In a recent article for the National Post, Senator Daniel Lange and retired general Roméo Dallaire argue that it’s critical for Canada to participate in the United States’ ballistic missile defence (BMD) program.
Other countries such as Australia, Japan and South Korea are working with the U.S. to build a missile program for protection against the growing threats such as Iran and North Korea. Despite their limited nuclear capabilities today, there is widespread perception that it’s only a matter of time before those countries are a series threat to North America.
In respect of the threat environment, the committee heard troubling testimony about the ongoing efforts of North Korea and Iran to acquire capabilities to deliver long-range, nuclear-armed ballistic missiles so as to threaten neighbouring countries, NATO allies and North America. These efforts — carried out in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions — have brought us to the point where the theoretical threat has become a practical reality.
Lange and Dallaire also dispel the myth that Canada, because of its proximity, is well-guarded by the U.S.’s missile defences.
This is wishful thinking. As the committee learned from Deputy Commander of NORAD, Lieutenant General Alain Parent, Canada cannot simply assume that all of its territory will be protected by default under the existing U.S. BMD system. The system is currently optimized to protect U.S. territory and the U.S. military command responsible for operating it, United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), is legally bound to respect this prioritization.
Read more: National Post