DEFENDING NORTH AMERICA

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DEFENDING NORTH AMERICA by Mind Map: DEFENDING NORTH AMERICA

1. The Scrapping of the Avro Arrow

1.1. For

1.1.1. The original estimate that one aircraft would cost $2 million rose to $12 million, and the government could not deal with the constantly rising cost of development, especially as the demand for these aircrafts fell drastically with the increasing use of long-range missiles.

1.1.2. The immense amount of money that would be funneled into building these fighter planes could be more efficiently used in other quarters, such as innovation in medicine, improving the availability of education for underprivileged children, support to the financially struggling, etc. Economically, it would be wiser not to go through with the project.

1.1.3. Canada could improve its ties to the US by joining their defense plan and purchasing their Bormarc missiles, rather than creating and developing our own weaponry, as that would boost the American economy as well.

1.1.4. While technologically advanced, it became doubtful that the Avro Arrow would see much use in warfare. The government's orders for the Avro Arrow shrank to a mere 100, the US was too involved with their Bomarc missiles to have much interest, and the priority of the bomber threat posed by the USSR dropped upon the launch of the Soviet ICBM missile.

1.2. Against

1.2.1. The Avro Arrow was greatly anticipated by both the scientific community and the Canadian population at large, and canceling it would cause an enormous backlash against the Diefenbaker government by both parties. Patriotism and nationalism dropped severely upon the decision to scrap the Avro Arrow.

1.2.2. Many Canadians at the time felt that discontinuing the Avro Arrow project meant that we were crippling ourselves in regards to innovation and individuality for the sake of convenience, and that we were only supporting the US's military industry. Scrapping the Avro Arrow meant that we were once again reliant on America for interceptor airplanes.

1.2.3. Being able to follow through with the project would have demonstrated Canada's ability to stand on its own without relying on other nations to support or protect its people. The loss of it demoralized national faith in Canada's military capabilities and smothered the growing public sentiment of independence and nationalism.

1.2.4. The Canadian scientific community took a huge blow from the cancelation of the Avro Arrow, and tens of thousands scientists and engineers left Canada for America, and went on to join NASA. The prototypes and plans for the Avro were all destroyed, meaning that advances in aircraft made during the development of the project were lost. Canada's aircraft industry was devastated by this.

2. Canada's Acceptance of Nuclear Weapons in 1963

2.1. For

2.1.1. The Canadian government could use this as a show of good faith that we are keeping our dedication to NATO and NORAD, strengthening our ties to America. As our defense at the time was severly dependent on our partnership with the US, it was very important that they did not lose faith in our ability to support the alliance.

2.1.2. Avro Airheads were recently determined to be an overly expensive and inefficient defense against the USSR, and the available Bomarc missiles could meet their full potential when equipped with nurclear warheads.

2.1.3. Having access to nuclear weapons meant that if ever another country - namely, Soviet Russia at the time - declared war against Canada, mutually assured destruction would discourage the enemy from involving nuclear warfare against us.

2.1.4. The people of Canada could have a sense of security in knowing that our military had a substantial defense against the rising dangers of the USSR.

2.1.5. Bringing the atomic weaponry into the country meant we could position the Bomarc missiles more strategically, away from the vulnerable cities along the Canadian-American border and bring them north, to emptier parts of the country so as to avoid as much possible civilian casualties.

2.2. Against

2.2.1. Rejecting the nuclear weaponry would further solidify Canada's state as an independent nation from America, and would prove to the Canadian citizens that the Canadian government is not merely passively accomodating to the decisions of the USA.

2.2.2. Many Canadian citizens, and the contemporary Foreign Affairs Minister Howard Green, thought that accepting atomic weaponry in Canada went against the country's foreign policy and our support of the United Nation's strides towards global disarmament.

2.2.3. Houses nuclear weapons would have immediately made us a threat and therefore a target for USSR aggression.

2.2.4. Paranoia about global suicide was understandable widespread at the time, and bringing atomic weapons into Canada would only have amplified this fear.

3. Canada's Role in the Cuban Missile Crisis

3.1. For

3.1.1. If the US and USSR did actually commence a nuclear war due to the geographic location of Canada, it would have put the country in immense danger if we did not prepare to defend ourselves.

3.1.2. By actively responding to the crisis, Canada could demonstrate its commitment to NORAD and NATO, as well as show that we are capable of and willing to defend ourselves from any potential threat against our country, despite our usual neutral stance on war. It also establishes more concretely that Canada is a crucial, capable nation, and this would allow Canada to find a better foothold in the international community, as well as more regard amongst the other members of NATO.

3.1.3. The strained relationship between the Kennedy Administration and the Diefenbaker government could be alleviated by the show of support from Canada in this issue.

3.1.4. The sentiment of a vast majority of Canadians was favourable towards America during this issue, and refusing to take any action caused mass discontent amongst the population and furthered the view of the government as indecisive.

3.2. Against

3.2.1. Rashly siding with the USA without further scrutiny of the situation would have exacerbated the widely held international and American view that Canada is an extention of the US, rather than an individual country

3.2.2. Placing the Canadian military on high alert (DEFCON-3) may provoke the Soviet Union into targeting Canada as well as the US.

3.2.3. The government wished to maintain Canada's foreign policy as independent from the US and other NATO countries, and preserve Canada's stance as balanced and poised during crisis conditions. However, the indecision caused by these reasons created a major backlash from the Canadian population, and exacerbated confusion and controversy regarding Canada's stance on nuclear weapons.

3.2.4. The hesitation and skeptism displayed by Diefenbaker's government during the beginning of the crisis worsened the already problematic relationship with the Kennedy administration, making it clear that Diefenbaker's government should have made a choice much sooner than they had.

3.2.5. Particularly in the case that there were no nuclear missiles being installed in Cuba, Canada's involvement may not only bring them to the attention of the Soviet Union as a potential threat, but also separate Canada from its hard-earned reputation as a peacekeeping nation, which is the pride of many Canadians.