Following the recent Permanent Joint Board on Defense (PJBD) meeting which took place in Ottawa, the Commander of Canada Command, Lt.-Gen Walter Semianiw and the Commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), Gen. Charles Jacoby, Jr. signed three military documents.
The first was the Combined Defense Plan which a backgrounder described as a, “planning framework between Canada Command, its counterpart USNORTHCOM, and NORAD for enhanced defense cooperation between Canada and the U.S. should governments require each other’s assistance.”The second is the Information Sharing Memorandum of Understanding, “an arrangement between Canada Command, its counterpart USNORTHCOM and NORAD to identify and provide for ease of sharing information amongst the three organizations.”
The Civil Assistance Plan, which was originally signed in 2008 and allows the armed forces of one nation to support the other during an emergency was also renewed for two years.
“The Combined Defense Plan has been under discussion for several years and would further integrate cross-border military co-operation at a time when the Harper government is trying to reassure Washington it has a reliable partner in Canada when it comes to security.”
“This agreement provides a framework for the combined defense of Canada and the U.S. during peace, contingencies, and war.”
“The plan describes the authorities and means by which the two governments would approve homeland military operations in the event of a mutually agreed threat, and how our two militaries would collaborate and share information.”
“increased military involvement implementing the Beyond the Border strategy, saying the Canadian Forces and its American counterparts should be supporting civilian agencies monitoring the cross-border security.”
In an article for iPolitics, Colin Horgan wrote that at the recent bilateral defense meeting,
“We need to increasingly focus our military forces in support of those civilian departments and agencies that have the lead.”
“We need to all work together to mitigate capability gaps, share best practices and co-operate on new approaches. There is still room for more integrated collaboration ~ domestically and bi-nationally.”
On January 6, the Obama administration released the new document, Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense. The new strategy calls for maintaining a strong presence in the Middle East, as well as an expanding role in the Asia-Pacific region.
Whether it’s the perimeter security deal, the ongoing mission in Afghanistan or the bombing campaign that took place in Libya, the U.S. and Canada continue to enhance security and military cooperation.