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Report of the SC on National Defence: "Canada and the Defence of North America"

Good2Golf

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“All right you four Canadian future fighter contenders, anyone who seriously doesn’t believe they can still sell us something that goes fast, leave the room!”

*lockheed stays sitting, but Airbus, Boeing and Saab get up, and dejectedly head for the door...*

“Airbus, see you later.  Thanks for coming out.  Hey! Boeing! Saab! Where are you guys going?”

;D
 

MarkOttawa

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Will next Canadian gov't be willing to pay up for modernization of North Warning System, in face of growing cruise missiles threat? If not US, not just Trump, will be most dissatisfied. Good analysis from Andrea Charron and James Fergusson of University of Manitoba:
Rediscovering the Cost of Deterrence
...
The Canada-U.S. Permanent Joint Board on Defence (PJBD) held its 238th meeting in Ottawa this June. Established in 1940, the PJBD1 was created to provide study and recommendations to the governments of both Canada and the United States for the joint defence of “the north half of the Western hemisphere”.  Of late, there has been more discussion than recommendations.  The civilian co-chairs (currently, Canadian MP John McKay and retired U.S. Lt.-Gen. Chris Miller) and the other members are grappling with increasing geopolitical tension and great power competition. They are rediscovering the importance of deterrence and of defending North America – not unlike the original co-chairs in 1940 or, 40 years later, their fellow co-chairs during the Cold War. Now, as was the case in the 1980s, is the time to reinvest in the defence of Canada and the United States even though competing priorities and elections make it particularly difficult.

One solution to increased tensions in the 1980s was the PJBD’s decision to recommend a North American Air Defence Modernization (NAADM) program, which involved, among other things,2 upgrading the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line constructed in 1954.  This series of manned radar stations that began in Alaska and stretched across the Canadian archipelago to Labrador needed upgrading. It had to meet the new threat posed by the development and deployment of long-range, air-launched cruise missiles (ALCMs) carried by a new generation of Soviet bombers. As the trip wire to detect air-breathing threats emanating from the northern approaches to North America, the DEW Line needed to see farther north and with greater acuity. It had to identify, track and direct NORAD fighters to intercept incoming Soviet bombers before they could launch their cruise missiles. While an upgraded DEW Line was central to the air defence of North America, it was also a key component in deterring a Soviet attack, and thus in the overarching Western strategy of deterrence to prevent a nuclear war.

The DEW Line was an incredible undertaking of its time.  It required more than a half-million tonnes of material, enough gravel to build a road from Vancouver to Halifax, and 25,000 construction workers. It cost $350 million – a large sum for the 1950s.3 The modernization of the DEW Line with the unmanned North Warning System (NWS) cost well over $1 billion at the time and was completed just when the Soviet Union collapsed.

One might easily conclude that all of this was an enormous financial and environmental expense for nothing. The Soviet Union did not attack North America and the contribution of the DEW Line and its replacement, the NWS, in deterring such an attack is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to measure. Indeed, there is no definitive answer as to whether or not deterrence prevented a third world war. One cannot measure a non-event. Rather, one can only know when deterrence fails.

The problem is a relatively simple, yet extremely complicated one. Deterrence is not just a mathematical calculation involving the number of military assets.  Intentions are as important a consideration, if not more so, although capabilities and intentions are not easily, if ever, fully measurable.  Nonetheless, the evidence from the Cold War strongly suggests that demonstrating a credible defence, which always comes at a considerable cost, is part of the calculus. The decision to upgrade the DEW Line is an example of that cost which may or may not have tipped the balance of intentions for the Soviet Union’s leaders. At a minimum, Soviet strategic calculations could not have ignored the NWS as part of the broader U.S.-led Western policy of strategic deterrence that extended into NATO Europe.

Tense geopolitical times have now returned.  Great power politics are dominant once again, and the actual intentions of Russia or China remain open to debate.  It is no secret that the NWS is reaching the end of its serviceable life. If NORAD is to continue to contribute to North America’s defence, and to strategic deterrence, it must be modernized. As in the case of the DEW Line and its successor, the NWS, a new generation of advanced Russian and Chinese ALCMs, along with other new military technologies, dictates a major overhaul of North America’s continental defence. Failing to do so will leave Canada and the United States vulnerable to attack, creating a significant gap in the West’s deterrence posture, which adversaries will exploit politically and possibly militarily.

The price tag for a revitalized defence of Canada and the United States will be considerable. Rather than just a land-based radar system, the NWS replacement alone will require a system-of-systems solution, likely entailing space, air, cyber- and land-based assets, and possibly naval as well, with the goal of ensuring all-domain awareness. To be effective, it will have to be combined with new systems for communications, command and control, particularly in the North, as well as new capabilities to detect, engage and defeat drones, missiles and aircraft which will also require a rethink of forward operating locations. Especially in Canada, critics will emerge to suggest not only that it is a waste of money, but that it will also contribute to increased tensions. However, there is little doubt that the U.S. – regardless of who is president or which party holds the balance of power in Congress after the 2020 elections – will spend considerable amounts to ensure homeland defence. For example, the U.S. has already spent more on one element of its homeland defence, the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) against ballistic missiles, than the entire Canadian defence budget. Indeed, Canada and the U.S. have already agreed to share the costs of NWS modernization and replacement as per the terms of reference.4

It is highly unlikely that the issues of North American defence, NORAD modernization and NWS replacement will receive much, if any, attention in the fall federal election. The two primary competitors for government, the Liberals and Conservatives, generally agree on the need to modernize NORAD and replace the NWS. The Liberals are committed through the 2017 defence white paper, Strong, Secure, Engaged, even though no specific funding envelope exists to meet Canada’s obligation. The Conservatives have long portrayed themselves as pro-defence, but may be more interested in calling for NORAD modernization and NWS replacement than in funding it.

The only election wildcards are the NDP and Greens. While neither is likely to make NORAD and NWS an election issue, a Liberal minority government dependent on either or both of these parties could well pose a block to NORAD and NWS funding. Both will likely be at ideological odds with the costs and implications of NORAD modernization and NWS replacement.

Of course, a bigger worry is if the U.S. demands more funding from Canada and/or is unsatisfied with Canada’s general military contributions vis-à-vis homeland defence and therefore presses for more resources and compromises from Ottawa. To date, Washington and more accurately, senior U.S. military leaders have recognized and accepted Canadian financial and political constraints.  Saying no to the U.S. midcourse ballistic missile defence system and contributing limited numbers of Canadian aircraft and personnel to NORAD, as examples, have been taken in stride. But the current president’s homeland-first stance at seemingly all costs, and growing attention to the borders (especially the Mexico/U.S. border) could put Canada in a more difficult position. On the one hand, NORAD has nothing to do with securing the U.S. southern border – while USNORTHCOM, NORAD’s twin American command, has been deployed there to provide defence support to the civil authorities.  On the other hand, NORAD is essential to monitoring the air and maritime approaches to both Canada and the United States. If the U.S. is unsatisfied with Canadian participation in NORAD or requires more financial support to modernize it and replace the NWS, Canada will be in a politically difficult position. The U.S. and Canada at odds is a gift for would-be adversaries.  And lest one thinks this applies only to the current administration, think again. Considering the changing geopolitics and growing capabilities of near-peer competitors, U.S. homeland defence as a national imperative is here to stay regardless of which party is in power.

It could very well be that like the DEW Line upgrade, a modernized NORAD and NWS will precede a new era of detente.  Many will argue the money spent was wasted – it could have been put to really important health and education initiatives.  This line of argument is exactly what we hope for.  It means an adversary was, or adversaries were, deterred. Deterrence, however, is not possible without spending on capabilities, training, hardware, software and personnel. Deterrence is also about supporting allies – especially Canada’s most important ally.  Therefore, when one considers simply the cost of NORAD modernization and NWS replacement, one discounts the many nuances of deterrence...

About the Authors

Andrea Charron holds a PhD from the Royal Military College of Canada (Department of War Studies). She obtained a Masters in International Relations from Webster University, Leiden, The Netherlands, a Master’s of Public Administration from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from Queen’s University. Her research and teaching areas include NORAD, the Arctic, foreign and defence policy and sanctions. She serves on the DND’s Defence Advisory Board and has published in numerous peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Charron worked for various federal departments including the Privy Council Office in the Security and Intelligence Secretariat and Canada’s Revenue Agency. She is now Director of the University of Manitoba’s Centre for Defence and Security Studies and Associate Professor in Political Studies.

James Fergusson is the Deputy Director or the Centre for Defence and Security Studies, and Professor in the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba. He received his BA(Hons) and MA Degrees from the University of Manitoba, and his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia in 1989. He teaches a range of courses in the areas of international relations, foreign and defence policy, and strategic studies. He has published numerous articles on strategic studies, non-proliferation and arms control, the defence industry, and Canadian foreign and defence policy...
https://www.cgai.ca/rediscovering_the_cost_of_deterrence

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MarkOttawa

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MarkOttawa said:
Important, excellent paper (note attention to air and naval command structures):
Now note this regarding command structure from recent CANFORGEN:

Gen Vance announces CAF General and Flag Officer senior appointments, promotions, and retirements for 2019

COMMODORE S.M. WADDELL WILL BE PROMOTED TO THE RANK OF REAR-ADMIRAL AND APPOINTED TO A NEW POSITION AS VICE COMMANDER 2ND FLEET UNITED STATES NAVY, IN NORFOLK VIRGINIA
https://vanguardcanada.com/2019/02/12/gen-vance-announces-caf-general-and-flag-officer-senior-appointments-promotions-and-retirements-for-2019/

2nd Fleet putting big emphasis on Russkie sub/cruise missile threat from North Atlantic, noted in paper above. Hence a focus on ASW (e.g. new FFG(X) frigate program) that probably should be RCN priority as in Cold War.

Mark
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Now from USN PR, note Arctic, North Atlantic (Russkie subs with cruise missiles):

Royal Canadian Navy Plays A Key Role In 2nd Fleet Mission

In the cavernous three-story Maritime Operations Center, amidst a sea of television monitors and projection screens, a mass of uniforms gathers huddled around a cluster of desks. Interspersed throughout the crowd of mostly U.S. Navy uniforms are a smattering of Marines and a few livelier uniforms from France, the U.K, and Norway.

“Standby,” is anonymously called and all conversation ceases. Everyone stands in quiet anticipation for the arrival of the admiral who is leading the briefing. “Attention on deck,” rings out and everyone snaps to rigid attention.

In walks the admiral, not dressed in the uniform of a U.S. Navy Sailor, but in that of a Royal Canadian Navy Rear Admiral. He is U.S. 2nd Fleet’s vice commander, and the fact that he is a part of 2nd Fleet’s chain of command represents the commitment that the U.S. Navy has not only to its mission, but to its partners who are vital to accomplishing that mission.

When U.S. 2nd Fleet was reestablished on Aug. 24, 2018, it was done with the vision to create a force that was able to confront the very real resurgence of great power competition in the North Atlantic and Arctic. The. U.S. Navy recognized early that relying on allies and partners in the Arctic region would be key to confronting future threats. To that end, 2nd Fleet has taken the unusual step of integrating officers from allied nations directly into the fleet’s staff [emphasis added]. Chief among the five foreign national officers serving on the staff is Canadian Rear Adm. Steve Waddell, vice commander of U.S. 2nd Fleet.

Waddell, a native of Temagami, Northern Ontario, and a 30-year member of the Royal Canadian Navy, stepped into the number two role at the Navy’s newest fleet to not only bring alternative perspectives to the command, but to revive a partnership that existed before U.S. 2nd Fleet was disestablished in 2011.

“We have had, and continue to have Canadians working in and amongst units and organizations here in Norfolk,” said Waddell. “But this is the first time someone so senior has been here since the disestablishment of the NATO Allied Command Atlantic (SACLANT) in 2003. Having a permanent Canadian Rear Admiral as the C2F Vice Commander is a return to that way of doing business.”

“Rear Adm. Waddell brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the staff, and we are grateful to have him,” said Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, commander of U.S. 2nd Fleet. “Especially when operating in the cold, rough, northern Atlantic environments that we are today, in a coalition manner, having a senior perspective from Canada provides immeasurable insight and expertise [emphasis added].”

While it is not unheard of to have members of partner militaries embedded within large U.S. commands, U.S. 2nd Fleet has taken this further by integrating them into the actual command and decision-making structure of the fleet at a very senior level.

International cooperation and coalition building is key to having a force that is capable of operating together, in peacetime as well as war. Integration does not begin at the senior level. Waddell has worked with and embedded with the U.S. Navy throughout his career.

“Much like the U.S., we in Canada have an entire generation of Sailors and naval officers, myself included, that have routinely deployed around the world, often integrated as part of a NATO task group or a U.S. carrier strike group,” said Waddell. “Those opportunities have allowed my colleagues and me to become accustomed to working with partners and the U.S. Navy. Trust is built over time.”

As the U.S. Navy begins to shift its attention from decades of operations in the Middle East back to blue water and high-north engagement, ensuring strong partnerships between the U.S. and allied Arctic nations becomes of paramount importance. Waddell and the other allied officers on U.S. 2nd Fleet’s staff bridge gaps in understanding, strengthen relationships, and are central to U.S. 2nd Fleet’s mission accomplishment [emphasis added].

1000x665_q95.jpg

Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Joshua M Tolbert | NORFOLK, Va. (Aug. 12, 2019) Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet, left
https://www.dvidshub.net/news/351404/royal-canadian-navy-plays-key-role-2nd-fleet-mission

Mark
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MilEME09

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daftandbarmy said:
We need to send him a Duty Piper :)

I wonder what it must feel like to suddenly  be 2IC of a fleet larger then the entire RCN?
 

FSTO

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MilEME09 said:
I wonder what it must feel like to suddenly  be 2IC of a fleet larger then the entire RCN?

Go ask the plethora of Canadian Army generals who have been 2IC of several US Army formations.
 

211RadOp

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Looking through the CMP page, there are currently 8 General/Flag Officers serving in DComd roles with US Forces.  The page may not be 100% accurate as it still has RAdm Waddell serving in Ottawa (I have included him in my count though).
 

MarkOttawa

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What might happen if Justin Trudeau's gov't fails to get serious about NORAD, at CGAI:

NORAD: Remaining Relevant
...
Executive Summary

Most Canadians probably understand that NORAD — the North American Aerospace Defense Command — is an operational military alliance between the U.S. and Canada that has been protecting the two countries from aerial attack and invasion since the Cold War. What few of them likely realize is that NORAD is just as much about protecting Canada from the United States. Given the massive imbalance in military power between the two countries, and the determination by the U.S. to defend its own soil at all costs, NORAD provides Canada with a means to have some control over its own territorial defence, neutralizing the threat that the U.S. will impose its own defence on Canada. Throughout its 60-year existence, NORAD has been Canada’s “defence against help.”

But that defence isn’t guaranteed. As NORAD evolves, Canada’s commitment to it must evolve, too. If there comes a point at which the United States believes that the alliance is no longer sufficiently securing its northern frontier, it may forge its own path and impose its own defence plans for Canada, on Canada.

There are already areas where the relationship may be starting to strain. One key policy inflection point occurred after 9/11 when Canada declined to participate in the U.S. missile-defence program. This has led to an awkward situation where Canadian officers and troops participate in missile-warning activities within NORAD’s structure, but cannot participate in missile-defence activities outside NORAD’s structure. So far, adept commanders have been able to manage this cumbersome state of affairs, but there is no guarantee that will last.

The state of modern military technology has meant the mission of NORAD has had to largely shift away from defending against aerial bombers to defending against cruise missile threats. There is also the risk of chemical attacks that do not respect borders. Those, combined with the rapid missile-program advance of a belligerent North Korea, the rise of China’s military ambitions and the determination of Russia to remain a formidable threat, all effect Canada’s place in NORAD, particularly in light of its northern geography.

Whether the Canadian government likes it or not, NORAD must adapt to a renewed emphasis on early warning and attack assessments. To date, Canada has, somewhat inexplicably, continued to refuse to participate with the U.S. in continental missile defence. It has also dithered at length over the procurement of badly needed new fighter jets that are key to enhancing North American security under NORAD. As the North Warning System (NWS) approaches obsolescence, a decision on its replacement must soon be made by the two governments.

The U.S. is watching Canada’s commitment closely. The alliance will not survive merely on the nostalgia for its Cold War record. Canada will be expected to do its part for NORAD in the current context, or the U.S. will do whatever it takes to ensure its own defence, regardless of Canada’s sovereignty. There may soon come a moment where Canada has no choice but to step up on continental missile defence and equipping its forces. Otherwise it may risk the end of an alliance that has not only protected North America, but has defended Canada against U.S. help...

About the Author

Michael Dawson received his Doctorate in European History from the University of Toronto and joined the Canadian Foreign Service in 1977.

After his first posting in New Delhi, he specialised in Cold War issues at the Canadian Embassy, Moscow and in Ottawa in the Policy Planning and Defence Relations Divisions. In 1991-1996 at the Canadian Embassy, Washington DC he was responsible for Political-Military Affairs including Strategic Nuclear Issues, Arms Control, NATO issues and Canada-US Defence Relations.

On return to Ottawa, from 1996-2001, he was Deputy Director in the Northern Europe Division for the UK, Ireland, and Northern Ireland peace process and from 2001-2010 Senior Policy Advisor for Canada-US Relations including participation in the abortive bilateral discussions on ballistic missile defence.

From 2010 to 2014, he was Canadian Political Advisor to the Commander of NORAD and United States Northern Command at NORAD Headquarters in Colorado Springs.
https://www.cgai.ca/norad_remaining_relevant

Mark
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Cloud Cover

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NORAD and NATO are defence on the cheap. They won’t go so far as to jeopardize it, but the effort will straddle the line between absolute minimum and not showing up. And they will get away with it.
 

MarkOttawa

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Cloud Cover said:
NORAD and NATO are defence on the cheap. They won’t go so far as to jeopardize it, but the effort will straddle the line between absolute minimum and not showing up. And they will get away with it.

But the point of Michael Dawson's paper (disclosure: a personal friend) is how much longer will the US (not just Trump) let us "get away with it" in NORAD? Crunch may be coming with demands for USAF bases, radars etc on Canadian territory if they decide not to accept our "line between absolute minimum and not showing up".

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MarkOttawa said:
What might happen if Justin Trudeau's gov't fails to get serious about NORAD....and Security/Defence writ large
I think that the MND remaining unchanged shows 4'ish more years of the same -- PMO doesn't care.
 

Cloud Cover

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Ok. Name something that is realistic and highly likely (but not certain) to happen to Canada that would give the PMO any reason at all to care.
 

dapaterson

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Cloud Cover said:
Ok. Name something that is realistic and highly likely (but not certain) to happen to Canada that would give the PMO any reason at all to care.
Relationship with our largest trading partner.

Two percent of GDP isn't much to preserve our relationship...
 

The Bread Guy

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dapaterson said:
Two percent of GDP isn't much to preserve our relationship...
... unless there's other, cheaper ways to appease.
 

QV

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Cloud Cover said:
Ok. Name something that is realistic and highly likely (but not certain) to happen to Canada that would give the PMO any reason at all to care.

Russia grabbing more control of territory in the north?  Not sure that is "highly likely", but they've been building their arctic capability... and, correct me if I'm wrong, there is some dispute on who owns/controls what up there.

 

Spencer100

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A NORK ballistic missile test landing north west of BC in the northern pacific?  May not be too likely as it would sent the US off in a real bad way. 

Major Terrorist attack in Canadian (I really hope not) It would have to be one that can not be "a lone wolf" or an internal person or people.  Would have to be foreign.

An NBC event?

 

daftandbarmy

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Cloud Cover said:
Ok. Name something that is realistic and highly likely (but not certain) to happen to Canada that would give the PMO any reason at all to care.

The Polar 'Silk Road', perhaps, with all the attendant opportunities for nefarious skulduggery?

"Chinese shipping company COSCO will continue its increase transit shipments on the Northern Sea Route, through the waters of the Russian Arctic.

“Our development strategy is to serve the Polar Silk Road and international trade between the North Atlantic region and the Far East,” Chen Feng, the head of COSCO’s marketing and sales division, said during a conference in Shanghai. “It is smooth and quick.”

Chen declined to specify the number of voyages COSCO was planning this year, stating there would only be “several of them,” both eastbound and westbound. Much depends on weather and ice conditions, as well as demand, he said in a speech delivered at the Arctic Circle China Forum."

https://www.arctictoday.com/chinas-cosco-to-stay-course-on-arctic-shipping/
 
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