Tuesday, February 22, 2005

McKENNA AND MISSILE DEFENCE

The news of the day is that Canada's next ambassador to the United States has stated that Canada is already part of the American missile defence program. I watched some of question period today and obviously the opposition parties were all over the minister of defence demanding to know why the next ambassador says Canada is in the program while the government's policy (such as it is) is supposedly that the country has not yet committed itslef.

With very little knowledge about the missile defence program and having no Ottawa information beyond what I read in the papers and watched on television my assessment of the situation is this:

1. McKenna has inadvertently (or purposely?) put the government in a tough spot today because he committed the political sin of fairly clearly telling the truth.

2. The opposition questions today demonstrate, yet again, the inability of Paul Martin's government to take any definitive foreign policy direction.

McKenna today said:

"I believe that we've given in large measure what the Americans want, which is the ability to use Norad and their intercept information in order to be able to target weaponry,"
McKenna went on to point out that the Americans have not asked Canada to contribute any money to the program nor has the U.S asked to put any type of infrastructure for the BMD program on Canadian soil. So, the obvious conclusion for McKenna then seems to be that Canada has done almost everything the Americans have requested.

It is of course impossible for the government to admit this because of its aversion to making decisions of any kind.

But lets return to the substanitive issue. What is the problem with the situation as McKenna outlined it today?

Canada is a part of missile defence to the extent that it is involved in NORAD. Fine. For Canada to reject its NORAD position would be a diplomatic and defence blunder of huge proportions. If missile defence is going to be a part of NORAD, Canada has to be involved at least to that extent.

Byeond NORAD committments what is the missile defence program costing Canada?
Money: zero dollars
Instilations on Canadian soil: zero

So what exactly is the problem with what McKenna said today, or with Canada's involvement in general?

The only problem I see is that the Martin government continues to be indecisive and dishonest about where the country actually stands on this issue.

Posted by Matthew @ 3:11 PM

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Without missile defence, some alliance of nations, through the use of submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM's), might try to trigger a "mutual assured destruction" nuclear war between North America and another nation.

Posted by Blogger David Wozney @ February 25, 2005 2:47 PM #
 
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