The issue of continental integration of military command structures
has been on the US-Canada agenda since April 2002. Until recently, it has barely
been mentioned by the Canadian media.
Territorial control over Canada is part of Washington's geopolitical
and military agenda as formulated in April 2002 by Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld. "Binational integration" of military command structures
is also contemplated alongside a major revamping in the areas of immigration,
law enforcement and intelligence.
Since 2002, Ottawa has been quietly negotiating a far-reaching military cooperation
agreement. In November 2004, Global
Research published a detailed article on the subject, an abridged
version of which was accepted for publication as an Op Ed piece in the Toronto
Star. That article never appeared in print. More generally, the Canadian
media has failed to provide coverage of an issue which strikes at the heart
of Canada's territorial sovereignty.
What the current news coverage fails to acknowledge is that the US Military
can 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 has for the last four years been 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), http://www.sfu.ca/casr/ft-lagasse1.htm
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)
In my "censored" Toronto Star article, I had warned that the process
of Bi-National Integration implying the integration of military command structures
was slated to be completed in May 2006:
"What we are dealing with is a "military marriage' characterized
by the integration of the two countries' command structures.
Missile Defense is part of "the vows" of this "military marriage",
something which nobody in Canada wants to talk about.
This military marriage has certain underlying obligations and commitments.
If Canada accepts to join NORTHCOM and integrate US command structures, it
not only "promises to cherish" Star Wars, it also becomes an official
member of the Anglo-American military axis, integrated by Israel (unofficially)
Canada thereby becomes a pro-active partner in America's ongoing military
adventure, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Iran, North Korea and beyond,
not to mention the preemptive use of nuclear weapons in conventional war theaters
directed "against rogue enemies and terrorists".
Shortly prior to the Bush-Martin meetings in Ottawa in November 2004, it
was decided to extend the Binational Planning Group arrangement until May
2006. In other words, what is really at stake is the process leading
up to a formal announcement of Canada's accession to NORTHCOM, prior to the
May 2006 cut-off date." (emphasis added)
Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 12 May 2006
Below are the links to the original articles published by Global Research:
the Annexation of Canada part of Bush's Military Agenda? - by Michel Chossudovsky
- 2004-11-24 (detailed analysis of the Bi-National Planning Group and the process
of integration of military command structures).
and America: Missile Defense and the Vows of Military Integration - by Michel
Chossudovsky - 2005-02-23, article accepted on three occasions by the Toronto
Star, never published. Recipient of Project
Censored Award, University of California at Sonoma.
See Prof. Michael Byers Op Ed in the Toronto Star
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 U.S., writes
Apr. 28, 2006. 01:00 AM
They seem harmless enough at first: two mid-level Canadian Forces officers and
a mild-mannered bespectacled American consultant explaining the work of their
48-member Bi-National Planning Group to audiences across Canada. Their professed
goal is to improve co-operation between the Canadian and U.S. militaries, the
better to defend both countries.
Yet a close reading of their final report released last month, reveals that
their actual intent — or at least the intent of the politicians who set
their mandate — is far from benign. They seek nothing less than the complete
integration of Canada's military, security and foreign policy into the decision-making
and operating systems of the U.S.
In 2002, it was revealed that Ottawa and Washington were contemplating a "combined
defence plan" that would have placed our forces under the umbrella of the
U.S.'s new Northern Command (NORTHCOM).
Opposition to the plan quickly led to its being shunted out of view and into
the newly created Bi-National Planning Group (BPG). Based at the headquarters
of NORTHCOM and the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) in Colorado
Springs, the planning group was intended to devise counterpoints to critics'
concerns, while postponing formal decision-making until a more politically opportune
Today, two Canadian elections later, the authors of the BPG report can hardly
believe their luck. Prime Minister Stephen Harper may have only a minority government,
but there is little doubt he desires closer ties with Washington.
The BPG recommendations are far-reaching. They aim at "enhanced co-ordination
and co-operation among our foreign policy, defence and security organizations"
at "the level (although not necessarily the form) of co-operation that
now exists in NORAD."
In NORAD, the defence of Canadian and U.S. airspace is assigned to a single
command which, while supposedly based on the equality of the two countries,
is always headed by a senior U.S. officer.
The BPG is, in actuality, advocating co-operation at the level of a single,
U.S.-dominated command for all of Canada's territory and our surrounding seas.
Under this plan, the entire Canadian Forces, unless deployed overseas in operations
not led by the U.S., could find themselves under American "operational
control" with Americans making all key day-to-day decisions.
Not to worry, the BPG assures us calmly: "Command" will remain in
Canadian hands. And that's true, insofar as Canadians would retain responsibility
for administrative tasks such as hiring, promotion and pensions.
The BPG also recommends closer co-operation in security and foreign policy:
"Canada and the U.S. must continue to act as partners; indeed ... the partnership
must be expanded, to shape the future of North American defence and security,
using all of the instruments of diplomatic, economic, informational and military
It is in the context of information-sharing that the BPG recommends the immediate
extension of NORAD into the maritime domain as part of next month's renewal
of the NORAD agreement.
Ottawa intends to follow this recommendation when it brings the new NORAD agreement,
complete with a provision on maritime surveillance sharing, before Parliament
in one or two weeks.
In normal circumstances, the instantaneous sharing of information on ships approaching
North America might make sense.
In an age of sea-launched cruise missiles, approaching vessels could pose security
threats on timelines that are too short for conventional communication protocols.
But the BPG changes the circumstances by indicating that maritime surveillance
sharing is intended as a forerunner for much closer co-operation:
It calls the upcoming NORAD agreement renewal "an important step toward
enhancing the defence and security of our continent. To continue this momentum
a `Comprehensive Defence and Security Agreement' is the logical next step ...
The BPG presents four alternatives for the new agreement. The first is an expanded
NORAD responsible for "all-domain warning" — in the air, at
sea, on land and in cyberspace — but with its response capability limited
to the air. This new, surveillance-focused NORAD would exist in parallel with
Northern Command and the recently established Canadian-run Canada Command.
The second alternative involves a NORAD command that would provide both "all-domain
warning and response to asymmetric threats and attacks." Under this approach,
NORTHCOM and Canada Command would continue to exist separately with "the
capability to respond unilaterally to threats against their respective countries."
However, in reality, the single command would prevail in most defence matters
on the North American continent, including armed responses at sea and on land.
It would also, inevitably, be dominated by the U.S., a fact which the BPG admits
would generate "concerns over sovereignty."
The third alternative gives primacy to NORTHCOM and Canada Command and demotes
NORAD to a "Standing Combined Task Force" responsible for providing
"bi-national, all-domain awareness and warning" to each national command
and, "where appropriate, a combined and co-ordinated response to threats
and attacks against Canada and the United States."
As the BPG explains, this alternative "relies upon the ... commitment of
those commands toward a continental approach to defence and security."
But don't be misled: It still envisages a comprehensive system for surveillance
sharing as well as "combined" responses.
The fourth, most ambitious alternative involves "a truly integrated approach
to continental defence and security through a deliberate melding of defence
and security functions." This would be achieved by "establishing a
single organization responsible for all-domain, bi-national warning and execution
in the realms of defence and security."
This fourth alternative — full integration — is presented as the
ultimate goal of improved co-operation."
The BPG report thus reveals that expanding NORAD to include maritime surveillance
sharing is intended to create momentum toward complete military, security and
foreign policy integration.
It is part of a deliberately fostered trend that includes Canada's involvement
in the U.S.-led counterinsurgency in southern Afghanistan, the instantaneous
sharing of NORAD aerospace surveillance for U.S. missile defence, and the Harper
government's support for Bush administration foreign policies on climate change,
nuclear proliferation, and the Middle East.
We are being subjected to continental integration by stealth. Indeed, the BPG
report warns of a "small but vocal minority" concerned about Canadian
sovereignty and recommends the use of an "incremental" approach.
Beware the gentle proponents of closer military co-operation. Canada, once proudly
independent, is in danger of allowing itself to be suffocated in America's embrace.
Michael Byers holds the Canada Research Chair in Global
Politics and International Law at the University of British Columbia.