ABMís are unavoidable
by Matt Barton
The Anti-Ballistic Missile protest movement is unrealistic. It is no longer a question of the existence of ABMs but whether Canada should be involved in research, development and deployment. We can no longer afford to sit on our hands and do nothing while the world marches on.
The original ABM treaty was between the U.S. and the USSR. It was a bilateral treaty made by two rational states. Both nations realized they had enough weapons to destroy the world multiple times over. Common ground was needed to ensure the world didnít accidentally come to an end. It worked.
That was then, this is now. Nuclear arms are cheaper and more affordable. The growing accessibility of weapons to non-governmental terrorist organizations is a dangerous fact of reality. Al-Qaeda is a prime example. How can the United States be bound by a rational treaty made between rational ďactorsĒ when irrational terrorist organizations are attacking them?
These people think diplomacy is strapping a bomb on their chest.
They are not rational. They believe blowing themselves up and taking as many people with them as possible will get them to Heaven. Canada cannot bind itself to antiquated and outdated notions of anti-proliferation when it faces enemies who are not bound by reason.
Detractors of the ABM initiative say they are ineffective and expensive. The truth is, technology and computer systems are constantly being improved. The argument is irrelevant by innovation.
Canadians are constantly complaining about the growing irrelevancy of Canada on the world stage. Well no wonder. You canít play hockey if you donít bring your stick. You donít matter in politics if you refuse to engage in real world policies.
The United States is going to proceed with the ABM shield whether we like it or not. Canada must be involved. We should have a say when it comes to nuclear missiles being shot down over our population. The amount of resources invested into the ABM program would be minimal at best. The benefits of having research labs constructed in Canada would have positive outward economic effects.
The problem is that people believe the ABM shield is the only thing the government is doing to address terrorist activities. This isnít the case. What the government needs is public support for an eclectic approach to terrorism defense measures. We need a comprehensive, PanAmerican defense initiative that includes ABMs, border and air security measures, weapons management, enhanced communications as well as furthering non-violent, diplomatic solutions to conflict resolution. Canada cannot afford to opt-out of the international community any longer. We are a global nation and conflict anywhere affects us indirectly. We must take a proactive solution to protecting ourselves and fostering an environment for peace.