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Star Wars revisited PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Wednesday, 14 January 2004 03:18
From the Montreal Gazette, "Ever since its genesis in the 1980s under the popular nickname Star Wars, the missile defence shield proposed by the U.S. has been bedeviled by objections both political and technical. To judge by the thinking in the federal cabinet and at the Canadian Department of National Defence, Canada will participate in the project more or less because it would be too much trouble not to." Star Wars revisited

http://www.canada.com/montreal/montrealgazette/editorials/story.asp?id=48AF6630-8424-4F52-B03E-26CA7172AAD3

The Gazette


Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Ever since its genesis in the 1980s under the popular nickname Star Wars, the missile defence shield proposed by the U.S. has been bedeviled by objections both political and technical. To judge by the thinking in the federal cabinet and at the Canadian Department of National Defence, Canada will participate in the project more or less because it would be too much trouble not to.

There is no longer much enthusiasm in Canada for the shoot-'em-down Star Wars philosophy, hatched very much with the Soviet Union in mind. Now the potential attacker states are North Korea and Iran, which have limited stockpiles and little range. Both nations are probably better contained in the 21st century through rigorous inspection and hardball diplomacy.

Even if there were a credible threat from intercontinental ballistic missiles, the U.S. defence system, relying on rockets launched from Alaska and California as well as warships, could not intercept low-flying missiles. A comparison with the Great Wall of China - impressive but ultimately ineffective - might not be overdrawn.

In any case, we live in an age of box-cutters and dirty bombs. Those eager to cause us harm are more likely to choose fairly primitive methods than attempt to overcome sophisticated defence systems. Airport metal detectors have more to do with keeping us safe than NORAD.

Still, a basic defence infrastructure needs to exist, and no defence of Canada makes sense without U.S. co-operation. Our contribution to the $11.8-billion missile defence shield will consist almost entirely of co-operation.

Prime Minister Paul Martin, in his talks today with U.S. President George W. Bush, would be wise to assure him he will have it.

? Copyright 2004 Montreal Gazette
Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 January 2004 03:18
 

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