Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fortress North America by 2010

Bulking up Pentagon North
Linda McQuaig, The Toronto Star: Steven Staples, a defence analyst with the Ottawa-based Rideau Institute, says that Canada's military spending is already 27 per cent higher than in 2001. 'The focus of the defence lobby now is on getting contracts signed as quickly as possible. They want to make it impossible for future governments to get out of these spending commitments.'... Harper has tried to reshape the way Canadians think about Canada, weaning us off our fondness for peacekeeping (and medicare, for that matter) and getting us excited about being a war-making nation, able to swagger on the world stage in the footsteps of the Americans.

Army to sign $10M deal for 500 dazzlers; devices cause temporary blindness
Money without a vision: The Canada First Defence Strategy justifies Conservative decisions already made to give the generals the big-ticket equipment they lobbied for.
Harper announces new military strategy: 'As the name implies, the first priority of our Canada First defence strategy is to strengthen our ability to defend our country and protect our citizens,' Harper said. The other priorities are ensuring Canada's military has the capacity to meet its commitments to the United States for continental security and to contribute to global security.
Canada, US agree to use each other's troops in civil emergencies: Canada and the US have signed an agreement that paves the way for the militaries from either nation to send troops across each other's borders during an emergency, but some are questioning why the Harper government has kept silent on the deal.
Continental integration by stealth: As Ottawa prepares to renew NORAD agreement, a bi-national panel suggests nothing less than the complete integration of Canada's military, security and foreign policy into the decision-making and operating systems of the US.
Military relocates new anti-terror unit; Commando regiment to be based in Comox: The government wants the country's special forces units to be able to work more closely with similar organizations in the United States when reacting to incidents potentially threatening North America.
Drones on military wish list: Armed forces seek to add to Ottawa's $17B spending spree unveiled last week. Unmanned 'eyes in the sky' would monitor oceans here, hot spots abroad.
Navy to get three new ships as part of multi-billion-dollar Defence buildup: The joint support ships and yet-to-be announced helicopters, big transport aircraft and trucks are all part of a a program to 'put spine back in the Canadian Forces' ability.'
Anti-terror commandoes to be based in BC: The Canadian military is in the process of substantially boosting the size of its special forces, which will number around 2,300 by the end of the decade.
Commons backs NORAD pact: The latest version of the Canada-US treaty, which expands its watch over sea approaches as well as air and space... makes the deal permanent, eliminating the need for five-year renewals.
Liberals support expanding NORAD to coastal defence: The agreement may be a precursor of much deeper integration of military and foreign policies... A Canada-US Bi-National Planning Group is recommending that the foreign policy, defence and security organizations of the two countries move to the same level of co-operation as NORAD.
USDHS 'Security and Prosperity Partnership': The SPP countries have also committed to ensure interoperable communications systems and to participate in preparedness exercises that will strenuously test these protocols. In addition, the three countries will participate in a preparedness exercise in anticipation of the 2010 Vancouver/Whistler Winter Olympics.
Image source here.