Our Times 3

“Missle Defense” Alive and Well in Canada

Canadian Politics

Contrary to widespread popular mythology, “Ballistic Missile Defense” is alive and well in Canada. In fact, for many years Canada’s contribution to BMD has greatly surpassed efforts by other nations that have, at least, been honest enough to admit their participation.

So, although Canada has not joined the “Coalition of the Willing to Admit Involvement in BMD,” it has long been complicit in creating, designing, researching, developing, testing, maintaining and operating numerous crucial BMD systems. Billions of tax dollars have been spent aiding and abetting domestic war industries, government scientists and military personnel, all deeply embedded in U.S.-, NORAD- and NATO-led BMD efforts.

The February 2005 news of our government’s hollow proclamation against BMD has been repeated ad nauseam by a compliant media and peace movement alike. However, our government never actually did anything to prevent Canada’s further entrenchment in the biggest weapons-development program in world history. Neither have any steps been taken to slow down, let alone halt, the following, ongoing Canadian examples of complicity in BMD:

North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). Since August 5, 2004, when Canada initiated an amendment to NORAD’s treaty, we have supported this pact’s BMD mission with money and armed forces personnel.

Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). Two days after Canada “just said no” to BMD, then-foreign affairs minister Pierre Pettigrew told CBC Radio that Canada supported America’s “missile defense” choice. Furthermore, he said he’d “be very pleased” for Canadian companies to be awarded BMD contracts. For many decades, DFAIT has proudly helped Canadian corpo-rations obtain billions in lucrative U.S. war contracts.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Just weeks after Canada’s fake “no,” the media all but ignored NATO’s announcement that it was building its own Theatre BMD system. Canada was among the handful of nations leading NATO’s decade-long BMD efforts through CAESAR and MAJIIC. These programs to increase interoperability among NATO’s leading military nations employ Canada’s RADARSAT satellite data in major BMD war games.

Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The CSA funds Canadian industries involved in militarizing space, including BMD efforts. Its crowning achievement was sponsoring the $600-million RADARSAT-2 for launch this December. In collaboration with America’s Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, Canadian scientists developed the unique technologies carried aboard this space-based radar. Top U.S. warfighters consider it the “Holy Grail” for future Theatre BMD applications and anxiously await using its targeting functions in pre-emptive, first-strike attacks against alleged missile sites.

Industry Canada (IC). This department has handed out $5 billion to Canadian war industries, including some involved in BMD. At a 2004 war-industry conference/arms bazaar in Alberta, IC’s “senior investment officer [for] defence [sic] industries” ranked BMD as first among five “strategic business opportunities,” and gave industry delegates the name and e-mail address of IC’s “BMD officer.” Meanwhile Industry Minister David Emerson (now international trade minister) spoke glowingly of BMD’s corporate benefits. In 2000, he was a director of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA), then owned by major U.S. BMD rocketmaker Orbital Sciences. When Canada’s billion-dollar RADARSAT program was privatized to MDA, its data was sold to Pentagon and CIA buyers by another Orbital subsidiary run by retired U.S. military men who’d spent decades promoting BMD weapons.

Department of National Defence (DND). A jointly funded DND-Dutch program has created an infrared weapons sensor called SIRIUS, which firmly wedges Canada’s foot in the BMD door. DND wants SIRIUS aboard Canadian warships to ensure deeper integration into the U.S. Navy’s AEGIS system, the backbone of America’s sea-based BMD weapons.

Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC). For decades, our government has spent billions of dollars funding military scientists developing technologies to fulfill our allies’ military needs. At DRDC’s six world-class labs, our war scientists work closely with their U.S. counterparts on important BMD projects like infrared sensors, high-frequency radar and RADARSAT-2 data exploitation.

National Research Council (NRC). At this crown corporation, scientists like H.C. Liu collaborate with U.S. BMD agencies on cutting-edge, space-based Quantum Well Infrared Photodetectors, which enable BMD weapons to distinguish between missiles and decoys.

Canada Pension Plan (CPP). The CPP still forces Canadians to invest billions in many of the world’s top weapons producers, including “The Big Four” BMD contractors: Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman.

Most if not all of the following Canadian war industries involved in the BMD weapons program have enjoyed extensive financial support from our government (the date in parentheses indicates when their BMD work began):

  • ATCO Frontec: Maintains and operates five key BMD SSPARS radar bases in the U.S., Greenland and the U.K. (1999)

  • AUG Signals Ltd.: Radar image/data processing for BMD target detection and tracking (2002)

  • Bristol Aerospace Limited: Excalibur and Black Brant rockets for testing Patriot and THAAD BMD weapons (1998)

  • CAE: Three simulation products for designing and developing Boeing’s BMD weapons (2002)

  • CMC Electronics Cincinnati *: Rocket components for testing BMD weapons (1998)

  • Cognos: Business intelligence solutions for Boe-ing, the “lead systems integrator” for BMD (2001)

  • COM DEV: Military satellite communications for BMD applications (1997?)

  • DRS Technologies Canada: Sirius infrared sensors aboard Canadian, Dutch, German and U.S. navies for targeting U.S. BMD weapons (1995)

  • EMS Technologies Canada, Ltd.: Electronic subsystems for top global BMD contractors and SAR antenna for RADARSAT-2 (1998)

  • ITS Electronics: Low-noise amplifiers for targeting land-based BMD weapons EKV and THAAD (1998)

  • Lockheed Martin Canada: VISTA training simulators for the U.S. Navy’s AEGIS BMD weapons (1998)

  • MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.: RADARSAT-2 for first-strike targeting of alleged missile-launch sites (1997)

  • Meggitt Defence Systems Canada: Vindicator targets to test AEGIS BMD weapons (1999)

  • NovAtel Inc. * : GPS beacons for testing BMD weapons (2001)

  • QWIPTECH: Infrared sensors to distinguish bet- ween missiles and decoys for BMD targeting (2000)

  • Telemus: Simulation devices for designing/testing BMD warhead targeting systems

The Trap Some Called a Victory

Canada’s phoney “no” was a duplicitous, hypo-critical PR ruse cleverly designed to hide BMD collaboration, dissipate protests, quell Liberal Party dissent and boost a faltering minority government.

Eager to claim victory, the NDP and some influential peace activists quickly welcomed the government’s “no” without bothering to verify whether it had any substance. Since then, they have continued to spread the false – but feel-good – news that Canada rejected BMD. This trusting naiveté has all but destroyed the opposition to BMD in Canada.

To resuscitate Canada’s movement, we must face the government’s lie and stop living in denial. Until the myth of Canada’s supposed rejection of BMD is thoroughly debunked, Canadians have no chance of slowing down, let alone halting, their country’s deep complicity in the offensive BMD weapons program.

This article appeared in the September/October 2006 issue of Canadian Dimension (Good to the Last Drop).


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