On February 14th, Canada and the US signed an agreement which allows for the deployment of US troops inside Canada.
There was no official announcement nor was there a formal decision at the governmental level.
In fact the agreement was barely mentioned by the Canadian media.
The agreement, which raises farreaching issues of national sovereignty, was not between the two governments. It was signed by military commanding officers.
U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) released a statement confirming that the agreement had been signed between US NORTHCOM and Canada Command, namely between the military commands of each country. Canada Command was established in February 2006.
U.S. Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, and Canadian Air Force Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, commander of Canada Command, have signed a Civil Assistance Plan that allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a civil emergency.
“This document is a unique, bilateral military plan to align our respective national military plans to respond quickly to the other nation’s requests for military support of civil authorities,” Renuart said. “Unity of effort during bilateral support for civil support operations such as floods, forest fires, hurricanes, earthquakes and effects of a terrorist attack, in order to save lives, prevent human suffering and mitigate damage to property, is of the highest importance, and we need to be able to have forces that are flexible and adaptive to support rapid decision-making in a collaborative environment.”
“The signing of this plan is an important symbol of the already strong working relationship between Canada Command and U.S. Northern Command,” Dumais said. “Our commands were created by our respective governments to respond to the defense and security challenges of the twenty-first century, and we both realize that these and other challenges are best met through cooperation between friends.”
The plan recognizes the role of each nation’s lead federal agency for emergency preparedness, which in the United States is the Department of Homeland Security and in Canada is Public Safety Canada. The plan facilitates the military-to-military support of civil authorities once government authorities have agreed on an appropriate response.
U.S. Northern Command was established on Oct. 1, 2002, to anticipate and conduct homeland defense and civil support operations within the assigned area of responsibility to defend, protect, and secure the United States and its interests.
Similarly, Canada Command was established on Feb. 1, 2006, to focus on domestic operations and to offer a single point of contact for all domestic and continental defense and security partners.
The two domestic commands established strong bilateral ties well before the signing of the Civil Assistance Plan. The two commanders and their staffs meet regularly, collaborate on contingency planning and participate in related annual exercises.
(NORTHCOM website: http://www.northcom.mil/News/2008/021408.html
The Decision to Allow the Deployment of US Troops inside Canada was taken in April 2002
While a formal agreement was reached in February 2008, the decision to allow the deployment of US troops in Canada was announced in April 2002 by (former) Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
Territorial control over Canada is part of Washington’s geopolitical and military agenda as formulated in April 2002 by Donald Rumsfeld. “Binational integration” of military command structures was also contemplated alongside a major revamping in the areas of immigration, law enforcement and intelligence.
The matter has been known for more than five years. It has been deliberately obfuscated. There has been no public debate. It has not received news coverage nor has it been the object of discussion in the Canadian House of Commons or the US Congress.
In an article published in 2004 entitled Is the Annexation of Canada Part of Bush’s Military Agenda?, I provided a detailed analysis of the process of integration of military command structures. I also examined the broader issue of sovereignty. The Toronto Star accepted to publish an abridged version of my November 2004 text as an oped. The article explained that Ottawa had been:
“quietly negotiating [since April 2002] a far-reaching military cooperation agreement, which allows the US Military to cross the border and deploy troops anywhere in Canada, in our provinces, as well station American warships in Canadian territorial waters. This redesign of Canada’s defense system is being discussed behind closed doors, not in Canada, but at the Peterson Air Force base in Colorado, at the headquarters of US Northern Command (NORTHCOM).”
Despite repeated assurances by the Toronto Star OpEd Editor, the article never appeared in print. Below is a summary of my more detailed November 2004 text as well as links to the original articles:
“The creation of NORTHCOM announced in April 2002, constitutes a blatant violation of both Canadian and Mexican territorial sovereignty. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced unilaterally that US Northern Command would have jurisdiction over the entire North American region. Canada and Mexico were presented with a fait accompli. US Northern Command’s jurisdiction as outlined by the US DoD includes, in addition to the continental US, all of Canada, Mexico, as well as portions of the Caribbean, contiguous waters in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans up to 500 miles off the Mexican, US and Canadian coastlines as well as the Canadian Arctic.
NorthCom’s stated mandate is to “provide a necessary focus for [continental] aerospace, land and sea defenses, and critical support for [the] nation’s civil authorities in times of national need.”
(Canada-US Relations – Defense Partnership – July 2003, Canadian American Strategic Review (CASR),
Rumsfeld is said to have boasted that “the NORTHCOM – with all of North America as its geographic command – ‘is part of the greatest transformation of the Unified Command Plan [UCP] since its inception in 1947.'” (Ibid)
Following Prime Minister Jean Chrétien’s refusal to join NORTHCOM, a high-level so-called “consultative” Binational Planning Group (BPG), operating out of the Peterson Air Force base, was set up in late 2002, with a mandate to “prepare contingency plans to respond to [land and sea] threats and attacks, and other major emergencies in Canada or the United States”.
The BPG’s mandate goes far beyond the jurisdiction of a consultative military body making “recommendations” to government. In practice, it is neither accountable to the US Congress nor to the Canadian House of Commons.
The BPG has a staff of fifty US and Canadian “military planners”, who have been working diligently for the last two years in laying the groundwork for the integration of Canada-US military command structures. The BPG works in close coordination with the Canada-U.S. Military Cooperation Committee at the Pentagon, a so-called ” panel responsible for detailed joint military planning”.
Broadly speaking, its activities consist of two main building blocks: the Combined Defense Plan (CDP) and The Civil Assistance Plan (CAP).
The Militarisation of Civilian Institutions
As part of its Civil Assistance Plan (CAP), the BPG is involved in supporting the ongoing militarisation of civilian law enforcement and judicial functions in both the US and Canada. The BPG has established “military contingency plans” which would be activated “on both sides of the Canada-US border” in the case of a terror attack or “threat”. Under the BPG’s Civil Assistance Plan (CAP), these so-called “threat scenarios” would involve:
“coordinated response to national requests for military assistance [from civil authorities] in the event of a threat, attack, or civil emergency in the US or Canada.”
In December 2001, in response to the 9/11 attacks, the Canadian government reached an agreement with the Head of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, entitled the “Canada-US Smart Border Declaration.” Shrouded in secrecy, this agreement essentially hands over to the Homeland Security Department, confidential information on Canadian citizens and residents. It also provides US authorities with access to the tax records of Canadians.
What these developments suggest is that the process of “binational integration” is not only occurring in the military command structures but also in the areas of immigration, police and intelligence. The question is what will be left over within Canada’s jurisdiction as a sovereign nation, once this ongoing process of binational integration, including the sharing and/or merger of data banks, is completed?
Canada and NORTHCOM
Canada is slated to become a member of NORTHCOM at the end of the BPG’s two years mandate.
No doubt, the issue will be presented in Parliament as being “in the national interest”. It “will create jobs for Canadians” and “will make Canada more secure”.
Meanwhile, the important debate on Canada’s participation in the US Ballistic Missile Shield, when viewed out of the broader context, may serve to divert public attention away from the more fundamental issue of North American military integration which implies Canada’s acceptance not only of the Ballistic Missile Shield, but of the entire US war agenda, including significant hikes in defense spending which will be allocated to a North American defense program controlled by the Pentagon.
And ultimately what is at stake is that beneath the rhetoric, Canada will cease to function as a Nation:
Its borders will be controlled by US officials and confidential information on Canadians will be shared with Homeland Security.
US troops and Special Forces will be able to enter Canada as a result of a binational arrangement.
Canadian citizens can be arrested by US officials, acting on behalf of their Canadian counterparts and vice versa.
But there is something perhaps even more fundamental in defining and understanding where Canada and Canadians stand as a Nation.
The World is at the crossroads of the most serious crisis in modern history. The US has launched a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity. It has formulated the contours of an imperial project of World domination. Canada is contiguous to “the center of the empire”. Territorial control over Canada is part of the US geopolitical and military agenda.
The Liberals as well as the opposition Conservative party have endorsed embraced the US war agenda. By endorsing a Canada-US “integration” in the spheres of defense, homeland security, police and intelligence, Canada not only becomes a full fledged member of George W. Bush’s “Coalition of the Willing”, it will directly participate, through integrated military command structures, in the US war agenda in Central Asia and the Middle East, including the massacre of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, the torture of POWs, the establishment of concentration camps, etc.
Under an integrated North American Command, a North American national security doctrine would be formulated. Canada would be obliged to embrace Washington’s pre-emptive military doctrine, including the use of nuclear warheads as a means of self defense, which was ratified by the US Senate in December 2003. (See Michel Chossudovsky, The US Nuclear Option and the “War on Terrorism” http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO405A.html May 2004)
Moreover, binational integration in the areas of Homeland security, immigration, policing of the US-Canada border, not to mention the anti-terrorist legislation, would imply pari passu acceptance of the US sponsored police State, its racist policies, its “ethnic profiling” directed against Muslims, the arbitrary arrest of anti-war activists.
Links to Articles
Is the Annexation of Canada Part of Bush’s Military Agenda?
– by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2007-07-18 (first published in November 2004)
Canada and America: Missile Defense and the Vows of Military Integration
– by Michel Chossudovsky – 2005-02-23 (accepted for publication as an OpEd by the Toronto Star)
Continental Integration of Military Command Structures: A Threat to Canada’s Sovereignty
– by Michel Chossudovsky – 2006-05-12
Canada’s Sovereignty in Jeopardy: the Militarization of North America
by Michel Chossudovsky – 2007-08-17