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Canadian Participation in North American Missile Defence: A Cost-Benefit Analysis

Type: Research Studies
Date Published: February 15, 2005
Research Topics:
Defence & Security
In contrast to the ambitious Strategic Defence Initiative of the 1980s, the current US program to build ground-based missile interceptors in Alaska and California is a feasible and prudent response to the growing threat of missile and nuclear developments in North Korea and Iran. The United States is both able and by law committed to go-it-alone on missile defence. All the risks and nearly all the costs to build missile defences are borne by the Americans. Several countries including Japan, Denmark, and the United Kingdom have agreed to provide radar or information components to the program under these conditions. The main benefit Canada will derive from joining is the ability to have a voice in how North America will be protected against the missile threat. As one of Canada's premier experts on missile defence, Dr. James Fergusson, put it, not to participate "will relegate Canada to an uninformed observer of US strategic direction" (Fergusson, 2004).
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