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Dec 12

Further to these posts (and further links at them),

The Arctic: Canadian Perception, International Reality

1) Canadian perception: threat! threat! threat!..

WikiLeaks and Arctic Hyperbole

So much for all those nasty threats to our Arctic sovereignty…

note the bolded bit in this DND/CF news release:

Canadian and U.S. Commanders Sign Arctic Cooperation Framework
NR - 12.261 - December 11, 2012

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO. – The Commander of Canadian Joint Operations Command, Lieutenant-General Stuart Beare, and the Commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Northern Command, General Charles H. Jacoby, Jr. (US Army) signed two documents – the Tri Command Framework for Arctic Cooperation and the Tri Command Training and Exercise Statement of Intent – during the 230th meeting of the Canada-US Permanent Joint Board on Defense [more from the US ambassador to Canada’s blog], in Colorado Springs, Colorado today.

The Tri Command Framework for Arctic Cooperation acknowledges that defence issues do not drive Arctic affairs and that the Canadian and US militaries will support other departments and agencies in response to threats and hazards in the region when requested and directed. In that context, the goal of the Framework is to promote enhanced military cooperation in the Arctic and identify specific areas of potential Tri Command (Canadian Joint Operations Command, United States Northern Command and NORAD) cooperation in the preparation for, and conduct of, safety, security and defence operations. It strengthens an already unique and mature partnership with deep military bi-national coordination and cooperation ties. Areas of potential improved cooperation in the Arctic include planning, domain awareness, information-sharing, training and exercises, operations, capability development, and science and technology.

Both the Commander of Canadian Joint Operations Command and the Commander of NORAD and United States Northern Command have areas of responsibility within the Arctic. The Commands have complementary missions and work closely together to meet individual and collective responsibilities including support of civilian authorities when required.

The second document, the Tri Command Training and Exercise Statement of Intent, enhances joint and combined readiness in support of safety, security and defence missions through combined training and exercises and reinforcing partnerships and collaboration among the Commands.

The signing of the Tri Command Framework for Arctic Cooperation and the Tri Command Training and Exercise Statement of Intent follows on the Tri Command Strategy, which identifies a series of joint initiatives designed to strengthen the Tri Command operational relationships concerning mutual support and cooperation…

Notes to editor / news director:

Still imagery is available from Canadian Joint Operations Command:

For more on the defence relations between Canada and the United States go to the backgrounder at:

The US NORTHCOM news release, slightly different at end, is here. More on the US and the Arctic:

Arctic: US Looks North, Somewhat

At Least the Americans are Not Howling about “Arctic Sovereignty”

Mark Collins is a prolific Ottawa blogger

One Response to “Mark Collins - Candian/US Military Cooperation in Arctic: No Threats Hoo-Hah”

  1. MarkOttawa Says:

    A knowledgeable friend observes:

    ‘Whether there remains little military threat as the Arctic opens to all kinds of actors is a good question. The requirement for all-domain situational awareness is simple prudence because it does matter whether we know or don’t know what goes on. NORAD, with its air surveillance/control and maritime warning missions is well placed to provide that situational awareness to both governments.

    The activities of Russian Long range Aviation need to be understood as having almost nothing to do with the Arctic in itself [the line this government used to take - MC]. Canada and Russia may eventually have sea-bed claims in opposition but on many things Arctic we are on the same page. The LRA is part of Russia’s deterrent and increasingly its global precision-strike capability (see KH-101/102 air launched cruise missile ),
    into which lots of money and effort have been invested.

    Most of LRA’s training activities take place in Russia. When they fly missions through or touching the Arctic towards North America, Japan or Europe, they are asserting that their deterrent is again to be respected. Their rhetoric rarely references the Arctic; their media statements explain the mission as training for the “destruction of ‘enemy’ air defences and strategic installations.”

    By a combination of geographic fact and historical evolution, the strategic balance in the air takes place sometimes in the Arctic region but it is not limited to that area. So stating that there is a very low military threat to the Arctic is not a contradiction of the fact that the LRA remains an important part of the nuclear equations–indeed is growing in importance–at the strategic level.

    By the way RCAF fighters are mainly deployed into the region to deter and dissuade the LRA, not to enforce “sovereignty” [pax MND MacKay - MC]–unless someone we may not like sails a carrier through the NWP.’

    Mark Collins

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