UNITED STATES ANOTHER STEP CLOSER TO NORTH AMERICAN FEDERATION
NWV News Writer Jim Kouri
Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
January 30, 2012
© 2012 NewsWithViews.com
In the name of mutual cooperation, the United States and Canada expanded their security relationship this week by entering into two new agreements and renewing another that promotes closer cross-border cooperation and lays out both countries’ roles and responsibilities in the event of a man-made or natural disaster or an attack.
Army Gen. Charles Jacoby Jr., commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, joined Lt. Gen. Walter Semianiw of the Canadian army, commander of Canada Command, during defense meetings in the Canadian capital of Ottawa to sign three key documents that strengthen the combined defense and security of the United States and Canada, Northcom officials reported.
The new Combined Defense Plan establishes a planning framework to enhance defense cooperation between the two countries in the event their governments need each other’s assistance, such as during a natural disaster or attack, officials explained.
Jacoby and Semianiw also renewed for the next two years the Civil Assistance Plan that allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a civil emergency.
That agreement, in effect since 2008, recognizes the role of each nation's lead federal agency for emergency preparedness, but facilitates military support of civil authorities once government authorities have agreed on an appropriate response, officials said.
In the United States, the Homeland Security Department would be the lead agency. In Canada, it would be Public Safety Canada.
A third document signed today, the Information Sharing Memorandum of Understanding, updates and formalizes existing arrangements to promote information-sharing among the three organizations, officials said.
Jacoby said the documents reinforce an already-strong defense relationship.
“Canada and the United States are great security partners who have worked together for over half a century,” he said at the signing.
“These three documents provide us with the necessary means to better coordinate our combined military resources to help our fellow Americans and Canadians during emergencies,” Jacoby continued. “They help us be better prepared to defend the interests of our two great countries.”
The signing took place as both generals attended meetings of the Permanent Joint Board of Defense, the highest-level defense forum between the United States and Canada. The current meeting, the 228th in the body’s 70 years, featured talks on continental defense and security cooperation, regional engagement and the arctic.
Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay, who delivered the keynote address at the forum last night, told participants the new agreements promote combined defense of the United States and Canada during peace, contingencies and war.
They describe the authorities and means by which the two governments would approve homeland military operations in the event of a mutually agreed threat, and how the two militaries would collaborate and share information, he added.
MacKay emphasized the close defense and security relations between the two countries, calling the bilateral military-to-military relationship a model for broader cross-border cooperation between civilian agencies as well.
He cited the value of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense in promoting this relationship.
“The United States is Canada’s most important ally and defense partner, and strategic discussion entrench our defense relationship at a critical time,” he said.
Defense of North America
According to the Canadian Ministry of Defense, building on the government's significant defense investments over the past two years, the Canada First De fence Strategy sets a detailed road-map for the modernization of the Canadian Forces. It puts forward clear roles and missions for the Canadian Forces, outlining a level of ambition that will enable the CF to maintain the ability to deliver excellence at home, be a strong and reliable partner in the de fence of North America, and project leadership abroad by making meaningful contributions to operations overseas.
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First Defence Strategy is based on an extensive and rigorous analysis
of the risks and threats facing Canada in the years to come, as well
as the government's vision for de fence.
Through stable and predictable de fence funding, including balanced investments across the four pillars upon which military capabilities are built - personnel, equipment, readiness and infrastructure - the Strategy will increase the size of the Forces and replace their core capabilities. It also presents unprecedented opportunities for Canadian industry in its reach for global excellence.
This stable and predictable funding provides the planning certainty required to continue rebuilding the Canadian Forces. The Canada First De fence Strategy ensures a first-class, modern military, one that is well-trained, well-equipped and ready to take on the challenges of the 21st century.
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