the defence of national sovereignty, Minister McCallum stressed that the Canadian Forces must be able to make a
meaningful contribution to the protection of North America. Representatives of the Department of National
Defence have been negotiating with their American counterparts and will soon be finalizing the terms of an agreement
for the two countries to assist one another in times of crisis.
Transcript of the 25 October speech (speaking notes)
DoD and DND working on an agreement
to act together in times of crisis
The US Department of Defense and the Canadian Department of National
Defence are working towards an agreement which will allow the armed forces of each country to quickly respond to the
needs of the other in times of crisis.
A precedent for such an agreement is NORAD (North American Aerospace Defence). The US and Canada share this joint
command of radar and other detection devices, interceptor aircraft, and attendant personnel. A new agreement will
include land forces and seagoing vessels. It is not clear whether it will involve a permanent joint command. (It is
significant, however, that the Commander-in- Chief of NORAD is also CINC of Northern Command.)
A number of questions arise out of Canada's new task of continental defence in concert with the United States:
1. What specific forces and other military assets can Canada bring to this complementary undertaking? How would the
Canadian Forces fit with the US military?
2. Would the demands of continental defence preclude any Canadian overseas operations such as peacekeeping missions and
exercises with NATO?
3. What new equipment, personnel, and training would the Canadian Forces require to fulfil this task efficiently? What
would be the costs and timelines for such enhancements?
4. What provisions must be included in the written agreement to ensure that Canada's sovereignty will not be
Canadian National Security after 9/11:
What does the United States Expect?
Christopher Sands comments on the view from Washington. If Canada were able to
defend its homeland, it would be better prepared to take part in the defence of North America.
Read full article
Thwarting Asylum shoppers
Draft agreements between the US and Canada on border issues will have a
profound effect on Canadian refugee policy one important initiative is an attempt to stop the practice of
Read full article
With US customs inspectors posted to the ports of Halifax, Montreal, and
Vancouver, Canadians should be familiarizing themselves with the joint US/Canada plan called Smart Borders
See: 30-point Action Plan.
See also: White House 2003 Budget re: Smart Borders.