Title: White Paper on Defence of Canada - Chapter V: Canada-United States Defence cooperation
CHAPTER V: CANADA-UNITED STATES DEFENCE COOPERATION
The United States is Canada's most important ally and the two countries maintain a relationship that is as close, complex, and extensive as any in the world. Canada and the US are partners in the world's largest bilateral trading relationship. The undefended border between them is evidence of the common political, economic, social and cultural values Canada and the US share as advanced industrial democracies. Geography, history, trust and shared beliefs have also made the two countries partners in the defence of North America.
EVOLVING SECURITY CHALLENGES
Since 1940, when President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Mackenzie King signed the Ogdensburg Agreement, which acknowledged the indivisible nature of continental security and pledged mutual assistance in the event of hostilities, Canada-US defence cooperation has persisted through more than five decades of evolving challenges.
North America's security environment is changing again. Russia retains the bulk of the former Soviet strategic nuclear arsenal, currently numbering some 10,000 warheads. However, under the terms of the strategic arms reduction treaties (START I and II), nuclear weapons are slated for deep reductions, with the strategic warhead total on each side limited to between 3,000 and 3,500. Multiple-warhead intercontinental ballistic missiles, the most destabilizing component of US and Russian nuclear forces, are to be eliminated by 2003. As implementation of START I and II proceeds over the next decade, stability will be further enhanced.
The risk to North America posed by these weapons has diminished with the reduction in tensions, and additional security will be achieved as arms reductions go forward. Potential challenges to continental defence remain, however, especially if one looks beyond the near future. Nuclear weapons continue to occupy a central role in Russian military doctrine. The vast majority of Russia's strategic nuclear arsenal remains in place, with significant financial and environmental obstacles blocking a speedy implementation of the reductions mandated under START I and II. China also maintains strategic nuclear forces able to reach North America, and is continuing to modernize its intercontinental systems.
The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery is another concern. A number of states have acquired, or are seeking to acquire, nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as ballistic missile delivery capabilities.
Intercontinental threats constitute a longer-term problem. None of the nations with the potential to develop this capability is expected to possess ballistic missiles able to reach North America until well into the next century. Yet nuclear, chemical, biological and theatre missile programs cannot be discounted in planning for future contingencies. One reason is that sophisticated delivery mechanisms are not required in the case of chemical and biological weapons. In addition, weapons of mass destruction already or may soon threaten Canada's friends and allies in Europe and elsewhere, and Canada may want to retain the option of deploying forces to areas where they could face such weaponry.
The institutional basis of Canada-US defence cooperation provides highly valued stability in a volatile and turbulent world. As strategic and fiscal realities evolve, however, so too must our bilateral defence arrangements. Canada will continue to modify its defence relationship with the United States, consistent with the priorities of the new era.
Canada-US defence cooperation is defined by a wide range of bilateral arrangements, including formal government-to-government agreements, interdepartmental memoranda, and service-to-service understandings. These arrangements cover, among other things, joint planning and operations, combined exercises, defence production, logistics, communications, research and development, and intelligence sharing. In addition, there exist numerous bilateral fora involving regular consultations, discussions and meetings.
In examining these arrangements, the Government came to several conclusions. First, Canada-US defence cooperation continues to serve this country's fundamental interests extremely well. Second, the Government wants the Canadian Forces to maintain the ability to work closely with their US counterparts in a variety of situations. Third, even if the Government decided to reduce significantly the level of defence cooperation with the United States, Canada would still be obliged to rely on the US for help in protecting its territory and approaches - and this assistance would then come on strictly American terms, unmitigated by the influence Canada enjoys as a result of its defence partnership with the United States and with our other NATO allies. Finally, while some aspects of the relationship will remain largely unchanged, certain arrangements require updating.
Permanent Joint Board on Defence. Created by the Ogdensburg Agreement of 1940, the Permanent Joint Board on Defence is the senior advisory body on continental security and is composed of two national sections made up of diplomatic and military representatives. Its meetings have served as a window on Canada-US defence relations for more than five decades. The Board has examined virtually every important joint defence measure undertaken since the end of the Second World War, including construction of the Distant Early Warning Line of radars, the creation of the North American Air (later Aerospace) Defence command in 1958, the bi-national operation of the underwater acoustic surveillance system and high-frequency direction finding network, and the decision to proceed with the North American Air Defence Modernization program in 1985.
In recent years, the Board has proven effective as an alternate channel of communication, one through which the resolution of difficult issues has been expedited. In particular, it has helped devise imaginative solutions to the types of problems engendered by the new global security context, such as cost-sharing in an era of declining budgets. The Government believes that the Board will remain a valuable forum where national interests are articulated and where frank exchanges on current issues allow discussion of the full spectrum of security and defence issues facing our two countries.
Military Cooperation Committee
Established in 1945, the Military Cooperation Committee has served as a vehicle for combined military planning for the defence of North America. Its first task was the revision of the wartime Canada-United States Defence Plan. Over the years, this plan has evolved into the Canada-US Basic Security Plan, which provides for the coordinated use of both countries' sea, land and air forces in the event of hostilities. Today, the Military Cooperation Committee acts as a direct link between national military staffs.
As part of the Basic Security Plan, Canada has traditionally assigned forces already tasked for a variety of other missions to the defence of the continent. In the new emerging North American security environment, these forces will now consist of:
a joint task force headquarters;
a maritime task group on each coast;
a brigade group with associated support elements;
two squadrons of fighter aircraft; and
a squadron of transport aircraft.
Cooperation on Land
Cooperation between the land forces of Canada and the United States is focused on training. A 1968 Exchange of Notes sets out principles and procedures related to the cross-border movement of troops, enabling land force units from one country to have ready access to training facilities of the other. Additional agreements govern the temporary exchange of small land force units for training purposes, and to oversee bilateral training initiatives and exercises, such as those arranged within the context of the America-Britain-Canada-Australia Armies program.
Cooperation at Sea
The maritime dimension of Canada-US cooperation in the defence of North America involves the surveillance and control of vast ocean areas on both coasts and in the Arctic. This mission is carried out in close partnership with the United States Navy and Coast Guard, and includes planning, operations and logistic support.
Bilateral exercises at sea are held regularly, offering an opportunity to evaluate defence plans, improve operational standards, and enhance the ability of Canadian and US forces to work together. The two countries share surveillance data, as they have done for many years, supported by the joint operation of facilities such as the Canadian Forces Integrated Undersea Surveillance System, which recently opened in Halifax. Exchange of information and services also takes place in support of search-and-rescue and anti-narcotics operations.
Both countries benefit from agreements involving the exchange of fuel and materiel between ships at sea, the shared use of test and evaluation ranges, and support provided during ship visits. Canada's maritime forces have significantly expanded their close cooperation with the United States Navy off North America's Pacific coast. Finally, Canadian and US maritime forces have cooperated in recent years to provide humanitarian relief to areas devastated by natural disasters, as in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
North American Aerospace Defence Agreement (NORAD)
The NORAD agreement formalized over a decade of ad hoc Canada-US cooperation on continental air defence which began shortly after the Second World War. Under the agreement, an integrated headquarters assumed operational control over forces made available for air defence. Since then, NORAD has evolved to meet the challenges to North America posed by changing weapons technologies.
In today's changed geostrategic circumstances, Canada will maintain aerospace surveillance, missile warning, and air defence capabilities at a significantly reduced level. The Government believes it is prudent to preserve the ability of Canada and the US to regenerate forces should a strategic threat to the continent arise in the future - in effect, maintain a modicum of equipment, infrastructure and expertise - while reducing operating levels to those required for current peacetime activities.
The North Warning System of radars and forward operating locations will be maintained at a reduced level of readiness. Upon completion, the cost of operating and maintaining the system on an annual basis will be significantly lower. It will retain, however, the capability to conduct higher levels of surveillance and control operations at full readiness should the need arise.
In the coming months, formal negotiations will begin on the renewal of the NORAD agreement, the current extension of which expires in 1996. Canada will seek to preserve the benefits of this longstanding cooperation on aerospace defence matters. The Government will examine closely those areas which may require updating in accordance with evolving challenges to continental security. Canada will work towards an agreement that furthers our national interest and meets our defence needs, now and into the 21st century.
Canada-United States Test and Evaluation Program
In 1983, the Canada-US Test and Evaluation Program was established as an umbrella agreement allowing the US military access to Canadian test facilities. Over the past decade, sonobuoy technology, anti-armour munitions, upgrade packages for the F/A-18 fighter aircraft and, most notably, unarmed cruise missiles have undergone testing in Canada. In February 1993, the program was renegotiated and renewed for a 10-year period. Under the terms of this agreement, Canada has reciprocal access to US testing facilities. In addition, each country has agreed to charge only incremental costs -those related to the conduct of a specific test at the facility, rather than the expenses related to the operation of the entire facility - thereby reducing significantly the cost of Canadian testing, evaluation and certification carried out in the United States.
The Government considers the Test and Evaluation Program an integral component of our bilateral defence relationship. The agreement allows us to test in a cost-efficient manner a variety of key Canadian systems in the United States. In turn, we allow the US to test certain systems deemed essential to continental and global security, subject to approval on a case-by-case basis. The agreement is also very flexible, allowing easy adaptation to changing circumstances. Earlier this year, both Governments announced the end of cruise missile testing in Canadian airspace.
Defence Production/Defence Development Sharing Arrangements
Another aspect of Canada-US defence cooperation consists of an extensive network of defence production, research, and development arrangements. Signed in 1956, the Defence Production Sharing Arrangement has allowed Canadian firms to compete on an equal footing with their American counterparts in the US market. Since 1963, the Defence Development Sharing Arrangement has assisted Canadian firms in developing goods for use by the US military. These arrangements rest on the principle that, given the interdependent nature of North American defence, both countries benefit from the economies of scale arising from specialization.
Canada has long recognized that its own defence market is too small to support a defence industrial base which can meet all the requirements of the Canadian Forces. These arrangements have allowed Canada to take advantage of large-scale US production as well as demand for defence-related goods both in the United States and among our European allies. This is all the more important in an era of diminished resources and increased competition, particularly given that the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations failed to make much progress in the areas of defence procurement and research. These arrangements also allow Canadian firms to stay in touch with developing technologies and help Canada generate and sustain high-technology jobs in the defence and civilian sectors.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
In recent years, space has emerged as an increasingly important component of the global security environment. Space already supports the traditional military activities of the maritime, land, and air forces, including command, control and communications, intelligence gathering, surveillance, navigation, mapping, meteorological services and arms control verification. With the advent of missile warfare, the role of space in protecting the modern state has taken on added significance.
Looking ahead, the possibility of developing a space-based surveillance system for North America in the next century will be explored, subject to a variety of military, financial and technological considerations.
Missile Warning and Defence
Canada supports ongoing discussions with the United States, NATO allies, and other partners on the possible expansion beyond North America of the missile warning function currently discharged by NORAD, whose value was demonstrated during the Gulf War.
The Government has followed with interest the evolution of US defence policy and strategy in recent years toward an emphasis on ground- and sea-based theatre missile defence systems. Canada welcomes the decision by the American government to adhere to the strict interpretation of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Indeed, we see a strong commitment on the part of the United States to developing a missile defence posture that enhances global stability and is consistent with existing arms control agreements.
For now, Canada is interested in gaining a better understanding of missile defence through research and in consultation with like-minded nations. In the future, Canada's potential role in ballistic missile defence will not be determined in isolation, but in conjunction with the evolution of North American and possible NATO-wide aerospace defence arrangements. Canadian involvement in ballistic missile defence would also have to be cost-effective and affordable, make an unambiguous contribution to Canada's defence needs, and build on missions the Forces already perform, such as surveillance and communications.
For more than five decades, Canada and the United States have cooperated in the defence of North America and in support of international peace and stability. The benefits of continuing this relationship are as valid today as ever before. First, Canada gains inestimable training and operational experience applicable not only to North America, but also to UN and other multilateral missions abroad. Second, Canada retains an influential voice in US defence policy formulation in areas where our security interests are directly involved. Third, Canada obtains access to significant defence-related information that would not otherwise be available. Fourth, Canadian companies benefit from access to important technologies and the large US defence market.
As circumstances have evolved over the years, so too have Canada-US defence relations, taking account of new strategic and fiscal realities. The turbulent nature of global affairs and the need to make the most of the limited resources available for defence are leading again to further changes. Modifications to existing bilateral arrangements and the upcoming negotiations on NORAD's renewal are important elements of this process. Meanwhile, Canada will continue to rely on the stability and flexibility its relationship with the United States provides to help meet this country's defence requirements in North America and beyond.
To this end, the Department and the Forces will:
maintain the ability to operate effectively at sea, on land, and in the air with the military forces of the United States in defending the northern half of the Western hemisphere;
begin formal negotiations with the United States on the renewal of the NORAD agreement that expires in 1996, ensuring that its provisions reflect North American aerospace defence priorities;
as part of a renewed NORAD agreement, cooperate in:
- the surveillance and control of North American airspace;
- the collection, processing and dissemination of missile warning information within North America; and
- the examination of ballistic missile defence options focused on research and building on Canada's existing capabilities in communications and surveillance; and
maintain Canada's participation in the Canada-US Test and Evaluation Program, the Defence Production and Development Sharing Arrangements, and other existing bilateral arrangements.