Look out for Canada's Interest in Military Co-Operation with U.S. (Security and Sovereignty)

By Byers, Michael | Canadian Speeches, September-October 2002 | Go to article overview

Look out for Canada's Interest in Military Co-Operation with U.S. (Security and Sovereignty)


Byers, Michael, Canadian Speeches


Military co-operation with the United States poses risks for Canadian sovereignty. We should invest in our defence and co-operate with the Americans, but on our terms, that favour our interests, and think carefully about what we're doing. From evidence presented at Vancouver, May 6.

We don't really know what the plans are for closer military co-operation between Canada and the United States... my task here is to examine the things that would need to be negotiated and the safeguards that would need to be provided so as to ensure that the most important military relationship in the world continues to function properly to the interest of both countries...

That said, what sorts of issues arise? The most obvious issue that arises is a question of Canadian sovereignty and what kinds of implications a closer military relationship between the two countries would have for Canadian sovereignty.

It so happens that the distinguished U.S. ambassador, Paul Cellucci, has taken a position on this issue, and I quote him here:

"If Canada joins the US in a continental approach to security, Canadian sovereignty will not be infringed even one iota."

With all respect, the ambassador is wrong. There's nothing wrong with delegating sovereignty -- countries do it all the time -- but this kind of an arrangement would have a substantial impact on sovereignty. Part of the reason for that is the technical definition of something called "operational control", and Ambassador Cellucci and others have said this isn't about command, this is about operational control. Operational control has nothing to do with sovereignty.

If you look at the definition of operational control in the NORAD agreement, 1958, and approximately every five years since, you find the following:

"'Operational Control' is the power to direct, co-ordinate, and control the operational activities of forces assigned, attached or otherwise made available... Temporary reinforcement from one area to another, including the crossing of the international border... will be within the authority of commanders having operational control."

That's a pretty extensive definition of what commanders of a joint force and integrated command could do with Canadian soldiers. I think most Canadians would think it amounted to a kind of command.

The second point on the issue of sovereignty is that theoretically, technically, and legally, countries have the option of withdrawing from international institutions. The United Kingdom, for instance, could withdraw from the European Union if it chose to do so. But everyone realizes that international institutions are sticky and that there's a serious political or economic price for withdrawal. Only the most powerful country in the world, the United States, can afford to withdraw from international agreements at will, as happened today with the International Criminal Court statute.

Canada is not a superpower. Even though it will have the legal capacity to withdraw from closer military co-operation, once it goes in, it would be very hard to get out. So what matters here is not legal sovereignty but practical sovereignty, the freedom to make decisions at the international level. Therefore, the kind of proposal that seems to be at play in Ottawa and Washington would have an impact on Canadian sovereignty as I think Canadians would understand sovereignty to be.

The second issue I look at in the report [report prepared by Professor Byers for the Liu Centre for the Study of Global Issues] is jurisdiction in the Arctic, which is also a sovereignty issue. If you applied the NORAD definition and extended it to naval forces, a U.S. officer having operational control over an integrated command could send a U.S. naval vessel into the Canadian Arctic without the specific permission of the Canadian government. That's a simple extension of the NORAD arrangement to naval forces. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Look out for Canada's Interest in Military Co-Operation with U.S. (Security and Sovereignty)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    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.