A Security Agenda for the New Government

Tasneem Jamal

Ploughshares staff

The Ploughshares Monitor Summer 2004 Volume 25 Issue 2 

International peace and security concerns are unlikely to dominate the agenda of the new minority Government, but both external events and domestic political issues promise to regularly bring Canada’s approach to peace and security issues into public focus.

The previous Paul Martin government initiated an ambitious and welcome International Policy Review – a review that is to include attention to foreign, defence, and development assistance policies. Such a review is long overdue. The election certainly did not change the need for it, and to date there are no indications that the intentions of the Government have changed. Over the summer officials are preparing documents and proposals that will subsequently be open to public review.

Of course, the most obvious external factor that will put security and defence on the Canadian agenda is the Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system pursued by the United States. Canada will need to make a decision on what, if anything, it plans to about that system, and sooner rather than later. But key international events, like the 2005 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the 2006 Review Conference on the United Nations’ Program of Action on small arms and light weapons, are also important occasions to press for continued and intensified disarmament activism by Canada.

The politics of minority government may be unpredictable and frequently fractious, but will also yield opportunities to advance constructive peace and security policies and initiatives. For the non-governmental peace and development community the coming months and years will be a time of significant opportunity and responsibility. The following discussion sets out in summary form some of the key issues and concerns that Project Ploughshares will bring to the debate.

Ballistic Missile Defence: setting the tone

Whether or not Canada ought to join President Bush’s Ballistic Missile Defence initiative will be one of the first major foreign policy decisions facing Prime Minister Paul Martin’s minority government. It is a decision that will do much to set the tone of Canada/US security relations and to brand the Government’s overall approach to international peace and security.

Canadians could be forgiven for hoping that the election had pushed BMD well off the front burner. Mr. Martin’s welcome campaign pledge of his party’s unalterable opposition to weapons in space and his post-election dependence on two anti-BMD parties should be enough to give the new government pause, but the issue refuses to go away.

Some press commentary insists the Government has already decided in favour of participation, and if it hasn’t, it faces a number of pressures to do just that.

The primary pressure from the United States is simply for Ottawa to decide, one way or the other. Washington obviously wants Ottawa’s political endorsement but does not regard Canadian involvement as politically or practically essential. The Pentagon has already decided that the actual operation of BMD, that is, the management of the interceptor missiles that are supposed to take out attacking nuclear-armed missiles, will be done exclusively by the United States through its Northern Command (NORTHCOM). Where Canada comes in is through the Canada-US Northern Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD), which currently provides early warning of ballistic missile launches and monitors their flight to determine their trajectory and destination. This Integrated Tactical Warning and Attack Assessment (ITWAA) role, as it is called, provides BMD operators with the information they need to attempt an interception.

The primary question is whether this ITWAA role will continue to be performed jointly by the US and Canada through NORAD, or whether, in the event that Canada declines to participate in BMD, the US will do it on its own. Even now, when NORAD performs this ITWAA role, it uses exclusively American assets – that is, US satellites using infrared technology detect the launch; US radars in Alaska, Greenland, and England track the trajectory; and US communications systems integrate all the data. If Canada signs on, NORAD can continue to perform the early warning and tracking role for BMD, but if Canada doesn’t sign on, then the US has the capacity to perform that role on its own outside NORAD.

It is the latter possibility that the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) in particular is desperate, to understate the matter, to avoid. The fear is that if missile warning and tracking are removed from NORAD, then NORAD will become irrelevant and the core of Canada-US security cooperation will be lost.

The pressure for a Canadian decision, one way or another, is a result of President Bush’s promise to have an operating BMD system by the end of 2004, and therefore there is a need to begin integrating missile warning and tracking with the BMD interceptors now being put into the ground in Alaska. Part of the process involves training the personnel engaged in missile tracking to coordinate with personnel operating the missile interception, and the Americans want to know if Canadians, within NORAD, are to be a part of this training or not. Of course, the appropriate Canadian response is that the urgent American timeline is a function of US presidential politics and should not be allowed to overturn Canadian timelines and decision-making processes.

So, the new government will have to make a decision, and a perfectly sensible and relevant set of criteria for such a significant foreign and defence policy decision is available in the April 2004 “National Security Policy” issued by the previous Martin Government. The national security policy is a prelude to the more extensive international policy review and points to three core Canadian security interests: 1) the protection of Canada’s people and territory; 2) making the world beyond our borders stable and peaceful; and 3) ensuring that nothing we do, or neglect to do, threatens the security of our neighbours and allies.

1. Will BMD protect Canada and Canadians?

The ballistic missile threat is certainly real. Though the Cold War is over, more than 900 Russian and about 30 Chinese missiles still stand able and ready to deliver more than 4,000 nuclear warheads to targets in North America. Protection from them is devoutly to be wished, but one thing the Pentagon’s BMD planners are at pains to point out is that ballistic missile defence is specifically not intended to protect North America from Russian or Chinese missiles.

Targeting Russian and Chinese ballistic missiles would provoke a major negative reaction from Russia and China, so the current BMD system, with pre-deployment costs running at US$10-billion-plus per year, is focused on a potential North Korean threat, even though North Korea does not now – and won’t in the foreseeable future – have a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to North America.

But even if it did, many experts doubt that BMD would have any reliable capacity. According to the US General Accounting Office (GAO – similar to our Auditor General), the missile shield is essentially still on the drawing board and has yet to be tested as a system. Moreover, the partial tests that have been carried out have relied on highly artificial conditions, employing computer simulations and, in the case of interceptor tests, on GPS (Global Positioning System) transmitters in the nose of the target missile to guide the interceptors to them – a service the North Koreans would be unlikely to provide, even if they ever managed to build such a missile.

In other words, BMD offers no actual protection from the actual missile threat and only theoretical protection from the theoretical threat.

Tangible and immediate security threats to North American air space and coastal waters do exist and are much more appropriate as the foci of security cooperation. The danger of a repeat of the September 11 kind of attack from airspace inside North America means that NORAD’s air defence component must now monitor internal airspace, as well as the air approaches to North America, and increase cooperation with civil aviation traffic control operations. A continental airspace frontier of many thousands of kilometres must be monitored to guard against the possibly growing cruise missile threat, and to detect non-military threats in the form of drug traffic, terrorist incursions, and other criminal activities.

2. Will BMD make the world more stable?

China and Russia definitely do not think so. They fear that if BMD ever became effective it would threaten their nuclear deterrents and weaken them relative to the US – forcing them to rebuild their nuclear forces. Russia and China are thus responding to the US BMD effort with new research and testing on new generations of offensive nuclear missiles, just in case.

If Canada were to join BMD, which Pentagon planners insist includes planning for weapons in space, Canada’s arms control diplomacy, particularly at the Geneva UN Conference on Disarmament (CD), which is mandated to negotiate an international convention against weapons in space, would be compromised. While the issue is on the CD’s agenda, formal negotiations have been prevented by an ongoing stalemate that involves a number of linked issues, so it is urgent for Canada to continue to press for real action.

During the election campaign Prime Minister Martin was unequivocal in committing Canada to opposing the basing of weapons in space. BMD planners in the Pentagon, on the other hand, are just as unequivocal in committing the BMD program to pursuing the possibility of basing BMD interceptors (weapons) in space. If we become identified as a participant in a ballistic missile defence system that is sponsored by a US government that insists on pursuing the development of space-based weapons as an integral part of the system, Canada’s credibility as a champion of a space weapons ban could be severely damaged.

3. Is Canadian support for BMD essential to being a good neighbour to the US?

Canada surely does have a responsibility to ensure that threats to the US do not emerge undetected from Canadian territory, but BMD is not relevant to such an assurance.

The ballistic missile threat does not come from Canada, and it is equally clear that Canadian refusal to join the Bush BMD system would not prevent the Americans from pursuing what they think they have to do; the United States does not need Canadian territory, technology, personnel, or money to mount a BMD system. In other words, good neighbourliness toward the US does not dictate support for BMD.

Air defence is a much more credible and practical Canadian focus for continental defence than involvement in an untested BMD scheme that is being prematurely deployed in the US to try to bolster President Bush’s re-election effort. Furthermore, in air defence operations Canada actually has concrete assets to bring to the common defence

With regard to the industrial implications of Canada’s saying no to BMD, it is a matter of some urgency that Canada work to reduce the Canadian military industry’s dependence on exports and on the US market in particular. Any reliance on military exports is obviously problematic (see the section below on Canadian military export policy), and the reliance on the US military market in particular makes us politically vulnerable to US pressures, as the BMD case is demonstrating.

Canadian participation in the US ballistic missile defence system would not protect Canadians and would undermine ongoing Canadian efforts to achieve greater global stability through disarmament. And if Canada were, for those reasons, to reject participation, there would be no impact on another core security interest, namely to ensure that nothing we do, or neglect to do, threatens the security of our neighbours and allies.

Testing BMD against a Canadian security grid clearly indicates we should withhold support for the program. At the very least, the decision should be made in the context of the international policy review that promises to engage Canadians through public consultations in the autumn of 2004.

Canada’s role in nuclear disarmament

The absence of the political will needed to break the deadlock in the Conference on Disarmament and commence negotiations is symptomatic of a more general lack of commitment to multilateral arms control and disarmament. While the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is at the heart of the international disarmament effort, the obstacles to its full implementation are growing. The treaty will be reviewed in 2005, the seventh Review Conference since it came into effect in 1972. The 2000 Review Conference made some significant breakthroughs, but the prospects for 2005 are less promising.

With no real efforts by the nuclear weapon states to make major weapons reductions, the Treaty’s fundamental bargain is not sustainable. The non-nuclear weapon states, which have agreed to forego the acquisition of nuclear weapons in return for access to nuclear power resources and a commitment from the nuclear weapon states to disarm, are increasingly frustrated with the pace of disarmament.

The US is taking steps to facilitate a return to nuclear testing; it is researching the development of more useable nuclear weapons; and it is building production facilities for Plutonium triggers for warheads. All these measures are counter to the spirit and letter of the NPT.

A small group of states known as the New Agenda Coalition has played a key role in keeping the pressure on nuclear weapon states to meet their obligations under the Treaty. Their annual resolution at the United Nations outlines a comprehensive agenda for nuclear disarmament, and elements of that agenda were agreed to by all states in 2000 is a set of 13 “practical steps” toward disarmament.

No NATO country is part of the New Agenda group, but in recent years Canada has been the only NATO state to support the New Agenda resolution. Canada’s vote has been a significant factor in validating the disarmament agenda, and Canada’s continued support for the resolution, as well as its best efforts to persuade other NATO states to support the resolution in 2004, are critically important.

Support for the NPT is undermined by continued dependence on nuclear weapons as a guarantor of their security by the world’s most powerful states. NATO’s nuclear doctrine, which epitomizes this political and military reliance on nuclear weapons, declares nuclear weapons to be “essential to preserve peace.” Despite significantly reducing its actual reliance on nuclear weapons, both tactical and strategic, since the end of the Cold War, NATO maintains a provocative nuclear posture that is inconsistent with its members’ obligations under the NPT. It is past time for NATO’s nuclear doctrine to be changed and Canada should, in cooperation with like-minded states in NATO, lead the effort to make that happen.

The International Atomic Energy Agency plays a critical role in ensuring that peaceful nuclear technologies are held to the strongest safeguards. Canada’s strong leadership, including both political and financial support for the work of the IAEA, is required.

Hand-in-hand with disarmament efforts, states parties to the NPT will also have to make progress on effective measures to stop the horizontal proliferation of nuclear technologies, materials, and expertise, and the misuse of nuclear power programs for the development of nuclear weapons. Evidence from North Korea, Libya, and Iran shows the extent to which lawful nuclear power technology can be diverted to illicit use. Discovery of the black market network for selling nuclear technologies, run by a central figure in Pakistan’s nuclear establishment, was particularly troubling. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s work to account for and secure civilian nuclear facilities requires strong political and financial support, including a universal commitment to implement comprehensive nuclear safeguards.

In the interest of countering proliferation threats, a variety of tools are being developed to restrict access to nuclear technologies and resources. Some measures are built around voluntary alliances of select nuclear-capable states, with the danger that division between nuclear haves and have-nots will increase and the role of near-universal multilateral instruments such as the NPT will decrease. For example, the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), a US-led effort with Canada as a member, seeks to develop bilateral agreements for the possible interception of suspected international shipments of illicit nuclear materials. Rooted as it is in the group of supplier states, it will be a major challenge for the PSI to gain the confidence of all NPT member states.

The nuclear threat can only be countered by systematic and progressive steps to disarm, and effective inspection and verification of non-military nuclear programs to ensure against diversion. This requires an international commitment to secure and destroy surplus nuclear materials, to change policies of reliance on nuclear weapons for security, to disarm and dismantle nuclear weapons, and to ensure effective verification.

Conventional disarmament and controlling the arms trade

While the extraordinary consequences of nuclear weapons make them a priority for global disarmament efforts, conventional weapons (i.e., weapons other than weapons of mass destruction), especially small arms, are the deadly fuel of contemporary warfare. The capacity to produce conventional weapons is spreading, but the means by which weapons spread through the world is through the international arms trade.

In 2002 the world’s arms suppliers exported over US$25-billion to recipients around the world. Two-thirds of these weapons went to nations in the developing world, where 35 of the world’s 37 armed conflicts took place in 2002. Besides fuelling conflict, the international weapons trade exacerbates human rights violations, repression, and criminal activity and thwarts sustainable development.

At present there is no effective international regulation of the arms trade. Arms transfers are in most cases subject to national export controls, but the standards and procedures for controlling the export of weapons vary dramatically from country to country. The absence of harmonized controls leaves the trade vulnerable to “undercutting” whereby the decision of one government to deny the transfer of weapons may be undercut by another government with lower standards. Supplier governments too often excuse arms transfers by saying that “if we don’t approve the sale, another government will.” International agreement on a binding commitment to minimum standards would remove undercutting incentives and prevent a race to the bottom in national arms export controls.

An “Arms Trade Treaty,” proposed by an international coalition of Nobel Peace Laureates and an international group of civil society organizations that includes Project Ploughshares, puts forward a set of basic principles that ought to govern the trade in weapons. Some of the principles are already provided for in existing international law. Attention to them and the additional principles the proposed treaty identifies would introduce a broad measure of restraint, would reduce the flow of weapons to human rights violators, and would reduce the diversion of scarce funds away from development priorities.

Canada needs to become actively engaged in international efforts to bring the arms trade under effective control. Canada should find ways to take joint action with like-minded states to create opportunities to study the proposed treaty and to introduce principles of arms transfer restraint into the small arms program of action (see below).

Addressing the problem of small arms and light weapons

Controlling the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons (SALW), the weapons most used in the violent conflicts around the world today, is a matter of global urgency.

With over 640 million in circulation globally, SALW are a leading threat to human security. They contribute to untold social, economic, and political destruction, and act as a major hindrance to human development.

The international community continues to channel much of its attention on this issue through the United Nations process, beginning in July 2001 with the UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects, which led to an international Programme of Action (POA) that commits states to measures at the national, regional, and international levels to deal with the wide-ranging problems caused by SALW.

The POA and related activities awakened the world to the dangers of SALW, but the prospect now is that we will pursue small arms control on the cheap – focusing on small refinements of policy rather than on putting serious money toward fixing the problem.

Canada has been active in international SALW control efforts, and its small arms export policy is a restrictive one. Continued efforts are now needed to supplement control policies with the resources to implement those policies, especially in conflict-prone regions, and to advance stricter global standards related to arms transfers.
SALW use and abuse cannot be separated from debilitating social and political conditions, which means that fundamental development and social transformation should be at the core of arms control efforts. The extent of the humanitarian impact of SALW demands sustained and enhanced government attention as well as enhanced cooperation between relevant government departments and civil society.
The next two years will offer a range of key opportunities to advance the international small arms control agenda. Canadian action should include:

  • Initiatives to strengthen the SALW Programme of Action at the 2006 Review Conference: In particular, there will be opportunities to include a set of principles and commitments to regulate small arms transfers, to prevent the excessive and destabilizing accumulations of these weapons, and to prevent their shipment to states in conflict or engaged in serious human rights violations. (Canada introduced this issue in 2001, and while it received broad support it could in the end not find full consensus – but the issue has gained momentum and in 2006 the chance for consensus will be improved.)
  • Continued leadership in research and programming designed to highlight the humanitarian dimensions of the small arms problem, such as gender and child soldiers, utilizing Canadian civil society expertise on these issues and working through multilateral channels such as the Human Security Network.
  • Financial and political support for regional small arms control initiatives and mechanisms: If properly resourced, sub-regional bodies like the Nairobi Secretariat, tasked to implement The Nairobi Declaration on small arms in the Horn of Africa and Great Lakes regions, can be effective avenues for enhancing the global Programme of Action and for implementing small arms control and collection efforts at the local level.
  • Support for global efforts to control and collect SALW, particularly in regions of instability and post-conflict situations: Increased resources for the demobilization, disarmament, and reintegration (DD&R) of ex-combatants and for security sector reform are particularly important for countries like Sudan and Somalia, which are finally emerging from decades of armed conflict. If effective programs for addressing the problem of the small arms that are diffused throughout those societies are not quickly put in place, there is of course the huge and real danger that those societies will slip back into conflict and violence.
  • Canada should also take steps to ensure that its own national legislation is in keeping with international commitments: Early ratification of the OAS Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms,Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials and the UN Protocol Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Their Parts and Components and Ammunition (Firearms Protocol) would encourage broader international action. At the same time, Canada’s national firearms licensing and registry system is of growing relevance to the development of international efforts to standardize the marking and tracing of SALW (now the subject of international negotiations), regulating the activities of arms brokers, and building international norms on the responsible disposal of surplus small arms. The ability to trace the movement of SALW through gun marking and registration is needed to rein in the high percentage of these weapons that currently pass from the legal to illegal trade both internationally and domestically.
  • Canada should take steps towards exploring whether the political will exists and means are available for implementing a global ban on the civilian possession of automatic weapons. In 2001 there was a proposal that the POA include a provision to “prohibit the unrestricted trade and private ownership of small arms and light weapons specifically designed for military purposes, such as automatic guns (assault rifles, machine guns).” The proposal came very close to reaching consensus and it will be important to try again in 2006.

A review of Canada’s military export policy

Canada is a second-tier exporter of arms. First-tier suppliers are the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China; collectively they are responsible for at least 90 per cent of international arms exports. As a supplier in the next level that includes a number of European states, Canada places among the world’s top 10. Current military exports exceed $1.5-billion per year, over half of which go to the United States, much in the form of components and subsystems for US weapons manufacturers. Most of the remainder of Canadian exports go to NATO countries. Canadian arms sales to the South (the regions of Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East) have averaged nearly $200-million annually in recent years, and these regularly include arms shipments to governments at war or accused of serious human rights violations.

Canadian export control guidelines have not changed significantly since 1986. A Parliamentary Committee study of Canadian military export controls in 1992 produced a number of recommendations but did not result in any changes to policy until 1996, when greater emphasis was placed on controlling military commodities destined for states in internal armed conflict.

Since then greater attention to human security concerns in Canadian foreign policy has led Canada to support a number of multilateral agreements, such as the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Transfers, which call for stricter standards for arms exports.

Current Canadian export controls are weakened by omissions and loopholes, as well as by out-dated guidelines. These would be strengthened by the following changes:

  • Introducing an export permit system for military sales to the United States: Apart from firearms, current weapons exports to the US are exempt from the export permit process. As a result Canada does not meet obligations to report major weapon exports to the UN Conventional Arms Register and to the Organization of American States. It also cannot control sales to the United States that are re-exported by the US (under the Foreign Military Sales program, for example) to other countries, including those to which Canada would not export directly.
  • Base export controls on the end-use of the transferred equipment, not on a technical definition of equipment “specially designed for military use”: Some “dual-use” goods, that is, equipment that can be used for both civilian and military purposes, are subject to export controls. Other goods classified for civilian use (such as civilian helicopters or other aircraft) are regularly shipped to foreign armed forces without review by the export permit process. Canada should ensure that all equipment exported for military use is subject to export control.
  • Control of military exports to their final destination, not simply to an interim point of assembly for re-export: Many Canadian military exports are components for foreign-assembled weapon systems that are shipped to third countries. Canadian controls currently apply only to the shipment to the country of assembly, not to the final destination.
  • Greater transparency in arms export decisions and reporting: Several countries now report more detailed arms export information related to permits granted and rejected, and more details of the equipment being transferred. Canada should adopt a “best practices” approach to improve its transparency standards.
  • Prohibition of any military transfers to states involved in armed conflict and gross and systematic human rights violations.

A comprehensive Canadian security policy

The international policy review will include, if it is carried out as planned, the most extensive review of Canadian defence policy in a decade. The review is overdue inasmuch as current defence policy is widely regarded throughout the entire Canadian political spectrum to be inadequate. However, the key challenge for the new Government will be to ensure that Canadian defence policy is placed in the context of an overall approach to security.

Security policy should obviously respond to the insecurities that face people. Worldwide, the most immediate threats to the security of people come in the form of unmet basic economic and health needs, the denial of basic rights, political exclusion, social and political disintegration, and the related escalation of criminal and political violence. It follows, therefore, that security policy must address all those conditions and circumstances. Indeed, it is safe to say that non-military threats to international peace and security, the basic measure of which is the extent to which people are safe and have their most basic needs met in their homes and communities, are in the ascendance, but that these non-military threats to security can become military threats if they are not effectively resolved. Defence is obviously an element of security policy, but more effective military policies and strategies will not address the most direct and immediate insecurities that people and communities face.

Nor will formulaic increases in defence spending produce a defence policy and capability that respond to current security needs. The new Government should therefore delay any further defence spending commitments until a thorough security review has taken place and the role of the Canadian Armed Forces is understood within the context of an overall security strategy.

The objective is to produce favourable social, political, and economic conditions, making the promotion of human development, human rights, and democracy essential and primary national security measures. The review should pay attention to five main elements of any comprehensive security policy – the five Ds of security:

Democracy: When states fail in their most basic function of maintaining order and stability, people are most vulnerable. Institutions that support political participation, uphold the rule of law and provide for people’s basic human rights are central to the notion of “human security.” Measures to promote political inclusiveness and participation, as well as respect for human rights are thus key components of security policy.

Development: By definition, underdevelopment is a source of insecurity. Economic and social vulnerability and underdevelopment are also frequently linked to violent conflict. The 2004 Project Ploughshares Armed Conflict Report notes that, of the 28 states which experienced armed conflict within their territory in 2003, only five (17.9 per cent) were in the top half of the United Nations Development Programme’s 2004 Human Development Index. Measures to create the kinds of economic, social, and environmental conditions that are conducive to sustainable peace and stability are thus also to be understood as making a contribution to security.

Disarmament: The excessive and destabilizing buildup of arms is another major threat to international peace and security. Weapons of all sizes, from small arms to nuclear warheads, produce instability and divert resources from other urgent needs, making disarmament a key element of security.

Diplomacy: Diplomacy promotes the peaceful resolution of disputes and is obviously the most cost-effective way of preventing conflict. Security requires engagement in multilateral efforts toward the peaceful resolution of conflict and the development of a rules-based international order.

Defence: The international community collectively possesses a military capacity of extraordinary power, yet this has not prevented high levels of violent conflict. Simply adding to this force will not make the world more responsive to the needs of the vulnerable, nor will it ensure compliance with international law and standards. The challenge is to ensure that when states employ military force, they are equipped to support regional peace and security without escalating the crisis. The challenge is to devise policies and capacities to resort to the use of force only in extraordinary circumstances, in accord with international law and in support of the full range of peace and security efforts.

A defence policy for the twenty-first century that places a high priority on human security and protecting vulnerable populations requires an alternative military model. In instances of egregious violations of the rights and safety of civilians, and in which the prospects for terminating the fighting are remote, the challenge is to find a means of protecting those in peril without getting drawn into destructive combat. Such interventions, which have as their primary objective the protection of civilians, do not require the full range of military capabilities traditionally employed in combat situations. Rather, a defence policy which is geared towards civilian protection and peace support operations requires a range of specialized military capabilities designed to meet the human security obligation to help bring basic protection to vulnerable civilians. Canadian defence policy, and therefore the nation’s military training and equipment, must be reshaped to reflect this civilian protection priority. The current minority Government should be open to constructive change along these lines inasmuch as the Liberals, NDP, and Bloc all tabled policy statements during the election campaign that emphasize peacebuilding and peace support operations, and the importance of shaping military equipment and training to support those roles.

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