Features, canada, united states, defence, space

By OMX | April 18, 2018

This week, the Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy (CSPS) released their newest policy paper, "Alliance Rationales and Roadblocks: A U.S.-Canada Space Study."

Here's what you need to know about the strengths, weaknesses, and reasoning behind the U.S.-Canadian partnership in national security and space.

The report focuses on the U.S.-Canadian space partnership and explores various rationales for partnering, identifies potential barriers to maximizing the partnership, and outlines important lessons and observations.

“Today’s security environment drives the need for a strong network of allies and partners,” said the executive director of CSPS, Jamie Morin. “This study identifies keys to successfully strengthening that network, so we can enhance partnerships in the space domain.”

Why is there a partnership?

"Canada has had a lengthy and diverse national security space relationship with the United States and serves as an ideal case study to assess the rationales for partnering, the barriers to maximizing the partnership, and identifying key lessons in driving forward." - Alliance Rationales and Roadblocks

The U.S. and Canada have long been close geopolitical and defence allies. The CSPC report specifically identifies the following factors as positive benefits of the U.S.-Canadian partnership:

  • Bolstering deterrence
  • Increasing resources
  • Supplying information
  • Providing geographic advantage
  • Enhancing international legitimacy.

How does Canada contribute?

CSPS emphasizes Canada's contributions to the U.S. national security space enterprise, especially in areas such as:

  • Ballistic missile warning
  • Space situational awareness
  • Satellite communications
  • Geospatial intelligence
  • Search and rescue
  • Personnel exchanges and liaison officers

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Why is the U.S.-Canada partnership so effective?

The USPS report identifies three main lessons that explain the U.S.-Canadian partnership's success:

1. Active involvement of senior leaders

This is essential to reducing barriers and advocating for partners.

2. Formal written instruments

This simplifies and streamlines the political and bureaucratic processes.

3. A clear understanding of allied systems and capabilities

This is particularly important to establish from the beginning of development so that further development proceeds on mutually-understood terms.

What are the barriers to more effective partnership?

Common barriers to effective cooperation, including those found between the U.S. and Canada, involve differences in:

  • Legal and political systems
  • Organizational structures
  • Technological capabilities
  • Budgeting priorities
  • Cultural norms

You can read the full 13 page report here

About The Center for Space Policy and Strategy

THE CSPS provides nonpartisan research and strategic analysis to decisionmakers. The Center is part of The Aerospace Corporation, a nonprofit organization that advises the government on complex space enterprise and systems engineering problems


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