June 2, 2018 - No. 21
60th Anniversary of
The Demand to
Urgent Than Ever
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the North
Aerospace Defence Agreement (NORAD) signed on May 12, 1958. It is
the arrangement through which, along with the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization (NATO) founded in 1948, the Canadian armed forces
are integrated into those of the U.S. and put under U.S.
Canada's membership in NATO and NORAD has implicated
in U.S. wars of aggression against the wishes of Canadians and
the repeated insistence that Canada place and test U.S. missiles,
including nuclear-armed missiles, on Canadian soil. Both NATO and
NORAD have been broadly opposed by Canadians with the demand that
Canada withdraw from these aggressive pacts and that they be
dismantled. These treaties are incompatible with the desire of
the people for a modern and humane conception of security based
on defending the rights of all, for an independent foreign policy
based on making Canada a Zone for Peace, and for nation-building
on a modern basis. Canada's integration into a Fortress North
America in the service of the war aims of the oligopolies
involved in war production is greater today than it has ever
been. The striving of these oligopolies for world domination over
energy and other resources and strategic zones of influence is
increasing the danger of cataclysmic world war with every passing
This is what the government of Canada did not want
during its celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of NORAD's
creation. Despite the fact that through NORAD, the U.S.
Commander-in Chief is effectively the commander of Canada's armed
forces, Prime Minister Trudeau called NORAD a "unique bi-national
military command." He called it "an enduring symbol of the
important partnership between Canada and the United States -- one
that is essential to us both." It places "the defence and
security of their countries and citizens into each other's care,"
he said, adding that the "key to NORAD's success has been its
ability to evolve and meet new challenges, and to take advantage
of new opportunities. We can trust in its ability to continue to
adapt as needed to meet the needs of the future." What these
needs are is revealed by the history of Canada's involvement in
NORAD which shows that all the changes that have taken place in
the past 60 years have been directed at establishing more
complete control by the U.S. over the Canadian armed forces,
placing U.S. weapons of mass destruction on Canadian soil and,
more recently, positioning U.S. special forces in Canadian
territory and militarizing culture to distort the aims of war
and what comprises the national interest.
The initial steps towards integration of the armed
Canada and the U.S. under U.S. command were taken during World
War II with the signing of the Ogdensburg and Hyde Park
agreements on joint defence and cooperation. As part of
anti-Soviet moves, U.S. troops were stationed in Canada to set up and
run radar installations in the north. No sooner was the war over than
the U.S. unleashed the so-called Cold War to bring about
counterrevolution in the Soviet Union while containing communism
all over the world. In 1946 the Joint Military Cooperation
Committee was formed to formulate Canada's "joint defence plans" with
U.S. In the same year, the U.S. and Canada agreed to establish
"joint air defence." In 1948, Canada joined the U.S.-imperialist
dominated NATO military alliance.
In the years following the Second World War, and
in the 1950s and 1960s, U.S. imperialism, which had emerged
greatly strengthened from the war, was expanding globally at a
rapid rate. U.S. finance capital flooded into Canada and came to
dominate the key sectors of the Canadian economy, as well as to
exercise its all-sided domination in the political, military,
social and cultural spheres.
From 1958 when NORAD was founded, to 2006, the
renewed every five years. During Ronald Reagan's visit to Ottawa
in 1981 the name was changed from the North American "Air" to
"Aerospace" Defence Command, reflecting, in the words of the
military, the "expanded surveillance and missile-warning
responsibilities" of the alliance. When the agreement was renewed
in 2006 in the Harper era, it was made permanent, subject to
review every four years or "at the request of either country."
NORAD's mission was also expanded to include maritime warnings,
although it is claimed that the naval forces of the two countries
retain separate commands.
NORAD's stated responsibilities have been to warn of an
aerospace attack on North America and to direct Canadian and U.S.
air defences in response. In fact, like NATO, Canada's membership
in NORAD has drawn Canada into U.S. wars of aggression and
demands to accept U.S. weapons of mass destruction on Canadian
NORAD is also an instrument of the U.S. nuclear missile
strategy. The NORAD agreement sanctions U.S. military exercises
such as the "Global Shield" exercises, in which B-52 bombers
equipped with nuclear weapons fly over Canada. Under the NORAD
pact, U.S. troops regularly engage in military exercises in
Canada at such places as the Cold Lake weapons range in Alberta
and in the Arctic.
The NORAD treaty provides for a system of integrated
operational control for the air "defence" of North America. NORAD
is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with a U.S.
commander, a Canadian deputy commander, and a staff drawn from
both the U.S. and Canadian militaries. It reports to the senior
defence authorities in the Pentagon and at National Defence
Headquarters, and is under the overall command of a U.S.
Canadian Forces Base North Bay, Ontario is the centre
NORAD operations in Canada, under command of the Canadian NORAD Region
Headquarters in Winnipeg. It is also home to Detachment 2, First Air
Force of the United States Air Force.
Under the NORAD agreement, the U.S. imperialists
the "Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line" -- a string of radar bases
in the north, as well as the more southerly "Pine Tree" line,
which has since been dismantled.
The manner in which the U.S. dominates Canada in the
sphere through NORAD has been graphically illustrated several
times. When the U.S. illegally blockaded Cuba in October 1962,
John F. Kennedy demanded that Canadian forces be put on high
alert. Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker insisted on
consulting cabinet, but Canadian NORAD personnel were put on high
alert before Cabinet authorization had been given. During the
1973 Israeli war of aggression, the U.S. commander of NORAD
placed Canadian troops on alert without even notifying the
Minister said to be in charge of Canadian defence.
Opposition to Bomarc Missiles on Canadian Soil
Demonstration on Sparks Street in Ottawa, circa 1963, opposes the
Pearson Liberal government's agreement to allow U.S. nuclear missiles
on Canadian soil.
One of the first decisions to arise from the NORAD
was the installation of the Bomarc anti-aircraft missiles at
bases in North Bay, Ontario and La Macaza, Quebec, under the
ultimate control of the the U.S. commander in chief. Prime
Minister John Diefenbaker made the agreement under U.S. pressure,
but he was opposed to arming the missiles with nuclear weapons as
this was not consistent with Canada's stated policy of not
directly joining the nuclear arms race. The U.S. exerted great
pressure on Canada, saying that nuclear-armed Bomarc missiles
were essential in the North American "defence" system. There was
broad opposition amongst Canadians to nuclear weapons on Canadian
soil, with rallies and other actions across the country.
Opposition leader Lester B. Pearson reversed himself and
declared that he now favoured the placement of nuclear weapons in
Canada. The U.S. then began to openly work to influence the
election and bring about Diefenbaker's defeat. In January1963,
the retiring NATO supreme commander gave a press conference in
Ottawa where he accused Canada of not keeping its commitments to
NORAD. The U.S. State Department issued a press release saying
that the Canadian government "has not yet proposed any
arrangement sufficiently practical to contribute effectively to
North American defence." The U.S. Ambassador gave briefings to
the press, and Kennedy sent advisors to help Pearson whose
Liberals succeeded in winning the election. They formed a
minority government, and quickly moved to install nuclear
Protestors hold sit-in at the entrance to the Bomarc missile base in
La Macaza, Quebec, September 9, 1964.
In 1969 Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau's Liberal
government announced that Canada would withdraw its armed forces
from their nuclear roles, and the Bomarcs were phased out of
service by 1971.
Toronto protest against Canada's renewal of the NORAD agreement, 1968.
Canadians Say No! to Cruise Missile Testing
Toronto protest against Cruise missile testing in Canada, 1983.
In 1982 Canadians discovered that the government was
negotiating an agreement with the U.S. to test Cruise missiles in
Canada. Cruise missiles are considered a first strike weapon and
can be armed with conventional or nuclear warheads and launched
from land, sea or air. The U.S. rationale for choosing Canada for
testing was that Canada's terrain was similar to that of the
northern Soviet Union, a clear indication that the U.S.
contemplated using the Cruise missile to launch "pre-emptive"
strikes. The government also argued that testing was necessary to
allow NORAD to develop anti-cruise missile capability. The U.S.
subsequently used Cruise missiles in the first Gulf War.
Protest against Cruise missile testing and Canada's membership in NATO
and NORAD at a security conference at Guelph University attended by
Prime Minister Trudeau, October 28, 1983.
Canada's Participation in the Gulf War and Iraq Wars
Halifax protest against the first Gulf War and Canada's participation
in it under the Mulroney Conservative government, 1991.
The Gulf War and Iraq Wars brought forward even more
that membership in NATO and NORAD violate Canadian sovereignty
and Canadians' right to decide foreign and defence policy. More
than 4,000 Canadian Armed Forces members served in the Persian
Gulf region in 1990-1991 as part of the U.S. "coalition of the
willing." Canada took part in the enforcement of the blockade
against Iraq which was responsible for the deaths of more than
500,000 Iraqi children.
NORAD systems provided surveillance and communications
support to the 1991 war on Iraq as well as the 2003 invasion of
Iraq. Veterans Affairs reports on its website that "CF-18
jet squadrons with approximately 500 personnel operated out of
the 'Canada Dry' bases in the Persian Gulf nation of Qatar,
performing combat air control, and escort and reconnaissance
missions. For the first time since the Korean War, Canadian
air-to-surface attacks took place during the conflict."
Canadians expressed massive opposition to the 2003 Iraq
and, officially, the Chrétien government did not join the
"coalition of the willing" because it did not have UN Security Council
sanction. Once again the issue came to the fore that
membership in NATO and NORAD meant that Canada was drawn
into U.S. wars of aggression without the consent of Canadians,
and without even their knowledge. Even Parliament does not have a say
over matters of war and peace, which are matters of executive
privilege. Canada's participation in the Gulf War included
NORAD-stationed Canadian Air Force pilots who flew combat missions
the U.S. Air Force E-3 Sentry, and exchange officers who fought
with U.S. units. Canadian pilots also flew Boeing C-17s into Iraq
to "season" the flight crews.
Protest against the second war on Iraq, Windsor,
October 25, 2003.
Military Integration Following 9/11
After the terrorist attacks in the U.S. on
2001, Canada's Minister of Defence Art
Eggleton attended a meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld on November 21, 2001, where Canada agreed to open talks on
possible" level of military integration between the U.S. and
Canada. Canadians were not informed that Canada was
participating in these precedent-setting meetings where a
fundamental shift was taking place. The U.S. military
traditionally was not used for domestic security purposes, but
that changed after 9/11. The National Post reported that
the review included "some 80 treaties and 250 memorandums of
understanding that govern the security arrangements between
Canada and the United States." Further, the newspaper reported that
"Mr. Eggleton hinted at the creation of a sweeping
continental security defence system that includes all arms of the
military, but refused to say whether Canada and the United States
are considering full integration of army battalions or task
The following year, the U.S. Department of Defense
its 2002 Unified Command Plan (UCP). The UCP included a Northern
Command military zone which took over the responsibilities of the
Joint Forces Command for "homeland defence." The area of
operations included the United States, Canada, Mexico, parts of
the Caribbean -- including Cuba and Puerto Rico -- and the contiguous
waters in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
NORTHCOM combined NORAD and the Joint Task Force for
Support that currently resides in Joint Forces Command,
which is responsible to civil authorities for chemical, biological,
radiological, nuclear, major conventional explosives events.
The fact that NORTHCOM combined NORAD with U.S.
Defence implicated Canadian forces ipso facto. The
location of NORTHCOM alongside NORAD at Cheyenne Mountain,
Colorado, with the same U.S. general in charge of both had
profound implications for Canadian sovereignty and control over
its armed forces. In spite of this, Defence Minister Eggleton
claimed NORTHCOM "is only an internal structure for the American
2004 Amendment to the NORAD Agreement
In 2004, the government announced that it had amended
NORAD agreement with the United States. The amendment authorizes
NORAD to make its missile warning function available to U.S.
commands conducting ballistic missile defence. The government
stated that the amendment "safeguards and sustains NORAD
regardless of what decision the Government of Canada eventually
takes on ballistic missile defence." In its announcement, the
government said that NORAD has "adapted and evolved to address
emerging threats" over its 60 years in operation.
Canadians launched Canadawide protests against joining
U.S. Ballistic Missile Defence Shield, popularly called "Star
Wars." The action once again highlighted the level of concern
that Canadians have regarding negotiations held behind closed
doors that have such grave consequences for war and peace. People from
all walks of life, including workers and their unions, youth
and students expressed their opposition and the demand of
Canadians for sovereign control over their nation and its foreign
policy. People stressed that far from making Canada secure, the
"missile defence shield" would lead to an escalation of the arms
race and thus threaten the security of Canadians by escalating
the war preparations. "We said No!
to Bush's war on Iraq and we
want you to say No! to Bush's
Star Wars," Canadians told the
In the course of opposing missile defence, Canadians
aware of initiatives such as the Smart Border Action Plan,
amendments to the NORAD agreement and the re-organization of
Canadian armed forces which the government was implementing to
integrate Canada with the United States under the guise that
Canada is proving itself a "worthy partner." The real nature of
"missile defence" as a tool of aggression and pre-emptive
strikes also became more clear.
Further Integration under Stephen Harper
Calgary protest against Canada's integration into the U.S. through the
Security and Prosperity Partnership, August 19, 2007.
During the Harper era from 2006 to 2015, new
arrangements were put in place to make permanent the placement of
U.S. troops and security agencies on Canadian soil, as well as to
integrate the command of the Canadian military with that of the
U.S. These arrangements included integrating the Canadian
military with so-called civilian agencies which then come under
joint command structures. These arrangements have been and
continue to be put in place in the name of "security," including
having the military secure the economy of North America.
A document entitled "Framework for Enhanced Military
Cooperation among North American Aerospace Defense Command,
United States Northern Command, and Canada Command" was released
on November 25, 2010. The document discussed the problems which
needed to be resolved in order to firmly place the Canadian
military under NORTHCOM through NORAD. The document was prepared
by U.S. General Victor Renuart, Commander of both NORAD and
NORTHCOM, and Vice-Admiral Bruce Donaldson, Commander of Canada
The document exposed the extent to which the U.S.
has fully infiltrated the Canadian forces at the highest command
levels, not only through the placement of U.S. military officials
in Canada, but also through the integration of Canadian military
commanders into the U.S. military apparatus.
Based on its definition of security, the document
how the Canadian and U.S. militaries need to work much closer in
order to "secure" the "North American Homeland." "Security" is
defined as "use of the military at the request of civil
authorities in support of public safety, domestic emergencies,
law enforcement and other activities."
In line with this definition, the framework document
how events such as the June 2010 meetings of the G8, the
Vancouver Olympics and North American leaders' summits were used
to work out a "seamless" unified military command. These "seams"
include legislation and regulations mainly in Canada on areas
such as information sharing, "civilian oversight" and military
structure that the U.S. wants changed, removed or
Under the category of Operations, the Framework
problems that emerged during large political events in Canada.
The report suggested that the preferred option in the future
would likely be a single command, likely by NORAD, which means
U.S. command, in order to overcome "differences in
The document outlined differences in the U.S. and
command structures, with the implication that Canadian armed
forces be reorganized to align with the U.S. The report stated,
"The differences in these constructs make it difficult for
USNORTHCOM and Canada COM to maintain a habitual relationship at
the tactical/operational level because the participants on the
U.S. side will vary dependent on the situation and the
participants on the Canadian side will vary dependent on
The current public infiltration of U.S.
forces in Canada and the goal to have Canada fall in line with
U.S. military demands is also addressed. The document states:
"There are currently two USNORTHCOM liaison officers assigned to
Canada COM. Liaison officers offer significant benefits to all
commands." It then calls for greater "interaction" between
In 2012, Canada announced that a long-term partnership
the U.S. Department of Defense on Space Situational Awareness
(SSA) had been established. Under the agreement, data from
Canada's Department of National Defence's Sapphire satellite is
integrated with the U.S. Space Surveillance Network. The
government claimed the aim of the integration was to "avoid
collisions between satellites or with space debris." The
agreement followed similar arrangements in which Canada is being
integrated into U.S. arrangements to militarize space.
For example, in November 2011 it was announced that
was spending $477 million to join a U.S. Defense Department
satellite communication system called the Wideband Global
Satellite (WGS) System. The system is designed for "U.S.
warfighters, allies and coalition partners during all levels of
conflict, short of nuclear war."
Current Agenda for NORAD and Canada's Participation
U.S. Missile Defence
The government of Justin Trudeau has taken a number of
initiatives in the direction of expanding U.S. control over
Canadian airspace and territory through NORAD as well as to agree to
hand over Canadian territory to the U.S. for placement
of its missiles and sensors under the guise of "protecting
The government enlisted Derek Burney, former chief of
to Brian Mulroney, to "open doors" in Washington. Burney claimed
that Canada's actions on September 11, 2001 were "spontaneous and
voluntary" and this is not good enough. However, Minister of
Defence Harjit Sajjan made it clear this was not the case when he
responded to several detailed questions in the House of Commons.
NORAD did in fact "take control" of Canadian airspace on
September 11, he said. Burney's remarks thus indicate that
Canada, already 100 per cent under U.S. command, is to be used in
a manner Canadians disapprove of. Burney also said that Canada
should look at joining the U.S. on continental missile defence as
one area of "common ground" that "could go a long way in boosting
Canada's voice at the table."
Raising the false assertion that the Democratic
People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is a threat
Canada, Burney stated, "North Korea has got the capacity to
launch a missile as far as North America. Why wouldn't we at least
sit down and at least explore the prospect of joining with the
Americans; why don't we renovate NORAD with something to protect
us against the 21st century threat in the same way NORAD helped
us with 20th century defence?"
Canadians made clear in 2004 and 2005 that they opposed
Canada's participation in the U.S. ballistic missile defence
program, as they did Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" program. Despite
this, the Liberals have been for several years laying the
groundwork to revive this dangerous debate which Canadians
considered closed in 2005. The government's Defence Policy
Review, released in 2016, asked whether, "given changing
technologies and threats," Canada should revisit its decision to
not participate in the U.S. ballistic missile defence system. This is
another step in this direction.
The defence policy review was carried out by a
Ministerial Advisory Panel which included Bill Graham, Minister
of Defence under the Paul Martin Liberal government. Graham was
the biggest proponent of missile defence at the time and has
expressed regret that the government opted out of the missile defence
program in 2005 in the face of Canadians' rejection.
Graham told a Senate committee in 2014 that it was the negative
opinion Canadians held about George W. Bush that forced the
government to stay out.
During meetings of the defence committee leading up to
release of the defence review, Liberal Members of Parliament
posed questions to Canadian armed forces personnel which
envisioned nightmare scenarios of missiles hurtling from some
unknown source towards Canadian cities, and asked what Canada
could do in such a situation. According to the Liberals and these
military figures, once a missile is identified, the decision
would be solely up to the U.S. as to whether its missile defence
system would attempt to intercept it.
It is self-serving propaganda designed to present any
opponent of the war preparations as posing a danger to national
security and national interests.
The Trudeau Liberal government subsequently unveiled
defence policy in June 2017. The document, "Strong, Secure,
Engaged, Canada's Defence Policy," left the decision as to
whether to join the U.S. ballistic missile defence (BMD) system
open. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan stated, "Our policy is not
changing on BMD. What we are going to be doing is to look at all
of those threats, from air, maritime and underwater."
In the name of "modernization," the policy said that
will "expand our capacity to meet NORAD commitments by improving
aerospace and maritime domain awareness and response, and by
enhancing satellite capability. We will also procure an advanced
fighter capability and ensure we remain interoperable with our
Both NORAD and the missile defence program are
presented as purely for defence, denying the reality of the long U.S.
history of aggressive war and pre-emptive strikes. Both the Bush and
Obama doctrines asserted the "right" to conduct preemptive strikes and
the actual bombardment of cities and the doctrine has been reasserted
by Trump with his threats against the DPRK. Pre-emptive strikes and the
massive destruction of cities have been a feature of U.S. warfare going
back to the firebombing of Tokyo on the night of March 9-10, 1945 which
killed 100,000 Japanese civilians and destroyed 16 square miles of the
city, leaving a million more homeless. This was followed five months
later by the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima and in 1950-53
with the killing of 4 million people and the destruction of 78 cities
in the DPRK during the Korean war.
Get Canada Out of All Imperialist War Alliances!
Make Canada a Zone of Peace!
The 60th Anniversary of NORAD is a time to draw
conclusions about the nature of the military alliance. NORAD is
always described as responsible for the defence of North America.
NORAD was conceived and brought into being during the Cold War,
which has long since ended. Its survival is now justified by
claiming the danger is from "rogue states." However, NORAD, like
NATO is an aggressive military alliance.
Since the inception of
NORAD, Canadians have opposed every
step of Canada's annexation into Fortress North America, and the
placing of Canadian resources and territory under the control of
the U.S. imperialists for the purpose of war preparations.
Membership in NATO and NORAD is incompatible with the stand of
Canadians to Make Canada a Zone for Peace which requires
withdrawing from all aggressive military alliances. This is the
stand consistent with the peacekeeping role Canadians want Canada
to play and fought for during the 60 years in which NORAD has
placed Canada under U.S. command.
Sixty years on, the clash between the government's
of "security" and that of Canadians has become very sharp. The
government's watchwords "defence of North America" and "shared
security" are designed to accelerate war preparations and
insecurity for the people of the world. The premise underlying
all the calls for the complete integration of Canada's armed
forces into the U.S. war machine is that security means
"securing" the North American "Homeland" as "free and prosperous"
that is, against any threat to the rule of the oligopolies. It is
completely devoid of a modern and human-centred concept of
This drive to war is clashing with a modern
conception of security which is integrally connected to the
defence of the rights of all both at home and abroad. Canadians
must continue to stand as one with the world's people in defence
of their independence, sovereignty and peace.
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