WarningThis information has been archived for reference or research purposes.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats on the "Contact Us" page.

Views and Opinions

Ballistic missile launch

Defense Imagery.Mil 070622-N-0000X-003

Should Canada Re-examine Its Position on Missile Defence?

by Fraser A.F. MacKenzie

Print PDF

For more information on accessing this file, please visit our help page.


Certainly, the notion of a ballistic missile defence shield is not new, and neither is the debate surrounding what involvement Canada might – or might not – have with such a system should the United States deploy such a missile defence shield, as they have now done. While the initial concept appeared to have died with the collapse of the Soviet Union, once the reality of the post-Cold War era set in it was not long before officials in Washington began to re-examine the merits of such a project.1 Thus, in 1998, with this renewed interest blossoming in the United States, the people and government of Canada were once again forced to debate whether the Canadian Forces (CF) would be involved in a US-led anti-ballistic missile program.

During the seven-year period from 1998 to 2005, individuals as far-ranging as celebrities and activists, politicians, and countless academics debated both the associated facts and the intent of what eventually would become known as Missile Defence (MD). This debate culminated in the 24 February 2005 announcement by then-Minister of Foreign Affairs Pierre Pettigrew, who – standing before the House of Commons – stated that Canada would not be involved in the MD program. However, despite the minister’s assertions that “...this ‘no’ is final,”2 it is now obvious that this – as MD opponent Steven Staples would argue in his book3 – was merely the end to “Round One’ of the Canadian MD debate.

In the two-and-a-half years since that announcement, there has been a change in Canadian government, resulting in the Conservatives overtly stating on two separate occasions that it is open to re-examining Canada’s position with respect to MD. The first of these announcements came on 26 February 2006 when then-Minister of Defence Gordon O’Connor stated that if a request to re-open the issue was made by the United States, the Conservative government would consider doing so.4 The second occurred on 12 May 2006 when it was announced that the Canadian government had endorsed NATO’s decision to examine the feasibility of introducing a form of European Missile Defence that would work in conjunction with the US MD program.

More recently, during a June 2007 G8 Summit of Nations in Germany, Liberal leader Stephanie Dion and New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jack Layton accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper of “...quietly throwing his weight behind the US missile defence program...Harper has stepped up to defend US President George W. Bush and the missile-defence scheme in an ongoing showdown with Russian President Vladimir Putin.”5 Whether this was a simple coincidence or an overt act on the prime minister’s part is subject to conjecture.

Given that the current government has expressed, on as many as three different occasions, that they feel the issue of MD could be re-examined, the Canadian electorate should begin to wonder if there is some validity to these assertions, and whether the Liberal administration made the correct decision in the first place. If the discussion with respect to Canada’s involvement in MD is going to reoccur, it should be based upon fact and not – as former Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) Lieutenant- General (ret’d) George Macdonald has argued occurred last time – with a “...widespread misunderstanding of the real issues.”6

The purpose of this article is not to provide a detailed chronology of the MD debate in Canada,7 but to first examine the basic premise of MD, and then to discuss what I believe are nine popular myths that commonly surround this issue. Those myths are: (1) that MD is simply an extension of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) aka ‘Star Wars’; (2) that the program was re-introduced by the Bush administration in response to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001; (3) that MD will initiate a new arms race between China, Russia, and the United States; (4) that the United States government intends to place weapons in space as part of MD; (5) that MD runs in opposition to Canada’s position with respect to the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; (6) that the technology simply does not work; (7) that Canada will be required to contribute financially to the deployment of the system; (8) that Canadian territory will be used; and (9) that, if Canada participates in MD, its sovereignty will be jeopardized. This discussion will be followed by an examination of the major issues and events that led up to and then occurred immediately after the Liberal government’s MD announcement of February 2005. Finally, I will conclude by attempting to answer the question posed in the title of this article.

US Ambassador to Canada, General Myers, and Lieutenant-General George Macdonald

Alex Lloyd/Defense Imagery.Mil 990223-F-5544L-001

The US Ambassador to Canada, Gordon Giffin, flanked by USAF General Myers, and Lieutenant-General George Macdonald in front of the Cheyenne Mountain complex, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The Basic Premise of Missile Defence

The current configuration of the US homeland system consists of 20 land- based interceptors located at Fort Greely, Alaska, and at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Also, there are 20 sea-based interceptors stationed on US Navy Aegis Class warships to defend against a short- or medium-range missile attack.8 Complementing these assets are radar tracking facilities located in Alaska, Greenland, and Australia. These sites all operate around a restructured Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS) structure within an integrated Command and Control, Battle Management, and Communications (C2BMC) architecture.9 The end purpose of the project is to protect the United States, its forces abroad, and its allies from an accidental launch by a nuclear power, or an intentional missile launch by either a terrorist group or ‘rogue’ nation.

As for the proposed role of the CF in the program, initially the United States government requested that CF personnel maintain their operational positions within NORAD’s Integrated Threat Warning/Attack Assessment (ITWAA) structure.10 Once the MD system came online, this duty was to have been expanded to include the transfer of telemetry data from NORAD to NORTHCOM for use in the interception of any delivery system launched at the United States, its armed forces, or its allies. Although this request was made early during discussions conducted between Canadian and American officials, it became a reality in 2004 when the NORAD agreement was formally amended. Canadian Forces personnel now perform this task as part of their duties – even though the Canadian government officially declined involvement in the MD program.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Lloyd Axworthy, General Myers, Lieutenant-General Macdonald

Alex Lloyd/Defense Imagery.Mil 990311-F-5544L-002

Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Lloyd Axworthy, General Myers, and Lieutenant- General Macdonald at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, 11 March 1999

The Myths associated with Missile Defence

In a 7 June 2007 article written by Susan Telecourt for the Toronto Star entitled “PM backs ‘Star Wars’: Critics,” NDP leader Jack Layton was quoted as saying that Prime Minister Harper is attempting “...to get Canada involved in an arms race, to support George Bush’s manoeuvre to expand the Star Wars undertaking.”11 This statement is a clear progenitor for three of the myths earlier identified. Mr. Layton and the other opponents of MD – more of whom will be mentioned later – argue that the MD program is nothing more than an attempt by the Bush administration to re-introduce the Reagan era Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI), and to plunge the world back into a Cold War.12

Focusing first upon the continued reference to ‘Star Wars,’ critics of MD often link the modern-day program with the SDI project that was first introduced during the Reagan administration.13 The SDI project envisioned the placing of lasers and/or interceptors into Earth’s orbit, with the intention of using them to shoot down any ballistic missiles that might have been fired at the United States, with most parties assuming this would have been accomplished by the now-defunct Soviet Union. While the purpose of MD remains the same, the proposed plan – that is, ground-based interceptors as opposed to space-based interceptors – is completely different.


Maebel Tinoko/Defense Imagery.Mil 070426_N-2143Y-004

The second myth given additional stock by Layton was his statement that MD is “...George Bush’s manoeuvre.” The fundamental notion that this project was devised by the Bush administration in response to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 is simply incorrect. As was mentioned earlier, the National Missile Defense program – as it was formerly known – began in 1998 after Congress and the Clinton administration recognized that the global security paradigm was beginning to become more unstable as a result of the rise in the number of ‘rogue’ states and terrorist cells, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) from the former Soviet republics.14 They also came to the realization that a missile attack against the United States (or its NATO allies) by either of the aforementioned groups was becoming an increasingly viable possibility.

The third myth advanced in Mr. Layton’s statement is the notion that the MD program itself will inevitably trigger a new arms race between China, Russia, and the United States.15 And it must be conceded that, while this appeared to be an unlikely scenario only a few years ago, the continued economic growth of China, and the resurrection of Russia’s economy, has rendered this scenario a remote, albeit still improbable, possibility. However, recent tensions between Russia and United States have materialized more as a result of Russia’s thriving natural resource based economy, and its desire “...to throw its weight around internationally,”16 with the issue of MD simply being one part of a larger puzzle.

Negotiations with Poland on ballistic missile defence

Cherie A. Thurlby/Defense Imagery.Mil 070425-D-7203T-003

Poland comes on line for BMD, Warsaw, 25 April 2007.

Further, while the Russian government stated in July 2007 that it would deploy new missile batteries to the European portion of Russia, should the United States go ahead with its plan to establish radar tracking sites in the Czech Republic and to place ten interceptors in Poland, the fact that they have offered to work with the United States and provide them with secured access to potentially new and current radar tracking facilities in Azerbaijan and southern Russia appears to demonstrate that the Putin administration agrees with its American counterpart that there is a need for the MD program.17 Admittedly, the Russian stance against the Polish MD deployment has hardened in mid-2008, due in no small measure to the increase in tensions between Russia, NATO, and the United States over formal Polish agreement to site establishment on Polish soil, and to the recent Russia-Georgia confrontation.

The greatest ‘wild card’ in this equation appears to be China. Nonetheless, given the rate at which the Chinese economy is growing, Beijing may believe that entering into an arms race would be detrimental to that growth. Also, an arms buildup in China undoubtedly would have repercussions in many surrounding nations, such as South Korea and Japan – both of whom have relationships tenuous at best with China – and thus, China may not wish to be perceived as the nation that ‘threw the wrench’ into the giant economic engine that is now Asia.

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Polish Minister of Defense Aleksander Szczyglo

Cherie A. Thurlby/Defense Imagery.Mil 070424-D-7203T-020

Few would argue that economics did not play a determining factor to the ending of the Cold War, as the state-run Soviet system could no longer keep up with its western counterpart; and, as with the Cold War, economics will also be a determining factor with respect to the MD issue. Given that both the Chinese and Russian economies are growing, it is unlikely that either will take steps – with Russia having followed this course of action once before – that would undermine that success, and would place their continued prosperity in jeopardy.18

The fourth myth commonly associated with the MD program is that it will eventually lead to the weaponization of space.19 The perpetuation and acceptance of this myth – as Dr. James Fergusson Director of the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at the University of Manitoba, has argued – is caused by the average Canadian citizen’s general lack of understanding of MD.20 This belief was clearly articulated on 18 March 2004 when an open letter – written by the Polaris Institute – was sent to then-Prime Minister Paul Martin that stated “...the Bush administration’s plans for missile defence expressly include the placement of space-based weaponry. The 2004 U.S. budget specifies intent to develop a space-based missile ‘test bed.’”21 Interestingly enough, and despite this claim, there are no references in the 2004 US budget concerning the future development or deployment of a space-based weapon system. Furthermore, Dr. Fergusson has stated that given the current level of technology, there is little possibility of such a system being deployed at any time in the near future.22

Two ancillary factors have contributed to the acceptance of the first four myths in Canada. First, the Canadian government23 and its citizens generally have been – and will continue to be – opposed to the weaponization of space. Second, there exists within the Canadian public a generalized “...detestation of George W. Bush.”24 Thus goes the reasoning for opponents of MD, continuously linking it with ‘Star Wars,’ and referring to it as a George W. Bush project, while ignoring any connection it has with the previous Clinton administration.

The fifth myth was also articulated in the aforementioned open letter from the Polaris Institute when the authors stated, “...[that] Canadian involvement in US missile defence would undermine decades of Canadian efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons.”25 Although this reaffirms what the average Canadian believes, it is incorrect. Most Canadians do not realize that between 1964 and 1984, the Canadian Forces maintained a nuclear arsenal.26 However, the fact that Canada was one of the participating nuclear nations of the Cold War also did not prevent it from being an active participant in the non-proliferation talks that were held during that time frame. Conversely, participation in the MD program does not mean that those nations involved are no longer committed to preventing the proliferation of WMDs. In fact, quite the opposite is true. The United States and Canada are both committed to the non-proliferation struggle, and, furthermore, Australia and the United Kingdom – both of whom have signed on to the MD program – also are now active non-proliferation participants.27

The sixth myth with respect to MD is a combination of physics and geopolitics, whereby it has been suggested that the program will not work, due to the inherent difficulties in trying to intercept a ballistic missile mid-flight, and that any technology that is currently available is not advanced enough to do so. Ken Ragan of the Canadian Association of Physicists has argued that the system will be useless against a large-scale attack, and, therefore, the project should be abandoned.28 Further, he contends that should the United States fall victim to a large-scale nuclear attack wherein the enemy employs both decoys and multi-headed delivery vehicles, the MD program would be unable to intercept all incoming warheads. Thus goes the argument that whatever limited strategic advantages the United States may accrue from having such a system do not outweigh any possible geopolitical ramifications it may bring to the table.29 It should be noted, however, that the system has met with limited success during testing. The question here is not whether the MD program will make the United States impenetrable to a large-scale nuclear attack but whether it will protect the United States and its allies from an accidental launch by a nuclear power, or an attempted attack by either a ‘rogue’ nation or terrorist group, and this is the stated intent of the system.

The seventh myth concerning MD is that the United States government was asking, indeed expecting, the government of Canada – and thus Canadian taxpayers – to provide a large financial contribution in exchange for permitting Canadian involvement in the program. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) even went so far as to report, on 4 October 2004, that the MD program “...could cost Canada up to $60 billion.”30 In spite of this assertion, the Department of National Defence (DND) stated that the government of Canada was never asked to contribute financially to the research, development, and deployment of the system.31 Just exactly what the Canadian government did consider contributing will be covered in due course.

The eighth myth is that the United States planned to use Canadian territory for the establishment of radar and missile interceptor stations. While there is some basis for this argument, it still remains false. This myth derives from the fact that the use of Canadian territory was indeed discussed during negotiations. However, it was then-Minister of Defence David Pratt who introduced the idea, and not his American counterparts. This was confirmed in a statement given by the Minister on 22 February 2004 when he remarked that should the United States ask for a financial commitment – which it never did – “Ottawa had not ruled out a contribution of Canadian territory instead of cash to join the program.”32

The final myth to be discussed – and perhaps the one most important to Canadians – is the notion that Canada’s sovereignty would be compromised if it became involved in the program. Promulgation of this myth was best illustrated by the Winter 2002-2003 issue of International Journal, wherein Michael Byers argued – as Canada’s position on the program was still undetermined – that if Canada participated in the program its sovereignty would be greatly reduced as a result of an increased percentage of the Canadian Forces being placed under the control of the United States.33 Arguing against this position, the esteemed Canadian historian Jack Granatstein contends that by Canada not participating in the program it will have a small voice in one of the key areas of North American strategic defence and “...if the United States acted to protect itself from attack without working with the Canadian government and the Canadian Forces,”34 Canada’s sovereignty and ability to contribute to the defence of North America would become greatly diminished.35 In reality, even with all the defence agreements in place between Canada and the United States – and there are over 2500 such agreements – the Government of Canada retains complete sovereignty over where and when the Canadian Forces are placed in combat situations.

Sea-Based X-band (SBX) Radar

John Coccarelli/Defense Imagery.Mil 070720-N-9698C-002

Examining the Liberal Decision

Due to the level of importance that had been placed on the MD program by both the Bush and Clinton administrations, the decision by the Martin government to decline Canadian involvement came, at first, as a surprise to many. Although the Liberal party’s position on the issue shifted on more than one occasion between 1998 and 2005, it finally appeared that the Canadian government would accept the American offer of participation. Proof of this rests in the fact that then-Canadian Ambassador to the United States Frank McKenna went so far as to state, on 23 February 2005, that, given the changes to the NORAD mandate ratified the previous summer,36 Canada had all but agreed to participate in the program.37 However, as time has shown, he was wrong. In order to have a proper understanding of the decision, a few contributing factors now need to be discussed.

Prior to his appointment as prime minister, Paul Martin had spoken positively about the program, and he appeared to be genuine in his desire to institute agreements that would help increase and strengthen the Canada-US defence relationship – especially in light of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. As a Member of Parliament, he had pushed – although ultimately in failure – for Canada to have an active role in the research, development, and deployment of the MD system.38 Mr. Martin also agreed with his predecessor, Jean Chrétien, that it would be in Canada’s best interests to be involved in MD and to have the program operate through NORAD.39 Furthermore, both former prime ministers believed that by participating in MD, Canada would ensure the security of its own territory, and, more importantly, it would permit NORAD to remain an essential element in the defence of North America, while helping prevent the weaponization of space.40

Ballistic Missile Range Safety Technology (BMRST) at Kodiak, Alaska

Lee O. Tucker/Defense Imagery.Mil 020422-F-6740-T-015

What is also worth mentioning is that the Liberal government acknowledged in the 2005 International Policy Statement (IPS) – which was released that April, two months after they announced that Canada would not be participating in MD – that the threat posed by WMD, as well as the desires of ‘rogue’ states and terrorist groups to obtain them, was legitimate and needed to be addressed.41 Further, it stated the need to work with the United States in addressing key threats to the defence of North America, threats of both an existing and a theoretical nature.42 However, despite these two key admissions, the IPS stated that “the Government decided that Canada would not take part in the US missile defence system.”43 This was not the first time the Liberal government acknowledged this threat. In 1999, the Department of National Defence released a document entitled Shaping the Future of the Canadian Forces: A Strategy for 2020, which stated there was mounting “...uncertainty caused by the growing proliferation of missiles (capable of) carrying weapons of mass destruction.”44

Given the fact that two consecutive Liberal prime ministers and other prominent ministers during the MD debate, namely Bill Graham, John Manley and David Pratt – supported by acknowledgements in several official government publications – all expressed a desire to see Canada involved in the MD program, something significant must have occurred to cause an abrupt change in governmental position. The two most prominent theories are: (1) that, according to Lieutenant-General George Macdonald, it was the Liberal Party’s status as a minority government and their need to form an unofficial alliance with the NDP (which was opposed to Missile Defence) in order to ensure their political survival that was the determining factor,45 and; (2) that the decision came about – as Dr. Andrew Richter argued in his article Towards a More Strategic Future? – “...[due to] a backbench revolt brewing”46 within in the Liberal Party that moved the Martin government toward deciding against Canadian involvement in the program.

Which theory is correct? In all likelihood, only those within Paul Martin’s inner circle will ever know the answer to that question. An admission either way would only confirm what both theories share in their argument that it was the concerns of the Liberal party and not the strategic interests of Canada that was the determining factor.

Japanese sailors

James Foehl/defense Imagery.Mil 071015-N-4965F-006

The Japanese have also subscribed to participation in the BMD program.


In response to the question stated in the title of this article: Yes, the current government should re-examine Canada’s current position on the Missile Defence program. Why? Given that Canada is a nation with a strong democratic tradition, and one that holds to those tenets tightly, there should have been an informed debate among the Canadian public as well as by those elected to represent them in Parliament. While the opponents of MD did an excellent job of getting their message out to the public,47 the same cannot be said of those who were in favour of Canadian involvement in the program. This culminated in a generalized misconception of the nature and particulars of MD within the Canadian public,

... [since] for many in Canada, as well as in the United States, MD conjures up images of the Strategic Defense Initiative (i.e. ‘Star Wars’), a strategic arms race, the collapse of the ABM Treaty and the return of the Cold War. However, each of these images fundamentally misunderstands the nature, intent, and implications of the American MD program. Unless these images are put to rest, Canadian policy development and response is unlikely to be based upon its fundamental strategic interest: Canada’s defence relationship with the United States.48

During the initial evaluation process, the Liberal government should have placed the needs of the country ahead of their party by conducting an unbiased, value-based analysis of the issue when determining Canada’s position. Since this was not accomplished at any time between 1998 and 2005, it should be initiated forthwith.

What factors should be included in such an analysis? Although the threat of a terrorist group acquiring WMDs was once dismissed as simple paranoia, there is now a growing acceptance among Western nations that this particular threat is entirely viable and possible.49 Further, it has been estimated, “...[that] the number of countries possessing, pursuing or capable of acquiring WMD and/or delivery systems is [now] 33.”50 Given that a number of these nations are openly hostile towards the West, and are known to support terrorist groups, it is understandable that the United States and its allies (which should include Canada) are seeking a defence against missile attacks. Specifically, it has been estimated that both Iran and North Korea will have the technology to develop an inter-continental delivery system sometime within the next decade, thus allowing them to strike targets in North America and Europe.51

Ballistic missile launches from Hawaii

Defense Imagery.Mil 070622-N-0000X-001

While it has not been discussed in this article, there is still some debate over the future and alignment of NORAD.52 With an MD system now on line, if a threat were to come to fruition, and it became apparent that Canadian involvement in NORAD would hinder a timely response, the United States government might elect to re-examine this organization’s structure. This could mean transferring ITWAA from NORAD to NORTHCOM, or even possibly result in the dissolution of NORAD itself.53 Along with providing many other security and goodwill benefits to Canada, NORAD provides DND, the CF, and Canadian law enforcement agencies with ready access to satellite imagery and other forms of intelligence that the Canadian government would not otherwise have access to if Canada’s involvement in NORAD was either diminished or ceased entirely.54

As is the case with most inter-state cooperation, Canada’s relationship with the United States is governed by a sense of functionalism – that is, the more a nation puts into an endeavour the more that nation will receive in return. Given the realities of the post-9/11 global security paradigm, it is imperative that Canada put forth every effort in its strategic defence relationship with the United States to demonstrate to Washington that it is serious about contributing to the defence of continental North America. One way to accomplish this would be to have an intelligent, informed, and fact-based debate with respect to MD before announcing Canada’s position on the matter. Certainly, no American administration expects Canada simply to be America’s ‘yes man,’ but given the long history of mutual cooperation, the United States will respect Canada if it makes its decisions based upon what is in the nation’s best interest, and not simply what is in the best interests of a governing party.

In the end, the people and the government of Canada must decide whether it is in Canada’s national interest to be involved in the MD program. Given the decision to incorporate Canadian and American maritime forces into the NORAD command structure, how prudent is it for Canada not to be involved in one of the key aspects of continental defence? Will such exclusion be a hindrance to the larger Canada-US defence relationship? How these questions are answered – with consideration given to the aforementioned factors – should be essential when determining Canada’s position with respect to participation in the Missile Defence program.

CMJ Logo

Fraser MacKenzie holds a BA in both 19th Century and 20th Century Political and Military History, and an MA in Political Science from the University of Windsor. His MA thesis was entitled The Politics of being a Good Neighbour: Canada’s Defence Policy Dilemma. He currently works for Statistics Canada.


  1. For more, see Joseph A. Klein, Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedoms, (Los Angeles: World Ahead Publishing, 2005).
  2. Dr. James Fergusson, “Shall We Dance? The Missile Defence Decision, NORAD Renewal and the Future of Canada-US Defence Relations,” in Canadian Military Journal, Vol. 6, No. 2, Summer 2005, p. 13.
  3. For more, see Steven Staples, Missile Defence: Round One, (Toronto: J. Lorimer, 2006).
  4. “Tories open to Missile Defence negotiations,” CTV News Online (26 February 2006). Available at: <http://www.ctv.ca/servlet ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20060226/missile_defence060226/20060226?hub=QPeriod>, accessed 1 April 2006.
  5. Susan Telecourt “PM backs ‘Star Wars’: Critics,” TheStar.com (7 June 2007). Available at <http://www.thestar.com/article/222723>, accessed 4 July 2007.
  6. Lieutenant-General (ret’d) George Macdonald, “Canada-US Defence Cooperation: Where to From Here?” in Canadian Military Journal, Vol. 6, No. 2, Summer 2005, p. 5.
  7. For more on the history of the MD debate in Canada, see Andrew Richter, “A Question of Defence: How American Allies are Responding to the Missile Defence Program,” in Comparative Strategy, No. 23, (April-June 2004).
  8. Scot Robertson, “The Missile Defence Debate: Beyond the Dialogue of the Deaf,” in Policy Options, August 2003, p. 71.
  9. Ibid.
  10. This involves the use of satellites and radar outposts to gather intelligence, while monitoring for, and detecting, any possible airborne threats to North America. During the Cold War, this meant monitoring for possible nuclear strikes by ICBMs, SLBMs, or heavy bombers.
  11. Telecourt, “PM backs ‘Star Wars’: Critics.”
  12. For more, see Harold Brown,(ed.), The Strategic Defense Initiative: Shield or Snare? (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1987).
  13. A specific example of this exists in an article written by Steven Staples entitled Breaking Rank: A Citizens’ Review of Canada’s Defence Spending. In this piece, Mr. Staples states, “...the National Missile Defence System – better known as Star Wars.”
  14. For more on the proliferation of Nuclear Material Unaccounted For (MUF) from Russia and the other former Soviet Republics, see Mitchell Reiss and Robert S. Litwak (eds.) Nuclear Proliferation After the Cold War, (Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press and Johns Hopkins University Press: 1994)
  15. Ernie Regehr, Canada and Ballistic Missile Defence (Vancouver: Simons Centre for Peace and Disarmament Studies, 2003), p. 23.
  16. Peter Goodspeed, “An Unstoppable Force,” The National Post, (2 October 2007).
  17. Jim Hentz, “Russians vow response if U.S. pushes ahead with missile defence plans,” in The Canadian Press, 4 July 2007.
  18. An analysis by the CIA World Factbook concluded “...[that] despite Russia’s recent success, serious problems persist. Oil, natural gas, metals and timber account for more than 80% of exports and 32% of government revenues, leaving the country vulnerable to swings in world commodity prices. Russia’s manufacturing base is dilapidated and must be replaced or modernized if the country is to achieve broad-based economic growth.” Available at <http://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/goes/rs.html>, accessed 2 October 2007.
  19. For more, see Mel Hurtig, Rushing To Armageddon: The Shocking Truth About Canada, Missile Defence and Star Wars, (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2004).
  20. James Fergusson, “Getting It Right: The American National Missile Defense Program and Canada,” in Canadian Defence Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 4, Summer 1998, p 20.
  21. “Canada’s Stars urge Paul Martin to ‘Keep Canada out of Star Wars,” Polaris Institute, 18 March 2004.
  22. Dr. James Fergusson, “Shall We Dance? ...” in Canadian Military Journal, Vol. 6, No. 2, Summer 2005, p. 18.
  23. Although the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois have perpetually been opposed to Canadian involvement in Missile Defence, both the Conservative and Liberal Parties have stated they are opposed to the deployment of any form of a space-based system with respect to Missile Defence.
  24. J.L. Granatstein, Whose War Is It? (Toronto: HarperCollins, 2007), p. 78.
  25. “Canada’s Stars urge Paul Martin...” Polaris Institute, 18 March 2004.
  26. For more information on Canada’s nuclear arsenal during this period, see John Clearwater, Canadian Nuclear Weapons: The Untold Story of Canada’s Cold War Arsenal (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1998).
  27. Canada, Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Background Series: Proliferation Issues, (Ottawa: Canadian Security Intelligence Service, April 2003), p. 5.
  28. “Canadians Protest Missile Defence System,” CBC Online (4 October 2004). Available at <http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2004/10/02/missile_protest041002.html>, accessed 15 July 2005.
  29. For a detailed statement of this argument, see Regehr.
  30. “Canadians Protest Missile Defence System,” CBC Online.
  31. Canada, Department of National Defence, Canada and Ballistic Missile Defence, Available at <http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/newsroom/view_news_e.asp?id=1064>, accessed 24 August 2005.
  32. “Ottawa Mulls Land Offer to U.S. Missile Defence Program,” CBC Online, (24 Feb 2004), Available at <www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2004/02/23/missiledef_ canada040223.html>, accessed 15 July 2005.
  33. See Michael Byers, “Canadian Armed Forces Under United States Command” in International Journal, Vol. 58, No. 1 Winter 2002/2003.
  34. J.L. Granatstein, “A Friendly Agreement in Advance: Canada-US Defence Relations Past, Present and Future,” The Border Papers, No. 166 (Toronto: C.D. Howe Institute, June 2002), p. 1.
  35. Ibid.
  36. During the summer of 2004, Canada and the United States agreed that data from ITWAA would be transferred to NORTHCOM.
  37. “Martin Will Reject Missile Defence: Report,” at CBC.ca, 23 February 2005.
  38. Daniel Hemel, “Mending Fences: Warmer US-Canadian Relations,” in Harvard International Review, Vol. 24, No. 4, Winter 2004, p. 13.
  39. Ibid.
  40. “Canadian Talks to Join Missile Defence System,” in The Ottawa Citizen, (30 May 2003).
  41. Canada, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada’s International Policy Statement: A Role of Pride and Influence in the World: Diplomacy, Available at <http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/cip-pic/IPS IPS-Overview.pdf>, p. 2, accessed 19 April 2005.
  42. Ibid, p. 5.
  43. Canada, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada’s International Policy Statement...p. 9, accessed 19 April 2005.
  44. Canada, Department of National Defence, Shaping the Future of the Canadian Forces: A Strategy for 2020, (Ottawa: Department of National Defence, June 1999), p. 2.
  45. Macdonald, in Canadian Military Journal, Vol. 6, No. 2, Summer 2005, p. 5.
  46. Andrew C. Richter, “Towards a More Strategic Future?” in Canadian Military Journal, Vol. 7, No. 1, Spring 2006, p. 37.
  47. Examples being the open letter and several different books that have perpetuated the aforementioned myths.
  48. Fergusson, “Getting It Right...” p. 20.
  49. Canada, Department of National Defence, 2003 Strategic Assessment: Functional Issues: The Future of International Security Organizations, Available at <http://www.dnd.ca/admpol/eng/doc/strat_2003/sa03_14_e.html>, p. 4, accessed 21 Jan. 2004.
  50. Canada, Canadian Security Intelligence Service. Operational Programs: Counter Proliferation, Available at <http://www.csis-scrs.gc.ca/eng/operat/prolif_e.html>, p. 2, accessed 3 Feb. 2005.
  51. Robertson, p. 71.
  52. For more on the NORAD debate, see Joseph T. Jockel, “US National Missile Defence, Canada and the Future of NORAD,” in Canada Among Nations 2001: Vanishing Borders, Norman Hillmer and Maureen Appel Molot (eds.), (Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 2000).
  53. Joseph T. Jockel, Four US Military Commands: NORTHCOM, NORAD, SPACECOM, STRATCOM – The Canadian Opportunity. Montreal: Institute for Research on Public Policy, 2003, p. 6.
  54. Jockel, “US National Missile Defence, Canada and the Future of NORAD,” p. 89.

Top of Page