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Is the Annexation of Canada part of Bush's Military Agenda?
by Michel Chossudovsky    Global Research
Entered into the database on Friday, June 17th, 2005 @ 05:41:43 MST


Untitled Document


For nearly two years now, Ottawa has been quietly negotiating 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).

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 Airforce 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 Liberals under Prime Minister Paul Martin as well as Canada's Defense establishment at DND are fully supportive of this initiative, which essentially consists in integrating the military command structures of the two countries:

"The DND/CF in Canada and the US DoD recognize that a neighborhood watch or collective security arrangement is essential. But, we need to take it slowly and understand all the ramifications… To that end, the BPG allows some Canadians and Americans to work together in Colorado Springs to explore that collective security arrangement."

(statement by L. Gen. Findley )

No debate in Parliament. In fact, with some exceptions, backbench MPs do not even know about these procedures, which have a direct bearing on Canada's sovereignty as a nation. An atmosphere of secrecy prevails. The tendency in Ottawa is "hush-hush". No government pronouncements: public opinion has been held in the dark. Moreover, the issue has barely been mentioned in the Canadian press.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Paul Martin has been busy restraining potential anti-Bush sentiment within the Liberal Caucus as well as in the ranks of the opposition parties, in the months leading up to president George W. Bush's address to Canada's parliament on December 1st.

The Binational Planning Group (BPG)

Removed from the public eye, the "Group" is more than an ad hoc consultative body. It was set up as an interim military authority in December 2002, following the refusal of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien to join the new regional command: US Northern Command (NORTHCOM). The latter was established in April 2002 to "Defend the Homeland" against presumed terrorist attacks.

Canadian membership in NORTHCOM would have implied the integration of Canada's military command structures with those of the US. That option was temporarily deferred by the Chrétien government, through the creation of the so-called Binational Planning Group (BPG).

The Binational Planning Group's (BPG) formal mandate was to:

"improve current Canada–United States arrangements to defend against primarily maritime threats to the continent and respond to land-based attacks, should they occur."

The BPG extends the jurisdiction of the US-Canada North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to cover land and sea.

The "Group" is described as an "independent" military authority which is "not integrated into either command [NORAD or NORTHCOM] – it simply shares the same headquarters [at the Paterson Air Force base]". Yet this statement blatantly contradicts the original dispatch following the creation of the BPG (9 December 2002):

"The head of the Planning Group will be the Deputy Commander, who will operate under the authority of the Commander of North American Aerospace Defense." ( See US State Department

NORAD has become and Appendage of NORTHCOM

In practice, the "Group" functions under the jurisdiction of US Northern Command, which is controlled by US DoD. Moreover, the existing bilateral agreement under NORAD is virtually defunct. NORAD has become an appendage of NORTHCOM.

In fact, the command structures of NORAD, NORTHCOM and the BPG are fully integrated: the commanding officer of NORAD, Lt. General Ralph E. "Ed" Eberhardt, is the commander of U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM). In turn, the (Canadian) Commander of NORAD, Lt. General Rick "Eric" Findley, heads the Binational Planning Group (BPG).

And, Lt. General Eberhardt, who is commander of both NORTHCOM and NORAD, has the mandate to ensure "liaison" between the binational "Group" and the US government, including, of course, the DoD and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), headed by Tom Ridge.

In turn, both the "Group" and the DHS are in permanent liaison with Canada's new Ministry of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, which is a Canadian "copy and paste" version of Tom Ridge's Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In other words, the integration of Canadian and US military command structures is being achieved in close coordination with the binational integration of civilian police, judicial and intelligence structures. The integration of US, Canadian and Mexican intelligence structures is part of a parallel initiative under the same broad military agenda.

What this integration means in practice is that Canada's military command structures would in practice be subordinated to those of the Pentagon and the US DoD. Operating under a "North American" emblem (i.e. NORTHCOM), the US military would have jurisdiction over Canadian territory from coast to coast; extending from the St Laurence Valley to the Parry Islands in the Canadian Arctic. It would allow for the establishment of "North American" military bases on Canadian territory. From a military standpoint, it would integrate the Canadian North, with its vast resources in raw materials with Alaska.

Bearing in mind that similar binational negotiations are being conducted between US and with Mexico, the US military would exert strategic control over an area (air space, land mass and contiguous territorial waters) extending from the Yucatan peninsula in southern Mexico to the Canadian Arctic, representing 12 percent of the World's land mass.

In fact, a "continental" military command structure (based on a 1999 US Army College Blueprint) which has been under discussion for several years, "would use the North American Free Trade Agreement as a basis… link[ing] U.S., Mexican and Canadian forces against terrorism in a way that NAFTA has linked North America's economies. (See )

Needless to say, this initiative is consistent with the broader objective of "integrating" defense structures in The Western Hemisphere under US military dominance, which is being implemented in parallel with the Free Trade Area of the Americas Initiative (FTAA). Although not officially on the FTAA agenda, the militarization of South America under "Plan Colombia" renamed "The Andean Initiative" as well as the signing of a "parallel" military cooperation protocol by 27 countries of the Americas (the so-called Declaration of Manaus) is an integral part of the process of hemispheric integration. In it worth noting that FTAA Trade Negotiator Richard Zoellnick is a member of Bush's National Security Council.

Washington's "Military Road Map"

The BPG Agreement has a direct bearing on Canada's role in the US led war in the Middle East. "The Group" was created barely four months before the invasion of Iraq. While Canada is not officially part of the Anglo-American military axis, its command structures are in the process (under the BPG) of being integrated into those of the US.

While it has no troops in Iraq, Canada has a significant military presence in Afghanistan, where Canadian troops are, in practice, operating under US Command. Canadian warships were sent to the Persian Gulf in October 2001 and have from the outset collaborated with the US led military operation in Afghanistan and Iraq.

(See Michel Chossudovsky, Extending the War to Iraq? Canada sends "Gun Boats" to the Persian Gulf ). (See See also Heritage Foundation, )

Canadian military planners were actively "involved in contingency planning for war on Iraq", operating out Central Command in Tampa, Florida. When CENTCOM headquarters were transferred to Qatar in the months prior to the invasion, the senior Canadian military planners (under US Command) joined their US counterparts at the new headquarters. Canada was also involved in a Naval Task Force Command in the Persian Gulf coordinating the entry of coalition war ships into the Persian Gulf.

This "integration of Canada" must be seen as part of Washington's broader military agenda, in different parts of the World, its so-called "global leadership" in military affairs, as defined by the Project of the New American Century (PNAC). (See )

The Mandate of the "Group"

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. According to the defense policy journal Canadian American Strategic Review, the BPG is "more than 'just an informal discussion group' … it seems to show some signs of evolving into a formal command in its own right."

(quoted in DND CF at )

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 the Civil Assistance Plan (CAP), the BPG is also involved in supporting the ongoing militarisation of civilian law enforcement and judicial functions in both the US and Canada. This process is consistent with the "Big Brother initiatives" already carried out under Homeland Security and the Patriot Acts in the US.

In Canada, similar activities have been launched under the Anti-Terrorist Legislation (Bills C-36, C-22, C-35, C-42 and C-7). The new Ministry of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness was set up in close consultation with the Us Department of Homeland Security.

(See Canada Department of Justice , See Rocco Galati,

The BPG's 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 other words, the Military would "support" and "assist" civilian organizations including government bodies and agencies such as municipalities, etc. This process implies the militarisation of civilian functions.

The BPG does not mince its words: military commanders would:

"provide binational military assistance to civil authorities."

In the case of a Red Code alert, these so-called "requests" (e.g. from a Canadian municipality) could result in the deployment of US troops or Special Forces inside Canadian territory. In fact, with an integrated command structure, Canadian and US servicemen would operate in the same military operations.

Moreover, the BPG has been actively involved in joint exercises with civilian police and intelligence, involving the participation of State and city governments. It has developed a system of "eight threat scenarios, focused on weapons of mass destruction, terrorists and natural disasters that are being used as planning tools"

(See )

Northrop Grumman Information Technology, a subsidiary of one of America's largest defense conglomerates, is on contract with the BPG, providing it support services in "strategic and operational planning, research, analysis, information technology and coordination to meet current and evolving mission requirements." (See )

Northrop`s mandate is to provide expertise to the BPG in support of

"coordination and implementation of comprehensive enhanced military cooperation and interagency products, including detailed contingency plans, consultation/decision-making protocol recommendations, aerospace, maritime and land defense plans, and Consequence Management guidance."

(See: )

Martial Law

The circumstances under which martial law can be declared in the US are clearly enunciated by the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA)

(See , See also Michel Chossudovsky, , on Militarization see Frank Morales, September 2003 ).

In the case of a Red Code Terror Alert, US Northern Command would take over. Several functions of civilian administration would be suspended, others could be transferred to the jurisdiction of the military. More generally, the procedure would disrupt government offices, businesses, schools, public services, transportation, etc.

Under the present BPG arrangement, Canada is a de facto member of NORTHCOM. In other words, some of these martial law procedures could be applied in Canada. Under an integrated North American military command structure --with Canada part of NORTHCOM--, martial law procedures in Canada would conform to those applied in the US.

In May 2003 a major "anti-terrorist exercise" entitled TOPOFF 2 was conducted under the auspices of US Homeland Security. Canada fully participated in this initiative. In fact, the exercise was conducted with the support of NORTHCOM and NORAD, with the BPG playing a key role.

TOPOFF 2 was described as "the largest and most comprehensive terrorism response and homeland security exercise ever conducted in the United States." It was a military style exercise involving federal, State and local level governments including Canadian participants.

TOPOFF 2 was carried out on the same assumptions as military exercises in anticipation of an actual theater war, in this case, to be waged by foreign terrorists, examining various WMD attack scenarios and the institutional response of State and local governments. The simulations of "what was happening in Seattle" were carried out in the Situational Awareness Center (SAC) at Peterson Air force Base in Colorado. (For further details See Aviation Week & Space Technology, June 23, 2003)

Towards a North American Big Brother

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 tax records of Canadians.

Meanwhile, the Bush Administration established its controversial Total Information Awareness Program (TIAP), headed by former National Security Adviser ret. Admiral John Poindexter, who was indicted on criminal charges in the Iran Contra scandal during the Reagan Administration.

TIAP operated in the offices of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a division of the Pentagon in Northern Virginia. The Information Awareness Office (IAO), was to oversee a giant Big Brother data bank. (See Washington Post, 11 Nov 2002 at )

Under pressure, Pointedexter subsequently resigned from TIAP and the program was "officially" discontinued.

(See Pointedexter's PowerPoint presentation at .

IAO's stated mission was "to gather as much information as possible about everyone, in a centralized location, for easy perusal by the United States government." This would include medical records, credit card and banking information, educational and employment data, records concerning travel and the use of internet, email, telephone and fax.

While the IAO no longer exists, at least officially, the initiative of creating a giant data bank has by no means been abandoned. At present, several US government bodies including Homeland Security, the CIA, the FBI already operate "Big Brother" data banks. The controversial Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange ( MATRIX), for instance is defined as "a crime-fighting database" used by law enforcement agencies, the US Justice Department and Homeland Security. More recently in the context of The National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004 -- currently debated in the US Senate, discussion has centered on a so-called 'Information Sharing Network' to coordinate data from 'all available sources.'" The proposed network would bring together the data banks of various government agencies under a single governmental umbrella. (Deseret Morning News, 29, 2004).

Under the ongoing US-Canada integration in military command structures, "Homeland Security" and intelligence, Canadian data banks would eventually be integrated into those of the US. Canada Customs and Revenue has already assembled confidential information on travelers, which it shares with its US counterparts. In early 2004, Ottawa announced under the pretext of combating terrorism that "U.S. border agents will soon have access to the immigration and tax records of Canadian residents".

This merger of tax and immigration data banks is consistent with the process of binational integration occurring at the level of military command structures. It suggests that the Canadian border is controlled under a binational US-Canada arrangement, where US officials have access to Canadian immigration files on Canadian residents.

Moreover, under Canada's Bill C-7, the Public Safety Act of 2004, Canadian police, intelligence and immigration authorities are not only authorized to collect personal data, they also have the authority to share it with their US counterparts

(Text of the C-7 Public Safety Act at , see also and )

What these developments suggest is 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?

What Next? Canadian Membership of NORTHCOM

The two year mandate of the BPG expires on the 9th of December 2004. Coinciding with president Bush's November visit to Canada, a decision to renew the BPG arrangement until Spring of 2005 has already been announced, at which time a decision pertaining to the formal integration of Canada into NORTHCOM will be made. This decision would essentially formalize a fait accompli.

In this regard, the BPG has already prepared a comprehensive report,

"recommending how the two countries' militaries can work together more effectively to counter these [terrorist] threats. In many cases, … the recommendations will involve formalizing cooperation already taking place on an informal basis." (Statement of BPG spokesman, US Department of Defense Information, November 3, 2004)

Whether this report will be debated in the House of Commons remains to be seen. What is absolutely essential at this critical juncture in our history is that Canadians mobilize from coast to coast against the militarisation of Canada.

The Canadian Prime Minister is anxious to avoid public debate and discussion on what constitutes the most significant encroachment on Canada's sovereignty since Confederation.

The Canadian Defense and Foreign Affairs Institute among others are pressuring Ottawa to:

"bring all land, sea and air forces devoted to such defense under one new bi-national command system that will operate in tandem with the United States’ NORTHCOM." ( )

The Bush administration has its supporters in Canada, in the Liberal government as well as in the ranks of the Conservative party and of course within the Canadian business establishment. Washington is lobbying for a consensus on Canada's entry into NORTHCOM.

Canadian companies are vying for lucrative multimillion dollar "reconstruction" contracts in war torn Iraq. Canada's defense contractors, which constitute an appendage of the US-military industrial complex, are of course part of this consensus building. Their lobby group, which favors the integration of military command structures, is the Canadian Defense Industries Association. ( ). In the words of General Dynamics (Canada):

"The combination of heavy U.S. spending on the war in Iraq and against terrorism and a new Liberal prime minister apparently ready to spend more on defense equipment is improving business optimism." (See

Canadian weapons producers, many of which are affiliates of US defense conglomerates expect to be granted lucrative contracts upon Canada joining NORTHCOM. Among major players in Canada's defense industry are General Dynamics (Canada), Bell Helicopter Textron (Canada), General Motors Defense, CAE Inc, Bombardier, SNC-Lavalin Group, etc.

(For further details see , see also Project Loughshares at

"Integration" or the "Annexation" of Canada?

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. This is not a rhetorical issue. This project is confirmed by official military and national security documents. The military blueprint for global US domination is outlined in the Project of the New American Century (PNAC).

(see )

Canada is contiguous to "the center of the empire". Territorial control over Canada is part of the US geopolitical and military agenda. It is worth recalling in this regard, that throughout history, the "conquering nation" has expanded on its immediate borders, acquiring control over contiguous territories.

Military integration is intimately related to the ongoing process of integration in the spheres of trade, finance and investment. Needless to say, a large part of the Canadian economy is already in the hands of US corporate interests. In turn, the interests of big business in Canada tend to coincide with those of the US.

Canada is already a de facto economic protectorate of the USA. The US-Canada FTA and NAFTA has not only opened up new avenues for US corporate expansion, it has laid the groundwork under the existing North American umbrella for the post 9/11 integration of military command structures, public security, intelligence and law enforcement.

No doubt, Canada's entry into US Northern Command will be presented to public opinion as part of Canada-US "cooperation", as something which is "in the national interest", which "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 nation.

The Liberals as well as the opposition Conservative party have 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" 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.



The purpose of this report is to encourage discussion and debate in Canada and Quebec on the implications of military integration with the US at this critical juncture in our history.

The notion of "sovereignty" presented in this article does not constitute an endorsement of any particular constitutional arrangement or political platform.

"Sovereignty" is meant in the broadest sense, in relation to the aspirations of Canadians, Quebecois and First Nations. It is associated with a broad commitment to peace, justice and social equality. Moreover, it is understood that any meaningful nationalism and sovereignty in Quebec is out of question under the militarisation of North America.

This report is also presented in solidarity with the ongoing efforts by the American people, who are fighting within the US for their own sovereignty, against their government and the US led war agenda.