Author Topic: Report of the SC on National Defence: "Canada and the Defence of North America"  (Read 13751 times)

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Offline FSTO

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I wonder what it must feel like to suddenly  be 2IC of a fleet larger then the entire RCN?

Go ask the plethora of Canadian Army generals who have been 2IC of several US Army formations.

Offline Spencer100

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Larger than most navies in the whole world.  What an experience! Good luck!

Offline 211RadOp

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Looking through the CMP page, there are currently 8 General/Flag Officers serving in DComd roles with US Forces.  The page may not be 100% accurate as it still has RAdm Waddell serving in Ottawa (I have included him in my count though).
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Offline MarkOttawa

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What might happen if Justin Trudeau's gov't fails to get serious about NORAD, at CGAI:

Quote
NORAD: Remaining Relevant
...
Executive Summary

Most Canadians probably understand that NORAD — the North American Aerospace Defense Command — is an operational military alliance between the U.S. and Canada that has been protecting the two countries from aerial attack and invasion since the Cold War. What few of them likely realize is that NORAD is just as much about protecting Canada from the United States. Given the massive imbalance in military power between the two countries, and the determination by the U.S. to defend its own soil at all costs, NORAD provides Canada with a means to have some control over its own territorial defence, neutralizing the threat that the U.S. will impose its own defence on Canada. Throughout its 60-year existence, NORAD has been Canada’s “defence against help.”

But that defence isn’t guaranteed. As NORAD evolves, Canada’s commitment to it must evolve, too. If there comes a point at which the United States believes that the alliance is no longer sufficiently securing its northern frontier, it may forge its own path and impose its own defence plans for Canada, on Canada.

There are already areas where the relationship may be starting to strain. One key policy inflection point occurred after 9/11 when Canada declined to participate in the U.S. missile-defence program. This has led to an awkward situation where Canadian officers and troops participate in missile-warning activities within NORAD’s structure, but cannot participate in missile-defence activities outside NORAD’s structure. So far, adept commanders have been able to manage this cumbersome state of affairs, but there is no guarantee that will last.

The state of modern military technology has meant the mission of NORAD has had to largely shift away from defending against aerial bombers to defending against cruise missile threats. There is also the risk of chemical attacks that do not respect borders. Those, combined with the rapid missile-program advance of a belligerent North Korea, the rise of China’s military ambitions and the determination of Russia to remain a formidable threat, all effect Canada’s place in NORAD, particularly in light of its northern geography.

Whether the Canadian government likes it or not, NORAD must adapt to a renewed emphasis on early warning and attack assessments. To date, Canada has, somewhat inexplicably, continued to refuse to participate with the U.S. in continental missile defence. It has also dithered at length over the procurement of badly needed new fighter jets that are key to enhancing North American security under NORAD. As the North Warning System (NWS) approaches obsolescence, a decision on its replacement must soon be made by the two governments.

The U.S. is watching Canada’s commitment closely. The alliance will not survive merely on the nostalgia for its Cold War record. Canada will be expected to do its part for NORAD in the current context, or the U.S. will do whatever it takes to ensure its own defence, regardless of Canada’s sovereignty. There may soon come a moment where Canada has no choice but to step up on continental missile defence and equipping its forces. Otherwise it may risk the end of an alliance that has not only protected North America, but has defended Canada against U.S. help...

About the Author

Michael Dawson received his Doctorate in European History from the University of Toronto and joined the Canadian Foreign Service in 1977.

After his first posting in New Delhi, he specialised in Cold War issues at the Canadian Embassy, Moscow and in Ottawa in the Policy Planning and Defence Relations Divisions. In 1991-1996 at the Canadian Embassy, Washington DC he was responsible for Political-Military Affairs including Strategic Nuclear Issues, Arms Control, NATO issues and Canada-US Defence Relations.

On return to Ottawa, from 1996-2001, he was Deputy Director in the Northern Europe Division for the UK, Ireland, and Northern Ireland peace process and from 2001-2010 Senior Policy Advisor for Canada-US Relations including participation in the abortive bilateral discussions on ballistic missile defence.

From 2010 to 2014, he was Canadian Political Advisor to the Commander of NORAD and United States Northern Command at NORAD Headquarters in Colorado Springs.
https://www.cgai.ca/norad_remaining_relevant

Mark
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Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

Offline Cloud Cover

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NORAD and NATO are defence on the cheap. They won’t go so far as to jeopardize it, but the effort will straddle the line between absolute minimum and not showing up. And they will get away with it.
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Offline MarkOttawa

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NORAD and NATO are defence on the cheap. They won’t go so far as to jeopardize it, but the effort will straddle the line between absolute minimum and not showing up. And they will get away with it.

But the point of Michael Dawson's paper (disclosure: a personal friend) is how much longer will the US (not just Trump) let us "get away with it" in NORAD? Crunch may be coming with demands for USAF bases, radars etc on Canadian territory if they decide not to accept our "line between absolute minimum and not showing up".

Mark
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Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

Offline Journeyman

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What might happen if Justin Trudeau's gov't fails to get serious about NORAD....and Security/Defence writ large
I think that the MND remaining unchanged shows 4'ish more years of the same -- PMO doesn't care.

Offline Cloud Cover

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Ok. Name something that is realistic and highly likely (but not certain) to happen to Canada that would give the PMO any reason at all to care.
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Offline dapaterson

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Ok. Name something that is realistic and highly likely (but not certain) to happen to Canada that would give the PMO any reason at all to care.
Relationship with our largest trading partner.

Two percent of GDP isn't much to preserve our relationship...
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Two percent of GDP isn't much to preserve our ... independence.

Offline Czech_pivo

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Two percent of GDP isn't much to preserve our ... independence.

Its hard for us to break our old Colonial way of thinking.....

Offline milnews.ca

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Two percent of GDP isn't much to preserve our relationship...
... unless there's other, cheaper ways to appease.
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Offline QV

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Ok. Name something that is realistic and highly likely (but not certain) to happen to Canada that would give the PMO any reason at all to care.

Russia grabbing more control of territory in the north?  Not sure that is "highly likely", but they've been building their arctic capability... and, correct me if I'm wrong, there is some dispute on who owns/controls what up there.


Offline Spencer100

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A NORK ballistic missile test landing north west of BC in the northern pacific?  May not be too likely as it would sent the US off in a real bad way. 

Major Terrorist attack in Canadian (I really hope not) It would have to be one that can not be "a lone wolf" or an internal person or people.  Would have to be foreign.

An NBC event?


Offline daftandbarmy

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Ok. Name something that is realistic and highly likely (but not certain) to happen to Canada that would give the PMO any reason at all to care.

The Polar 'Silk Road', perhaps, with all the attendant opportunities for nefarious skulduggery?

"Chinese shipping company COSCO will continue its increase transit shipments on the Northern Sea Route, through the waters of the Russian Arctic.

“Our development strategy is to serve the Polar Silk Road and international trade between the North Atlantic region and the Far East,” Chen Feng, the head of COSCO’s marketing and sales division, said during a conference in Shanghai. “It is smooth and quick.”

Chen declined to specify the number of voyages COSCO was planning this year, stating there would only be “several of them,” both eastbound and westbound. Much depends on weather and ice conditions, as well as demand, he said in a speech delivered at the Arctic Circle China Forum."

https://www.arctictoday.com/chinas-cosco-to-stay-course-on-arctic-shipping/
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline MarkOttawa

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US patience definitely fraying--and what about endless RCAF fighter dithering, and what bucks for NORAD upgrading?

Quote
U.S. sent ‘blunt’ letter to Canada criticizing defence spending: sources

Canada has been officially called out by the United States over how much it spends on the military, Global News has learned.

A “blunt” letter from the U.S. government was delivered to the Department of National Defence that criticized Canadian defence spending levels and repeated American demands that Canada meet NATO targets.

Global News has not seen the letter — said to have a frustrated, critical tone — but multiple sources have confirmed it was sent and received...

One Canadian source told Global News that the U.S. is concerned that Canada does not take the threat from those countries in the Arctic seriously and wants the country to boost its contributions in that area...

The U.S. sending such a letter is an unusual, formal means of relaying a message, and it represents an escalation from previous attempts to get Canada to spend more on its military.

That pressure has been increasing in recent weeks ahead of the NATO summit in London starting on Dec. 3.

In fact, the same message has been conveyed in multiple ways to the federal government, a diplomatic source said, and NATO itself also wants to see more military spending from Canada...
https://globalnews.ca/news/6210623/canada-defence-spending-nato/

Mark
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Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

Offline Cloud Cover

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Good luck with that....
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Offline Navy_Pete

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So if our GDP is $1.6 trillion, anyone have any idea how we could actually spend $32 billion a year?  Even if you lumped in the capitol projects, we simply don't have the infrastructure in place to expand our forces that much without a significant expansion, at a time when we can't recruit enough to keep up with normal retention losses. That's not a quick fix, and would need a planned 10 year+ effort.  The GoC could give DND that much tomorrow, but we simply could not spend it. There isn't enough capacity in the purchasing side, and the bureaucracy adds years of lead time to any big ticket project (unless there is a war on, but then other ongoing work gets pushed to the backburner due to lack of capacity).

If there is another world war, it's already too late, and we simply don't have the manufacturing capacity anymore to ramp up like in WWI or WWII, given the global nature of the high tech equipment supply chain.

I can't see this happening; think the closest we'll get is some fancy accounting that lumps in portions of the CCG, and gets pretty loose and fast with how they count the spending on large capitol projects like the NSS.

Offline MARS

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Ok. Name something that is realistic and highly likely (but not certain) to happen to Canada that would give the PMO any reason at all to care.

More tariffs imposed by the US...
"Managers do things right; Leaders do the right thing"

Offline LoboCanada

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We won't do anything, Canada already hates the US even more with 45, less likely to want to bend to his pressure or any pressure from the US. How did we react to the first tariffs?

They (USA) should impose tariffs that would bridge the gap between what we actually pay (before lumping in Veterans and RCMP, plus whatever Air Canada's gas bill is...) and 2% of our GDP. They'd call it a defence 'protection' tariff.

Pays for their protection which US citizens partially pay for ours already + we're incentivised to put up 2% GDP. Hell, do it NATO-wide to whoever else seems as reluctant as us.

Offline daftandbarmy

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More tariffs imposed by the US...

Exactly. Trump's using the tariffs to help disrupt the supply chains that outsource to other countries, and realign them to internal to US sources. Canada and Mexico are the closest, and most obvious, targets.
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline MarkOttawa

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And how much will US want us to spend on upgrading North Warning System--and how much will Trudeau gov't be willing to spend and when?

Quote
NORTHCOM commander says US needs Arctic early warning system

The top general for U.S. Northern Command says the U.S. needs to invest in an early warning system for the Arctic similar to the series of radar stations built in 1957 that became known as the Distant Early Warning Line, or DEW line.

“We have to be aware of what is happening in that environment,” Air Force Gen. Terrence John O’Shaughnessy, the commander of U.S. NORTHCOM and North American Aerospace Defense Command, said Saturday at the Halifax International Security Forum.

It’s the latest concern that top military officials have raised about military readiness in the Arctic. Investment there has been limited in recent years despite growing competition for new sea routes and resources in the frozen tundra that is now pushing U.S. defense planners to revamp training, equipment and infrastructure to confront the rising challenge.

Getting American troops to the fight in the Arctic is a complicated mission as the frigid environment complicates tasks that would be simpler in other geographic locations or commands, O’Shaughnessy said.

The U.S. military has the capability to rapidly deploy American forces and equipment all over the globe, but “that’s different in the Arctic, it’s very difficult,” O’Shaughnessy said. The U.S. military needs to innovate and address training gaps to operate effectively in the Arctic, he said.

The U.S. appears to lag behind rivals like Russia, which has deployed thousands of troops to the Arctic for exercises — and according to a Reuters story is expected to field 13 polar icebreakers by 2035. Russia launched its first nuclear-powered icebreaker in May.

The U.S. has only one working heavy icebreaker dubbed the Polar Star, with several more in the pipeline. The Coast Guard — which commands the ice breaking mission — awarded a $745 million contract to VT Halter Marine for design and construction of the next icebreaker.

But it’s not just ships that the U.S. military needs to confront rising national security challenges in the Arctic. Stuck in the Middle East for the last 20 years, the U.S. military is in the process of revamping training and equipment to handle the harsh frigid environment of the Arctic...
https://www.militarytimes.com/flashpoints/2019/11/26/northcom-commander-says-us-needs-arctic-early-warning-system/

Mark
Ottawa

 
Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.

Offline SeaKingTacco

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Our current government could actually spin this to their advantage:

In the name of getting new northern infrastructure and jobs for first nations up north, the Govt also get us closer to that 2% defence/GDP that the Americans would like to see out of us.

Offline Czech_pivo

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Exactly. Trump's using the tariffs to help disrupt the supply chains that outsource to other countries, and realign them to internal to US sources. Canada and Mexico are the closest, and most obvious, targets.

What is the US just decided to kick us out of NORAD, put  a bunch more stats over the North, increased nuc sub patrols in our waters, without telling us as we’d be hard pressed to know in the first place and then told us that they’d take down any threats directly over Canadian airspace with or without our approvals and, oh ya, seize the Alberta oil fields in a time of war to ensure that they didn’t fall into the wrong hands.

What could we really do other than cry to the worlds press and shout mea culpa mea culpa.

Offline MarkOttawa

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Now US going hard for lasers to kill cruise missiles--big problem for NORAD, ALCMs from Russkie bombers, SLCMs from subs in North Atlantic area:

Quote
EXCLUSIVE Killing Cruise Missiles: Pentagon To Test Rival Lasers
DoD is finalizing contracts for three competing demonstrators, aiming for a 300-kilowatt weapon by 2022 and 500 kW by 2024, laser R&D director Thomas Karr told us.

The Army, Air Force, and Navy may be only three years away from a 300-kilowatt laser weapon, one powerful enough to shoot down cruise missiles — using the same basic technology as the checkout counter at your local supermarket.
DoD photo

“We are in the process of negotiating contracts with three different performers for three different electrically powered laser concepts,” Thomas Karr, who works for Pentagon R&D chief Mike Griffin as assistant director for directed energy, said. (DE includes both lasers and high-powered microwaves). These will be demonstration models for testing, not prototypes of operational weapons, he emphasized in an interview with Breaking Defense.

Industry has proposed several designs that “have all been demonstrated at lower power levels, 50 to 150 kilowatts,” Karr said. Those power levels are enough to burn through drones and rockets, but not larger, faster and tougher targets like cruise missiles.

“We want to have a 300-kilowatt laser by 2022. We’d like to get up to 500 kilowatts by 2024,” he said, “and then, if we still haven’t hit the limit of anything, it’s on to the megawatt class.

From Tanks of Chemicals to Commercial & Competitive

“Those are aggressive objectives,” Karr acknowledged, “[but] we have high confidence that one or more of these different fiber or slab approaches will scale up to 300 or beyond. I don’t think we’ve seen the limit yet.”..
https://breakingdefense.com/2019/12/exclusive-three-ways-to-kill-cruise-missiles-pentagon-to-test-rival-lasers/

Mark
Ottawa
Ça explique, mais ça n'excuse pas.