US Marijuana Party

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

`Fortress America' sparks new fears

Toronto Star

WASHINGTON—Canadians are being offered a new vision of a Fortress North America in which the continent is wrapped in a security perimeter from the Arctic all the way to the Guatemalan border.

A trilateral commission yesterday unveiled a series of proposals which also urge Ottawa, Washington and Mexico City to create a high-tech, biometric security system to speed passage of law-abiding travellers across borders that would ultimately diminish in importance, much as they have in the countries of the European Union.

The commission calls for trilateral threat-intelligence centres and would jointly train law enforcement agents in the three countries. It would also expand NORAD with an eye to Mexico's defence and even swap bureaucrats among the countries' respective homeland security departments.

The report, written for the U.S.-based Council on Foreign Relations, an independent but influential organization that specializes in the study of international affairs, is the work of Canada's former deputy prime minister John Manley, American William Weld, the former governor of Massachusetts, and Pedro Aspe, a former Mexican finance minister.

"The security of North America is indivisible," Manley said, stressing in an interview that the commission hopes to influence the trilateral summit taking place in Texas March 23.


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