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Canada, U.S. quietly sign mutual military aid pact

Hydrogen

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This deal has been "quietly" signed.
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Canada, U.S. quietly sign mutual military aid pact
Either nation could send troops across each other's borders during emergency

David Pugliese , The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Friday, February 22, 2008

Canada and the U.S. have signed an agreement that paves the way for the militaries from either nation to send troops across each other's borders during an emergency, but some are questioning why the Harper government has kept silent on the deal.

Neither the Canadian government nor the Canadian Forces announced the new agreement, which was signed Feb. 14 in Texas.

The U.S. military's Northern Command, however, publicized the agreement with a statement outlining how its top officer, Gen. Gene Renuart, and Canadian Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, head of Canada Command, signed the plan, which allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a civil emergency.

The new agreement has been greeted with suspicion by the left wing in Canada and the right wing in the U.S.

The left-leaning Council of Canadians, which is campaigning against what it calls the increasing integration of the U.S. and Canadian militaries, is raising concerns about the deal.

"It's kind of a trend when it comes to issues of Canada-U.S. relations and contentious issues like military integration. We see that this government is reluctant to disclose information to Canadians that is readily available on American and Mexican websites," said Stuart Trew, a researcher with the Council of Canadians.

Trew said there is potential for the agreement to militarize civilian responses to emergency incidents. He noted that work is also underway for the two nations to put in place a joint plan to protect common infrastructure such as roadways and oil pipelines.

"Are we going to see (U.S.) troops on our soil for minor potential threats to a pipeline or a road?" he asked.

Trew also noted the U.S. military does not allow its soldiers to operate under foreign command so there are questions about who controls American forces if they are requested for service in Canada. "We don't know the answers because the government doesn't want to even announce the plan," he said.

But Canada Command spokesman Commander David Scanlon said it will be up to civilian authorities in both countries on whether military assistance is requested or even used.

He said the agreement is "benign" and simply sets the stage for military-to-military co-operation if the governments approve.

"But there's no agreement to allow troops to come in," he said. "It facilitates planning and co-ordination between the two militaries. The 'allow' piece is entirely up to the two governments."

If U.S. forces were to come into Canada they would be under tactical control of the Canadian Forces but still under the command of the U.S. military, Scanlon added.

News of the deal, and the allegation it was kept secret in Canada, is already making the rounds on left-wing blogs and Internet sites as an example of the dangers of the growing integration between the two militaries.

On right-wing blogs in the U.S. it is being used as evidence of a plan for a "North American union" where foreign troops, not bound by U.S. laws, could be used by the American federal government to override local authorities.
"Co-operative militaries on Home Soil!" notes one website. "The next time your town has a 'national emergency,' don't be surprised if Canadian soldiers respond. And remember - Canadian military aren't bound by posse comitatus."

Posse comitatus is a U.S. law that prohibits the use of federal troops from conducting law enforcement duties on domestic soil unless approved by Congress.

Scanlon said there was no intent to keep the agreement secret on the Canadian side of the border. He noted it will be reported on in the Canadian Forces newspaper next week and that publication will be put on the Internet.
Scanlon said the actual agreement hasn't been released to the public as that requires approval from both nations. That decision has not yet been taken, he added.

© The Ottawa Citizen 2008
 

afransen

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Makes the whole scenario in the film H2O seem likelier (US military occupying Canada to stem 'unrest'). I doubt this mechanism would be used in a sinister way, but the fact that we are willing to entertain the possibility is somewhat disconcerting.
 

allabootmatt

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Errr....maybe this didn't get much publicity because it's really not a big deal? If there were a terror attack in Toronto I would damn well hope that American military personnel could come and help a relief effort. Same for Canadians in, say, Seattle. This whole North American Union thing has got to be one of the most ridiculous conspiracy theories around.
 

Mustapha

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I don't suppose the Pentagon will ever share their

invasion plans for Canada. It WILL happen - when we prove incapable of governing ourselves and make a mutual border nuisance.
 

PukeGreen

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Not a big deal, because the host country needs to *agree* before the other side's troops are allowed over the border. It's not like the US Army will decide to come over on their own, or vice-versa.
 

St. Even

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I thought NORAD already did this, no?

This doesn't actually concern me all that much.....firefighters from both countries cross the border to help each other all the time.

The devil's probably in the details, but I don't think at first glance that this is really a threat. Seems more like formalizing what was probably already understood between our two nations.
 

jade_lee

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Here is my theory, this agreement between the US and Cdn forces is a marketing tool for the US military Industry to shame our foolish government into more military spending, I mean if the two countries are going to share responsibilities shouldn't they both have the "tools" aka weapons to do so?
A sucker is indeed born every second and Harper wastes no time at all in being culled by the American war machine industry. The sooner we call an election the better. "Keep that paranoia intact" should be the new conservative slogan.
 

jade_lee

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I thought NORAD already did this, no?

Yeah like we should have confidence in NORAD after 911? All that cash spent on NORAD over the years and it turned out that when required these people did nothing and in fact really messed up bad on 911. But hey they said they were sorry so all is well.......
 

Hydrogen

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Sadly, if you knew a little more about NORAD you would not pretend that your statement had any validity. The movements of civil aircraft are a civilian responsibility.
 

Prometheus The Supremo

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Sadly, if you knew a little more about NORAD you would not pretend that your statement had any validity. The movements of civil aircraft are a civilian responsibility.

i remember watching a program on TLC pre 9/11 and they were talking about air security. they were saying something along the lines how if a plane was hijacked they would know from their tracking screen and would be able to scramble fighter jets to intercept. i don't remember which ORG or ORG's whose responsibility it was. come 9/11 i think jets were scrambled to intercept the hijacked planes but there wasn't enough time.

i think alot of the 9/11 conspiracy theories are born by a population who would rather believe that their government was responsible for the attacks than believe that their government was incompetent and not in total control. i think in real emergencies, now matter how much we are lead to believe that the government has all the best tools and is there for us, things will go wrong because people can and do fuck up and things don't work the way they should.

i think those programs on TV showing off the advanced security nets are more of propaganda to give the populace a sense of security and comfort and hopefully scare some bad guys into not doing anything. just an opinion.
 

Hydrogen

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There has to be a request for military assistance from the civil authorities first before the military can act. Before that can happen, the civilian authorities must first assess the nature of the emergency and then determine whether a call to the military is necessary. The military just can't act on its own. Even if the situation had ever become one where a weapon was to be used, firing it would have required the permission of civil authority.

I don't think anyone had previous experience with the use of civil aircraft for mass murder.
 

jade_lee

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Go listen to the NORAD tapes, congress did, I think it was Vanity Fair who published information about the reaction of NORAD on that dreadful day. NORAD was involved in an excercise on 911 that proved to render them totally incompetent on some very important actions. Here is a link where you can actually hear these guys in their folly but I am sure you must have known all this as you come across as an expert compared to me.......so you say. http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/august2006/040806laxattitude.htm
 

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