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Military

09 December 2002

U.S., Canada Establish Bi-National Military Planning Group

(Will prepare contingency plans for threat response in either country)
(380)
The United States and Canada have signed an agreement to establish a
new bi-national military planning group at the North American
Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) headquarters in Colorado Springs,
Colorado, that will prepare contingency plans to respond to attacks
and other major emergencies in either nation, according to a December
9 media note issued by the State Department.
The agreement, signed by Secretary of State Colin Powell on December
5, will enhance bi-national military planning and support to civil
authorities. The State Department noted that in the aftermath of the
September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the overall threat to North
America from the air, sea, and land has greatly increased, "including
the potential for the use of weapons of mass destruction delivered by
unconventional means, by terrorists or others."
Following is the text of the State Department media note:
(begin text)
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
December 9, 2002
MEDIA NOTE
U.S. and Canada Sign Bi-National Agreement on Military Planning
On December 5, Secretary Powell signed an agreement between the United
States and Canada to establish a new bi-national planning group at the
North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) headquarters in
Colorado Springs.
The planning group will prepare contingency plans to respond to
threats and attacks, and other major emergencies in Canada or the
United States, enhancing our bi-national military planning and support
to civil authorities. The Planning Group's focus will include
maritime- and land-based threats. Contingency plans will be submitted
to both governments for approval.
The head of the Planning Group will be the Deputy Commander, who will
operate under the authority of the Commander of North American
Aerospace Defense.
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, represented a dramatic
change in the geostrategic environment for North American security.
The overall threat to the North American continent from the air, land,
and sea has greatly increased, including the potential for the use of
weapons of mass destruction delivered by unconventional means, by
terrorists or others.
The United States and Canada remain convinced that close bi-national
cooperation is vital to their mutual security. This agreement will
help ensure that the two countries are better prepared for possible
terrorist attacks and to assist one another in times of crisis.
(end text)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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