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Ex New Horizons · 1997-98
Serveur de Guerre, paix et sécurité
Ex New Horizons · 1997-98
NORAD: A Good Thing for Canada - Should Canada Increase its Support?
by/par Major Dominique Guay

This paper was written by a student attending the Canadian Forces College in fulfillment of one of the communication skills requirements of the Course of Studies. The paper is a scholastic document, and thus contains facts and opinions which the author alone considered appropriate and correct for the subject. It does not necessarily reflect the policy or the opinion of any agency, including the Government of Canada and the Canadian Department of National Defence. This paper may not be released, quoted or copied except with the express permission of the Canadian Department of National Defence. La présente étude a été rédigée par un stagiaire du Collège des Forces canadiennes pour satisfaire à l'une des exigences du cours. L'étude est un document qui se rapporte au cours et contient donc des faits et des opinions que seul l'auteur considère appropriés et convenables au sujet. Elle ne reflète pas nécessairement la politique ou l'opinion d'un organisme quelconque, y compris le gouvernement du Canada et le ministère de la Défense nationale du Canada. Il est défendu de diffuser, de citer ou de reproduire cette étude sans la permission expresse du ministère de la Défense nationale.

ABSTRACT/RÉSUMÉ

NORAD is about to be 40 years old and has played a key role in maintaining Canada's sovereignty. However, Canada's contribution in this binational agreement has decreased over the years. This paper looks at areas where Canada can increase its participation. NORAD's mission and roles, technology evolution in weapons and their delivery systems, and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to many nations, including rogue nations, are factors that are influencing Canada foreign policy. Should Canada increase its contribution to NORAD, it would reap higher benefits in the area of technology transfer in Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) and space. In time of financial constraints, these benefits can be achieved by contributing additional personnel and by expanding research and development (R&D) efforts toward technology supporting NORAD. Finally, increased contribution would likely assure Canada a seat at the table to better influence negotiations on issues affecting North America security.

Introduction

Canada, located between the United States (US) and the former Soviet Union, was and still is a very important piece of real estate.[1] In the 50s, Canada agreed to continental defense with the US against possible aggression from the former Soviet Union. This is known today as the North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) agreement. It resulted from the President of the United States, in the 1940s, stating that the US would not stand idly by if Canadian soil were to be threatened by any other empire.[a][2] NORAD was originally conceived to detect oncoming bomber attacks against North America. NORAD, throughout the years, has evolved to address continuing changes in the character of strategic weapons and the nature of the threat posed to North America. At the beginning, it was conceivable to stage a surprise attack on the Soviet bomber fleet and even at the early stage of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM).[b][3] Since defense against ICBMs was not possible, the only option was to provide early detection of incoming attacks against the North American continent, and to retaliate against the country of origin. This deterrence posture was the cornerstone of North American defense. NORAD has seen many changes as a result of political reviews, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the end of the Cold War and the inclusion of new missions such as drug interdiction. Since the first agreement in 1958, NORAD has been renewed almost every five years and the last renewal was signed in March 1996[4] as proposed in the report "Options for Canada- US cooperation in Aerospace Defense", with direction from the NORAD renewal steering group. [5]

For years, Canada has been contributing personnel and funding despite the fact that Canadian public opinion has not necessarily been in favor of continuing to support this agreement.[6] In the past two decades, Canada has been reducing its contribution to such a level that the current contribution is short of 10% of the overall NORAD costs. Furthermore, the return on investment can be considered exceptional but will the US accept this contribution ratio for long? Canada may be faced with a dilemma in the future. Not only is NORAD a necessary collective defense agreement, but Canada's contribution to NORAD needs to increase.

Evolution of NORAD

NORAD has changed nature on a few fronts. Physically, Canada and the US agreed to revise the NORAD boundaries and reconfigure the command and control structure to adapt to the new boundaries. They also agreed to change NORAD's roles and missions to reflect the changing world.

New Boundaries and C2 Structure

Prior to 85, NORAD was sub-divided in regions that overlapped both Canada and the US. It made for a strange command and control structure. This was particularly evident during the Cuban Missile Crisis deployment where Ottawa refused to change its alert level despite what the US increased level.[7] After 85, the regional borders were changed such that the continent was now divided in seven regions: four regions in the US, two in Canada - controlled by two Canadian Region Operational Control Centers (ROCC), located in North Bay, Ontario - and one in Alaska.[8] These new regions were an enhancement of Canadian sovereignty since all air defense operations in Canadian airspace would be controlled, at least in peacetime, from Canadian soil.[c][9] Canada East and Canada West Sector Air Operations Control Centers are located in the underground complex at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) North Bay, Ont. Data from its radars is compiled and analyzed, and significant information forwarded to Canadian NORAD Region (CANR), which moved to Winnipeg in 1997 as result of restructuring.[10] NORAD HQ, home of the Commander in Chief (an American) and the Deputy Commander in Chief (a Canadian), is located at the Cheyenne Mountain Air Station, Colorado Springs, Colorado, US.

Missions and Roles of NORAD

During the last two decades, NORAD’s missions have changed to incorporate new or modified responsibilities. Today, the roles and missions of NORAD reflect involvement in Space and concerns from the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), delivery systems and associated technologies. The lastest agreement, renewed on 1 Apr 96, defines the roles of NORAD as:

  1. Aerospace warning. Aerospace warning for North America consists of the monitoring of man-made objects in space and the detection, validation, and warning of attack against North America; and
     
  2. Aerospace control. Aerospace control for North America includes providing surveillance and control of the airspace of Canada and the US.[11]

A fundamental objective of NORAD is deterrence. Deterrence, discouraging or hinder by fear,[12] was the only expected form to ensure that neither side would launch an attack against the other. However, it was never proven that deterrence ever worked or not worked.[i] Should deterrence fails, aerospace defense is the mean by which North America would protect itself against oncoming attacks by bombers and missiles. Aerospace defense, as defined in Publication 3-01.1, consists of three mission areas:[13]

Figure 1 outlines these missions and sub-missions. It should be noted that Canada has capabilities to meet only the first main mission - air defense. Talks are ongoing to determine Canada's contribution toward the remaining two missions.

AIR DEFENSE

  • Destroys attacking enemy aircraft or missiles
  • Nullifies or reduces the effectiveness of such attack

BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE

  • Defeats ground- and sea-launched Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) attacking North America

SPACE DEFENSE

  • Negates enemy space systems
  • Nullifies or reduces the effectiveness of such attack

Figure 1 - Aerospace Defense Mission Areas[14]

Threats to Canada

It can be said that there is no direct threat to Canada and the US. However, threats still exist as seen during the Gulf War. They can originate from Russia, the former Soviet republics or rogue nations and can take the form of aircraft, missiles and drugs. The biggest threat, however, is the proliferation of WMD.

Diversified players

The breakup of the former Soviet Union significantly reduced the threat of nuclear annihilation that faced Canada and its allies for more than 40 years[15] but many of the republics have inherited and control some of the former Soviet arsenals.[16] There are currently no guarantees that those republics' government will not use those assets should they be forced to. Deterrence, which may have worked in the past, may no longer work in the context of this New World order. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that events in Russia could not change the context again thus making Russia a powerful threat again.[17] The threat to North America is also compounded by the emergence of regional military powers as a result of the proliferation of advanced weapons and technology. New threats in the form of other countries that have acquired nuclear capabilities toward war also exist.[18] These countries have not signed any of the non-proliferation treaties and may, on the spur of the moment, use those weapons toward the US and, possibly, Canada. What's more unpredictable is that factions may start conflict with their own enemies and may escalate their dispute to war. Such war will likely involve the old archrivals - the former Union and the US. Within the NORAD and NATO agreements, Canada will likely be involved in such conflicts.[19]

Weapons to contend with

Excluding weapons from terrorists, which can vary extensively and are usually undetectable, potential threats to Canada are bombers (air breathing threats), missiles (Intercontinental Ballistic, Submarine Launched Ballistic, Cruise and Theater Ballistic), and drugs. New technology developments may bring the continent within lethal reach of developing power states and they may be capable of conducting attacks against North America, which could include WMD use.[20] Proliferation of missiles carrying WMD cannot be discounted as one of the threat to contend with.

Air Breathing. In the 50s and 60s, a massive bomber attack against North American cities was the main concerns. Early detection and interception were the key aspects of defense to intercept them as far north as possible. Canadian soil was then strategic, as its north was best to build radars to accomplish early detection. Russia still has a viable bomber force that can be used to launch an attack against North America.

Ballistic Missiles. ICBM is the first threat against which no defense existed. When the former Soviet Union crumbled, its strategic nuclear weapons did not dissolved with the communist government.[21] The republics gained control of those missiles that were stored within their borders. Despite the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties (START I & II), Russia retains some of those assets as is the US. China is also a player, as it possesses ICBM and SLBM that can hit the North American continent.

Cruise Missiles (CM). Cruise missiles can be launched from aircraft, surface ship, submarine or ground unit well beyond countries' detection capability. Due to their range, accuracy and small cross section, cruise missiles are hard to detect and almost impossible to destroy. Many countries already possess these weapons.

Theater Ballistic Missiles (TBM). Theater Ballistic Missiles operate similar to ballistic missiles but with a much shorter range. They can be launched from fixed or mobile platform and can reached approximately 3500 Km at 5Km/Sec thus a flight time of no more than 12 minutes from launch to impact. Detection is possible but the reaction time to defend and respond against them is a much shorter. These missiles can carry weapons of mass destruction: nuclear, chemical or biological. During the Gulf war, some of these were destroyed by Coalition forces using Patriot missiles, which lack of effectiveness was such that some Iraqi Scud missiles manage to get through.

Drugs. In 1991, NORAD was tasked to carry out detection and monitoring of the aerial Drug Smuggling threat to North America.[22] NORAD uses its assets, mainly coastal radars, to detect aircraft, carrying drugs, entering the continent. This effort is mostly oriented toward Central and South America but also includes the coast of Canada.

Proliferation. Although Russia had a solid record of central control over their missile arsenal, the sheer size of its nuclear stockpile makes this material vulnerable to loss or theft.[d][ii] The introduction of WMD, acquired abroad or produced indigenously, poses a threat to neighbouring states, defeats arms control initiatives and complicates military operations.[e][23] According to a report produced for the NORAD Renewal Steering Group, more than 20 nations have acquired or are in the process of acquiring Weapons of Mass Destruction.[24]

At the moment, none of the described threats are of immediate concern to Canada and the US, particularly since the demise of the former Soviet Union. However, there is no guarantee that the context of détente presently enjoyed by Canada could change on a spur of the moment. Proliferation of WMD is highly present, not only from a single azimuth - the North - but asymmetrically. Relaxed debate on proliferation of WMD can now take place but it is highly desirable to understand that this New World military situation can change over a short period of time.[f]

Canada's Current Contribution to NORAD

Canada and most other NATO allies have seen their military budgets decline, acknowledging the fundamental changes on the world scene and the need to reduce overall government expenditures.[25] Since the end of the cold war, there has been an increase in UN mission around the world. Canada, as a moral superpower, is providing troops, equipment and funding to support those missions. Actually, it is said that Canada's top priority is in UN peacekeeping.[26] However, Canada will still maintain its aerospace surveillance, missile warning, and air defense capabilities but at a significantly reduced level.[27]

Detection/Sensors

Over recent years, Canada has modernized its aerospace detection systems in the form of new radars and Sector Air Operations Control Centers (SAOCC).[iii] This project was put in place after realization that the CADIN-PINETREE line, although better than nothing, was too far south to permit defense of the North American continent from Soviet Bombers equipped with standoff missiles.[28] Through modernization and re-evaluation, the NORAD radar chain changed from 78 radar stations along the 70th parallel between Alaska and Greenland to now 55 radar[g][29] as part of the North Warning System (NWS).[iv] Coastal radars are also used to monitor airspace violations, mainly in support of the drug interdiction mission. Drug smuggling interdiction is an ancillary mission to which the capabilities of our maritime and land forces have also been applied, and illustrates how existing structures and capabilities can be adapted to address new problems.[30] Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft are used to control airspace to improve coverage of ordinary radars and to supplement areas of interest. For instance, this capability is used extensively to track and intercept drug dealers coming into the US by small planes or boats. In time of higher tension, these aircraft would be deployed to Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Cold Lake and CFB Bagotville to increase detection capability of the NWS radars. Canada contributes military personnel to AWACS operations. Canada does not possess any national space surveillance system where the US has a fairly extensive network of surveillance satellites.

In light of today's threat environment - namely missiles - little could be gained by increasing contribution in standard detection systems. As a minimum, the current radar chain should be maintained and personnel contribution toward AWACS operations should continue at the current level of efforts. Development of SBR capability is, however, an area requiring attention. As this capability improve, the importance of Canadian territory will decrease, as traditional radars will no longer be needed as the entire continent could be covered by one or two SBR. Canada is cooperating with the US in developing space-based radar (SBR) technology for NORAD, to help detect and track objects as small as cruise missiles.[31]

Fighters

At its peak strength, the RCAF deployed more than 160 front line interceptors supported by 17,000 personnel.[32] After 1962, Ballistic Missiles Early Warning Systems (BMEWS) were constructed reflecting the emphasis in NORAD to aerospace surveillance and tracking thus reducing the importance of air defense interceptors. As a result of the end of the Cold War, a further decrease of fighter in support of NORAD took place. In peacetime, approximately 36 Canadian interceptor aircraft are assigned to the NORAD mission.[33]

Due to the decrease in bomber threat and the "open skies" agreement, the requirement for more fighter to support NORAD does not make sense at this time. Therefore, increase contribution in this area would not be beneficial to Canada and the NORAD agreement.

Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) and Theater Missile Defense (TMD)

There are currently no BMD capabilities in North America but the US is actively working toward the development of such defense to respond to a limited attack. During the 1968 NORAD renewal, a statement to the effect that Canada would not be involved in Anti-Ballistic Missiles Defenses was introduced in the agreement.[34] It is, however, Canada's intention to continue binational participation in BMD/TMD concept development.[35] Furthermore, it is likely that Canada, as part of NATO,[36] will endorse TMD particularly since further conflicts, like the Gulf War, will involve the use of Theater Missiles against Coalition forces.

Increase contribution in this area would definitely bring benefits to Canada as part of NORAD and as a member of NATO and the UN. As indicated, states involved in conflicts such as the Gulf War are likely to use TMD to launch WMD. Participation in the development of this capability and endorsement of the concept would likely secure US support for Canadian troop deployed side by side.

Personnel

Canada has personnel dedicated to support NORAD in the US and Canada. Some 120 personnel[v] are located in Colorado Springs, CO - home of NORAD HQ - in direct or indirect support of the NORAD missions. Some of them support other missions located at both Peterson Air Force Base (AFB) and Cheyenne Mountain such as it is the case within US Space Command (USSPACECOM), which provides warning of ballistic missiles launch to NORAD. Canadians are also employed in Alaska, Florida and Thule AFB, Greenland. Personnel supporting NORAD in Canada has greatly diminished mainly due to closure of radar stations and the downsizing of interceptors assigned to the air mission. The northern radars are, for most of them, unmanned. Contractors who perform only routine maintenance on the equipment staff those that are manned.[h] The control centers have also seen a reduction in personnel in manning and support to the mission. Figure 2 outlines the number of Personnel-Year (PY) that Canada and the US provided in support of NORAD for fiscal year 1994/95.

Although a decreasing asset, Canada should consider increasing personnel contribution to the NORAD efforts. There are many areas where Canadians can be employed in support of NORAD. Some of these areas will be looked at in the next section.

US

Canada

Personnel

(PY)

Costs

(US Millions)

Personnel

(PY)

Costs

(US Millions)

Management and Staff

 

130

10.2

42

3

Command and Control Structure

 

1540

77.3

442

22

Aerospace Surveillance:

Missile Warning and Space

Surveillance

1793

359

24

1.3

Aerospace Surveillance:

Ground-Based Systems

 

159

163

74

74.3

Airspace Control

 

8193

440

122

100

TOTAL:

 

11815

(94.4%)

1049.5

(84%)

704

(5.6%)

200.6

(16%)

Capital Projects

 

212

38.7

(15.4%)

Figure 2 - Expenditure for NORAD in 1994

Funding

Canada has expanded some $200 million US in O&M during 1994/95 (Figure 2). For the modernization project, it was proposed that Canada should take on the major responsibilities for managing the work on the North Warning System to be done in Canada and should pay for the provision of most new construction along with communication facilities. The US, meanwhile, would supply the radars and upgrade Cheyenne Mountain systems. Unlike the case of the earlier DEW Line,[vi] Canada was to contribute 40% of the estimated $1.5 billion cost of building the NWS, as well as 40% of its future operating and maintenance costs.[i][37]

In time of budget cuts, this would be an area difficult to increase contribution, particularly when debating NORAD support in comparison to other Canadian military requirements. It is probably not practical nor feasible to expect an increase in this area unless the contribution would profit other military capability.

Canada needs to increase its contribution to NORAD

Debates have been held on the need for Canada to participate in NORAD and the level of contribution. At least one Canadian Peace group, Project Ploughshare, is advocating that Canada should quit NORAD.[vii] Task groups and committees have looked at that issue and most have concluded that Canada should remain in NORAD. For Canada, acting alone is rarely an option since Canada is a member of almost every organization existing today, such as NATO and UN. Multilateralism has always been viewed as a necessary means to achieve broad foreign policy objectives.[38] There should be little doubt that Canada will continue participation in NORAD. The problem for Canada is to keep the contribution to NORAD such that this important binational agreement survives the nicks of time.

Changes in defense posture, changes in threat and mission, and return on investment from Canada's contribution are only some of the few reasons that Canada should continue to renew. Although the nature of threat has changed, NORAD is still needed. In the early days of the agreement, Canada was mostly required due to its geography. That is, the US needed Canada's territory to stage the radar chain, which formed the first line of defense - early detection of incoming attacks. As the threat evolved from bombers to ICBMs, the US orbited space detection systems that could observe missiles launch from within the former Soviet Union. This decreased the US dependency on early warning systems across the Canadian North. The development pace of space-based radar technology will dictate the need of ground-based radars in the near future. As Canada does not have the resources to protect its territory and approaches, it will rely on US assets to provide warning of any threat. While the NORAD agreement itself has proven to be both durable and at the same time subject to gradual changes in emphasis, US and Canadian policies in surveillance and air defense cooperation have changed substantially over the past thirty years.[39] Defense against drugs interception, missile detection and defense, and bomber detection and intercept are valid missions that are relevant to Canada's defense and security needs. Finally, Canada gets good return on investment for every dollar spent on NORAD. It can take advantage of the capabilities provided by NORAD that Canada would otherwise have to provide at great expense.

Increase support is imperative

One avenue that Canada has to ensure survival of the NORAD agreement is by increasing its contribution to the effort. Increased contributions need to be made in areas that make sense considering the global environment that Canada is now in. However, available dollars and personnel are decreasing due to budget cuts and restrictions. Since the budget has been relatively fixed within a financial envelope, new capabilities require funds to be taken from other capabilities. Canada also contributes resources to the United Nations (UN) and to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). With the end of the Cold War, Canadian military has had to examine its priorities. With a per capita debt larger than the United States, it will become increasingly difficult for the government to support a military in an environment where it is believed, by the person on the street, that all military threats have disappeared.[40] This will likely have an impact on military's contribution to NORAD.

It should be evident that the NORAD agreement has more importance for Canada than for the US. For Canada, it is a political and strategic commitment, assessed within Canada's broad foreign policy objectives.[41] Canada's territory is larger than that of the US and yet Canada's share is not representative of the importance this huge landmass represents to the security of the continent and Canada's sovereignty. Increase in contribution would indicate Canada's willingness to be an active player in decision taken that would influence NORAD and Canada's foreign policy and would avoid a position where US foreign policy would disregard Canada's need. It would also demonstrate that NORAD plays a key role in the protection of Canada's territory. Participation in research affecting NORAD would likely facilitate exchange of technology, particularly in the area of BMD and space.

Support for BMD and Space

There are two general areas where Canada can increase its participation: ballistic missile defense and space. If looked at smartly, the benefits to NORAD could, conceivably, be beneficial to other areas such as the UN and NATO. Additionally, given the threat is mostly missiles, it goes without saying that an increase to the traditional air defense is not warranted nor would it contributes to the world situation as radars and interceptors are usually assigned to territorial defense. During the Gulf War, theater ballistic missile attacks were a serious concern for the Coalition forces and are still a possible threat to deployed forces. In the Persian Gulf area, TBM launches were detected by USSPACECOM and were reported to the theater CINC. However, no suitable defenses were available thus US commitment in developing BMD capabilities. It is reasonable to anticipate IAW NORAD Vision 2010 that binational cooperation will expand to eventually include space control and BMD.[42] In its 1994 Defense White paper, Canada does not reject its involvement in BMD as long as it is affordable, contributes to Canada's defense needs and builds on missions the forces already performs.[43] As NORAD is the only organization looking into BMD, Canada can get involved in this area as it could also contributes to protect Canadian forces on UN and NATO deployments. Furthermore, if a launch of nuclear missiles by Russia or the former Soviet Republics, intentional or accidental, were to happen, destruction of such missiles by BMD assets (mainly from the US) would likely occur over Canadian territory. Canada should not sit idly while an armed conflict could be waged over its territory. If BMD is to be the key defense for the continent, Canada must provide increase support toward the development of this capability such that Canada can voice its position on how and where BMD should be used.

By the mid-1980s, the military's share of Canadian space spending has fallen from 72% in 1966 to a mere 10%.[44] Space is an area where Canada can increase its contribution and enhance its current expertise. Canada is participating in the development of space-based radar (SBR) capability for NORAD. The main role of the SBR would be to detect and identify incoming threat to the North American continent, be in the form of missiles or aircraft and as small a target as cruise missiles. Since the involvement in this area is purely detection, it would be politically correct and advantageous. Such radar would definitely contribute to Canadian airspace sovereignty, particularly in the Arctic, since the whole territory could be observed from space without limitations characterized by ground-based radar. Such technology would also have civilian benefits has it can monitor surface and atmospheric traffic.[45] As space is ideal for surveillance of large area, Canada should increase its participation in the exploration of space- based systems, otherwise, it may face the prospect that the US will monitor its territory.[46] This would be unacceptable to Canada, as it would not have control of its own sovereignty. Space is definitely an area where Canada should get involved, as the benefits will not only apply to NORAD but also to support Canadian troops abroad.

Personnel and R&D Contribution

Funding is hard to come by, particularly for new capability. However, it is not the only method that Canada has at its disposal to contribute to NORAD. A detailed analysis of the current contribution could reveal that improvements in the area of radars and interceptors would not be cost effective at this point in time unless the threat reverts back to bombers, as it may be the case with the cruise missile launched from such platform. Acquisition of BMD and Space capability is unlikely thus two possible areas for contribution remains: military personnel, and research and development (R&D).

Canada maintains a level of military capability sufficient to play an important role in its defense.[47] Canada's main contribution is its military personnel. Canadian military are very bright and hard working. Military personnel have been employed within NORAD for some time, and have always been dedicated and demonstrate a keen understanding of NORAD's benefits. An increase in strength abroad and at home to support this agreement and related missions would be beneficial to both Canada and the US. It would increase discussion and exchange of ideas when it is time to make policy change to US-Canada security policy. It would also enhance military relationship, particularly when Canadian forces are deployed thus ensuring their interest and making the needed information is available where and when it is needed. Those personnel can certainly participate in the development of both BMD and SBR, be at home or within the US. Increase personnel within NORAD would definitely show the flag in support of the binational agreement.

The US is expanding resources toward R&D on new surveillance and defense technologies. Canada can contribute in both BMD and SBR as expertise with weapons and space already exists, particularly within the Defense Research Establishments (DRE) organization and within Canada's private or public sector. Increase involvement in R&D would show Canadian's increased interest in technology development for NORAD. One additional benefit to such a contribution would be the possibility to exchange technology. Scientist from both countries could collaborate and exchange findings. Furthermore, Canada's space program would also profit from this exchange and this involvement could speed up Canada's expertise in space. Finally, Canada would contribute on how BMD can be designed and where it should be employed to defend North America.

The overall show of good will is, off course, financial contribution. In time of budget cuts by the government and the department, however, this is unlikely. When the average Canadian does not see a need nor understand NORAD, it is extremely difficult to justify an expansion of funds toward such mission.[48] As of spring 92, the total cost to Canada was estimated for the North American Air Defense Modernization (NAADM) project at $830 million, with a recurring annual cost for personnel, operations, and maintenance of $206 million (of which Canada's share was $83 million).[49] Such cooperation demonstrated the resolve by the Canadian government to continue the NORAD agreement. In time of financial constraints, Canada's best approach is to continue the current level of funding toward O&M of the NWS. Funding should be allocated toward BMD and SBR research and development where it makes sense in addition to personnel and R&D efforts. Canada must continue to monitor mission and threat changes and must be prepared to increase its funding to NORAD should the need arises.

A lot to lose

There are certainly risks if Canada drops out of or reduces its commitment to NORAD. Continuing participation in NORAD has definite advantages for Canada. First, Canada could influence decision being made in regard to the defense of North America. Without increase participation, the US is likely to make decisions without consideration for Canada's security and foreign policy. This would have detrimental impact on Canada's sovereignty posture. Second, increased contributions and participation, particularly in the area of R&D, would allow Canada to stay on top of technology generated by the US and have a voice in the development of defense systems. Last, it would be impractical nor economical for Canada to unilaterally perform the missions that NORAD provides. Although aerospace control would be possible, Canada's air defense would be difficult due to the country's large land mass and relatively small forces. Furthermore, Canada relies entirely on US systems to provide warning of ballistic missile attacks. It is therefore important that NORAD continue to exist, as the required funding to protect Canada would be much higher than currently allocated. If Canada was to drop out of NORAD, it would be solely responsible to take charge of the control of its airspace and the approaches to Canadian Territory.[50]

Conclusion

Canada is a vast country. It is hard to evaluate how much resource would be required for Canada to defend its sovereignty without the participation of the US through the NORAD agreement. Although not readily apparent, potential threats still exit from many countries and can take different forms. NORAD is highly important for Canada since the benefits from this agreement far outweigh the Canadian's share to the agreement. It is unlikely that the agreement will ever be dissolved but Canada should look at increasing its contribution. Personnel, and research and development, concentrated in the area of ballistic missile defense and space-based radar developments, are just examples that would best benefit Canada, not only toward its sovereignty but also in the protection of troops on deployment. Additionally, increase participation in NORAD would enhance technology exchange and would provide a stronger voice at the binational table. Canada must continue to provide support to the agreement and be adaptable in its contribution to reflect changes to the world's stability and NORAD missions and roles but, where feasible, it should increase its commitment to the NORAD effort.

From a Canadian perspective, collective defense remains fundamental to our security. Were a serious military threat to Canada or its allies to emerge, Canada would, once again, seek its security in collective defense arrangements. It is, therefore, important that such arrangements be maintained in peacetime as it would be very difficult to revive them in a crisis.[51]

NOTES

     iIn the last few years, scholars of international relations have begun to take a closer look at the concept of deterrence. Noting the dearth of empirical data about the success or failure of deterrence in a sufficiently wide range of specific cases, some have argued that it cannot be proven that deterrence has worked effectively to prevent WWIII. However, the reverse is also true: it cannot be disproved. Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security. The NORAD Renewal Issue, Ottawa, Ont.: Working Paper # 33, Mar 1991, p. 5 [ return ]

     iiIt is estimated that there are some 25,000 nuclear charges of all kinds scattered over more than 100 sites, which makes this material vulnerable to loss or theft. DND. 1994 Defense White Paper, Ottawa, Canada: Minister of Supply and Services Canada, 1994, p. 7 [ return ]

     iiiCanada and the US established the North American Air Defense Modernization (NAADM) program to extend and improve radar coverage of the continent and its surrounding. The modernization included Over The Horizon Backscatter (OTH (B)) radars, Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, improved manned interceptor aircraft and integrated Military and Civilian (FAA) airspace surveillance systems. Haglund, David G., and Sokolsky, Joel J. The U.S.-Canada Security Relationship; The Politics, Strategy, and Technology of Defense, Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1989, pp. 167-168 [ return ]

     ivThe North Warning System (NWS) consists of state-of-the-art, minimally-attended and unattended microwave radars which form a 3,000-mile-long and 200-mile-wide "tripwire" along the Arctic Circle from Alaska to Newfoundland. It consists of 15 minimally-manned, long-range radars (11 in Canada, four in Alaska) and 39 unattended short-range radars (36 in Canada, three in Alaska). World Wide Web. No Author. "Canadian NORAD Forces Fact Sheet". [http://www.spacecom.af.mil/norad/cforces.htm]. As of May 96. [ return ]

     vThis amount is fluctuating depending on the missions and requirement for Canadians to support those missions. This number was the approximate number of Canadians when I left Colorado Springs in 1995. [ return ]

     viUnder an agreement signed on 5 May 1955, the US bore the full cost and responsibility for constructing and operating the DEW Line system. Nevertheless, the agreement went to great lengths to attempt to ensure the preservation of Canadian sovereignty, for example by reserving Canada's right, on reasonable notice, to take over the operation and manning of any or all of the installations. Dewitt, David B., and Leyton-Brown, David. Canada's International Security Policy, Scarborough, Ont.: Prentice Hall Canada Inc, 1995, p. 181 [ return ]

     viiProject Ploughshares, a prominent peace group sponsored by the Canadian Council of Churches, made the following comment in an issue of their magazine - Ploughshares Monitor: "Thus, two important initiatives are required of Canada: it needs to clarify its own nuclear doctrine to disavow the pursuit of warfighting technologies; and, it must remove itself from institutional structures which tend to draw Canada into U.S. strategic planning and operations. In other words, Canada needs to quit NORAD." Blasiak, Major Hank. Canada and NORAD: An expanded mission for the 21st century, Toronto, CFC New Horizons paper, Apr 95, p. 3 [ return ]

     aThe Permanent Joint Board on Defense (PJBD) was not created until 17/18 Aug 1940, at Ogdensburg, but it was the first agency through which substance was given to the President’s promise that the US would not stand idly by if Canadian soil were to be threatened by any other empire. It immediately took on the prestige of its status as the senior bilateral defense agency, and of its first co-chairmen, and has retained it in large measure throughout its life. (Security relationship, p. 145) [ return ]

     bSince the 1950s, a great deal has been done to make deterrence as stable as possible. At one time, it was possible to imagine a surprise attack on the opponent's strategic systems that could eliminate the capability to retaliate by destroying all bombers on the ground. That was still conceivable at the time the first ICBMs were deployed, since they were soft structures above the ground, very vulnerable to blast, and requiring many hours of preparation before they could be launched. (CIIPS, p. 4) [ return ]

     cWhen the JSS became fully operational, there would be seven regions, four in the US south of the border, two in Canada, and one in Alaska. Regions that previously straddled the border would be eliminated. The Canadian Government approved the new arrangement early in 1975, seeing in it an enhancement of Canadian sovereignty since, when it came into effect, all air defense operations in Canadian airspace would be controlled, at least in peacetime, from Canadian soil. The arrangement was the not cost-free. New regions needed new control centers. As part, therefore, of the same decision, the government agreed in principle that DND should join with the USAD in a contract to design and supply the necessary equipment for seven ROCCs. The cost for the two Canadian ROCCs was then estimated at around $70 million. The old Regional Control Center at North Bay would be replaced by new centers for Eastern and Western Canada. (Security relationship, p. 172) [ return ]

     dRussia has a solid record of central control extending over half a century, but the sheer size of its nuclear stockpile - some 25,000 nuclear charges of all kinds scattered over more than 100 sites - makes this material vulnerable to loss or theft. It is critical that these weapons, and the fissile material from dismantled weapons, be stored under the strictest physical and inventory safeguards. (White paper, p7) [ return ]

     eThe spread of advanced weapon technologies to areas of potential conflict has emerged as another major security challenge of the 1990s. Whether sophisticated armaments are acquired abroad or produced indigenously, their introduction into volatile regions undermines stability, poses a threat to neighbouring states, defeats arms control initiatives, and complicates military planning and operations, as Canada and other members of the AN Coalition experienced first-hand during the Gulf War. (White paper, p6) [ return ]

     fAt the moment such a threat seems very far away indeed, even though elements of it remain in the nuclear proliferation threat posed by Soviet collapse, and there is no guarantee that events in Russia could not change the context again. Thus the debate about threats to this country should now take place in a relatively relaxed atmosphere with a clear understanding of the advantages of the New World military situation. (Security policy, p. 67) [ return ]

     gAt its height, the system consisted of 78 radar stations stretching over 8,000 km along the 70th parallel between Alaska and Greenland. It was said to be capable of detecting and tracking aircraft at altitudes of up to 60,000 feet. Under an agreement signed on 5 May 1955, the US bore the full cost and responsibility for constructing and operating the DEW Line system. Nevertheless, the agreement went to great lengths to attempt to ensure the preservation of Canadian sovereignty, for example by reserving Canada's right, on reasonable notice, to take over the operation and manning of any or all of the installations. Despite these assurances, however, the system was widely criticized within Canada as an affront to the nation's sovereignty, turning Canada, as one critic put it, into "the world's most northerly banana republic" (Security Policy, p. 86) As part of this process (Atrophy in early 60s), the number of DEW Line installations was reduced from 78 to 31. (Security Policy, p. 87) [ return ]

     hIn general, only units, personnel and resources of the CF assigned exclusively to northern activities were based permanently in the region. Apart from the HQ staff, the Rangers, and the Cadets, this included "communications research" stations (actually electronic intelligence-gathering installations) at Inuvik and Alert, an Air Command detachment at Frobisher Bay (closed on 1 Dec 83), and DEW Line personnel at the four main stations of Cape Parry, Cambridge Bay, Hall Beach, and Cape Dyer, as well as 17 secondary stations. As of 1979, the total strength was approximately 550 Regular Force military, 60 public service, and 450 contracted civilian personnel, with 625 dependents. (Security Policy, p. 89) [ return ]

     iRemaining impediments were removed when the Americans proposed that Canada should take on the major responsibilities for managing work on the NWS to be done in Canada and should both undertake and pay for the provision of most new construction and for the necessary communications facilities, while the US supplied the radars. Costs on this basis would be shared 60% by the US and 40% by Canada. The Americans agreed that Canada should be responsible for operations and maintenance of the Canadian part of the NWS. The operating and maintenance costs would be shared on the same basis as the initial costs (60/40). The Americans had previously accepted the Canadian position on the location of the radars at the eastern end of the NWS and now agreed to the compromises regarding coastal radars and FOLs and Dobs. By the beginning of Mar 85, an agreement acceptable to both governments had been reached. A year later, the two countries renewed the NORAD agreement, without change, for another five years. (Security relationship, p. 181) [ return ]

     1Jockel, Joseph T., and Sokolsky, Joel J. The End of the Canada-U.S. Defense Relationship, Kingston, Ont. Occasional Paper Series, Centre for International Relations, Queen's University, May 1996, p. 2 [ return ]

     2Haglund, David G., and Sokolsky, Joel J. The U.S.-Canada Security Relationship; The Politics, Strategy, and Technology of Defense, Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1989, p. 145 [ return ]

     3Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security. The NORAD Renewal Issue, Ottawa, Ont.: Working Paper # 33, Mar 1991, p. 4 [ return ]

     4North American Aerospace Defense Command Headquarters. 1996 NORAD Agreement and Terms of Reference, 28 March 1996 [ return ]

     5No Author. Options for Canada-US cooperation in Aerospace Defense, A Report Directed by the NORAD Renewal Steering Group, Oct 94, p. 13 [ return ]

     6Jockel, Joseph T., and Sokolsky, Joel J. The End of..., p5 [ return ]

     7Dewitt, David B., and Leyton-Brown, David. Canada's International Security Policy, Scarborough, Ont.: Prentice Hall Canada Inc, 1995, p. 101 [ return ]

     8Nicks, Bradley, and Chartrand. History of the Defense of Canada 1948-1997, Ottawa, Ont.: The NBC Group, 1997, Cover pages [ return ]

     9Haglund, David G., and Sokolsky, Joel J. The U.S.-Canada..., p. 172 [ return ]

     10Alford, Maj R. NORAD Into the 21st Century, Winnipeg, Roundel, March 97, p. 7 [ return ]

     11HQ NORAD/J5RB. NORAD, Future Ops Concepts (Draft 2), Colorado Springs, 6 Jun 97, pp. 2-3 [ return ]

     12The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Great Britain, Seventh Edition, 1982 [ return ]

     13US Joint Pub 3-01.1. Aerospace Defense of North America, US DoD Document, 4 November 1996, p. I-1 [ return ]

     14Ibidem, p. I-2 [ return ]

     15DND. 1994 Defense White Paper, Ottawa, Canada: Minister of Supply and Services Canada, 1994, p. 3 [ return ]

     16Cotton, Captain David A. NORAD and the future: A continued Canadian-United States Alliance?, Toronto, CFC New Horizons paper, Mar 93, p. 7 [ return ]

     17Dewitt, David B., and Leyton-Brown, David. Canada's International..., p. 67 [ return ]

     18Jockel, Joseph T., and Sokolsky, Joel J. The End of..., pp. 2-3 [ return ]

     19Dewitt, David B., and Leyton-Brown, David. Canada's International..., p. 67 [ return ]

     20US Joint Pub 3-01.1. Aerospace..., p. I-1 [ return ]

     21Cotton, Captain David A. NORAD and the..., p. 7 [ return ]

     22World Wide Web. No Author. "CANADIAN NORAD FORCES FACT SHEET". [http://www.spacecom.af.mil/norad/cforces.htm]. As of May 96. [ return ]

     23DND. 1994 Defense..., 1994, p. 6 [ return ]

     24No Author. Options for..., p. 9 [ return ]

     25DND. 1994 Defense..., 1994, p. 7 [ return ]

     26Jockel, Joseph T., and Sokolsky, Joel J. The End of..., p. 13 [ return ]

     27DND. 1994 Defense..., p. 23 [ return ]

     28Haglund, David G., and Sokolsky, Joel J. The U.S.-Canada..., p. 169 [ return ]

     29Dewitt, David B., and Leyton-Brown, David. Canada's International..., pp. 86-87 [ return ]

     30DND. 1994 Defense..., p. 17 [ return ]

     31Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security. The NORAD..., p. 35 [ return ]

     32Ibidem, p. 18 [ return ]

     33Jockel, Joseph T., and Sokolsky, Joel J. The End of..., p. 106 [ return ]

     34Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security. The NORAD..., p. 19 [ return ]

     35DND. 1994 Defense..., p. 25 [ return ]

     36Jockel, Joseph T., and Sokolsky, Joel J. The End of..., p. 4 [ return ]

     37Haglund, David G., and Sokolsky, Joel J. The U.S.-Canada..., p. 181 [ return ]

     38Jockel, Joseph T., and Sokolsky, Joel J. The End of..., p. 11 [ return ]

     39Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security. The NORAD..., p. 46 [ return ]

     40Dewitt, David B., and Leyton-Brown, David. Canada's International..., p. 292 [ return ]

     41Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security. The NORAD..., p. 48 [ return ]

     42HQ NORAD/J5RB. NORAD, Future..., p. 3 [ return ]

     43DND. 1994 Defense..., p. 25 [ return ]

     44Dewitt, David B., and Leyton-Brown, David. Canada's International..., p. 112 [ return ]

     45Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security. The NORAD..., p. 35 [ return ]

     46Ibidem, p. 25 [ return ]

     47DND. 1994 Defense..., p. 18 [ return ]

     48World Wide Web. Waruszunski, Barbara. "Canada's Role in NATO and NORAD", [http://www.dnd.ca/menu/dmatters/vol2no6/public_e.htm]. Aug/Sep 97 [ return ]

     49Dewitt, David B., and Leyton-Brown, David. Canada's International..., p. 92 [ return ]

     50DND. 1994 Defense..., p. 15 [ return ]

     51Ibidem, pp. 12-13 [ return ]

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Books.

Dewitt, David B., and Leyton-Brown, David. Canada's International Security Policy, Scarborough, Ont.: Prentice Hall Canada Inc, 1995, 504 p.

Haglund, David G., and Sokolsky, Joel J. The U.S.-Canada Security Relationship; The Politics, Strategy, and Technology of Defense, Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1989, 306 p.

Nicks, Bradley, and Chartrand. History of the Defense of Canada 1948-1997, Ottawa, Ont.: The NBC Group, 1997, 207 p.

2. Periodic and Newspaper.

Alford, Maj R. NORAD Into the 21st Century, Winnipeg, Roundel, March 97, pp. 7 and 9

Walsh, Edward J. New era, cruise missiles alter Cheyenne Mountain response, Falls Church, Signal, Vol. 51, Issue 12, pp. 53-55

Warren, Christopher, and Axworthy, Lloyd. The U.S. and Canada renew the NORAD agreement, Washington, U.S. Department of State Dispatch, Vol. 7, Issue 14, pp. 164 (Extracted from Proquest)

3. Documents and Reports.

No Author. Options for Canada-US cooperation in Aerospace Defense, A Report Directed by the NORAD Renewal Steering Group, Oct 94

Blasiak, Major Hank. Canada and NORAD: An expanded mission for the 21st century, Toronto, CFC New Horizons paper, Apr 95

Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security. The NORAD Renewal Issue, Ottawa, Ont.: Working Paper # 33, Mar 1991

Cotton, Captain David A. NORAD and the future: A continued Canadian-United States Alliance?, Toronto, CFC New Horizons paper, Mar 93

DND. 1994 Defense White Paper, Ottawa, Canada: Minister of Supply and Services Canada, 1994

GAO. Continental Air Defense: A Dedicated Force is No Longer Needed, GAO/NSIAD-94-76, Report to Congressional Committee, May 1994

HQ NORAD/J5RB. NORAD, Future Ops Concepts (Draft 2), Colorado Springs, 6 Jun 97

Jockel, Joseph T., and Sokolsky, Joel J. The End of the Canada-U.S. Defense Relationship, Kingston, Ont.: Occasional Paper Series, Centre for International Relations, Queen's University, May 1996

MacEachen, The Honourable Allan J., and Gauthier, The Honourable Jean-Robert. Government Response to the Recommendations of the Special Joint Parliamentary Committee Reviewing Canadian Foreign Policy, Ottawa, Ont.: Government of Canada, February 7, 1995

North American Aerospace Defense Command Headquarters. 1996 NORAD Agreement and Terms of Reference, 28 March 1996

US Joint Pub 3-01.1. Aerospace Defense of North America, US DoD Document, 4 November 1996

4. Internet.

World Wide Web. No Author. "The Evolution of the NORAD Agreement". [http://www.spacecom.af.mil/norad/evolut.htm]. No date.

World Wide Web. No Author. "CANADIAN NORAD FORCES FACT SHEET". [http://www.spacecom.af.mil/norad/cforces.htm]. As of May 96.

World Wide Web. Waruszunski, Barbara. "Canada's Role in NATO and NORAD", [http://www.dnd.ca/menu/dmatters/vol2no6/public_e.htm]. Aug/Sep 97


Copyright ©1998
Department of National Defence (Canada)
Copyright ©1998
Ministère de la Défense nationale (Canada)