Strategic Stability in the Second Nuclear Age: Towards a BMD Paradigm
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The end of the Cold War marks the beginning of the policy shift from strategic stability (the policy that guided U.S. and Soviet nuclear doctrine and acquisition strategies throughout the Cold War) to a new strategy privileging ballistic missile defence (BMD). Prior to this shift BMD programs were considered by both sides to be financially untenable, technologically unreliable, and dangerously destabilising and potentially catastrophic, primarily because they risked undermining the stability of a second strike capability and other stabilizing features of mutually assured destruction (MAD). I argue that this new environment is making missile defence a viable alternative to massive nuclear arsenals. In this new security environment Canada remains an anomaly. Canadian officials support NATO BMD programs but reject any bilateral and/or bi-national negotiations with Washington on continental BMD for North America. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, I argue that Canada, through the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) agreement on early warning radars, is in fact part of missile defence.