Saving NORAD: Should Ottawa Seize the Obama Moment?

  • Joseph T. Jockel St. Lawrence University


The North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) is heading for obsolescence. Saving it would require reversing the Martin government’s 2005 “no” on missile defence. The Obama presidency provides the Harper government with some political cover to do so. Ottawa could also seize the opportunity to reconsider the Chrétien government’s 2002 decision not to consider broadly expanding NORAD’s roles.
While it will be tempting to try to save NORAD for symbolic reasons,it should be let go. The U.S. and Canada no longer need a binational aerospace command. The focus should be on air defence cooperation, especially for special events such as the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Briefing Papers