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

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Story on "Modernization of North American Defence", Jan. 29 conference in Ottawa by Canadian Global Affairs Institute:

Plus program for the conference,
https://www.cgai.ca/modernization_of_north_american_defence

and video of the whole meeting:
https://www.pscp.tv/CAGlobalAffairs/1yNGaQapAdQGj

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Audio of first speaker at CGAI north american defence modernization conference noted at quote above, RCN commodore at NORAD:

The CGAI Podcast Network
Defence Deconstructed: Cmdre Jamie Clarke on “The Strategic Outlook and Threats to North America”
https://soundcloud.com/user-609485369/defence-deconstructed-cmdre-jamie-clarke-on-the-strategic-outlook-and-threats-to-north-america

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Now two Tu-160s in CADIZ:

Two long-range Russian bombers buzzed Canadian airspace, NORAD says

Two long-range Russian bombers capable of carrying nuclear missiles buzzed Canadian airspace on Friday morning, the North American Aerospace Defence Command said, days after a senior military officer warned that North America’s early-warning system is outdated.

The two TU-160 Blackjack bombers crossed the North Pole and approached Canada from western Russia, but remained in international airspace before departing, according to NORAD.

NORAD said it tracked the supersonic bombers as they flew through Canada’s air defence identification zone, which is an area of international airspace the military monitors to protect against any possible attack, but did not scramble fighters to intercept the Russians [emphasis added].

It was the first time Russian bombers have been detected approaching North America since August, when Russia conducted a number of bomber flights in the Arctic, the Baltics and other places [emphasis added].

“Our adversaries continue to flex their long-range weapons systems and engage in increasingly aggressive efforts, to include the approaches to the United States and Canada,” Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, the U.S. commander of NORAD, said in a statement on Friday.

“NORAD is driven by a single unyielding priority: defending the U.S. and Canada, our homelands, from attack.”

This most recent flight follows increased warnings from Canadian and U.S. military officers, including O’Shaughnessy, that the technology underpinning the NORAD system is obsolete.

The most recent officer to voice such concerns was Commodore Jamie Clarke, a Canadian who is Norad’s deputy director of strategy. He said this week [at CGAI conference noted above] that NORAD cannot identify and track long-range Russian bombers before they are close enough to launch missiles at the continent.

The federal government has said it is committed to modernizing the system, but talks with the U.S. have been minimal and no money has been set aside for what is expected to be a multibillion-dollar project
[emphasis added].

Norad’s technology was last upgraded in the 1980s, before the end of the Cold War, though the U.S. did incorporate the ability to shoot down incoming missiles in the mid-2000s. Canada decided in 2005 against joining what is now known as ballistic-missile defence.

Since then, Russia and China have been developing and building new weapons that can strike North America from afar, including cruise and hypersonic missiles, drones, along with more advanced submarines and other naval vessels as well as space-based and cyber weapons.
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-two-long-range-russian-bombers-buzzed-canadian-airspace-norad-says/

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Now two Tu-160s in CADIZ:

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Shot across our North Warning System bows from NORAD commander:
Canada, U.S. have lost military edge over Russia in the Arctic: Norad commander

The commander of North America’s aging early-warning system says the United States and Canada have lost their military advantage in the Arctic to Russia.

U.S. Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy shared his assessment with a U.S. Senate committee this morning, where the commander of the North American Aerospace Defence Command painted a gloomy picture about the growing number of threats to the continent.

O’Shaughnessy says Russia has steadily expanded its military presence in the Arctic, which includes upgrading its long-range bombers, naval fleet and fielding land-based cruise missiles capable of striking the U.S. and Canada.

He says that means the Arctic is now an avenue through which Russia can quickly attack against North American targets, rather than a place to guard against that possibility.

O’Shaughnessy says China has also been developing more advanced weapons that put North America at risk and is increasingly flexing its muscles in the Arctic, while concerns remain about Iran and North Korea acquiring the technology capable of hitting the continent.

The Norad commander says the myriad threats underscore the need to modernize North America’s defensive systems, which were last upgraded in the 1980s, to properly detect and deter attacks from Russia and other potential adversaries.
https://lethbridgenewsnow.com/2020/02/13/canada-u-s-have-lost-military-edge-over-russia-in-the-arctic-norad-commander/

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Text of NORAD commander at Senate:
https://www.armed-services.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/OShaughnessy_02-13-20.pdf

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From bottom of p. 8 and top p. 9 of 12-page statement--almost no mention of NORAD, no mention of RCAF, no mention of close cooperation with Canada in Arctic to defend vs Russia (even though on p. 1 first para: "China and Russia present real and growing threats to the national security of the United States and our allies") and no specific mention of North Warning System. Almost as if Canada irrelevant. Note F-15EX homeland security role:

United States Air Force Posture Statement
Fiscal Year 2021
United States Air Force Presentation to the Armed Services Committeeof the United States Senate
2nd Session, 116th Congress

...
HOMELAND DEFENSE

Our ready forces that support the homeland defense mission include radars and early warning systems, alert aircraft and aircrew, and supporting infrastructure.  This FY21 budget invests across all these areas.  The centerpiece of the overall Department of Defense budget, Joint All-Domain Command and Control, is the most essential investment we can make to enable the Commander USNORTHCOM/NORAD to have the situational awareness and the ability to bring joint all-domain capabilities to bear.  We continue to partner with this team daily on the number one mission in the NDS: defense of the homeland.

Defense of the homeland includes defeating malicious threats online, where we must counter direct aggression as well as indirect sources of influence.  Air Force cyber warriors are constantly at work, under the newly-reactivated 16th Air Force, to “Defend Forward” with actions to deter adverse action and defend friendly networks and information.  We are also closely examining all friendly systems and capabilities to identify and mitigate potential cyber vulnerabilities and reduce the potential for adversary exploitation.

To successfully execute the Homeland Defense mission, the Air Force will continue upgrading limited numbers of existing aircraft to include modernizing the radars in some F-16s.  These updated legacy aircraft will be complemented by new-build F-15EX aircraft which are significantly more capable and cost-effective than the F-15Cs they will replace, aircraft already many years past their designed specifications and no longer candidates for service life extensions.  The F-15EX will help eliminate the gap between the fighter aircraft we have and the fighter aircraft we need while leveraging other nations’ investments in updating the F-15 program.  Ultimately, the Air Force must field a robust fighter force, anchored by the F-35, able to detect and defeat threats across a wide spectrum.  Homeland defense requires a mix of 4th- and 5th-generation capabilities, and we are investing to achieve that future force [emphasis added].

Engagement across the globe also contributes to the Homeland Defense mission.  As we build a network of partners, allies, and emerging security partners, we enlist help in deterring aggression and containing threats.  We will continue to provide training and assistance to foreign nations through military equipment sales, training programs, and personnel exchanges.  The Air Force remains committed to collaboration with key allies and partners, and we have accelerated and expanded combined participation in air and space operations, exercises, wargames, and education.

Residing at the intersection between the U.S. Homeland and two critical regions—Indo-Pacific and Europe—the Arctic is an increasingly vital region for U.S. national security interests.  The Air Force has more missions and investments in this region than any other U.S. military service.  We are a cornerstone of the Nation’s defense in this region with installations positioned across Alaska, Canada, and Greenland and composed of large air bases, training complexes, and a constellation of more than 50 early-warning radars and missile defense facilities [emphasis added].  We are continuing our investments to include the upcoming beddown of the F-35 at Eielson AFB, placing more 5th-generation aircraft in Alaska than anywhere else in the world.  In addition to modernizing the world-class Joint Pacific Range Complex, we continue to build interoperability with Arctic allies and partners.  Sustained future investment in modernized missile defense, enhanced space capabilities, and improved domain awareness will ensure the Joint Force can respond to contingencies in, and from, the Arctic [emphasis added]...
https://www.govexec.com/media/gbc/docs/pdfs_edit/secaf_barrett_cos_goldfein.pdf

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Post based on what CDS Gen. Vance and NORAD Deputy Commander Lt.-Gen. Coates said Feb. 4 at CDAI's Ottawa Conference on Defence and Security:

So Will the Canadian Government Put Some Big Bucks into Modernizing NORAD's North Warning System?
https://mark3ds.wordpress.com/2020/03/05/so-will-the-canadian-government-put-some-big-bucks-into-modernizing-norads-north-warning-system/

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MarkOttawa said:
Post based on what CDS Gen. Vance and NORAD Deputy Commander Lt.-Gen. Coates said Feb. 4 at CDAI's Ottawa Conference on Defence and Security:

Mark
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Piece in early January by the estimable Prof. Andrea Charron of Univ. of Manitoba (http://umanitoba.ca/centres/cdss/) on need to modernize/replace NORAD's North Warning System:

Face to Face: Is the North Warning System obsolete?

Andrea Charron says "YES":

ANDREA CHARRON is associate professor and director of the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at the University of Manitoba.

The North Warning System (NWS) is a series of ground-based, unmanned (but contractor-maintained), short- and long-range radar stations arrayed from Alaska to Greenland.

The system has always suffered from an identity crisis. Its ability to provide adequate warning—restricted to the air domain only—has long been an issue. And its 1980s-era communications system is modest. It remains, however, Norad’s main early-warning radar system for the air defence of North America.

It is now inadequate, given its location, growing geopolitical tensions, new technologies and multi-domain threats, not to mention environmental concerns. The system’s capability must be reimagined. What new combination of systems and capabilities it should have, however, is a political and operational quandary.

The world is in the midst of a redistribution of geostrategic power that is not in Canada’s favour. Emboldened states—Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, India, Brazil—are resorting to power politics to challenge the long-held, rules-based, United States-led order. The potential for conflict and confrontation is growing and the risk of miscalculation is rising.

The Western alliance certainly needs to shoulder some of the responsibility, especially for its lack of attention to credible and persistent deterrence. There has never been a greater need to be able to warn of aggressive action as early as possible, but the NWS is simply not designed for such a task.

We are also witnessing rapid development in technology. The NWS, designed as a tripwire to warn of Soviet-era Tupolev Tu-95 (Bear) bombers travelling at a specific speed and altitude, is not suited to detect drones or hypersonic weapons travelling at various speeds and altitudes. The 1980s architecture leaves the system vulnerable to new methods of data exploitation and too old for parts to be easily accessed.

There is an opportunity here for a reimagined system, for thinking beyond simply “defence” threats. A new NWS could be multifunctional, supporting other departments and agencies, addressing security challenges, monitoring environmental change and aiding in safety scenarios.

Canada must be able to detect, deter and defend against threats emanating from all domains: air, space, land, maritime and cyber. And from more than just a north-south axis. Currently, the NWS is a passive defensive tool that lacks the range to identify, track and, most problematic, do anything to counter unconventional threats. It does not “see” as far as the Canadian Air Defence Identification Zone, which leaves Canada and the U.S. unable to monitor air traffic adequately and blind to unorthodox or non-state threats.

Finally, the system, whether replaced or not, is an environmental challenge. Arctic weather contributes to metal fatigue, which causes the radar sites to erode and possibly leach toxic chemicals into the ground and atmosphere. With a reimagined NWS combining space, land and cyber systems, Canada would demonstrate responsible stewardship, involve local communities, fulfil its Norad commitments and advance its radar and communication technology. All of this would contribute to situational awareness, show that Canada has command and control over its northern reaches and improve the protection of North America.
https://legionmagazine.com/en/2020/01/face-to-face-is-the-north-warning-system-obsolete/

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USAF joining the US military's Arctic party--pressure on Canada to do something soon and real about North Warning System? Defending against help?

Department of the Air Force to Debut Its First Arctic Strategy

Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett, Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein, and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond will launch the Department of the Air Force’s first-ever Arctic Strategy on July 21 during a virtual event with the Atlantic Council.

Despite a long history of Arctic operations, USAF has never had its own strategy for operating in the region. The White House first released a National Strategy for the Arctic in 2013 under the Obama Administration, and the Department of Defense soon followed suit with its own Arctic Strategy. That strategy was updated in 2016 and then again in 2019.

During her keynote address at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., in February, Barrett stressed the growing importance of the Arctic, calling it a “central mission” for the Air Force. “As in space, America is resolute in defending and protecting international norms of access and navigation as Arctic resources and sea routes gain importance,” she said. “That’s why maintaining strong defense relationships with Arctic nations who are willing to cooperate is critical. We stand with Canada, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Greenland via Denmark. We are stronger together.”

The rollout will come roughly two weeks after Barrett toured USAF Arctic locations, including Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, which will soon be home to Pacific Air Forces’ first two F-35A strike fighter squadrons. The base—located some 100 miles south of the Arctic Circle and home to the Defense Department’s northern-most fighter wing—already has received its first six F-35s, and is on track to receive all 54 jets by December 2021, 354th Fighter Wing Commander Col. Shawn E. Anger told Air Force Magazine. Once beddown is complete, Alaska will have more fifth-generation combat power than any other place in the world. This includes F-22 Raptors based at nearby Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

“The Total Force team at Eielson plays a pivotal role that extends throughout Alaska and projects into the Arctic,” Barrett said in a release. “Today, as competitors like China and Russia endeavor to expand their influence, the U.S. relies on our Air and Space Forces to protect our nation.”

Though Russia regularly flexes its military muscle in the region, such operations ramped up once the new coronavirus pandemic hit the United States. North American Aerospace Defense Command fighters have intercepted Russian bombers, fighters, and maritime patrol aircraft at least 10 times this year off the coast of Alaska, with the majority of those encounters taking place in June, NORAD and U.S. Northern Command boss Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy has said, noting that Russia is testing the U.S. military to see if the new coronavirus has created any weaknesses. However, O’Shaughnessy maintains the U.S. remains ready, “24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”

“If you go back in history, Russia has always operated with long-range aviation, and out of area flights that come into our Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), and we were seeing that as a continuation of those efforts in the past,” Lt. Gen. David A. Krumm told Air Force Magazine. “I don’t see anything dramatically different in the Russians aspect. We have been intercepting them when they enter our ADIZ, and we are conducting safe professional intercepts, and we expect to see them doing the same.”

Although O’Shaughnessy says adversaries such as Russia and China want to avoid direct military conflict, he told Senate legislators in February “their growing assertiveness increases the risk of miscalculation and gives rise to a threat environment more complex and dynamic than we have seen since the end of the Cold War.”

During her visit Barrett also visited Clear Air Force Station in central Alaska, whose primary purpose is to provide surveillance and tracking of intercontinental ballistic missiles, as well as even more remote sites such as Utqiagvik and Kotzebue, which could play a bigger role in USAF operations as focus shifts to the Arctic.

“Secretary Barrett’s visit to Alaska highlights the strategic importance of the Arctic. The Department of the Air Force maintains the majority of forces in the region, with fighters, tankers, and surveillance aircraft, as well as systems and infrastructure to support our nation’s and allies’ interests while respecting the Alaska Native community and their environment,” Krumm said in the release. “As human activity in the Arctic increases, the Air Force has shown that it is and will continue to be a leader in operating in this challenging and austere environment.”
https://www.airforcemag.com/department-of-the-air-force-to-debut-its-first-arctic-strategy/

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MarkOttawa said:
USAF joining the US military's Arctic party--pressure on Canada to do something soon and real about North Warning System? Defending against help?

Department of the Air Force to Debut Its First Arctic Strategy

Mark
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Dept. of Air Force, USAF and Space Force Arctic Strategy is out--I couldn't see any specific reference to modernizing the North Warning System or anything on need for Canada to make a substantial financial contribution thereto:

New Air Force Arctic Strategy May Update Planes For Polar Ops
"Historically the Arctic, like space, was characterized as a predominantly peaceful domain," the Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett said. "This is changing."

As part of its new Arctic Strategy released today [July 21 https://www.af.mil/Portals/1/documents/2020SAF/July/ArcticStrategy.pdf], the Air Force is eyeing how to modernize mobility aircraft capable of polar operations, improve existing bases, and expand allied cooperation as it gears up to face increased challenges in the region from Russia and China — as well as the changing environment.

“Historically the Arctic, like space, was characterized as a predominantly peaceful domain,” Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett told the Atlantic Council Tuesday afternoon. “This is changing with expanded maritime access, newly discovered resources, and competing sovereign interests.”

The new Air Force strategy document, which follows from Department of Defense’s 2019 Arctic strategy [https://media.defense.gov/2019/Jun/06/2002141657/-1/-1/1/2019-DOD-ARCTIC-STRATEGY.PDF], touts the service’s extensive northern network of airbases and radar stations. The study even says that the service is responsible for “close to 80% of DoD resourcing to the Arctic region.”

Now, that surprising figure is sourced to a single DoD paper from 2016, and the Navy submarine force, which regularly sails under the ice and holds an annual ICEX, might challenge that contention. As Breaking Defense readers are well aware, the Navy has been ramping up efforts in the Arctic over the past year, and new Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite is a former ambassador to key regional ally Norway. [Note North Warning System in image below.]

Screen-Shot-2020-07-21-at-2.25.01-PM.png


In Tuesday’s event, the Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. David Goldfein, was politic enough to emphasize that the service is working closely with the other services, especially the Navy, and with the joint Combatant Commanders to ensure “seamless” joint operations in the region.

In particular, he referred to the ongoing series of Global Integration Exercises — launched by former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford — that are designed to allow more fluid operations across and between Combatant Commands. Indo-Pacific Command, European Command, and Northern Command (which covers North America) all have jurisdiction over pieces of the Arctic.

Sec. Barrett cited DoD’s familiar litany of concern with Russian and Chinese aspirations and activities in the far north.

“No other country has a permanent military presence above the Arctic Circle comparable to Russia’s. Recent Russian investments in the Arctic include a network of offensive air assets and coastal missile systems,” she said. (Of course, no country has as long an Arctic coastline as Russia, either, and Russian leaders remember the US and other Western powers staged a desultory intervention in Siberia in 1918-1920).

China, she added, is setting potentially “predatory” eyes on newly opened access to natural resources, including oil.

“China is not an Arctic nation by geography, but through its One Belt, One Road initiative It has laid the claim to an Arctic role, and has become an observer to the Arctic Council,” she said. “We’re perfectly prepared to accept fair and benevolent action there and having China as a participant, but we will be attentive to overreaching.”

The strategy, signed by Barrett, Goldfein, and Space Force/Space Command head Gen. Jay Raymond, lays out four lines of effort along with the sub-elements of each: “Vigilance in All Domains; Projecting Power through a Combat-Credible Force; Cooperation with Allies & Partners; and, Preparation for Arctic Operations.”

Barrett said that the “vigilance encompasses everything from weather forecasting and consistent communications to threat detection and tracking.” The strategy document further notes that missile defense and space capabilities — including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and all-domain awareness — also are key to the mission [emphasis added].

As for power projection in the region, Barrett mentioned in particular the Air Force’s deployment of F-35 stealth fighters to Alaska as critical in enhancing capabilities. The service is in the process of moving some 54 F-35s to Eielson AFB in Fairbanks.

“When the full complement of planned F-35s arrive at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska’s unparalleled concentration of fifth-generation fighters will project unmistakable influence,” Barrett said.

She also noted that the service is looking at recapitalization of Lockheed Martin’s LC-130, the ski-equipped polar version of the C-130 Hercules transport plane. The Air National Guard currently has 10 operational LC-130H aircraft, according to the service’s 2021 budget documents.

“The LC-130s have been pivotal to getting access to terrain that otherwise would be inaccessible,” Barrett said. “So the LC-130 is very important, and recapitalizing is a significant issue to us.”

“The Air Force will advance recapitalization and explore modernization of existing and emergent polar mobility platforms that are critical for reaching remote areas,” the new strategy says.

In addition, the strategy emphasizes efforts to sustain and modernize bases in Alaska and at Thule, Greenland to allow regional power projection. As Breaking D readers know, Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, head of Northern Command, is particularly interested in upgrading command, control and communications (C3) capabilities in the Arctic [emphasis added].

Raymond told the Atlantic Council webinar that one of the new challenges for Arctic infrastructure is dealing with new challenges cropping up due to the warming climate.

“What has changed is the thawing and the melting of the permafrost,” he said. “It can have significant challenges on our infrastructure. It can cause foundations of buildings and equipment to shift. It can impact the structural integrity of those facilities .. for example cause increase runway maintenance,” he said.

Goldfein stressed the strategy’s high priority to enhance operations with NATO and regional allies, including Canada, Denmark and Norway. “You know only through cooperation with our allies will be be strong in Arctic or any other location in the globe [emphasis added],” he said.

But he also said DoD and the Air Force should be making an effort to establish rules of the road and norms of behavior in the Arctic, and reaching out to Russia to identify mutual interests.

“So, the question is: are there areas of common interest we can find above the 66th parallel that perhaps we’re not able to find below?” Goldfein said. “There has to be a few areas of common interest that we can find where we can be better together than we are separately.”
https://breakingdefense.com/2020/07/new-air-force-arctic-strategy-may-update-planes-for-polar-ops/

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Mark,

On Page Seven - it is a short liner note, but it is there.

"The Department of the Air Force will enhance
its missile defense surveillance system in the
northern tier while continuing to work with
Canada to identify materiel and non-materiel
solutions to the North Warning System."

Materiel and non-materiel solutions = $$$$
 

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Tweet from NORAD--interesting that F-22s at Elmendorf, Alaska that have NORAD mission not mentioned--presumably F-15s are Air National Guard C/Ds from CONUS:
https://twitter.com/NORADCommand/status/1294318401154736130

North American Aerospace Defense Command
@NORADCommand

We will conduct an #Arctic air defense exercise ranging from the #BeaufortSea to #Greenland Aug. 17-21.
@RCAF_ARC CF-18, CP-140, and CC-150T; as well as @usairforce  F-15, KC-10, and C-17 will participate. @US_TRANSCOM
#WeHaveTheWatch #Allied2Win
1:02 PM · Aug 14, 2020

EfZXg25VAAAO7fB


EfZXpxpVoAAFhbi

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I fear the estimable Prof. Charron is being over-optimistic that a true bi-national revolution in North American military affairs, coordinated over several fields, can be carried out--start of a major piece at War on the Rocks:

Beyond the North Warning System

Aug. 18 marked the 80th anniversary of the Canadian-U.S. Permanent Joint Board on Defense. This binational board of experts provides advice to the prime minister and president on how best to defend North America. The pressing topic today is North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) modernization and the renewal of its aged radar sensors in the Arctic.

The North Warning System, a series of unmanned, long- and short-range radars dotting the North American Arctic and Greenland in support of air defense and frontier control, is reaching its end of serviceable life. The American and Canadian defense industries are racing for a chance to provide both militaries with the latest technology to replace the old radars. But to what ends? More sensors are not the magic solution to “modernizing” NORAD. Sensors are but one very small part of a wider effort to reconsider what it means to defend North America — beyond technology and the North Warning System.

The United States is engaged in a pivot to the Arctic because of increased competition with Russia and China, climate change, and increased commercial interests in the region. This has wider implications for Canada and for other partners, including Arctic NATO allies such as Denmark (Greenland) and Norway, to contribute to air, surface, and subsurface situational awareness beyond what the North Warning System provides. NORAD and the United States Northern Command are responsible for defending North America, but they can no longer do so independently of the other U.S. combatant commands and NATO allies. The defense of North America needs to be thought of as a global effort reimagined for the 21st century.

NORAD and the North Warning System

NORAD has always been closely associated with defending the Arctic. Its crest includes a broad sword facing due north, suggesting that the avenue of potential attack against North America is through the Arctic. Now 62 years old, NORAD identifies air and maritime threats and provides air defense for North America. One of its key assets is the North Warning System. The system was completed between 1986 and 1992, using 1970s technology. It was designed to detect air bomber threats from the Soviet Union travelling in a north-south direction.

Washington and Ottawa are rethinking how to defend North America. Adversaries, especially Russia, have access to advanced technologies and capabilities and can strike from multiple directions. The United States and Canada need to focus on increasing “all-domain” awareness, improving command and control, and enhancing targeting capabilities for a new security environment and peer adversaries. Upgrading the North Warning System exclusively in a NORAD context is not sufficient. Canada and the United States need new sensors capable of dual-use data and information collection for military and civilian government agencies and allies in multiple domains including land, space, maritime, and subsurface zones, in addition to the aerospace domain. And these sensors — which will be subject to probing, denial of service, and cyber attacks — are but one layer in an ecosystem (beyond even system of systems) informed by a reconsideration of what it means to defend North America. Canada and the United States should embrace a posture that includes active and direct defenses (i.e., anticipating attacks by pooling and analyzing multiple sources of data from a variety of sources and systems at much longer ranges vs. responding to attacks via system-specific information) of North America. This will enable the simultaneous deterrence from attack and defense of North America rather than simply the latter...[read on]

Dr. Andrea Charron worked for various Canadian federal departments, including the Privy Council Office in the Security and Intelligence Secretariat and Canada’s Revenue Agency. Charron holds a Ph.D. from the Royal Military College of Canada (Department of War Studies). She is now director of the University of Manitoba’s Centre for Defence and Security Studies and associate professor in political studies.
https://warontherocks.com/2020/09/beyond-the-north-warning-system/

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WASHINGTON — The deputy director of operations and the former commander of North America's shared continental defence system are urging Canada and the United States to get serious about bringing Norad into the 21st century.


https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/norad-leaders-past-present-call-for-new-approach-to-north-american-defence/ar-BB18WEwB?ocid=msedgntp
 

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Will RCN finally start talking about Russian submarines/cruise missiles threat in North Atlantic and its role in dealing with it?

NATO’s new Atlantic command to keep watch over the European Arctic
Levon Sevunts, Radio Canada International

NATO’s new U.S.-based Atlantic Command was declared operational in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Norfolk, Virginia on Thursday, underlying the alliance’s efforts to secure its lines of communications in the North Atlantic and the European Arctic amid growing Russian presence in the region.

Joint Force Command Norfolk, established to protect sea lanes between Europe and North America, is the first NATO headquarters dedicated to the Atlantic since 2003, when the alliance abolished the position of the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the milestone, saying the “new Atlantic Command will ensure crucial routes for reinforcements and supplies from North America to Europe remain secure.”

The command is co-located with the U.S. Second Fleet and is led by U.S. Vice Admiral Andrew Lewis, the fleet’s commander.

Minding the GIUK gap

The command will plan, prepare and conduct operations across air, land and sea covering vast geographic areas, from the U.S. East Coast, past the so-called Greenland-Iceland-U.K. (GIUK) gap and into the Arctic, NATO officials said in a press release. Day-to-day NATO maritime operations will continue to be run out of Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) in the United Kingdom, officials said.

Timothy Choi, a maritime strategy expert and Fellow of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, said the Atlantic Command won’t be dealing with the North American Arctic, which remains firmly under the purview of the binational Canada-U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) [emphasis added].

“The standing up of Atlantic Command/JFC Norfolk highlights NATO’s recognition that they can no longer take the secure transport of reinforcements and support materiel between North America and Europe for granted,” Choi said.

Andrea Charron, head of the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at the University of Manitoba, said the GIUK gap is seen as the main maritime access point for getting from the North Atlantic into the Arctic and vice versa.

“During the Cold War we needed to watch that gap very carefully to monitor Soviet Union movements,” Charron said. “But after the Cold War NATO did away with that position thinking it’s less vital to monitor given the world now had the Russian Federation.”

Choi said the last two decades saw NATO with only two other Joint Force Commands, both of which focused on eastern and southern Europe, in addition to Afghanistan.

There was little concern with how equipment and personnel would cross the Atlantic for those operations and exercises, he said.

“Following the recent return of relatively large numbers of Russian submarines through the GIUK gap and into the Atlantic, however, NATO felt this crossing may become contested in the future, requiring a more coordinated effort between countries on all sides of the Atlantic,” Choi said.

The standing up of the Atlantic Command is tightly connected to the reconstitution of the U.S. Second Fleet, which is the main fighting force of the new Joint Force Command, Charron said.

“It recognizes that pivot of the U.S. to the Arctic, the growing concern of NATO Arctic states like Norway and Iceland, as well as the United Kingdom and others that this GIUK gap is a seam between USNORTHCOM, EUCOM, NORAD and NATO – all of these seams that we cannot leave unsurveilled,” Charron said
[emphasis added--not Arctic north of Canada and Alaska].

‘Return to the old normal’

Choi said the creation of Atlantic Command marks “a return to the old normal.”

“During the Cold War, Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT), also based out of Norfolk, was in charge of roughly the same geographic area and the same duties,” Choi said.

“Regional allies provided NATO with their maritime domain awareness capabilities in peacetime, and naval assets were earmarked for NATO operational control should the need arise,” Choi said. “This included even the minimally-armed patrol ships of the Danish navy in Greenland, and I would not be surprised to see that arrangement return.”

Charron said the increased NATO and U.S. attention to the European Arctic will likely be well-received in Norway, which has been warning the alliance of the growing Russian capabilities and activities in the Arctic.

‘Credible deterrence’

Katarzyna Zysk, professor and deputy director of the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies, said Norway is interested in greater NATO focus on the European Arctic, but Oslo also has to perform a tightrope act when it comes to its relations with Moscow.

“The very foundation of the Norwegian policy in the Arctic towards Russia and NATO is this fine balancing act between having the region on NATO’s agenda, having credible military presence there but not too much in order not to provoke Russia,” Zysk said.

“There is this balance that Norway tries to find between maintaining good relations with Russia and strengthening NATO’s attention, and understanding of what is going in this strategically important region.”

While Canada has traditionally been more reticent about greater NATO involvement in the Arctic, Zysk said she believes it’s very important for the alliance to maintain a stronger presence in the North and to develop a common understanding of the situation in the region, especially in the European Arctic where most of the Russian activity occurs [emphasis added--activity in that area many Russian aviation (that we know of)].

“The united response is extremely important for the effective and credible deterrence and I think this command is strengthening that perception also on the Russian side, which, in my view, will contribute to stabilizing the situation,” Zysk said.

Choi said it’s important to remember that for Russia during the Cold War SACLANT was also in charge of training for offensive carrier-based operations in the Norwegian Sea and fjords against the Russian bases on the Kola Peninsula during the mid-1980s.

“Russia will likely see the standing up of JFC Norfolk through that lens, and will certainly frame it as another example of NATO expansionism and belligerence as part of their ongoing propaganda efforts,” Choi said.

“Whether Russia has any actual ability to respond at a material level is a different story, though it may well see infrequent high-intensity naval deployments to the Atlantic using current assets when their readiness allows.”

No alarmist rhetoric

Charron, however, stressed the importance of not hyping up the growing military activity in the Arctic, especially in the current political context of upcoming elections in the U.S.

“I would urge everybody to not use alarmist rhetoric,” Charron said. “We are very concerned about Russia and China, we do watch them, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we are going to automatically assume nefarious intent all the time
[emphasis added].”

There are things that Russia does in the Arctic that are very helpful, she added.

“They will be assuming the chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2021 and also the chair of the Arctic Coast Guard Forum, and these are really important fora in which to discuss issues,” Charron said.

One of such issues is the need to come up with a code of professional conduct in the Arctic to avoid incidents and accidents turning into a conflagration that nobody wants, she said.
https://www.rcinet.ca/eye-on-the-arctic/2020/09/17/natos-new-atlantic-command-to-keep-watch-over-the-european-arctic/

Mark
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MarkOttawa

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This report of a fairly high-level CDA Institute webinar paints a pretty grim picture of NORAD's deteriorating detection/sensor capabilities vs developing threats (e.g. hypersonics, cyber attacks)--upgrades to North Warning System not nearly enough:

NORAD Modernization: Report One: Awareness & Sensors

Introduction

The CDA Institute, in partnership with NDIA and NORAD/USNORTHCOM hosted a three-part virtual roundtable focused on NORAD modernization.  The goal was to allow experts from industry, academia, and government to break down silos and engage in direct conversations about North American continental defence challenges and what form NORAD modernization might to address them. The forum was created to imagine the art of the possible. More specifically, the goal of these three events were to identify security gaps and brainstorm actionable solutions to the issues identified during the discussions.

    12 August 2020: Domain Awareness/Sensors
    26 August 2020: Defeat Capabilities
    9 September 2020: JADC2/JADO

This report is focused on the first of these three events and will be followed up by two upcoming exposés of the conversations that took place during the subsequent panels.

The Domain Awareness / Sensors event was 2 hours in length and took place on 12 August 2020. NORAD Deputy Commander L. Gen Pelletier provided introductory remarks. This was followed by a white paper overview from Dr. Thomas Walker of Lockheed Martin. Director of the Centre for Defence & Security Studies and University of Manitoba’s,  Dr. Andrea Charron served as a guest speaker, providing an overview and context for the discussion that would follow. Director, Operations for NORAD HQ, Brig Gen Pete. M Fesler also helped set the scene with a short presentation. Following this, LGen (Ret’d) Guy Thibaut, Chair of the CDA Institute moderated a panel discussion on awareness and sensors with several industry representatives. The panel consisted of: 

    Sunil Chavda, Director, New Satellite Systems Development, Telesat Canada
    Ravi Ravichandran, Vice President, CTO BAE Systems
    Mike Walsh, Chief Engineer, Radar and Sensor Systems, Lockheed Martin
    Jerome Dunn, Chief Architect, NG Counter Hypersonics Campaign Launch & Missile Defense Systems, Northrop Grunmman
    Mark Rasnake, Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) Enterprise Capture Lead, Boeing

The following report will outline the major points of consensus and contention reached by participants during the webinar, a backgrounder on the case for NORAD modernization, sections on obstacles to modernization, all domain awareness requirements, design considerations for Canadian industry, and data plans. This report was created by the CDA Institute and is intended to read as an overview of the key points made by our invited experts. The report was produced by rapporteurs from the North American and Arctic Defence and Security Network (NAADSN), a Department of National Defence MINDS Collaborative Network.

Executive Summary

NORAD’s defences are challenged by advanced new weapons like hypersonic glide vehicles.  These new weapons have proliferated across all military domains, designed to threaten North America and place its political autonomy and financial stability at risk. North American homeland defence needs to modernize to meet these new threats. A major component of this new thinking is the development of All Domain Awareness capabilities provided by a multi-layered sensor system (an ecosystem) that can detect, identify, and track these and other new threats at great distances and provide the right information to the right assets at the right time.

High financial costs and tight timelines are major obstacles to NORAD implementing an All Domain Awareness capability. These factors necessitate an approach to All Domain Awareness that emphasizes the technological readiness levels of industry. What ‘off the shelf’ technology is available that can be modified and brought to bear quickly?

Experts from across the defence industry elaborated on the design of the multi-layered sensor system that will enable a future All Domain Awareness capability. Sensors should be multi-mission, able to detect, identify, and track more than one threat from “birth to death”. These sensors should be modular, scalable, and software-defined with an open architecture for quick adaptability and upgradability. Throughout the discussions, the need to integrate these multi-layered sensors into a holistic system was emphasized. The goal is to create All Domain Awareness that seamlessly converges with renewed Command and Control (C2) and defeat capabilities to enable NORAD’s deter, detect, and defeat mission.

Many decisions have yet to be made that will drive the design of the multi-layered sensor system.  Where should these sensors be placed that provides the best coverage? Furthermore, the data this system provides will be valuable and could be partly shared with allies and industry. How can industry ensure the integrity of this data? Lastly, where and how does human decision-making come into a largely autonomous system...[read on]
https://cdainstitute.ca/norad-modernization-report-one-awareness-sensors/

Mark
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MarkOttawa

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More on the many things people are thinking about in context of NORAD modernization

1) From the US NORTHCOM/NORAD side"

Hardening the Shield: A Credible Deterrent & Capable Defense for North America

Executive Summary:

With innovations in long range missiles and foreign missile defense systems as well as a changing Arctic landscape, threats to U.S. national security are closer and less deterred than ever from attacking the U.S. Homeland. Without compromising fiscal resources set for alleviating the COVID-19 crisis [USAF Gen. (ret’d), O’Shaughnessy and [USAF Brig. Gen.] Fesler lay out where enemy forces, notably China and Russia, are targeting weaknesses in U.S. Homeland defense and how U.S. defense strategies and organizations can be adapted to match the muscle of its offensive force. Their recommendations include the use of existing technologies to elevate equipment, data collection from space systems, data analytics for decision making, augmented communication between certain defensive lines, and cross-cutting collaboration on shared challenges. Retiring from his post in August of 2020, O’Shaughnessy is the former Commander of the United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). O’Shaughnessy is joined by Peter Fesler, NORAD’s Deputy Director of Operations…
https://www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/hardening-shield-credible-deterrent-capable-defense-north-america

2) The excellent Prof. Andrea Charron responds to the Shield paper above, raising a number of concerns from a Canadian perspective–her conclusion:

Responding to the Hardening the SHIELD: A Credible Deterrent and Capable Defense for North America
Andrea Charron, PhD
NAADSN Co-Lead
Director, Centre for Defence and Security Studies
University of Manitoba



Finally, there is much emphasis on the paper on receiving information “at the speed of relevancy” to make fast and better decisions. After all, seconds literally do count in some scenarios. On many occasions, however, disaster has been averted because a soldier or analyst doubted what a computer screen was telling him/her or questioned the data blinking on their screen. What if NORAD wanted to exploit or surveil or probe a target rather than defeat it? The AI assisted processes that girds SHIELD is needed but how it is configured, with what OODA loop parameters (i.e. observe–orient–decide–act), and filters will be crucial. It is important that NORAD and USNORTHCOM do not become linear in thinking or response options. Further, Canada will find it difficult to keep up the predictive analysis and joint all domain command and control plans being recommended not because the Canadian armed forces aren’t capable but because it can barely manage what is expected of it now–50% of CAF missions respond to domestic events such as floods and fire. Will the governments see financial sense in investing in computer assisted defence (notwithstanding concerns about them being hacked or compromised or rendered redundant) against great power competition, which so far has done more damage with a few bots on twitter, than on flood, fire and other support to overwhelmed national authorities?

Nineteen years to the day when the U.S. was attacked from within North America by suicide bombers, the response was very costly wars conducted “away” to deal with terrorism at its source as well as the impetus finally to pay for badly needed feeds of civilian air space information into the NORAD HQ. NORAD adapted, created Op NOBLE EAGLE, and focused attention within North America. Post 9/11, NORAD and USNORTHCOM focused almost exclusively on Sunni-based terrorism. It has not disappeared and the challenges of COVID mean that all forms of terrorism have the perfect grounds in which to thrive. Too close a focus on great power competition may leave North America vulnerable to other threats –especially non-state based actors and what is rapidly taxing governments around the world, including CJOC and USNORTHCOM, responding to the effects of climate change at home.

NORAD was and remains a bold idea. After WW II, it was the air forces that recognized the air space above North America as indivisible and requiring joint defence, and this recognition has been deeply embedded in the defence thinking of both countries at the political and military levels. I think we all agree that the need to modernize NORAD, and that the CANUS defence relationship for North America is vitally important. The authors provide a useful and insightful starting point from which to move forward with detailed discussions between Canada and the US, and the means to do so already exists –the PJBD [the binational Permanent Joint Board on Defence] and its Military Cooperation Committee are the obvious places to create the basis for moving forward, as it was in WWII and since.
https://ras-nsa.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Responding-to-the-Hardening-the-SHIELD.pdf

Mark
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shawn5o

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Regarding the SC's wish list (recomendations), DND and the CF have a serious problem coming up. (gleaned fom J.L. Granatstein's article in RCLegion magazine, "Defence in a pandamic", Sept?Oct 2020). I can't find it online so I'll only post snippets of the article.

... The demand for military assistance in domestic crises has increased dramatically.

... the CAF was already stretched thin within its primary task of defending Canada and North America and carrying out Canadian commitments to the nation's alliances and the United nations.

... China's rapidly expanding navy is continuing its aggresive activities ... North Korea has resumed missle tests ... Russia renewed its probes of North American and Scandinavian air defences etc

... the military's need for new equipment

... the federal government's to fighting COVID and dealing with the collaspe of the oil prices ... Ottawa will need to look at its overl spending and begin to bring the deficit under control

... and if demand for CAF assistance continues to increase, as it will, and if the budgetary for DND continue, as they will, what are the implications?

... All this is going to require a major re-think of Canada's military. In an ideal world, the CAF would grow its strength and get the modern equipment it needs, but that is simply not going to happen.

... the federal government will cut the DND budget drastically, so much so that the CAF will slip into a constabulary rolewith very limited capabilities.

The last line says it all - Canada's government of every stripe usually cuts DND's budget and if the news going around that the throne speech will be about "green energy", I think the military is going to be the sacrificial lamb to satisfy the PM's dream of being the green leader of the world.

:2c:
 

Donald H

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shawn5o said:
Regarding the SC's wish list (recomendations), DND and the CF have a serious problem coming up. (gleaned fom J.L. Granatstein's article in RCLegion magazine, "Defence in a pandamic", Sept?Oct 2020). I can't find it online so I'll only post snippets of the article.

The last line says it all - Canada's government of every stripe usually cuts DND's budget and if the news going around that the throne speech will be about "green energy", I think the military is going to be the sacrificial lamb to satisfy the PM's dream of being the green leader of the world.

:2c:

Shawn, you you not see a more 'green energy' approach by government as freeing up money for Canada's armed forces. It's certainly a popular opinion that a turn to green is cost effective and a win-win in the end. We could be being left behind by some countries that have the intention of going completely green in the next decade.

:cheers:
 
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