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Tuesday, April 19

Canada's new military plan shows U.S.influence

Liberals Abandoning Lester B. Pearson for George W. Bush, Group Fears

OTTAWA, April 19 /CNW Telbec/ - Prime Minister Martin's long awaited
International Policy Statement is raising concerns amongst defence and
security experts who support Canada's traditional role as a supporter of UN
peacekeeping missions and international law.

"The Liberals are using the billions of dollars in increased defence
spending to build up a military that is more suited to help the Americans
fight their next pre-emptive war than to support UN peacekeeping," said Steven
Staples, a defence analyst with the Polaris Institute which is a public-
interest research group based in Ottawa.

In one of the most contentious objectives, the International Policy
Statement released today expressed the Liberal government's intention to
transform the military so it is capable of deploying quickly with U.S. forces,
as well as greatly expanding Canada's secret commando force, JTF2, for counter-
insurgency operations.

"This policy statement was written in Washington - not in Canada," said
Staples. "Increased Canadian military integration with the United States
military will undermine Canada's ability to pursue an independent foreign
policy and bring our military into conflict with the spirit, if not the letter
of international law."

"We can have an independent military that supports the United Nations and
international law, or we can have a military that's tied to the Pentagon - but
we can't have both," said Staples.

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