Canada hands over sovereignty of airspace to US, apparently

From now on, the U.S. government will control any decision to fire at incoming missiles over Canadian territory, declared the top U.S. envoy to Canada.

“We simply cannot understand why Canada would in effect give up its sovereignty - its seat at the table - to decide what to do about a missile that might be coming towards Canada.”

So… go USA?

Pfft, we did that in 1959 when we scrapped the Avro Arrow.

So let me get this straight…because we didn’t bow to the US’s demands, to cooperate with their money-pit of a missile defense program, we’ve given up our sovreignty? I would have figured it was the other way around…

Why would anyone nuke Canada? Everyone knows they’re just a fly over country.

The topic of this thread was meant to be ironic, btw. That’s apparently the claim of the US officials who were negotiating this.

The statement is exceedingly bizzare in its phrasing. I think the point is that the US, armed with a missile defense system, is categorically refusing to restrict its use simply because the results of firing it might have to pass through Canadian airspace. This doesn’t strike me as an unreasonable stance, but talking about lost Canadian sovereignty is a rather foolish way to think of it.

It’s probably one of those really bad English to French and back to English translations so common in the Canadian media.

I’m pretty sure the worry is, if the United States needs to shoot down a nuclear warhead over Montreal and kill that city instead of, say, Washington, they will.

Well, we won’t have much choice if they won’t let us put intercepters well north of there!

This is such crap. It’s basically diplomatic extortion. We don’t want to be a part of a BS defense system the will no doubt have massive cost overruns. When they do get the damn thin up it will be about as effective as the good old “no hit wonder” called the Patriot.

The topic of this thread was meant to be ironic, btw. That’s apparently the claim of the US officials who were negotiating this.[/quote]

Yes I know. It was a quote from Paul Celluci, the US ambassador to Canada. I’d like to know whether or not he actually expects anyone to believe his doublespeak.

Okay, Dave. You’re the President of the United States. We are currently tracking a North Korean nuclear missile that is 40 minutes from Chicago, currently over the Northwest Territories (or what’s left of them). Canada’s bow-out means we didn’t have very much time to shoot it down over the North Pole - the Alaskan system only had time for one shot, and it missed - but now it’s in range of the missile defense system in North Dakota. The probability of a nuclear detonation from a successful kill is about 5%. Each shot you take has a 40% chance of making a kill; you’ve probably got time for five or six. If you do nothing, it is estimated that 75% of Chicago will essentially cease to exist.

What do you do? Do you violate Canadian airspace or not?

Alternately, if you feel like the scenario is too contrived, tell me what alterations you’d make that would make it less contrived, then answer that one instead.

EDIT: Clarified some small points to make the storyboard self-consistent.

I’m not in any way trying to confront you, Silverlight. I’d just like to put out another hypothetical situation for anyone (or likely no one) to respond to.

Pretend you’re President. If a nuclear weapon was headed for a city of about three million people, and the best option was to shoot it down over Toronto, and the chances of detonation were high, would you go for it?

It’s a moot point. Missile Defense isn’t going to work anything for the forseeable (and by that, I mean decades and decades out) future.

So many of these tests have failed so far, and they’'re not even trying to make it hard for the interceptor in all the tests to date. They’re all pretty much rigged so that it’s one warhead versus one interceptor, and the warhead emits a signal so the interceptor can find it. All a hostile nation has to do is pack a bunch of mylar decoys into its missiles and then the missile defense has to try to identify which of the dozen or two dozen targets that it’s tracking is the warhead. That’s pretty much impossible to do with radar in the atmosphere, let alone when bjects are moving at thousands of miles per hour in space. And that’s not even considering other basic counter-measures, such as jammers to fuck up the radar in the first place.

Historically, in the race between arms and armor, arms always win. They stopped building those hideiousy expensive castles and fortresses once cast-iron technology could develop cheap cannons and mortars. We’ll blow tens (and hundreds) of billions at missile defense, but for a fraction of the cost of building a nuclear missile, an oppnent could defeat it easily. Cause if they’re smart enough to be able to actually build a nuclear warhead and missile, the decoys are child play.

Not to mention, a nuclear missile is a fuckin invitation for us to nuke your ass to the stone age in the retaliation. The missile’s path draws a straight line back to you. It’s far easier and cheaper (and logical) to simply pack a nuke aboard a fucking cargo container and blow it up when the damn ship sails into New York or San Francisco harbor.

All I’d like to know is why the fuck we’re not expelling Celluci for making comments like this. If I were Martin, I’d have given lip-service to the missile defense plan. But foreign ambassadors, even American ones, shouldn’t be making comments like this without some retaliation.

I laughed really hard when we said no to invading Iraq and Cellucci said that that was a poor way to treat your ‘best friend’.

Axworthy pwned him when he said he was acting like a viceroy, though.

I agree with this, and it’s the biggest reason why I don’t understand this insane rush to implement it NOW, RIGHT FUCKING NOW!! by the Bushies. Failed test after failed test, yet these idiots are still blazing ahead, pressuring Canada to adopt technology that quite clearly doesn’t work and isn’t on a path to working anytime soon. Why would any sane country sign on with this sort of deeply, deeply flawed plan?

And, like Wooly said, the whole idea is screwy. It’s based on theories to help the US fight the Cold War. With the development of China and India, we may be back in a Cold War-type situation by mid-century, or maybe 2025, but not until then. So I can understand researching missile defense for the future, but not implementing it right away. It seems absolutely crazy to be looking to the sky and space when any nuke attack on the US in the next couple of decades will almost certainly come over land or sea.

It’d be a much, much smarter move to put the missile defense cash into properly securing US ports, and providing the ability to scan all incoming cargo containers. But that isn’t nearly as cool as shooting down an ICBM. Or, apparently, not as cool as shooting at an ICBM, either.

Silverlight, as others have said in this thread the missile defense plan is a joke. It wouldn’t work back in Reagan’s days and it won’t work now. The tech just isn’t up to snuff. I think there is a far greater danger of a suitcase nuke then any missile threat. This is just another way for the Bush administration to “dance with the ones that brought them” like they are doing with Haliburton in Iraq. It’s just another form of military corporate welfare and by the time they US government has sunk hundreds of billiosn of dollars into a money pit with no results Bush will be just another has been president. The US already violates Canadian airspace in the north on a regular basis, so it’s not like this will change anything. I really don’t want my tax dollars going down another hole. We have enough issues with our gun registry, HRDC, ad-scam and national daycare without this extra burden.

I suppose theoretically there might be some major diplomatically trickery going on here - sure, it doesn’t work, but our opponents don’t know that for sure! But clueless higher ups & a military supplier slush fund looks more likely.

Maybe we could send over Ann Coulter again to help smooth things out.