|Wikileaks:||View 03OTTAWA49 at Wikileaks.org|
|Tags:||PREL MARR MOPS IZ CA NATO UN|
|Redacted:||This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 OTTAWA 000049 SIPDIS FOR SECRETARY RUMSFELD E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/07/2012 TAGS: PREL, MARR, MOPS, IZ, CA, NATO, UN SUBJECT: YOUR MEETING WITH CANADIAN DEFENSE MINISTER MCCALLUM REF: A. (A) 02 OTTAWA 3442 (B) 02 OTTAWA 3101 B. (C) 02 OTTAWA 3556 Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Michael Gallagher, Reasons 1.5 (b) and (d). ------- SUMMARY ------- 1. (C) Canadian Defense Minister John McCallum is looking forward to discussing Iraq, missile defense, and NATO post-Prague in your January 9 meeting. Canada has told us it would participate militarily in a UN-blessed operation against Iraq, but is reserving judgement on participation if there is no explicit Security Council authorization. We believe that Canada would, in the end, take part in a coalition campaign even if the Security Council is divided. On missile defense, Canada finally realizes that the train is leaving the station and that it needs to get on board; discussions with U.S. experts are scheduled for January 28. At NATO, Canada supports your Response Force proposal but has been one of the worst offenders for inadequate resources. Given Prime Minister Chretien's ambitious domestic agenda for his 2003-2004 budget, which will be announced in February, McCallum needs a strong message from you on defense spending to take back to Ottawa. END SUMMARY. 2. (C) Since his appointment in May 2002, Minister McCallum has had a positive impact on U.S.-Canada defense relations. While he has not gotten the substantial increase in defense spending that most Canadians (outside the Prime Minister's office) believe is needed, he has made progress in expanding defense cooperation. In response to the increased terrorist threat to North America, he pushed succesfully for an agreement, signed in December 2002, on a binational military planning group at NORAD headquarters (ref. A). He also was able to shift the debate in Ottawa on missile defense, convincing a skeptical Foreign Minister Graham that Canada should accelerate discussions with us on possible participation (ref. B). In addition to having a good relationship with Graham, McCallum carries more weight in Cabinet than did his predecessor Art Eggleton. ---- IRAQ ---- 3. (C) As indicated in a December 16 meeting with Under Secretary of State Grossman (ref. C), Canada shares our SIPDIS concerns about the Iraqi WMD threat, and strongly supports our efforts to work through the UN to disarm Saddam. But the GoC wants to avoid being seen as pre-judging the UN process or backing the U.S. just for the sake of the bilateral relationship. Canada's response to our request for a contribution to a potential military coalition had four main components: -- Canada remains committed to the UN process, and prefers that Iraq be disarmed peacefully; -- should Iraq fail to meet its obligations, and the UNSC explicitly authorize the use of force, Canada will participate militarily; -- should the UN process fail and no explicit authorization of force is given, Canada will decide at that time whether to participate militarily; and -- Canada will proceed with military-to-military consultations with the U.S. on potential coalition contributions (Canadian military planners have since arrived at CENTCOM and are engaged in discussions with U.S. counterparts). 4. (C) To the extent that we stay the course on the UN process and can keep other allies onside, we make the decision on military participation easier for the GoC to sell domestically. The inspectors' report and any other evidence that we can share on Iraq's WMD program will be key. As for what Canada might bring to the table, our expectations should be modest. Canada probably would need to use assets currently devoted to Operation Enduring Freedom, including a Naval Task Group and patrol and transport aircraft. --------------- MISSILE DEFENSE --------------- 5. (C) During an October meeting with NORTHCOM Commander GEN Eberhart, McCallum told us that Canada would be seeking a high-level meeting with the U.S. to discuss Canada's potential participation in the missile defense program. This was a welcome departure from the wait-and-see approach the GoC had exhibited before, and reflected Canada's realization that it is better off exploring the costs/benefits and making a participation decision sooner rather than later, even if such a decision will be controversial domestically. The missile defense consultations are now scheduled for January 28 in Washington. Following this meeting, McCallum and Foreign Minister Graham plan to brief Cabinet and seek tacit approval for pursuing the discussions further. One of the key questions for Canada will be how the missile defense architecture meshes with NORAD and NORTHCOM. 6. (C) While the GoC is moving in the right direction, and does not want to be left behind other allies, there is still work to be done here on the policy side. After the President's December announcement on missile defense deployment, Foreign Minister Graham reiterated Canadian concerns about weaponization of space. DFAIT contacts told us that there was no change in GoC interest in missile defense cooperation, but Graham's statement does reflect lingering misgivings in a government that places great emphasis on arms control. -------------- NATO/RESOURCES -------------- 7. (C) Canada was an early supporter of the robust NATO expansion at Prague, and it also endorsed your Response Force proposal. But Canada has been part of the problem when it comes to inadequate resources, spending only 1.1% of its GDP on defense in 2002. To put this in perspective, U.S. spending on missile defense alone in 2002 was roughly equal to Canada's total defense budget of US$7.9 billion. Ambassador Cellucci has raised the profile of this issue in Ottawa by emphasizing the value we place on Canadian Forces (CF) contributions around the world and our concerns about the CF's ability to do so in the future. By raising defense spending with McCallum, you can help him make the case with his Cabinet counterparts that this issue is a top priority in Washington, as well. 8. (C) McCallum, again, has done a better job than his predecessor at making the case for more funding, going so far as to publicly say that the gap between military resources and commitments is "unsustainable." He has launched a defense policy update to try to back up his arguments for the 2003-2004 defense budget, but he faces a very tough sell in Prime Minister Chretien, who has shortchanged the Canadian Forces throughout his 10 years in office. Given Chretien's ambitious domestic agenda for his final year in office, we are hoping for an increase of a few hundred million for defense in 2003-2004. GALLAGHER
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