Thursday, October 5, 2006

The US missile-defence program

In a very explosive report that was published yesterday, the members of Canada’s Senate committee declared that this country must join the US missile-defence program. As far as we know, last year, the government formed by Paul Martin (the former leader of the Liberal Party of Canada) declined the proposition that came from George W. Bush.

You might find it very strange, but most members of the Senate have ties with the Liberals. However, it’s not the ties that should tell us the look of the arguments, but rather their report that should tell us why it is part of Canada’s national interest to join such a military program that few citizens here understand. Since I don’t have the report with me, a few recommendations of the Standing Committee on National Security and Defence will be published at the end of this blog entry.

As for the Conservative Party of Canada, they are convinced that Canada should join that American military program since 2004. I do agree that Canada is starting to have more enemies than we think, but the question is: this missile-defence program should protect us against whom in this post-9/11 century? Here are a few recommendations made by the Standing Committee on National Security and Defence. If you want to read more about this, here are two links: an article from La Presse and another one from the Globe and Mail.

  • The military budget for 2012, which is set at $20 billion, is not enough according to the Senate. It is said that an additional increase from $5 to $15 billion must be made.
  • The report mentions that the government must double Canada's financial contribution per inhabitant in terms of international aid.
  • The pre-authorized expenditures amount of the Ministry of Defence should be brought from $30 million to $500 million in order to accelerate the purchase of modern military equipment. The Minister of Defence shouldn't have to go through a long process of cabinet approval.
  • The Artic Sea should be guarded by the Cost Guard and not by the Marines. Moreover, no harbour should be built in the depth of the Artic Sea.
  • The military bases of Goose Bay and Labrador must be closed because they've outlived their usefulness according to what is being said in the Senate's report.

Finally, watch this video and you'll understand why Paul Martin didn't want to follow the USA in the American missile-defence program (joke)...

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