Canadians need to abandon the notion that their country is invulnerable to terrorism in order to be better prepared for an attack like the one that struck London last week, federal Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan said Monday.I agree - I think it's naive to think we're immune. Further:
Experience has prepared Canada well for natural disasters such as floods, ice storms and hurricanes, and the SARS outbreak two years ago has sharpened the country's ability to respond to the threat of infectious diseases, she noted.Great. What are we to do to prepare ourselves? (CBC Toronto, Canadians should brace for attacks: McLellan):
[T]he best you can do is collect the best intelligence, assess the risks, and hope that you've got the right infrastructure with the right safety mechanisms.Right. I feel better already. Can we have an alternative option? I think we can be a little more proactive in our defence, both against overt and covert threats.
Let's shore up our military such that it's available and able to withstand any overt threats to our sovereignty. That's what a military is for. We should not have to deal with broken down helicopters and submarines that fail when they're put into the water. I don't think we need aircraft carriers and ballistic missile cruisers, but let's lead with some innovation - invest in newer, safer equipment that will do the job we need it too.
It's disheartening when you have Denmark laying claim to part of your country and not being able to do a thing about it except lodging a diplomatic protest (Naval Officer's Association of Canada, The Return of the Vikings). I want the next Spanish or Portuguese fishing boat that comes within the 200 mile limit to really think twice. I don't want us dropping Canadian flags when the US Navy decides to declare the Northwest Passage "international waters" (Washington Post, Northwest Passage redux).
As for covert threats, let's be innovators. Ms. McLellan indicates that we have experience in dealing with natural disasters. Well, let's use world events to train police and soldiers how to deal with these things. Let's be the go-to guys for anti-terrorist strategies. Why not? Let's make CSIS and the RCMP the leaders in fighting terrorism - give them the resources, the field experience necessary.
Maybe then, we can sniff out the signs of an impending act of terrorism before we have to find out how we'd react. Maybe.