Strategic Weapons: July 16, 2000


Canada and the US have agreed a year early to a five-year extension of the NORAD defense agreement. The agreement would not normally have been renewed until next spring. The key point is the upcoming National Missile Defense system. By renewing NORAD now, the US avoids having the Canadians abruptly pull out of the treaty in response to a US decision to build the system without the agreement of the Russians. On the other hand, the Canadians insist that NORAD could not be used to control the missile defense system under the existing treaty (which was not changed), which means that the Canadians would have a veto over deployment of the system. --Stephen V Cole


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