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), 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)
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 http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/community/mapleleaf/html_files/html_view_e.asp?page=vol7-29p6-7
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 http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2002/15783.htm
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 http://www.fpa.org/newsletter_info2498/newsletter_info.htm
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
(See Michel Chossudovsky, Extending the War to Iraq? Canada sends "Gun
Boats" to the Persian Gulf http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO111B.html
). (See http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/1044964458943_10/
See also Heritage Foundation, http://www.heritage.org/Research/MiddleEast/wm225.cfm
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
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 http://www.newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf
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 http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/focus/canada-us/pentagon2_e.asp
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
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 http://canada.justice.gc.ca/en/news/nr/2001/doc_28217.html
, See Rocco Galati, http://www.911review.org/Wget/scienceforpeace.sa.utoronto.ca/Special_Activities/Galati_Page.html
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
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 http://www.tasc.com/ )
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
(See: https://www.ditco.disa.mil/public/discms/ENCORE/00323_01.doc )
The circumstances under which martial law can be declared in the US are clearly
enunciated by the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA)
(See http://www.fema.gov/pdf/areyouready/security.pdf , See also Michel Chossudovsky,
http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO402A.html , on Militarization see Frank
Morales, September 2003http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/MOR309A.html ).
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,
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 http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A40942-2002Nov11
Under pressure, Pointedexter subsequently resigned from TIAP and the program
was "officially" discontinued.
(See Pointedexter's PowerPoint presentation at http://www.darpa.mil/darpatech2002/presentations/iao_pdf/slides/poindexteriao.pdf
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
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
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
(Text of the C-7 Public Safety Act at http://www.parl.gc.ca/37/3/parlbus/chambus/house/bills/government/C-7/C-7_3/C-7TOCE.html
, see also http://www.parl.gc.ca/common/bills_ls.asp?Parl=37&Ses=3&ls=c7
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,
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
The Canadian Defense and Foreign Affairs Institute among others are pressuring
"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." (http://www.cdfai.org/PDF/CCCE%20Report.pdf )
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
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. (http://www.cdia.ca/
). 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 http://www.gdcanada.com/company_info/articles/body_art2004apr22jm2.html
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
(For further details see http://www.cdia.ca/public/index.asp?action=profiles
, see also Project Loughshares at http://www.ploughshares.ca/CONTENT/MONITOR/mond02i.html#Table%201
"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 http://www.newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf )
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
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
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"
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.