The State and Future of NORAD, Continental Defence, and Arctic Security

In this episode of the Expert Series, Rob Huebert, Bob Davidson, James Fergusson, Andrea Charron, and Michel Lalumiere provide insights into the current state of NORAD and continental defence within the context of Canada’s Strong, Secure, Engaged (SSE) framework. The panel discusses various topics, including the outdated state of NORAD, challenges in modernization, evolving threats such as hypersonics and nuclear capabilities, the maritime security gap, and the perception of the Canadian Arctic’s lesser threat compared to the European Arctic. The experts also delve into NORAD’s role and alignment with SSE, Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD), space and cyber domains, the impact of climate change on Arctic infrastructure, civilian infrastructure needs, and NORAD and NATO collaboration.

The panel stresses the need for comprehensive modernization to address emerging threats like hypersonics and nuclear capabilities. They highlight concerns about transparency, slow procurement, and the lack of emphasis on maritime security. Recurrent themes include the narrative around North America’s defence, the significance of the Arctic, and the importance of a whole-of-government approach. The experts discuss the impact of geopolitical events, such as the Ukrainian war, and underscore the critical roles of space and cyber domains. They emphasize the necessity for a mindset shift, recognizing the gravity of continental defence, and advocate for increased international collaboration.

The interviews comprising this episode were conducted between June and September 2023.

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