Canada’s position on ballistic missile defence has always been somewhat perplexing given how little it would have cost a Canadian government to play a supporting role to the United States. As Frank Harvey argues in a new policy paper for CDFAI, North Korea, Ballistic Missile Defence and Canada-US Defence Cooperation, Canada has “officially endorse[d] the logic, strategic utility and security benefits of ballistic missile defence” as a signatory of NATO’s new Strategic Concept, but “only in terms of protecting European and American territory and populations.”

Harvey, the Eric Dennis Memorial Chair of Government and Politics at Dalhousie University, observes that “Canadian officials have the luxury to sit back and let allies protect our territory, but this is a foreign policy strategy that has reached the point of taking free-riding to a new and somewhat disturbing level.”