Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« Kyoto Storm Warning | Main | Is Harvard University also bigoted against southpaws? »

Friday, February 25, 2005

Successful Test: BMD "Emergency Deployment"

Paul Martin's timing is impeccable.

PACIFIC MISSILE RANGE FACILITY, KAUAI, Hawaii, Feb. 24, 2005 /PRNewswire/ -- The Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Weapon System and Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) destroyed a ballistic missile outside the earth's atmosphere during an Aegis BMD Program flight test over the Pacific Ocean. Raytheon Company develops the SM-3. Lockheed Martin develops the Aegis BMD Weapon System.

The Feb. 24 mission -- the fifth successful intercept for SM-3 -- was the first firing of the Aegis BMD "Emergency Deployment" capability using operational versions of the SM-3 Block I missile and Aegis BMD Weapon System.

This was also the first test to exercise SM-3's third stage rocket motor (TSRM) single- pulse mode. The TSRM has two pulses, which can be ignited independently, providing expansion of the ballistic missile engagement battlespace.

The SM-3 was launched from the Aegis BMD cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70) and hit a target missile that had been launched from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii.

via Drudge.

update - One of David Frum's readers responds to Paul Martin's assertion that ""We would expect to be consulted"prior to a BMD deployment.

In other words, Canada wants no part of missile defense right up until the time of incoming. At that point we can count them in."

Posted by Kate McMillan on February 25, 2005 in Military | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Successful Test: BMD "Emergency Deployment":


PM PM late again? Of course.

The Left:


Posted by: maz2 | 2005-02-25 12:01:53 PM

More: Check out Condi's boots. See Instapundit.

President Condi?

Posted by: maz2 | 2005-02-25 12:05:59 PM

Now Martin insists the USA must ask permission before using Canadian air space to stop an incoming missile:


The American public won't take too kindly to that (masterful understatement, if I do say so myself!)

Posted by: Debbye | 2005-02-25 12:25:29 PM

Has the notion of sovereignty lost so much currency in some quarters that _not_ asking is considered an option?

Let's be serious and see this for what it is. Paul Cellucci steps over the line and suggests that Canada has relenquished sovereignty. Paul Martin responds - as he must - by saying that we have not.

No one disputes the right of the US to defend itself. Equally, no one should dispute Canada's sovereignty.

Posted by: keving | 2005-02-25 1:03:01 PM

Paul Celluci's answer: no, screw you.

If a missile is flying towards America over Canada, they're going to shoot it down. Period.

So the anti-"weaponization of space" crowd have sold away the sovreignity of Canada's skies to make a statement. A statement that no one in the outside world gives a rat's ass about.


Posted by: Dylan Sherlock | 2005-02-25 1:03:11 PM

It was the 5th successful intercept for SM-3, out of, I believe, 6 attempts and the first of the BMD. It works and was engineered to work. Canadians were, as usual, sneering that it 'wouldn't work'. Why? Why the contempt? Where does our superiority come from??

The Canadian public is completely misinformed, and not provided with information by the gov't or the MSM and left open to the scary-tales-by-the-fireside of our resident spooks, the NDP and the Bloc. These two Fear Cults weave their fictional narratives and tell us that these BMD are the entry to Star Wars and other acts of 'War-Devils Coming to Earth'. Canada, we are reminded, opposes War-Devils and other such Evil Spirits and prefers to stick by that fireside and knit socks for the homeless. The fact that these scary tales are Just So Tales is irrelevant. We Canadians are dumb enough to believe them.

So- what's with Martin? He's not a leader. He has one and only one interest. His position, and, he'll obviously do just about anything to get it. He's not interested in Canada in itself or in Canada in an international role. He only wants....heck and don't cry too much...he only wants to be PM!! Poor thing. He'll do anything for that position. Look how Boy Scouts 'never-tell-a-lie' he was at the Gomery Inquiry. And how Boy Scouts 'let's all cheer for our past leader' he was the next day, raising a cheer for Chretien's utter contempt of that same Inquiry.

Martin rejects the BMD now, despite being 'for' it last year, because he's currently sucking up to les Quebecois - who are against it because it's American...who are their modern embodiment of the Eternal Evil (les anglais)...and because Quebec is always and for ever, isolationist and won't lift a finger for anyone. Well, maybe The Finger...but not much more than that.

And, Martin is after the NDP as well. They are against BMD because, golly, for the same reason. it's The Americans, who embody the evils of Capitalism, Individualism and self-reliance...all activities guaranteed to turn you away from the NDP ideal of their role as Missionaries...and the rest of us as The Flock Who Must Listen and never be self-reliant.

Of course, Quebec, embedded in its own eternal narrative of French wars-against-the-English considers that anything done by 'les americaines' is comparable to anything done by 'les anglais' of 200-300 years ago. In other words - it must be resisted and defeated. The only 'les anglais' activities permissable, are those of English-Canada, and only when it hands over the largesse of Alberta and Ontario - to Quebec. Beyond that incoming obesiance and tribute from 'les anglais' to Quebec, which Quebec considers as its Right - Quebec is not interested in the Canadian Peasantry.

So- what we have is a PM who is focused on and only on...how can he get votes...and he'll do literally anything to get these votes. It's becoming, however, a complete embarassment. Is anyone going to confront him and stop the guy???

Posted by: ET | 2005-02-25 1:10:05 PM

This is Paul Martin this morning:


"This is our airspace, we're a sovereign nation and you don't intrude on a sovereign nation's airspace without seeking permission."

So my question for Mr. Dithers is "If a missile launched by N. Korea traversed Canadian airspace and was shot down over Canada by the U.S. BMD system, who would you hold responsible for the intrusion on our air space?"

At one time I knew how this question would be answered. Today I'm not so sure.

Posted by: TimR | 2005-02-25 1:18:12 PM

Quoted from David Frum's NRO blog.

"Martin said he would expect to be consulted on what to do about any missile passing over Canada."

[Buffalo, NY reader] Callahan observes: "In other words, Canada wants no part of missile defense right up until the time of incoming. At that point we can count them in."

Posted by: JR | 2005-02-25 1:23:17 PM

Keving - the person who rejected Canadian sovereignty was Paul Martin. He rejected being aligned, as a sovereign nation, with the US in its BMD activities over Canada. OK? Remember, the US was not asking a thing from Canada. No funding, no research, no personnel. Nothing.

All it was asking was - IF a missile is sent by a rogue state towards the USA, and the trajectory is over Canada, then, the USA will shoot it down with its BMD. Since the trajectory MAY be over Canada, the USA was being extremely courteous asking Canada, if it wanted to participate in this BMD program (remember - no money, no personnel)..such that Canada would be notified that a missile was over Canada, and the USA would shoot it down.
Martin said: NO.

Fine. Think what he said. He has rejected being informed by the USA that a missile was over Canada and that the USA would shoot it down. He won't participate. No other participation was asked by the USA. No funds, no research, no personnel. Nothing.

The USA need not ask permission to shoot this down, and you are, if I may suggest, rather naive to consider that their defense ought to, before they launch their anti-missile device, now - not launch it. Are you really saying that they should instead wait, phone up Canada, have someone find the PM, or the Defence Minister or rouse Pettigrew from his Paris apartment or...Andn then, ask - Dear Sirs, Is it OK for us to launch an anti-missile?

Can you imagine that the USA will not launch the anti-missile device until SOMEONE in Canada is found...and then, wait, wait, until they give the OK???? Mr. Dithers can't make a decision. By the time the first phone call was made - that missile would be long past Canada and into New York and Washington.

Paul Martin effectively rejected Canadian sovereignty. He refused to participate in the BMD - which means that he refused to accept that Canada should be informed of an incoming missile over Canada and of the anti-missile launch.
Now - he is pompously asserting that the USA must NOT violate Canadian airspace. Rubbish.

Posted by: ET | 2005-02-25 1:28:13 PM

ET - right on! My two cents worth:

BMD is one of the few issues that both the Liberals and Conservatives could have agreed is in the national interest - a nearly perfect bipartisan issue. Martin was in favour. Harper was in favour. Their caucus’s could have been brought round. If they’d agreed to support BMD the Canadian public could have been brought round. In short they could shown leadership (for a change). They’d have both taken equal lumps in Quebec as the price to pay for doing the right thing. Instead they both decided to play BMD as a partisan issue (mostly for votes in Quebec). So a pox on both. The anti-BMD crowd (the NDP, the Bloc and the pacifists) had free reign to oppose it and did so effectively.

Posted by: JR | 2005-02-25 1:30:56 PM

@ET - I think you're mis-reading it. All this soveriegnty excitement is a little political finger flipping.

Prediction: 12 months from now, after the real negotiations have taken place and all the posturing has ended, there will be an agreement in place unifying, to some extent, BMD and NORAD. There will be a process for notifying Canada (probably someone in that mountain) if a threat materializes and that person or process will immediately provide "permission".

Celucci is just a sharp stick. Let's not mistake his howling for policy positions.

Posted by: keving | 2005-02-25 1:43:13 PM

TimR - what a great example!!

Yes - Mr. Dithers - are you going to insist that the N. Koreans or whoever, ought to ask your permission if they launch a missile against the USA - and it happens to pass over Canada and its 'sovereign air space'?


Posted by: ET | 2005-02-25 1:46:30 PM

Great, the USN throws up a puffball so their buddies at Raytheon can claim a hit. No chaff, no decoys, just one big long juciy missile. Wow. It's so reminiscent of the astonishing success rates publisized for the Patriot after GW1. First it was 100%, which dropped to 70% and then 40% and that was only it the Suadi desert, where the scuds could fall harmlessly on the sand.

Why is everyone so anxious to expedite the US's ability to knock nukes down onto Canadian soil? It's okay guys, we don't mind. Better you should knock those nasty nukes down on Edmonton or Calgary rather than mess up that newly renovated Chicago waterfront.

The Yanks will do what they want whether you're in the treaty or not. The Aussies joined and they'll be putting BMD's on their soil. It wouldn't have anything to do with drawing fire away from US targets now would it? And if the vaunted Aegis, like their Patriot predecessor knocks a nuke down on Sydney, miles from any Yankee target, will the Yanks actually retaliate? Yeah right.

Posted by: DJ | 2005-02-25 2:37:10 PM

Keving - there are no more negotiations. It's over.

Mr. Dithers made his choice. His choice was to reject what was good for Canada; instead, he chose what was good for himself. His concern and his only concern, is his re-election. In this, he is a clone of Chretien.

Mr. Martin did NOT choose what was good for Canada; namely, to act as a sovereign nation and insist on KNOWING what was going on in its own airspace, and ASSISTING the USA to defend both itself and Canada. Instead, Mr. Martin said he didn't want in, on this BMD process of self-defense.
Fine. That means that he doesn't want to know what is going on, and won't do anything about it.
So- his false posture now, of insisting that the USA FIRST ask permission before it launches a BMD is a joke! There's NO TIME to ask permission! The USA was asking, NOW, for permission to take preventative action - if a missile ever appeared over Canada. Martin refused this request.
Remember - there's no time to ask...once a rogue missile has been launched. The USA can't phone up Martin and ask for his OK then; that's why they asked for it NOW! And Canada refused.

Oh- isn't Canada supposed to be big on multilateralism? Isn't it supposed to uphold collaboration and working together? Seems that is just blah blah rhetoric as well.

And Celucci is not howling. He's being open and honest. He's exactly right; Canada rejected its sovereignty. It said it didn't want to know about the BMD activities...and...that means it doesn't want to know about a missile flying overhead. Again - once it's launched by a rogue state, it's too late to inform Canada and ask permission.

Now - wouldn't it be nice if our Canadian politicians would try to be open and honest, as is Celucci - rather than treat us like 'people who must be manipulated by propaganda'...

I repeat - it's all about Martin's sole agenda; he wants to be re-elected and to hell with Canada.

Posted by: ET | 2005-02-25 2:40:31 PM

I love the way some people seem to think "sovereignty" means "do what America tells us"...

WHy be part of a system that 1)destabilizes international relations by violating international arms agreements and 2) will never work...

The Russians have already designed systems to defeat the planned interceptors, the Chinese aren;t far behind. Missile defense is the 21st century version of the Maginot Line; only works if the enemy behaves the way you tell him to.

Posted by: A Hermit | 2005-02-25 2:41:30 PM

DJ- your post is filled with ambiguity, fallacious allegations and ungrounded narrative. Hey- are you NDP?

If a missile is headed to a specific target, such as New York, then, are you suggesting that the USA should wait, should do nothing, until it had passed completely over Canadian airspace, before hitting it? There's no time for such a manoevre, so your allegation that the USA is deliberately hitting it as soon as it can, to harm Canada rather than the USA, is unfounded.

Equally, your denigration of the test is just vapid rhetoric. What's your point, other than an example of smug condescension?

The Australians are involved in the current war on terror and involved in many other areas as well. For example, in the recent tsunami crisis, it was the Australians, the USA, Japan and India that set up a coalition to move fast and act fast. The UN dithered and did its usual - sent in a survey team. Canada did nothing until the gov't was shamed into action by the generosity of the Canadian citizen. The Canadian DART team, yet another rhetorical (empty) device, wasn't sent in for two weeks, despite being touted as 'a 48 hour response team'..and the excuse was magnificent. The excuse was 'No-one asked for it'. Incredible; a traumatized people have to know that Canada 'has' such a team, and must, first, ask for it. Ahh..Canadian sovereignty. We must be asked...before we will say NO.

Posted by: ET | 2005-02-25 2:49:59 PM

The US also has to protect Canada from incoming missiles.

Suppose an incoming missile fell short of an American target.

Or suppose an enemy realized that an attack directed at a Canadian city would be a lot easier and would completely demoralize America. (After all, if a man's enemy can't stike him, think of the damage that can be inflicted by attacking his relatives.)

Do you suppose a missile hitting Edmonton would be a provocation for rejoicing in the US? If Edmonton were hit, America would be in agony. AGONY.

We cannot let missiles strike us or our friends and relatives in Canada.

We have to protect Canada even if Paul Martin won't.

Posted by: Greg outside Dallas | 2005-02-25 4:33:52 PM

>The Russians have already designed systems to defeat the planned interceptors

Now all they have to do is get from design to deployment. Funny...haven't I heard that objection somewhere recently...

Posted by: lrC | 2005-02-25 4:47:09 PM

@Greg Thanks. While I have no relatives in the US I have a great many friends and I feel strongly about their safety too.

There is a school of thought, one to which I subscribe, that BMD will not make North America safer and will lead to further escalation. BMD is easily defeated. At best, it can only provide protection from one or a small number of missles. It provides no protection from Russia for example.

There is existing missle technology that can evade BMD. There are also simpler way to avoid it. The only thing required to defeat BMD is more missles. A simple task to accomplish - even for a rogue state.

There is risk in not building a BMD and there is risk in building one. It is possible to seek to protect Canada and to disagree with BMD participation.

Posted by: keving | 2005-02-25 5:08:55 PM

Actually, I believe producing many Nuclear missiles is difficult. Damned difficult actually, very large facilities are required to produce very small quantities of enriched uranium or plutonium. Furthermore maintaining the warheads and the missiles are equally difficult and expensive.

BMD has never been sold as a shield against massive nuclear attack, but as protection against a so called rogue state.

Quite frankly, BMD is as much about being able to project power and not have the US having to bow down to smaller rogue nations that can threaten the US with nuclear attack. I know some people will happily roll in that revelation, but really its a good thing. Do we really want North Korea to be able to stare down the Americans? I don't think so.

Canada should have signed on. It was a no brainer. Now instead of an ally, we're a liability, an area of weakness in North America.

Posted by: Gareth Igloliorte | 2005-02-25 6:26:01 PM

keving, I appreciate your point of view.

I think most of the things I would say in reponse have already been said more eloquently by previous posters on this and the other thread.

It has already been mentioned that getting into an arms race with the US is a dubious economic enterprise. And as we are essentially talking about rogue states, I am not sure where they would get the money to operate. (Reagan caused the Soviet Union to collapse by engaging them in an arms race they could not afford.)

One thing that has yet to be mentioned (?) is that an arms race of the proportions we are talking about would not be able to conceal itself from intelligence agencies. Counter measures would be appropriate should a country escalate to such an extent.

Additionally, one has to bear in mind that the US would not simply be defending against incoming missiles over Canadian and American air space, we would also be retaliating with our own strikes against the offender. This I believe would act as an additional deterrent. So with one hand we would be downing attacking missiles, but with the other hand we would be making sure no addtional missiles could be launched at us.

People have already pointed out the Russian claims have yet to be substantiated in a deployable system. It would not be in the interests of the Russian economy to get involved in deploying expensive systems when their only concern is with us, a friendly nation.

One last thing I would mention is that we are talking about some systems that have a component in technological black ops. And I would be surprised if the US has fully alerted other nations in respect to the capacities that either exist or are possible.

Posted by: Greg outside Dallas | 2005-02-25 6:43:44 PM

@Greg - Getting into an arms race with the US would indeed be folly if you mean arms race in the sense of a Reagan style race trying to match tanks, subs, ships, warplanes, and all the accompanying infrastructure. Building enough missiles to nullify a BMD is not that race. Heavens, even North Korea has managed, we think, to build a number of deployable weapons and they are one of the poorest countries on the planet.

While the BMD is meant to deter rogue states it also has implications for larger states. The escalation may not necessarily only come from small states where black ops can be effective.

There are many good reasons and justifications to proceed with BMD. There are also many reasons to refrain. On balance, for me, the cons outweigh the pros.

Posted by: keving | 2005-02-25 7:11:30 PM

Hopefully the first incoming missile is shot down and the debris lands on Ottawa. Problem with "The Yellow Backs"(Paul martin and Co.) solved. By the way the same type of arguments went on all through the second World War. The gutless Quebeckers lost that battle, the outcome might be different this time.

Posted by: Keith Thomson | 2005-02-25 10:20:21 PM

"If a missile is headed to a specific target, such as New York..." The point is the Yanks will do what they want, whether Canucks have signed on or not. The historical evidence is bountiful, PJBD, Cuba, Vietnam; it matters little what Canucks think. Dief found out first hand what happens when you cross the Yanks.

"What's your point..." simple. Trusting an assessment by the manufacturer, Raytheon, who have a vested interest in the success of the project is about as reliable as trusting Colin Powell's explanation of satellite photos taken over Iraq.
Even if we accept, naively, the capability of BMD, where's the threat? Only one country has used nukes. All others have preferred not to face assured extinction. Nukes have proved the best deterrent to war in the history of mankind.

You have a penchant for fabrication, ET. DART did not go because it was obvious to anyone with eyes to see that the NGOs were much better positioned to respond rapidly. In fact, according to Ret. Gen. Lewis Mackenzie, the CF never wanted DART in the first place. They too realised that NGOs provided the most rapid and efficient response.

Quebecers were the only ones in this country with guts and brains enough to point out the folly of unnecessary war. But the Anglos were too arrogant and stupid too listen. What did it accomplish? Hundreds of thousand of casualties, the destruction of the British Empire, and its prostration before the American hegemony, the total decline of the WASPs in Canada and the final victory of Yankee Liberalism over the great tradition of Canadian Conservatism; the tradition of Edmund Burke, MacDonald, Bennett and Diefenbaker.

The dream of our forefathers, the United Empire Loyalists, loyal to the Crown, fleeing persecution and rebuke, in the hope of founding a society where the betterment of the common good, based on tradition, prevailed over the arrogance of irrational individualism, is finished. Better the socialist behemoths, Hitler and Stalin, were left to their owns ends. Better we had heeded the advice of our French Canadian brethren.

Posted by: DJ | 2005-02-26 12:55:15 AM

If Alberta was an independent country, accommodation to US with regards to BMD could be made and the price could be opening up the border to Alberta beef. The US gets what it wants. Alberta would get what is in our self-interest: better defense and opening up the US to our beef.

Let's not pretend that Canada protects the interests of Albertans, even minutely. This is the 36,281st example of how Canadian federalism fails Albertans.

Posted by: FreeAlberta.com | 2005-02-26 10:03:27 AM

"Or suppose an enemy realized that an attack directed at a Canadian city would be a lot easier and would completely demoralize America. (After all, if a man's enemy can't stike him, think of the damage that can be inflicted by attacking his relatives.)"

An excellent point, Greg, as always. Certainly the economic damage could be incalculable, while Tedward Kennedy and his ilk would undoubtedly oppose unleashing a devastating retaliatory strike based on the destruction of a Frostback city.

Does anyone remember the Cold War-era books by Sir John Hackett (he of the Arnhem bridge) and others, The Third World War and The Third World War: The Untold Story? Basically, IIRC, the disintegration of Yugoslavia leads to a NATO-Warsaw Pact conventional conflict; the Soviets come off second-best, panic and nuke Birmingham (because an attack on an American city is too dangerous); and finally, the RN vaporises Minsk with American approval.

Posted by: Charles MacDonald | 2005-02-26 11:35:37 AM

Canoe news headline:

"U.S can't blast away,PM says"

PM PM, aka Mr. Dithers, is living on Uranus.

Posted by: maz2 | 2005-02-26 3:44:15 PM

It won’t work, and it’s never going to work.


Oh sure, there are pie-in-the-sky types who’ll tell you that it can work, that x out of y times it really does work, but that’s all BS.

A lot of people say we need it to protect us from harm. They are just saying that to advance their own political agenda. There’s no way this will make us invulnerable.

And from what I’ve read, the technology just can’t do the job. Throwing countless billions down the drain – billions that could be put to good use elsewhere - is not a solution.

So that’s why I’m against the gun registry.

Posted by: Mississauga Matt | 2005-02-26 6:28:20 PM

Me too.

Posted by: maz2 | 2005-02-26 7:28:55 PM

Let's not pretend that Americans consider the interests of Albertans, even minutely. Why would the Yanks want Alberta's beef? They can supply their own market quite readily with no fear of ingesting poison prions.

An excellent point Mr. MacDonald. Canada would be much better off with its own independent nuclear retaliatory capabiltiy. Why didn't Canada get its own nukes?

"Canada, after all, was on the ground floor in the development of the first atomic bomb, even though it was decidedly a junior partner to the British and the Americans. There were two important reasons for Canada's inclusion in the atomic project.

First, Canada could supply uranium. At the time, there were only two known sources of uranium outside Nazi-controlled continental Europe--one in the Belgian Congo, the other on the shores of Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories. In addition, the only uranium refinery in North America was in Port Hope, Ontario.

The second reason was location--Canada was far from the fighting in Europe and Asia, which allowed scientists to work in peace away from Nazi bombing raids.

At the end of World War II, Canada had not only vast uranium reserves, but also the industrial and technical basis to fully exploit the atom.

Canadian policy-makers held two competing views of nuclear weapons from 1957 to 1989. "Defenders,"... emphasized the Soviet threat, feared that Canada would be abandoned by the Americans and its other allies, and believed that the doctrine of nuclear deterrence was suitable and reliable. Prominent defenders included Progressive Conservative cabinet ministers Douglas Harkness and Perrin Beatty; Liberal cabinet ministers Paul Martin Sr., Paul Hellyer, and Mitchell Sharp; and senior bureaucrats in external affairs Leo Cadieux, Ross Campbell, and Alan Gotlieb.

"Critics," on the other hand, believed the Soviet threat was exaggerated, feared that Canada would be trapped into a war by its allies, and doubted the suitability and reliability of the doctrine of nuclear deterrence. Prominent critics included Liberal cabinet ministers Walter Gordon, Eric Kierans, and Donald Macdonald; and Pierre Trudeau's foreign policy adviser, Ivan Head."

And what was the evidence that the Yanks would abandon their traditional allies, including Canada? The Suez Crisis, 1956. Eisenhower's actions promped both the French and Israelis to embark on an effort to obtain an independent nuclear capability.

Posted by: DJ | 2005-02-26 8:18:31 PM

Has canada ever been a sovereign country?

Has Finland? No. The Russian Bear precludes Finland"s sovereignty.

The American Eagle is the Boss; da Boss; Numero Uno; No. One; Headmaster; Commanding Officer; The Man.

canada has never been a sovereign country; will not & cannot be a sovereign country. canada is Finland; the four seasons are us both. So, enjoy your saunas & vodka.

Posted by: maz2 | 2005-02-26 8:33:57 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.