Canada and the United States of America
Necessary Allies in Matters of Defence:
A Canadian Policy Proposal
Defence cooperation is a significant component to the Canadian-American relationship. Not only does each country have to provide individual defence and provide defence for their neighbour, but both Canada and the United States seek to defend North America as well. Being the two neighbouring North American countries, it is essential that Canada and the United States work collaboratively to ensure the safety of North America and its people. This allows for a trickle effect, whereby both countries will assist one another in matters of security and national protection to ultimately assure the protection of their continent.
Since the threat on North America in the 1940’s by the German army, Canada and the United States have worked together to assure the continued protection of the North American people and lands. To ensure a continued and collaborative relationship, Canada and the United States have put more than 2500 defence agreements into effect, beginning with the Ogdensburg Agreement in 1940. These agreements span a number of issues including:
• The permanent Joint Board on Defence
• North American Aerospace Defence Command Agreement (NORAD)
• Canada-US Test and Evaluation Program
• Canada-US Military Cooperation Committee
These different agreements and committees are in effect to capitalize on the strengths of both the Canadian and American nations to assure the best possible North American defence system. Though this is a short representation of the vast list of agreements which exist, these four systems demonstrate the partnership between Canada and the United States. Through these agreements, both countries are able to
• Observe and defend North American airspace
• Allow for senior military contact between the two countries
• Share information of Military strategy issues
• Share trade, research and developmental properties of defence concerns
• Share testing facilities.
In terms of Canadian and United States defence relations, defence can be summed up
as the “response to threats and attacks and other major emergencies in Canada and the United States” (www.canada.gc.ca), this also includes the prevention of any threats to either country. Defence is a crucial commitment made by both countries because each country recognizes its individual need for aid and also the continental need for aid.
The September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City have demanded stronger defence systems in the United States, stronger boarder policies and the involvement of Canadian assistance. Similarly, the devastation of Hurricane Katrina also saw the need for Canadian cooperation to minimize damage and to protect American citizens.
The American government, and people, have benefited from Canadian defence assistance in a number of ways. First, Canada and the United States have the world’s largest trade...