Canada to reconsider joining US ballistic missile defence 42204161

Defence & Security News - Canada
Canada to reconsider joining US ballistic missile defence
The Canadian Government is about to change its national defence policy. As a result, the Department of National Defence has launched a public discourse initiative until 31 July 2016, in order to engage as many of its citizens and key stakeholders as possible. One of the issues being reconsidered is the participation to the US BMD.
Canada to reconsider joining US ballistic missile defence
A missile simulating a threat launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands,
Kauai, Hawaii, before being intercepted by an SM-3 launched from a US Navy Aegis cruiser
(Photo: US Missile Defence Agency)

For more than a decade Canada had opted to stay out of the US Ballistic Missile Defence net. However, the changing global security situation has pushed the country to reconsider its position. North Korea’s ICBMs are by far the biggest threat against the US, followed by Iran. With continental US being under threat, the Canadian Standing Senate Committee on National Security had recommended since 2014 that the Government should become a partner in the US BMD.

The USA has already set-up two BMD sites in Alaska (Fort Greely) and California (Vandenberg AFB). Their location affirms that North Korea is indeed considered the most credible threat. A European-wide BMD is developed by NATO, under the European Phased Adaptive Approach initiative. The US Navy has deployed BMD surface units to the Mediterranean, based in Spain. These will complement the US BMD radar in Turkey and the Aegis Ashore sites in Romania and Poland.

The Canadian National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan position is that before any final decision is made, the country will take into account the overall cost and the reliability of the system. Until now the fire tests have not been completely successful but as the technology develops, the BMD system could offer the required results.

These two points set a fire in Canadian politics, with the opposition stressing that such a system would be a waste of public money. Whether Canada will finally enter into an agreement with the US on the Ballistic Missile Defence will be made clear at the beginning of next year, with the release of the new national defence policy review.



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