U.S., Canada weigh joint sensor system in Arctic for BMD, other threats

U.S., Canada weigh joint sensor system in Arctic for BMD, other threats

[Ed. – Very much worth following this.  Funny how that Russian saber-rattling changes perspectives.]

American military officials have shed some light on what Canada could contribute to the missile-defence program should it choose to join after a decade spent on the sidelines.

Several conversations with high-ranking U.S. military officers point to a common desire: multi-purpose sensors in Canada’s Arctic that would sniff out a wider range of potential threats than just intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Those state-of-the-art systems would be designed to track maritime vessels, airplanes and small cruise missiles — all in addition to any large missile fired off by North Korea or some hypothetical rogue state.

That means the missile-defence system that has prompted so much debate in Canada over the years could, potentially, be just one single piece integrated into the broader binational military relationship.

American military brass are…weighing their public utterances carefully, wary of being seen as interfering in Canadian policy-making.

“We respectfully want them to have all the space and time to consider it now that it’s been brought to the table, it seems,” said U.S. Gen. Charles Jacoby, who heads Norad — the Canada-U.S. North American Aerospace Defence Command. …

Because the missile-defence system is monitored from the same Colorado air force base that houses Norad, Canadians work alongside Americans who operate a major program to which they don’t belong.

A new partnership on ballistic missile defence would “open up the door for all kinds of conversations” about deeper Canada-U.S. co-operation, said Brig.-Gen. Matt Molloy, the American general who oversees the missile-defence unit under Jacoby.

“Our polar approach, it’s a vulnerability,” Molloy said.

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