I see that US President Donals J Trump has announced an ambitious, new, global missile defence system … maybe. What President Trump said ~ he wants a system that can deal with any missile, “anywhere, any time, anyplace” ~ differs from what Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said ~ 20 new interceptors, making the F-35 Lightening II strike fighter anti-missile capable, and arming unmanned air vehicles (drones) with lasers, which are, mainly, just (quite important) incremental additions to existing plans. The complete Missile Defense Review document, which details the threats to North America, is available online. North American missile defence, as distinct from defending the US “homeland,” is dealt with, very, very briefly, on p. XIX of the Executive Summary and on p. 76 of the main report,
In its report on the programme, the Wall Street Journal adds that the president “repeated his frequent complaint that unnamed wealthy nations benefit from the umbrella of US protection” but do not pay a fair share. That seems aimed, very directly, at Canada.
I have explained before that Canada is, currently, unprotected ~ or more likely will be a “battle-space” when the US needs to engage missiles before they reach US airspace (the American homeland) because Canada has, time and again, explicitly rejected joining a missile defence system.
There is, I believe, a solid grand strategic policy (not just defence policy) basis for Canada to reverse the incomprehensibly stupid policies of generations of Canadians leaders, beginning with Pierre Trudeau, the dumbest of the lot, in 1963, when President Reagan called for the Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars, as its many (ill informed) critics called it, pejoratively) and to join with the United States, as a full partner, in a continental missile defence scheme that will defend most of Canada and the USA. It needs to begin with a public affirmation, even a public relation campaign, to explain that almost all of the anti-missile defence propaganda is based on a litany of Russian lies and that the ever so earnest Canadians, many intellectuals from the Laurentian Elites, who still spout the nonsense are, in almost every case, unwitting dupes, little more than puppets in the hands of Vladimir Putin and, now, Xi Jinping, too. Canada needs to convince the Americans, and new money for national defence will be one part of that process, that continental missile defence needs to be part of NORAD, the joint and combined force that defends North America … not a separate US command in which Canada has to real authority or even influence.
As much as there are political arguments for buying a European fighter to replace the aging CF-18s, there may also be, now, good technical and strategic reasons to buy the F-35 ~ if it will be made part of an active missile defence system. A system to defend all of North America, including the all of the USA, probably needs at least sensors, and maybe more, in Canada. Canadian technology can also make contributions and reap benefits. It will cost money … at a times when a new government will need to redress the economic foolishness of the past few years, and that will be a problem, but not an insurmountable one. The big political problem is that most Canadians still fear missile defence, albeit because they still believe Russian inspired lies.
Missile defence will be absolutely nowhere in the Liberals’ 2019 campaign platform and it cannot be a large part of a Conservatives’ campaign either … not until Canadians have been told the truth about missile defence. But, when Justin Trudeau and his inept team of bumblers and bunglers are dumped from office, hopefully in 2019, one of the new, Conservative government’s first acts should be to open exploratory missile defence talks with the USA.