Missile Defence: Does it work and do we really need it?

May 18, 2006 :: David Bercuson
Moderated by Bob Campbell

Missile Defence is back on the international radar screen. This week NATO unveiled a plan for Europe, which reportedly is almost identical to the Pentagon’s planned shield for North America. Thus far, Canada has resisted overtures from the United States to join its North American shield. But will Canada, under a new Conservative government, reverse its position? After all, it is a member of both NATO and NORAD.

Politics aside, does the bullet-to-bullet technology of a missile defence shield actually work? And how much would this questionable system cost the taxpayer?

Which countries would we be defending ourselves against? Who would be likely to be aiming ballistic missiles at Canada?

But world order is changing. More and more countries will acquire nuclear weapons technology and long-range ballistic missiles. Can Canada afford to sit on the fence? By joining a North American or European shield would we, in effect, be drawing fire aimed at one of our allies? Is participation in a missile defence shield in the national interest?

Speaker: David Bercuson

Dr. Bercuson earned his PhD in history in 1971 at the University of Toronto. His academic areas of concentration include modern Canadian politics, Canadian defence and foreign policy, and Canadian military history. He is well-known nationally as commentator on political and defence issues.

Dr. Bercuson was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1989 and appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2003. In 1997, he was appointed Director of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at The University of Calgary. He is an Honorary Lt. Colonel in the 33rd Field Engineer Squadron, 41st Brigade, Canadian Army Reserves. Last year, Dr. Bercuson was appointed to the Canadian government’s Advisory Council on National Security.

Dr. Bercuson has written, co-authored or edited more than 35 books and contributes articles to national newspapers, including the Globe and Mail, National Post and the Toronto Star.


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