Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Policy Says U.S. Will Not Defend Canada from Ballistic Missile Attack: General

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Policy Says U.S. Will Not Defend Canada from Ballistic Missile Attack: General

Article excerpt

U.S. may not defend Canada from missile

--

OTTAWA - Current U.S. policy directs the American military not to defend Canada if it is targeted in a ballistic missile attack, says the top Canadian officer at the North American Aerospace Defence Command.

"We're being told in Colorado Springs that the extant U.S. policy is not to defend Canada," said Lt.-Gen. Pierre St-Amand, deputy commander of Colorado-based Norad.

"That is the policy that's stated to us. So that's the fact that I can bring to the table."

St-Amand delivered that revelation Thursday during an appearance before the House of Commons defence committee, which is studying the extent to which Canada is ready for an attack by North Korea.

The study comes after several provocative nuclear and ballistic missile tests by North Korea, which have stoked fears Canada could end up in the middle of a confrontation between the U.S. and the so-called hermit kingdom.

The latest test occurred on Friday, when North Korea fired an intermediate-range missile over Japan into the northern Pacific Ocean. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile travelled about 3,700 kilometres and reached a maximum height of 770 kilometres.

Those tests have also resurrected questions over whether Canada should join the U.S. ballistic missile defence shield, which it famously opted out of in 2005 following a divisive national debate.

St-Amand said Canadian and U.S. military personnel at Norad headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo., work side-by-side detecting potential airborne threats to North America.

But Canada would have no role in deciding what to do if North Korea or any other country fired a missile at North America, he said.

Canadian military personnel would instead be forced to sit on the sidelines and watch as U.S. officials decided how to act.

The general did acknowledge that U.S. officials could ultimately decide to intervene if a missile was heading toward Canada, but that the decision would likely be made in "the heat of the moment."

St-Amand's comments appeared to confirm the worst fears of many people who believe it is time for Canada to join the U.S. ballistic missile defence shield. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.