Canada has indicated that it will significantly invest in North American Aerospace Defense Command’s (NORAD) modernization in the coming years. The , or NORAD, is a joint U.S.-Canadian defense organization that detects security threats. 

Anita Anand, Canada’s Minister of Defense, announced on June 20 the $4.9 billion or $3.8 billion upgrade proposal. She noted escalating potential threats from Russia as well as technological advancements.

Against the backdrop of the Cold War and the ever-present threat of an aerial assault by the Soviet Union throughout that era, Canada and the United States founded the world’s only intergovernmental military command more than six decades ago, according to Anand, citing a historical reason why the plan is a “pressing need,” in the speech.

When money is spent on military programs in Canada, the result is frequently years of contentious political debate but very little progress. But this news that Canada will spend roughly 5 billion Canadian dollars over the next six years to upgrade NORAD’s defensive systems was met with hardly a peep of objection.

Except from Russia.

The ‘Lagging’ NORAD

NORAD was established in 1958 during the height of the Cold War. It is the only joint operation carried out by the armed forces of Canada and the United States. Its original purpose was to provide aerial support for the defense of both countries and to monitor inbound warplanes from the Soviet Union that were loaded with nuclear weapons.

Today, NORAD has come to unveil another set of a venture as it continuously becomes accustomed to the threats of the current defense climate. “NORAD has continually adapted and evolved in responses to new threats. Today, we turn another page and begin NORAD’s next chapter,” Anand expressed.

Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand addressed media members during a joint press conference with Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., on April 28, 2022. (Source: U.S. Secretary of DefenseCC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Defense policy specialists have long held the opinion that NORAD’s systems, which have not been modernized in over four decades, have lagged in technology development and demand comprehensive industrialization. However, these calls have taken on a greater sense of urgency ever since Russia’s incursion on Ukraine.