"Missile Defense" Alive and Well in Canada

By Sanders, Richard | Canadian Dimension, September-October 2006 | Go to article overview

"Missile Defense" Alive and Well in Canada


Sanders, Richard, Canadian Dimension


Contrary to widespread popular mythology, "Ballistic Missile Defense" is alive and well in Canada. In fact, for many years Canada's contribution to BMD has greatly surpassed efforts by other nations that have, at least, been honest enough to admit their participation.

So, although Canada has not joined the "Coalition of the Willing to Admit Involvement in BMD," it has long been complicit in creating, designing, researching, developing, testing, maintaining and operating numerous crucial BMD systems. Billions of tax dollars have been spent aiding and abetting domestic war industries, government scientists and military personnel, all deeply embedded in U.S.-, NORAD- and NATO-led BMD efforts.

The February 2005 news of our government's hollow proclamation against BMD has been repeated ad nauseam by a compliant media and peace movement alike. However, our government never actually did anything to prevent Canada's further entrenchment in the biggest weapons-development program in world history. Neither have any steps been taken to slow down, let alone halt, the following, ongoing Canadian examples of complicity in BMD:

North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). Since August 5, 2004, when Canada initiated an amendment to NORAD'S treaty, we have supported this pact's BMD mission with money and armed forces personnel.

Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). Two days after Canada "just said no" to BMD, then-foreign affairs minister Pierre Pettigrew told CBC Radio that Canada supported America's "missile defense" choice. Furthermore, he said he'd "be very pleased" for Canadian companies to be awarded BMD contracts. For many decades, DFAIT has proudly helped Canadian corporations obtain billions in lucrative U.S. war contracts.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Just weeks after Canada's fake "no," the media all but ignored NATO'S announcement that it was building its own Theatre BMD system. Canada was among the handful of nations leading NATO'S decade-long BMD efforts through CAESAR and MAJIIC. These programs to increase interoperability among NATO'S leading military nations employ Canada's RADARSAT satellite data in major BMD war games.

Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The CSA funds Canadian industries involved in militarizing space, including BMD efforts. Its crowning achievement was sponsoring the $600-million RADARSAT-2 for launch this December. In collaboration with America's Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, Canadian scientists developed the unique technologies carried aboard this space-based radar. Top U.S. warfighters consider it the "Holy Grail" for future Theatre BMD applications and anxiously await using its targeting functions in pre-emptive, first-strike attacks against alleged missile sites.

Industry Canada (IC). This department has handed out $5 billion to Canadian war industries, including some involved in BMD. At a 2004 war-industry conference/arms bazaar in Alberta, IC's "senior investment officer [for] defence [sic] industries" ranked BMD as first among five "strategic business opportunities," and gave industry delegates the name and e-mail address of IC's "BMD officer." Meanwhile Industry Minister David Emerson (now international trade minister) spoke glowingly of BMD'S corporate benefits. In 2000, he was a director of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA), then owned by major U.S. BMD rocketmaker Orbital Sciences. When Canada's billion-dollar RADARSAT program was privatized to MDA, its data was sold to Pentagon and CIA buyers by another Orbital subsidiary run by retired U.S. military men who'd spent decades promoting BMD weapons.

Department of National Defence (DND). A jointly funded DND-Dutch program has created an infrared weapons sensor called SIRIUS, which firmly wedges Canada's foot in the BMD door. DND wants SIRIUS aboard Canadian warships to ensure deeper integration into the U.S.

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