Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
National Security and Defence

Issue 10 - Evidence - Meeting of November 19, 2012

OTTAWA, Monday, November 19, 2012

The Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence met this day at 4:02 p.m. to examine and report on Canada's national security and defence policies, practices, circumstances and capabilities.

Senator Pamela Wallin (Chair) in the chair.


The Chair: This is the meeting of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence. If I could beg for the indulgence of our guests for a moment, we have a quick minute of business for the committee.

As we all know, we have a new order of reference that has come from the Senate. We also have a very full agenda over the next coming weeks. We will begin the process of collecting all the information we need to try to build a work plan around this ASAP. We need advice on procedure and law and rules of engagement for us and witnesses. We need timelines on internal and external reports that are under way, government legislation and timelines on that, travel and discussions with Internal. We will be doing that research in the near future. We are starting on that process. We will then bring that information to the steering committee, where we will discuss it and come up with a work plan. Then we will make sure that everyone on the committee is fully briefed on not only what the work plan is but also what the rules of engagement will be when we have matters that are of procedural and legal interest. I assure members that we are on the case.

Thank you. We appreciate your giving us a minute to do that business.

Senator Dallaire: Let me intervene at this point to indicate that I have also been spending some time working on this and will be putting together a proposal of study that I hope will be helpful to us all in bringing this together.

The Chair: Thanks. I look forward to that.

The week before last, we focused our attention at this committee on cyberspace and learned in that testimony that it is really now a Canadian military domain, joining land, sea, and air. Today we will look at another realm where our military operates: space, outer space or that place where cyberspace actually works. It is above the earth, above the atmosphere. Joining us are Brigadier-General Pitre, Director General Space, and Colonel André Dupuis, Director of Space Requirements. Welcome to you both. I gather you have opening remarks.

Brigadier-General Rick Pitre, Director General Space, National Defence: Thank You. Good evening. My name is Brigadier-General Rick Pitre and I am the Director General Space at National Defence Headquarters. Joining me is Colonel André Dupuis, who is responsible for the planning and acquisition of space systems for the Canadian Forces.

My role is to develop the space-enabled capabilities that have become critical enablers for the operational success of our men and women in uniform.


I am very pleased to have this opportunity to provide you some sense of just how important space support is to CF operations.


My organization works in conjunction with the Canadian Space Agency, other government departments and key allies to deliver agile, effective and affordable space support to our military.

I would like to start by setting the broader context of the critical but sometimes unrecognizable role that space-based systems play in a modern society as a whole. You probably would not be surprised that space capabilities today are woven into the very fabric of Canadian society. When you think of environmental monitoring, national resource management, disaster assistance, mitigation, the Internet, telephone systems, search and rescue, GPS navigation, weather forecasting, these are all areas where space systems have dramatically improved our lives and our business.

In the military as well, space is now an indispensible part of how we do business. Space-enabled systems provide intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, communications, timing and navigation information.


All of that would be difficult and sometimes impossible to obtain through other means.


In some instances, it is very difficult to get into other areas. The pervasive nature of space in both the civilian and military worlds gives our department a unique opportunity. We are able to work with a variety of partners to take advantage of systems that provide useful civil and military capabilities, so-called dual-use systems. These systems allow our forces to access space in a flexible and cost-effective way. I coin this: Smart defence is practical defence.

National Defence is also partnering with our closest military allies, including the U.S., to leverage other unique and important space capabilities.


For example, with a relatively small investment, we recently joined the U.S.-led Wideband Global SATCOM program.


We gained immediate access to a worldwide, multi-billion-dollar military communications capability that frankly cannot be matched in any other way. However, there is a flip side to the ever-growing and successful use of space throughout the modern world, and that is that the clamour for access to space-enabled services may in fact endanger our assurance to that access. I will explain that in a moment.

The cliché among space professionals is that space has become congested, competitive and contested.


The cliché is true.


There has already been an accidental collision between two satellites in orbit, Iridium 33 and Cosmos 2251, in February 2009. China tested an anti-satellite weapon and successfully destroyed one of its own satellites in January 2007.

As society at large, including the Canadian Forces, makes ever-more effective use of space-enabled capabilities, we must also be increasingly proactive to ensure those capabilities are available when and where we need them.

Having given you some context about the nature of space in our modern world, I would like to discuss some of our specific defence space initiatives. These initiatives directly support the Canada First Defence Strategy mandates, and of course those are to deliver excellence at home, to be a strong and reliable partner in the defence of North America, and to project leadership abroad.


In the communications realm, we are proud to have recently secured access to several new strategic communication capabilities.


For instance, the Protected Military Satellite Communication program delivers access to the United States MILSATCOM Advanced Extremely High Frequency, or AEHF, program. This is a targeted and prudent investment that fills our needs for a survivable anti-jam communications capability. It also ensures our interoperability with our closest allies and allows Canada to leverage the entire AEHF system.

The military's ``big pipe'' broadband needs — we use broadband as well — are also growing. This is driven both by the increased capability of modern sensors and by the increased demand for reach-back on deployed and domestic operations. For example, providing our deployed personnel with access to modern, Internet-based services enables them to connect with their families while in theatre. There is no bigger boost for the morale and performance with this capability.


The Canadian Arctic is a national priority.


It is very much a priority, and satellite communications are increasingly connecting the Arctic with the South for both military and civilian users. The temporary outage of the Anik F2 communications satellite in October of last year was in fact a vivid demonstration of the importance of space-based systems to Northern Canada.

However, typical communications satellites cannot provide coverage at extreme northern latitudes. We need innovative and affordable solutions that balance the type of capabilities that SATCOM — satellite communications — offer with other practical solutions.

One promising option is the PCW, the Polar Communications and Weather project, being led by our friends in the Canadian Space Agency. That proposal calls for two satellites to be placed in special orbits that can cover all of Canada's northern territory. Commercial companies are also bringing forward some interesting options to address these requirements, and we are closely monitoring developments in these areas.

In addition to communication, earth observation is also enabled by space. As a three-ocean nation with the longest coastline in the world, Canada needs wide-area surveillance advantages to exercise its sovereignty and custodial responsibilities.

Canada's RADARSAT-1 and RADARSAT-2 systems have been tremendous workhorses in this area. They have mapped the entire globe. They provide critical environmental monitoring as well. We are continuing to invest in maximizing the potential of Canada's space-based radar.

Polar Epsilon is our defence program that allows for the more efficient and timely exploitation of RADARSAT-2 data by our military. Frankly, it has been a huge success in building our maritime picture.

The RADARSAT Constellation Mission, a Canadian Space Agency-led program, will provide Canada with its third generation of space-based radar. We are working with the space agency to add ship Automatic Identification System, or AIS, receive capability to the RADARSAT Constellation satellites. This has the potential to provide a game-changing improvement in our strategic awareness of Canada's ocean approaches.

We have also seen huge leaps in other earth observation capabilities, from the days when the highest-quality earth observation data could be found only in the most classified military systems. Today we can get excellent imagery from a variety of commercial satellite services.

As I mentioned earlier, space is a congested, contested and competitive environment. We need to be aware of what is happening in space.

The U.S. Space Surveillance Network catalogues and tracks more than 22,000 man-made objects in space, all of them a potential threat. Canada has a stake in this game as well, given its reliance on space and therefore the need to protect its critical assets and infrastructure.


We are now poised to launch our first satellite-based, electro-optical sensor system, with the help and expertise of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates, a Canadian company.


Called Sapphire, this satellite demonstrates our commitment to making a meaningful and a functional contribution to the larger, international space surveillance network, as well as meeting our own needs.

Furthermore, Sapphire represents a niche contribution to our closest allies that we leverage for privileged access to a range of critical space information.

Search and rescue is another key part of the Canadian Forces' mandate. Fast response times are critical to saving people in distress. That means we need to locate those people as rapidly as possible. This is where the search and rescue satellite program, known as Cospas-Sarsat, comes in. It is an indispensable capability to quickly locate emergency locator transmitter signals. The year 2012 marks the system's thirtieth year of operation, and estimates suggest that it has saved some 31,000 lives.

It will get better with the next generation of search and rescue repeaters poised to launch on the U.S. GPS constellation.

Positioning, navigation and timing, known as PNT, is the last key space system I will mention. I noted earlier that the Canadian Forces operations have come to depend heavily on precise navigation and timing services from satellites like the Global Positioning System, or GPS, but those services have their vulnerabilities. The GPS signal, like any other signal, is easily prone to interference, accidental or otherwise. Access to GPS is not assured.


And so, with our allies, we continue to look at ways to protect this vital service.


Our efforts are focused on identifying emerging threats, developing smart tactics, techniques and procedures to deal with GPS-denied environments, and supporting the research and development of new GPS-related technologies.

Finally, we are now taking the step of standing up the Canadian Space Operations Cell, or CANSpOC, within the Canadian Forces Joint Operations Command Centre. This cell will deliver the critical space enablers to our forces and our strategic partners within government in close cooperation with our allies around the world.

Allow me to offer the simple proposition that space today is everyone's business. Our success in the military and in society at large depends on our effective use of space. It is incumbent on all of us to protect the space environment.

National Defence is playing an important role in this endeavour, to meet the needs of our men and women in uniform, and thereby supporting the broader goals of Canadian society.

I thank you very much for your time in allowing me to address this committee, and I look forward to answering your questions.

The Chair: Thank you very much. We appreciate that overview. It an issue we have talked about a little bit around the edges, so it is very helpful that you are here.

Do we have or is there such a thing as an international code of conduct for behaviour in space? What context are we in? I know we would have relations with allies, but in general is there such a thing?

Brig.-Gen. Pitre: There is. In fact, under the UN mandate there is a code of conduct. Our ADM policy folks tend to be through DFAIT the leads in that environment. That certainly does exist.

The Chair: This is a pretty difficult place when you think about space in general, but space over the Arctic, for example. I have some other questions we will come back to.

We will begin our more formal questioning now with Senator Dallaire, whose son joins him today. He is in the audience looking on. I was teasing the senator that this was bring-a-kid-to-work day, but this is a member of the military, so not much of a kid.

Senator Dallaire: Master Seaman Guy Dallaire is sitting there.

The Chair: Welcome.

Senator Dallaire: In 1980, when I was with the Marines, we were talking about space law. I attended your course in Winnipeg on space. You had a space course of a couple of weeks. You have a space program at RMC, a variant of an undergraduate degree in physics for space.

What is the development concept with regard to both classifications in the officer corps and trades in the NCO corps for building our expertise in that dimension?

To follow on, if I may: I am of the school that believes that cyberwar is the new total war. You are a communications instrument. You are observation and intelligence, command and control, all those things. You are right up there as one of those primary target areas. How are we preparing that capability within the forces?

Brig.-Gen. Pitre: That is an excellent question. In fact, I am the product of your question. Back about a year ago, we actually stood up the Director General of Space. Prior to that, it was the Director of Space Development, and the majority of the focus was on force development in terms of developing capability. While a good portion of our force generation is training, and our employment piece was with the United States, it clearly became recognized in the last few years that we had to do that at home, as well.

For instance, the courses that you talk about in Winnipeg and the courses that we attended in Colorado Springs were primarily to service that 30-some-year arrangement where most of our expertise was to the NORAD arrangement. We certainly recognized that we need to have a much more comprehensive, all-encompassing approach to that.

In addition to developing capability, we needed space-smart people, and we also needed them to be employed in ways that we could understand and certainly put to good use here at home.

With the CJOC, the Commander Joint Operations Centre, we have this summer stood up seven of our space operators that will provide initial support to all of our operations in terms of mission planning, weather support, space weather — all of the things that we need now to do in terms of our awareness and how we execute operations abroad. That is a continuing process.

The intent is to move that to potentially 30 individuals who will look at both employment pieces, the generation piece in terms of the educational aspects of it, both, as you said, at RMC and in Winnipeg. There is a space university course program that we have, as well. It is inculcating that. We need space-smart people.

You are absolutely right in the sense that this is the new world in terms of where we are, with both cyber and space. There is that recognition that we need to focus on that. That was the impetus a few years back for the creation of my position and beginning to look at an all-encompassing approach to the development of this capability.

The Chair: Maybe you could take another second and say how space and cyber as domains — or separate areas — are working together. How do those two interact or work?

Brig.-Gen. Pitre: We are neighbours, side by side. We share an office right beside each other. We were both stood up at the same time. While Brigadier-General Loos was working his area of expertise, I was working mine. In trying to understand where those linkages are, I mentioned the protection of capability. Although I will not speak to, for instance, the cyber aspects of it, because that is more his domain, I understand clearly the linkages between the two and making sure we defend that capability, as well.

It is not only about defending infrastructure at physical points, but it is about defending those links. For instance, it could be an IP, Internet protocol, link or it could very well be GPS signals. There is a whole host of areas.

We were stood up at the same time. I must say, though, from a space perspective, I probably have a bit of an advantage in terms of more time, because I actually had a force development capability in place already. We work closely together, as we should. The linkages are clearly understood.

Senator Lang: I would just like to follow up on that line of questioning and ask about your relationship with the Canadian Space Agency. At the outset, you highlighted the fact that the systems allow us intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, communication, timing and navigation information. If I could make a recommendation, perhaps what should be stressed also is that it is very important for the minute-to-minute running of our economy. I think it is very important that Canadians be aware of that, because most Canadians are not when it comes to the Internet or surveillance or any of these other elements.

One area I would like to ask about is going back to your relationship with the Canadian Space Agency. My understanding is that they have the intelligentsia, the scientists and the engineers that are all required to run that organization, and they are hard to come by. Once you get them, you want to keep them there, because once you lose them, where do you find someone to replace them?

Just reading your opening remarks, I see that the Armed Forces will be responsible for what they call Sapphire and taking Sapphire and putting it into space. I do not quite understand how that relates to the Canadian Space Agency. I understand that they have that responsibility, and then the responsibility of maintenance in space, if there is maintenance to be done. My concern is the duplication perhaps of service, when perhaps it does not necessarily have to happen. Perhaps you could comment on that.

Brig.-Gen. Pitre: Thank you very much for your question. In terms of the relationship with CSA, and to go back to your first question, space is pervasive. My opening remarks talked about the duality of space. Everything we do needs to consider both the military aspect and the larger aspect. Therefore, you are absolutely right, senator, in terms of the economy and other aspects. There are so many different drivers today that space involves; it touches almost everything. I think there is a much better appreciation today of how widespread it really is.

In terms of our relationship with CSA, we work very closely with CSA on a whole host of areas. CSA has the mandate for policy and procedures. Individual organizations within government departments also have the responsibility for developing capabilities, as well. We try to link those as best we can.

Sapphire is about debris mitigation. While it is a military program, the responsibility to protect space is all of our responsibility. Sapphire addresses that. The relationship works in that we are linked military to military through the Space Surveillance Network.

When I said it was a niche capability, it was a niche capability identified with close collaboration with our U.S. partners. A lot of what we do is very much collaborative, not only with our allies but interdepartmentally. Working with CSA and the other government departments is very important. After all, whether it is a Sapphire that goes up or whether it is any other type of system that we rely on in Canada, it is a system that we need to understand what is happening up in space in terms of the debris that is up there — and as I said, moving at 22,000 miles an hour, you can imagine the effect. In fact, I think over the last year, they needed to move the International Space Station some 15 times because of potential collision. Therefore, being aware clearly is important.

The linkage with us is through the American system. We then link interdepartmentally. Everyone has to take advantage. The stewardship belongs to all of us.

Senator Lang: I will go to one other subject quickly. You refer to the Canadian Arctic as a national priority, and that is an area of concern for me. You go on to talk about the Polar Communications and Weather Project, which I believe in some terminology is called ``Polar SAT;'' is that correct?

Brig.-Gen. Pitre: PCW.

Senator Lang: In launching this particular satellite, will you be purchasing or contracting a portion of the costs of running it? If so, have you come to a conclusion on that?

Second, how does that relate to the military from the fact that right now — just for viewers' information — we do not have any weather way up in the Arctic and communications are minimal, if at all? This will bring this into play; now we have a method of surveillance that we did not have before. Subsequently, that should cut down the costs of running the military in terms of regular flights to see if there is anyone in our Arctic.

Brig.-Gen. Pitre: I will pass this to my director of space requirements. He knows the technical aspects.

Colonel André Dupuis, Director of Space Requirements, National Defence: Thank you, senator. Excellent question. The Polar Communications and Weather Satellite is in Phase A, which is the definition phase for a satellite system. As far as cost share for the departments goes, it has not been attributed.

National Defence took the lead on the communication piece. Obviously, Environment Canada had the lead on the weather piece, but we did not at any point in time discuss costs or cost share. It is very much at this point a program that, frankly, is the only way to fill all of the department's requirements, but it is not a funded program within the Canadian Space Agency at this point. I think that is probably the best I can say about PCW right now.

Senator Lang: Regarding my second question, let us assume it becomes a reality. That should then reflect back on the costs of how you do your surveillance at the present time because you will have this communications weather satellite that you did not have before. That subsequently should cut back on those costs. Is that correct?

Col. Dupuis: The interesting thing about PCW is that it provides a service that by and large is not available today. Clearly, it would enable better weather forecasting to allow the smarter planning of, for example, air operations, land operations or when ice passage is possible for maritime operations. It is very much tied to how we use RADARSAT Constellation and RADARSAT-2 because it also provides an idea of ice conditions and so on.

Modern communications today are very difficult in the Arctic. For those of you who have ever spoken on a high frequency radio, it is more like screaming into a box and having it scream back at you. This would bring communications in the High Arctic to the standards that we would enjoy around the world. That does not mean we cannot operate in the High Arctic; it is just that we would operate more efficiently. To quantify that efficiency at this point is difficult to do.

Brig.-Gen. Pitre: It is too early to tell right now, but one needs to look at all the capabilities. Colonel Dupuis mentioned HF. There is point-to-point line of sight UHF. As we know, all of the communication satellites we have right now tend to be geostationary. In other words, they orbit around the equator. The problem, which is pure physics and the curvature of the earth, is that as you get further north, you cannot reach those northern climes. Having solutions there in the orbit that do, for instance, what they call a ``high dwell time,'' in other words, a satellite that will go very far up and hang up well over the North Pole, and if you use two of them, about 12 for each satellite, you have 24-hour coverage, those are certainly things we are looking at. CSA has the lead on it. They initiated the study back in 2009. We need to look at this in terms of all the capabilities we have currently and where we are going. We need to do this smartly. We need to look at the requirements, the demand and, certainly, the supply curve in terms of when we introduce these things. Clearly, the focus is on being able to operate.

Once again, to your point about the economy, we are not the only ones who operate up there. A lot of activity is up there in environmental and oil exploration, and for all of those aspects, we need to have a good understanding of what the needs are. PCW is but one initiative that a number of organizations are looking at to try to solve or satisfy their problem.

The Chair: Just to be clear on Senator Lang's point, the funding for that would be through the space agency, not through your section.

Brig.-Gen. Pitre: We do not know. That has to be a proposal that someone would present, and then we would look at it. It is not cheap, so clearly we would not necessarily see a single entity, nor would a single entity be the only one that would want this capability.

The Chair: That is a good point.

Brig.-Gen. Pitre: There are the Americans, other allies and, certainly, government that would like this.

The Chair: That is a good point. Thank you.


Senator Nolin: Welcome to our committee. General Pitre, I would like to go back to your very brief answer concerning cyberspace.

I understand that your colleague testified before us, but sometimes things fall between the cracks. And so, I would like to hear a much more detailed reply from you concerning the vulnerabilities of the space systems whose integrity is your responsibility. I would like to know about these weaknesses that could develop because of the cyberspace environment. I understand that that is your colleague's responsibility, but you are responsible for these assets, and that is why I would like to hear your comments.

Brig.-Gen. Pitre: If you do not mind, I will reply in English.

Senator Nolin: Yes, please. I wanted to give you a chance to practise your French.

Brig.-Gen. Pitre: Yes, I know. I will alternate.

Senator Nolin: Please go ahead.


Brig.-Gen. Pitre: There are a number of areas that we would see as vulnerabilities. From a cyber perspective, we are just learning what those potential vulnerabilities are. As I said, if it is an IP protocol, for instance, the point-to-point vulnerabilities where information moves, that can be a real challenge. I do not know whether Colonel Dupuis can add anything, but let me highlight the other vulnerabilities that I see as our challenge.

One is, as I said, the PNT, the GPS signal. It is a very weak signal. Let me give you an example of some of the work we are doing. We are doing GPS jamming work, so we are trying to understand how easy it is to jam the signal. Once again, this goes back to a common question from before, namely, how pervasive space is. For instance, the financial sector, the energy sector and navigation all rely to some extent on a timing signal. When you go to the ATM to pull out money and your card does not work, it could be there is no timing signal and they are not synchronized. That could be accidental or it could be nefarious; in other words, something bad could be happening.

With respect to the ability to build a jammer today, in fact, about eight years ago, it was about $150 at Radio Shack — go build yourself a jammer, get on the Internet, 40,000 pages on how to build a jammer. There are probably half a million to a million pages today, and the price is $40. With a very weak signal, we are concerned with the signal and how one protects that. That is one vulnerability right there.

The other vulnerabilities are the physical kinetic vulnerabilities we have. In other words, without the ability to do debris mitigation and understand what is happening, Sapphire looks between 6,000 kilometres and 40,000 kilometres and does a registration of material moving about space. Without that know-how, that knowledge and that space situational awareness, we have bullets out there that can potentially take out systems that we rely on for a good part of what we do.

It used to be redundancy was good enough. In other words, you had the ability to build two of something. Space is expensive, and, in some cases, you may not have a redundant capability. What you will hear quite often is another ``r'': resiliency. Resiliency is about understanding the impact, the vulnerability and the ability to mitigate through either tactics, techniques, procedures or finding different ways and streams to move your information. That is the other area of vulnerability we are looking at.

The third one is cyberspace, which we are just beginning to understand. Let me tell you why that is a concern today. It used to be that space was an exclusive club — very few individuals and organizations were involved. That is not true today. Everyone has access to space. Most who have access to space may do so through an IP network or the ability to go that way. If you have enough money to buy, for instance, commercial satellite imagery or you have computer know-how, there is vulnerability there as well.

That is as much as I can offer on the cyber part of it. I do not know whether Colonel Dupuis has anything to add.


Col. Dupuis: I could add that beyond the threats the general has told you about, with respect to cyberspace, there is a real possibility that a country could take control of a satellite for their own purposes.

Senator Nolin: Without physically getting near it, they could take control of it from a distance?

Col. Dupuis: That's correct, they could use remote controls to tell the satellite to change —

Senator Nolin: To change its itinerary.

Col. Dupuis: And so, to protect our satellites, we use encrypted schemas. The level of encryption used for the RCM — Radar Constellation Mission — system is level 1 military encryption.

Senator Nolin: For the benefit of the members of the committee, could you explain what that standard is?

Col. Dupuis: That standard is used for the most sensitive Canadian government communications. Nothing protects our systems better than level 1military encryption.

Most companies use a civilian system, which is generally equivalent to the systems used by the banking sector, and they are very good.

Major efforts are made to allow us to control the link between earth and space. General Loos would say that we must also protect the control centre and the antennas. There is a whole other cyber schema beyond the link between earth and the satellites. So that is important. We have thought of that, but of course there is always room for improvement.


Senator Nolin: If I may, I have another question on service providers.


Colonel Dupuis, MacDonald, Dettwiler and COM DEV are among the main equipment suppliers.

Col. Dupuis: They are the two biggest ones.

Senator Nolin: Are there any others? I am asking because these two main suppliers have laid off workers. Given your responsibility for purchasing, you are probably in a position to tell us what is going on. Is it that you were unable to give them enough work? Have some projects been delayed? What do the smaller ones do?

Col. Dupuis: This is quite a solid industry on the Canadian side. There are MacDonald, Dettwiler, and COM DEV, but there is also Neptec and some small value-added services suppliers, hundreds of them, who are responsible for several billion dollars annually of Canadian revenue, and almost 50 per cent of that is due to exports.

Senator Nolin: You say that we should not jump to conclusions based on the fact that the two largest companies had to downsize their work force and lay off some workers. You do not think we should conclude that this field has become precarious?

Col. Dupuis: I would not draw that conclusion readily without a more detailed study. This is not my area, it falls under Industry Canada, but it needs to be discussed in detail because it is a complex matter.

Senator Nolin: I am taking comfort in the word ``solid'' that you used.


Senator Day: General, colonel, I need to go back to the beginning here and have an understanding of the relationship between cyberspace and ``space'' space. You stopped using the word ``space'' with ``cyber'' and divided cyberspace into two pieces here, it sounds like. Can you explain the relationship and how you divide up your work?

Brig.-Gen. Pitre: I can explain certainly what I do, which is easiest for me. As I said, most of my work right now is both in the force development, the project, the capability development, force generation — that is training — and force employment.

From that perspective, we are developing capability, whether it is a Sapphire, whether it is the military project RCM — which is Polar Epsilon — or whether it is joint space support capability that allows us to down link commercial satellite imagery. Those are the areas of focus for me.

In terms of the relationship between space and cyberspace, we are still trying to figure that out in terms of the vulnerabilities. For me, it is more about the hard-core capabilities, what we are developing.

Senator Day: You initially talked about the very fabric of Canadian society, environmental monitoring, et cetera. You talked about GPS. Is that in its concentration of what happens and what is going on? There are initiatives in other departments of the government previously such as the Canadian Space Agency, and then the private sector was involved. Is the cyber side of things looking after all these activities?

Brig.-Gen. Pitre: No, that is the space area. For instance, when we talk about earth observation or maritime or global domain awareness, the military side of it is maritime or global domain awareness. Earth observation is the duality, the other side, for instance, that our commercial or private entities would be looking at. Weather forecasting, earth observation, ship detection, pollution detection and communications all fall within the space realm.

When it begins to affect, for instance, point to point, the movement of information through protocols, that is cyberspace. Once again, I am getting into an area that is not my specialty. That is why, in fact, we are neighbours, we live side by side, because we need to clearly understand those vulnerabilities.

We are talking about service-oriented areas, which are my focus.

Senator Day: Space-enabled systems all fall under your and the colonel's domain as areas of activity.

Brig.-Gen. Pitre: That is right.

Senator Day: There are some military applications here and there are some dual or joint, as you described in your introductory remarks.

Brig.-Gen. Pitre: That is right.

Senator Day: You mentioned NORAD, and that is another area I wanted you to talk about. We have had an extremely good relationship with our neighbour to the south, the United States of America, in relation to NORAD and aerospace and air space activity and monitoring and defence. There was some talk at one time of our expanding that role into space, but we objected to arming space, whereas the U.S. did not. Can you talk to me now about that fine distinction of being able to defend potential attacks in space and the offensive activity that could take place?

Brig.-Gen. Pitre: Our policy has always been clear in terms of weaponization. It is the peaceful use of space and the application of that.

If I go back to your question about NORAD, since 1958 we have been involved very closely with our U.S. counterparts on the defensive nature. In other words, the integrated threat warning and assessment has always been a role, and today we are still involved in that. We have Canadian personnel involved, certainly posted to missile warning sites in that area. Defending, from that perspective, has been something we have been doing for the last 34 years. From that perspective, defending is clearly within our mandate. The weaponization, however, is clear to us. We are a UN signatory to the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, so there is a clear delineation from our perspective.

Senator Day: What comes to mind with weaponization is putting a laser on a satellite up there and the laser would then be used for offensive purposes. Learning to defend against jamming, for example, you learn how someone else might do it, but you also learn how to do it. They develop a new system; you develop a new system. We exchange ideas with our partners in that regard so we can develop tactical offensive weaponry in that regard, can we not?

Col. Dupuis: Senator, probably the easiest way to wrap your arms around this particular topic is that there are three ways to attack a satellite system. You can attack the satellite which clearly, based on the Chinese ASAT tests, is not a good idea; it causes debris. We talked about attacking the link, which is the ground station to the satellite. If you cannot talk to the satellite, you cannot get information off the satellite, so then you have negated it without causing debris. We do not want to cause debris. The other piece is you could always intervene on the ground. If you had to take out a satellite dish, for example, to keep the enemy from accessing that satellite, that would also work.

There are plenty of GPS jammers, as the general mentioned. There are plenty of people jamming satellite communications today. When we talk about the militarization or the military use of space as opposed to weaponization, we just have to be careful about what we are talking about. I do not think anyone is running off to put weapons in space. That perhaps is possible, but no one does it today. We are talking about using military effect to prevent the use of space, which is maybe a more refined way of looking at the question.

Senator Day: I just want it to be clear that you talk defensively but you are learning to act offensively while learning to act defensively.

Brig.-Gen. Pitre: You certainly understand and learn the offensive capabilities, and clearly if you know black you certainly know white. In understanding how to defend, one would need to understand what types of offensive capabilities are out there. Our focus, certainly from the peaceful use of space, allows us the defence of our systems both on the ground and in space.

Senator Day: That rounds out my question. Thank you very much.

Senator Mitchell: Thank you. I would like to pursue this a little bit further. We saw reports of perhaps Chinese elements hacking into Nortel, stealing proprietary information, building whatever it is they would build and compete with, and look at Nortel. If I can use the word ``attack,'' does that fall under what you are doing?

Brig.-Gen. Pitre: Yes.

Senator Mitchell: What is your relationship with those elements of our cyber?

Brig.-Gen. Pitre: My relationship would be directly through, for instance, Director General Cyber. That is my relationship with him. As we build capability, more robust, and understand those vulnerabilities, I link directly through him. You heard from General Loos two weeks ago, and he explained his relationship with those other organizations.

I should say that interdepartmentally we work closely with each other. When we talk about space capabilities and the interests of NRCan or Public Safety or Transport Canada or the Canadian Space Agency, we all share the same interests and concerns. That same question would apply for those organizations that are focused on the cyber threat itself and how we mitigate.

We talk about mitigation in terms of the resiliency part of it. That is an area we would be very interested in.

Senator Mitchell: Thank you. You mentioned in your opening comments that in the past the highest level, the highest quality of earth observatory technology was military and had a high level of confidentiality. Today, you can go out and buy it from companies; it is commercially available. I would like to explore that a little bit.

What are the risks in depending on the commercial sector, the private sector, to deliver those to you? How do you distinguish those risks? How do you deal with them? What kind of budget does that involve? Do you have enough of that budget?

Brig.-Gen. Pitre: I will start and then let Colonel Dupuis talk about some of the other specifics. There are two sides to that coin. What are the risks to what we call classified technical or national technical? The risks are that not everyone has access to it. That can be a challenge. For instance, if you are in a coalition operation where you have plenty of organizations that do not necessarily have the security classification, you cannot share that information with them. For instance, the Joint Space Support Project actually allows us to download commercial satellite imagery right in theatre, within 30 minutes, provide it to the commander and also share it. It is extremely valuable to be able to do that because the information you may need is very pertinent and important.

You have two issues. One is the classification of information you get. If it is from national technical means, it may be difficult. Two, we do not own NTM, national technical means, so having access to that requires us to do other things to ensure we do get access to it. That is the national technical side.

With commercial satellite imagery, or CSI, also known as the program but with a different name, the capabilities have improved tremendously over the last decade. They have gotten to the point where they are extremely good. What are the challenges? The challenges clearly are like any other organization: you may not necessarily have access to it. You have to pay for it as well, and there may be potential times when it may not necessarily serve your purposes, your needs, and so it needs to be more specific. This is the comprehensive approach.

What tools and capabilities can we make use of? We go into our toolbox and look at the specific classified systems that may do specific things. What are the unclassified ones that are very good, that will address others, and how do we use this to do the things we need to do? I do not know if Colonel Dupuis can add anything further.

Col. Dupuis: There is not much more to add to that with the exception that the military brings a very good understanding of the process, to analyze, to build a requirement for the imagery, to order the imagery, to exploit the imagery and to disseminate that imagery. We have done that in the classified realm for a very long time. Commercial systems will allow us to do so down to 50 centimetres, very high resolution, using synthetic aperture radar. You can measure differences in heights of millimetres from one dimension to the next. We can bring to that equation the expertise to exploit that information to then pass them on to our mission partners, whether that is in Afghanistan, the Manitoba floods, firefighting, pollution monitoring or a whole host of things that require what we call the TPED process, the intelligence process, and pushing it to the people who need it. They do not compete; they are complementary. Because the commercial folks are selling to a very large audience, it allows the cost to be quite affordable.

The other part of your question was how we control it. We have a law in Canada called the Remote Sensing Space Systems Act, owned by our friends at DFAIT, and all of our allies who have similar systems have a similar law. It says we will tell you who you can and cannot sell imagery to. In an extreme case, you can say ``you cannot sell to them.'' We do not control every satellite system that is up there; however, we can control most of the allied systems and just say in extremis, you are not selling to them.

Brig.-Gen. Pitre: We refer to that as shutter control.

Senator Dawson: Because of the time, I will be very brief. One of the partners you did not mention is NAV CANADA. NAV CANADA has responsibility for flight control, and I am speaking of inner space. Between cyberspace and outer space, there is the other space where flight control is done more and more by satellite. NAV CANADA is a non-profit organization that had to recoup its costs. Along the border, in the major cities or airports, they have revenues to offset their investments. However, when you talk about the North and control of the airspace, landing and taking off in the North, you have not mentioned the relationship between Defence, NAV CANADA and the local needs. How are they concerned? NAV CANADA is very efficient and modern, but it is totally quasi-dependent on cyberspace. They are all doing everything they can either on the Internet or through your satellites. How do they fit into the picture of partnership and development in trying to facilitate sharing of information?

Brig.-Gen. Pitre: NAV CANADA, through Transport Canada, is our vehicle to deal with their particular needs. In my previous job, I had a lot of experience in dealing with NAV CANADA and the Canadian NORAD Region and their requirements. Transport Canada and Public Safety are typically the venues that we would address to address those particular needs that NAV CANADA would have. Aside from that, interdepartmentally, there are other organizations. I am not sure if NAV CANADA sits on the IMSWG. Their voice is typically Transport Canada. However, the Interdepartmental Marine Security Working Group, for instance, is a vehicle that we have, and there are a number of other interdepartmental organizations as well. NAV CANADA, connected directly through Transport Canada, would be the mechanism through which we would see how their needs and requirements are met.

Senator Dawson: I could go on and on, but thank you.

Senator Dallaire: All three services are using space for a variety of reasons. Are they building capacity to maximize that competency in three services? Is all the space capacity in NDHQ in your office, or is there some other headquarters being considered? Do you have liaison officers or maybe defence scientists in the Canadian Space Agency working with them?

Brig.-Gen. Pitre: How we are moving along developing space expertise and ensuring that it is joint has never been better. My responsibility, as the director general space, is to the Chief of Force Development, Ron Lloyd, through the VCS. I can tell you that, over the last year or two, we have been involved, jointly with the army, navy and air force, in every aspect in areas of space enablers, whether it is communications, with Mercury Global or the Wideband Global satellite system linking directly with our navy; whether it is technical narrow band SATCOM looking at communications on the move for both the army and the air force; or whether it is RCM, the RADARSAT Constellation Mission. The navy is a huge player in that in terms of maritime awareness and the game-changing aspects of being able to not only track and identify but also now, when RCM goes up with three satellites, to revisit, on a daily basis, our Arctic approaches so that we can actually prosecute and use all of the capabilities that we have out there. We are working with Defence Research and Development Canada, DRDC, on algorithm work that they are doing on the Synthetic Aperture Radar, for which we are leaders in the world. In fact, our U.S. counterparts have their eyes wide open in terms of the things we are doing regarding maritime domain awareness. We are across the board in many areas. To me, this is an exciting time because we understand now. When we talk about the pervasiveness of space and how reliant we are, we are getting it. We really are.

The Chair: I just have two quick points to wrap this up. Is Canada the only Five Eyes partner besides the U.S. with space aspects?

Brig.-Gen. Pitre: Having actual hardware like RADARSAT in space, I think the answer is yes.

Col. Dupuis: The answer is definitely yes.

The Chair: When we were in Washington, this discussion came up. I think you have touched on it briefly, but I will just give you 15 seconds to say it out loud. The U.S. is looking to their partners for niche capability. What is it that we put on the table that no one else has?

Brig.-Gen. Pitre: Whether it is circumstance or by design, all of us in the world today understand that we need to work together. Everything we do is about collaboration and leveraging. Sapphire was a good example years ago. Today, we are working closely with the Five Eyes and the U.S. through the collaboration in the space exchange of data, where we can bring capability that perhaps others do not or cannot in surveillance of space. Sapphire is one grand example, and RCM will be an example as well.

The Chair: That is very helpful. Thank you. I want to thank you both very much for your testimony here today. We appreciate this. Our thanks to Brigadier-General Pitre and to Colonel André Dupuis.

We will switch gears again today and welcome back to the committee a guest that —

Senator Dallaire: Last time it was a bow tie and now it is a tie.

The Chair: Stay focused, Senator Dallaire.

The committee made a travel trip this summer to Maritime Forces Pacific, and we were briefed on site there on the Asia-Pacific picture by Dr. James Boutilier. We are pleased to welcome him back today to brief us at committee so it becomes part of our official record as we look at these issues. Dr. Boutilier is a professor at the Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives at the University of Victoria and a special adviser on policy at the Maritime Forces Pacific, where we first encountered him. This is in the context of looking at the pivot to Asia, as it is described, in terms of trade, but here at this committee we focus more on the defence and security side of it. I see you brought a document with slides. They will not be up on the screen for our viewing audience to see, but we will walk through it. We invite you to begin. Thank you very much for making this trip. We appreciate it.

James A. Boutilier, Professor, Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives, University of Victoria, Special Advisor (Policy) at the Maritime Forces Pacific, as an individual: Thank you very much, madam chair and distinguished members of the committee.

While I serve as the Asia-Pacific adviser to the Commander Maritime Forces Pacific, I come before you this afternoon as a long-time student of the Asia-Pacific maritime arena. Quite clearly, the details of Canadian naval policy in the region are the province of the Commander Royal Canadian Navy and his senior colleagues.

Let me provide one or two quick contextual comments before I go into the main elements of my brief.

I think one can argue that this is the maritime century and that increasingly, interstate affairs will be highly related to affairs at sea, whether it is in the commercial realm or the naval realm.

Second, I would suggest that naval assets — maritime assets, broadly speaking — will be extraordinarily important in terms of our national welfare.

In this presentation, we see that the dramatic, profound and rapid shift in the world centre of economic gravity has been matched by an equally profound shift in the world centre of military and, in this context, maritime gravity. As the first feature of that phenomenon, we see that the old front-line navies have declined dramatically, certainly in their numerical size. One can theologically argue that the individual assets, frigates, submarines, destroyers and so forth are much more capable now than they were 20 or 40 years ago.

Also, I think — and I do not believe this is a glib response — that you cannot have a destroyer in two places at the same time. There is a quality about quantity. When you were on the West Coast, I cited an example of the Royal Navy, which had 152 frigates and destroyers in 1962; it now has 19. Similarly, when we look at the greatest navy on the face of the earth, the United States Navy, in the mid-1980s, under a forward-leaning Secretary of the Navy, John Lehman and a highly supportive U.S. President, Ronald Reagan, there was a plan for a 600-ship navy. This was a pale imitation of the 6,000 ships in the U.S. Navy in 1945. Nevertheless, a 600-ship navy was suitably impressive. Of course in 1985, 1986, we were starting towards the very height of the Cold War. There were equally impressive statistics with respect to the Soviet Navy not only in the Atlantic, but also increasingly in the Pacific.

Of course, the Cold War came to an end before the 600-ship navy was ever realized, but when we look some 25 or 26 years later at the largest navy on the face of the earth, we would be lucky if we had perhaps 275 ships.

One can quite clearly say that within that context are 11 of the greatest aircraft carriers on the face of the earth, a breathtaking array of operational experience and so forth. However, the fact of the matter remains that as part and parcel of the global shift in maritime power, we can see that the navies upon which we have traditionally depended — and upon which the Royal Canadian Navy has depended and alongside which it has worked — have declined dramatically in size. Indeed, not so long ago, The Economist newspaper in the United Kingdom published a graph that showed the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy surpassing the United States Navy in overall size. Once again, one can argue this is only a gross, and in many ways misleading, comparison on the basis of pure numbers.

What we see in the case of the Chinese navy is that China stands at the heart of the second great wave of globalization and that, in the past 30 years, we have had a stellar increase in Chinese economic capability. Much of this is export-led, and the oceans of the world, which in the Chinese cosmos of the past were seen as barriers are now seen perforce as the roots to opportunity. The untrammelled movement of commercial cargoes out of China and the importation of raw materials and energy into China are critical for sustaining the Chinese economic miracle.

As I suggested to you earlier in the year, we have a profound reorientation of the national axis of interest of Japan, China, and also India, away from China, towards the sea. We have an unprecedented situation in East Asia, powerful navies in India, China and Japan. If you look at the statistics for arms sales, they are compelling and overwhelming in the Asia-Pacific region compared with elsewhere in the globe. The dynamic economies of the region have afforded the states opportunity to go upmarket, and expansion of regional navies is very much a feature of what I will call the Indo-Pacific region. Why Indo-Pacific? I think these are two very distinct oceanic regimes, but they have now become inextricably linked by virtue of flows of energy and by the naval ambitions particularly of the Chinese and the Indians. I think we need to think in terms of those two oceans as a grand maritime couplet in terms of larger geo-strategy.

Some would argue that we are witnessing a naval arms race, that we have moved beyond sheer modernization to an action-reaction phenomenon, where the purchases or development of weapons in one country lead to equal developments in neighbouring countries. We can perhaps see this particularly in the realm of submarines. Virtually all the navies of the region have gone upmarket, and a feature of that shift has been the appearance of submarines. Vietnam, for example, acquired six sophisticated Kilo Class submarines from the Russians; the Indonesians acquired submarines from South Korea, which in fact are variants on German 209s, 212s, 214s, and so forth. The Indians with their own indigenous nuclear and conventional program have a significant number of submarines being built in China.

We have in Pentagon parlance a submarine-rich environment in East Asia, at the very time that in broad terms we have lost sight of the submarine threat and of the need to hone our ASW capabilities. I do not direct that reference specifically to the Royal Canadian Navy but to navies in general, because of course in the 1990s, in the post-Cold War era, we saw our principal threats coming in the form of air attack and missiles, but we now find ourselves confronted with well over 200 operational submarines in the Indo-Pacific region, and from an ASW perspective the waters of the region are particularly challenging. They are complex geographically; in many cases they are shallow. New and quiet air-independent propulsion conventional submarines are very difficult to track. This is a source of mounting concern to the United States navy in particular as it begins to move its assets into the region.

I suggest in my presentation that a feature of Asia-Pacific or Indo-Pacific landscape is the dramatic increase in commercial shipping. Indeed, were we to go back to probably the rear pages of The Globe and Mail in 1983, almost 30 years ago, we would see a tiny article that suggested that trans-Pacific commercial trade had exceeded that across the Atlantic — almost 30 years ago, ladies and gentlemen. Now it is three and a half times as great as the trade across the Atlantic.

Indeed, if you go to Los Angeles/Long Beach in California, something like 25,000 trailer trucks a day pull away bound for the Costcos and Walmarts of this world, part of the larger relationship between the North American economies and the economies of Asia and, more specifically until recently, of China. The export-led economy of China demanded this sort of shipping capacity.

I suggest in my presentation to you that if we look at the statistics, if we were to look at the year 2002, we would probably find that five or possibly six of the leading ports of the world were in Asia, and now it is eight of the top ten ports in the world, whether it is Singapore, Shanghai, Busan, Kaohsiung in Taiwan and so forth. These are monster ports, which make Vancouver, our largest port, look like a modest backwater.

Singapore moves probably 30 million TEUs, that is to say the conventional 20-foot equivalent units, every year. As a sidebar, it is interesting to note that they have not lost one minute to work stoppages in the past 35 years, which is telling in and of itself. A feature of China's new-found discovery of the sea and of sea power in the broadest sense of the word is that within the next few years China will probably be the largest shipbuilder on the face of the earth.

One can argue that the South Koreans or the Japanese are perhaps somewhat more sophisticated shipbuilders in terms of LNG tankers or cruise ships and so forth, but when it comes to commercial shipping, by and large, it is the Chinese who will come to dominate the landscape. This of course creates the circumstance that enables them to build the Chinese navy and indeed to sell warships to other nations in Asia, for example, Pakistan.

If we go to the junction between the Indian and Pacific oceans, that is to say the Strait of Malacca, an extraordinarily narrow, confined waterway that links the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea, an area that is contested in its own right — of which more in a moment — we see that there are probably upwards of 70,000 ships, large and small, that ply through that strait every year. That number is scheduled to rise to about 140,000 probably by the mid-2020s. It is quite astonishing to imagine that density of traffic anywhere in Canadian waters.

I allude in passing to the importance of Vancouver, and Vancouver's growth continues to be impressive, but by Asian standards Vancouver is still, as I suggest, a very modest port. What we see, of course, is that the evolution of Prince Rupert has begun to amend the overall port capacity, particularly in Western Canada, and this is certainly critical as part of the larger maritime landscape in the Indo-Pacific region.

What I would suggest further is that that Indo-Pacific region has become increasingly problematic and brittle as a maritime environment, that, whereas the Atlantic is small, empty, non-confrontational, if we go into the Pacific, we probably see more than 50,000 islands, 70-plus maritime disputes with respect to offshore resources, contested boundaries and ownership of islands. It is an excruciatingly complex region jurisdictionally and geographically. What we see is that many of the interstate disputes are being played out at sea, and in some cases these are deeply disturbing, deeply worrying, cat-and-mouse encounters that involve the loss of life at sea and the exchange of naval gunfire.

What I have before you, of course, is a compelling photo of what was left of the front half of a South Korean corvette sunk in March of 2010 by the North Koreans. I think the evidence is overwhelming that a North Korean submarine engaged in this provocative act of war by torpedoing the Republic of Korea's ship, Cheonan. Forty-six sailors died. Of course, it is a measure of the realities of the Korean Peninsula that other than fulminating there was little the South Koreans could do. Were they to react, they were possibly inviting overall peninsular war.

This is only one of many episodes in which ships have been damaged or sunk over the past decade in Asian waters. Nothing comparable exists in the Atlantic or even in the Indian Ocean.

I go on to suggest that there is an array of issues that are particularly compelling, particularly a source of concern.

You will have seen, of course, that there have been major tensions between Tokyo and Beijing over three tiny islets, the Senkaku Islands. One can argue that historically there was a lack of specificity at the end of the Second World War regarding ownership of these islands. If you are able to ensure ownership, then of course that confers upon you, as you are well aware, under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, an exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles with enormous implications in terms of subsea energy, oil and gas. Of course, if we look at China, for example, we see that in the next 25 to 30 years, 50 per cent of the global demand for oil will come from China alone. Perhaps this will be tempered somewhat by the recent turndown in Chinese economic performance, but what we see is that the Senkakus illustrated here are only part of a much larger array of disputes that involve, for example, Manila and Beijing, in which the Chinese have employed state oceanic administration vessels, which in many cases are nearly the size of our frigates, to advance their interests. One could argue that by holding back the Chinese navy and by using these sorts of semi-military or paramilitary proxies, they have tried to calibrate the degree of tension between the claimants.

Of course, what is particularly worrisome in a third of the examples I cite is that the Chinese are in the process of offering exploration blocks off Vietnam to international oil companies when those blocks are claimed by the Vietnamese. How these exercises in exploration and exploitation will play out very much remains to be seen. One reason the Vietnamese have acquired submarines is to give the Chinese cause for reflection.

Then we see the whole question of the so-called pivot to Asia. Some would argue we are going through our own pivot here in Ottawa with respect to our newfound interest in the region; this is certainly reflected in the Prime Minister's sorties into Asia. Many in Washington would prefer that the word ``pivot'' was not used. They would maintain what is happening is that, after Washington's interests were deflected by events in southwest Asia, Iraq and Afghanistan, the Americans are simply reasserting in a more profound manner their interests in the region, that they were always there.

Although I must confess there were anxieties on the part of many of the regional players as to whether they would stay the course, the Americans are now back. This is illustrated powerfully by President Obama's presence in Myanmar — or Burma — and now in Cambodia, and by the fact that Secretary of State Clinton has been extraordinarily active in travelling throughout the region, as have the various defence secretaries, such as Gates and Panetta. If we go back as far as 2006, we see that the quadrennial defence review mandated by Congress pointed to the fact that the future lay in Asia and that the United States Navy should begin to distribute its resources asymmetrically into the region — six carriers, with five in the Atlantic, and perhaps 60 per cent of the United States Navy submarine capability, and so forth.

One important element of all of this is the evolution of what I would call the Washington-New Delhi axis. This may be putting an undue or unfair element of formality — it is not an axis as such. However, the fact remains that the past decade has seen a new relationship emerge between the United States and India, which has enormous implications, and it is primarily maritime in its outlook. We see major exercises in the Indian Ocean involving the Indian navy, the Americans, Australians, Singaporeans and, tellingly, the Japanese.

From the perspective of the Chinese, who would argue that the growth of their navy is absolutely justified and in keeping with the history of other great nations on the rise, Beijing would argue that they are witnessing an unwarranted containment — what I call ``containment light.'' When they look out from Beijing, they see the Americans in South Korea, Japan, Okinawa, Guam, increasingly in the Philippines, Australia, Singapore, conceivably in Burma in the future, certainly in India, Pakistan, even in the central Asian republics, and Mongolia. They would maintain that this is an artifact of the Cold War — that the attitude of the Americans is one in which China's legitimate ambitions are being unfairly checked.

I think what has happened is that Washington has gone to considerable lengths to try to reassure Beijing. However, at the same time, there is a profound substratum of distress in the trans-Pacific relationship, which Washington has not succeeded in dispelling.

A feature of the area is that the Chinese have developed — and it is only one aspect of a much more complex maritime environment — what is called the Dong Feng 21D. This is a ballistic missile that the Chinese maintain they have modified to the degree that when it re-enters the Earth's atmosphere, it is manoeuvrable and can take out a U.S. naval carrier. This, in the iconic words of the great Hollywood movie Dirty Harry, is designed to make your day. There are those who are skeptical about China's technical accomplishments in this realm, but many senior officials in the United States Navy are taking this very seriously.

You see references in the literature to the so-called Air-Sea Battle Doctrine. I think this is a murky and ill-defined American doctrine for the moment. Perhaps it suggests the prevalence of common sense that the Americans are in no hurry to put combat forces onto the Asian continent and that in the future, they will have to depend on sea and air capabilities.

The Chinese are pursuing the standard strategy of a weaker naval power in the sense that they are trying to deny access to the Asian coast, to hold U.S. carriers at bay with weapons like the Dong Feng 21, an array of submarines, cruise missiles and so on and so forth.

What we see throughout the region is a profound strategic ambiguity. That is to say that if we go to Australia, we find that China is Australia's number one trade partner in iron ore, uranium, a vast array of other minerals, et cetera, which flow out of this continental storehouse of Australia and underwrite the continued growth of the Chinese economy. However, the great security access for Canberra does not lie to Beijing; it lies to Washington. Therefore, this is a complex and potentially contradictory triangle of power.

If you go to almost every other nation in Asia, you find that China is the number one trade partner, having supplanted the United States in the past 10 to 15 years. However, all of the nations in the region are keeping their powder dry because they do not know China's end game. This is certainly true in India. China is rapidly becoming India's number one trade partner, but if you talk to senior security analysts in New Delhi, there is only one word in their lexicon, and that is ``China.''

Therefore, there is a profound sense of ambiguity as to what the future holds. Throughout the region, there is a disturbing legacy of history. Whereas in Europe the Germans have moved in a moment of maturity beyond the terrifying legacy of the Hitler era, this is not the case in the Pacific. Still the wounds of World War II are kept alive, either artificially or otherwise; the Japanese have, frankly, been maladroit in their handling of the World War II legacy, and the Chinese have been extremely ready to raise the spectre of the rape of Nanjing and other terrible experiences in their interstate relations.

Right across the region there is the problem of history. Uncertainties or debates with respect to history also underpin many of the maritime disputes, with the various players all alluding to their historical claims, none of which could probably stand international legal scrutiny.

One of the great exercises of the region is RIMPAC, the Rim of the Pacific. You may very well have been briefed on the enormity of this exercise — vast armadas of ships and vast arrays of men and women, aircraft, and so forth. I would suggest to you that in the Cold War there was a clear anti-Soviet narrative that underpinned RIMPAC. Now I would suggest that, while it is certainly not expressed in public terms, it is probably an anti-Chinese narrative. Interestingly enough, we see that the Americans have extended an invitation to China to be an observer in RIMPAC in the future.

What are the challenges for Canada? I will leave the specifics of naval policy, as I suggested, to the Commander of the Navy; he is ideally suited to address these issues. However, we see that there is a new and challenging arena, in terms of commercial shipping, defence acquisitions, the growth of navies, unresolved disputes, and setting nations one against another at sea. There are sidebar issues with respect to submarine resources, with respect to fish, with respect to illegal movements of people, piracy and so forth, all of which suggest that we need, as a nation, to pay particular attention to this part of the world.

The great beauty about CPAR, about naval vessels, is that they are superbly nuanced and calibrated agents in the sense that there is no other weapons system that I am aware of which can, in fact, move literally, within minutes, from hosting some diplomatic naval reception to engaging in search and rescue or humanitarian assistance and disaster relief or hunting for pirates and so forth. Naval vessels are by their very nature extraordinarily potent vessels in terms of telegraphing national resolve, and history, I think, has underscored this fact.

Thank you very much.

The Chair: Thank you very much. That was a very complete setting of the stage. Just as we begin our questioning, and I know our time is short today, you sort of left it there. Is it a pivot or reassertion, in your view, on the part of the Americans? What is it for us?

Mr. Boutilier: What is it for us? I think it is first and foremost a reassertion.

The Chair: For Canada as well?

Mr. Boutilier: Yes, and I think that after many years in which Canada was otherwise engaged, Canada has begun to come to grips very recently, within the past year or so within the defence realm in specific terms, to the challenges of Asia. One of the problems, of course, in Asia, as you can imagine, is that there is no NATO framework. The area is huge geographically. There is no consensus in who constitutes the enemy the way there was in the Cold War. It is a challenging arena in terms of how do we engage.

Senator Dallaire: I notice you mentioned fishing as merely a sidebar, yet in food stocks in Asian countries, fish is a major staple. The fish off our coast are not insignificant in the Pacific and can, in fact, attract significant frictions, let alone all the other dimensions you mentioned of economy, such as movement of fuel from this country and natural resources and stuff coming back.

My point is that the navy has as the Maritime Component Commander the commander of the fleet on the East Coast. The generic threat assessment based on activity, let alone actual articulating of a threat, is the Pacific versus the Atlantic, with the Mediterranean still being a problem. I do not see why the Maritime Component Commander should be on the East Coast. I would contend that more of the lessons to be learned, more of the work and making RIMPAC a more mature exercise are on the West Coast. There is no equivalent to you on the East Coast with the Maritime Component Commander, which is not insignificant. I do not know how much more capacity the Armed Forces or DND possess.

What I am leading to is that it has taken years to build a balance between the two coasts because the poor cousin was always the West Coast. What is behind the reticence of moving more assets to the West Coast and building that capability there in Esquimalt or maybe even taking part in Prince Rupert to building more capacity for the navy?

Mr. Boutilier: That is a very interesting and appropriate question, general. Let me address several aspects of it.

Let me talk momentarily about fish. If we go to Southeast Asia, 80 per cent of the population of 500 million derive their protein from the sea. If you go all the way up the Asian coast, you find that fish stocks are in danger. The catches are declining in size, the number of species is declining and the size of the individual fish is declining.

There is a further element in all of this, and that is that climate change is warming the world's oceans, and fish are beginning to migrate towards the poles. A growing number of tropical nations will find it harder and harder to acquire fish. About 60 per cent of the world's stock of fish is now at or beyond carrying capacity. What you are beginning to see — and this is a real challenge for navies and coast guards — is the fact that illegal and unreported fishing is now increasingly rampant. This is a major threat. Right across the world, we will be faced with the politics of scarcity when it comes to fish stocks.

That is a source of growing national concern for many nations, particularly in East Asia. If you go to China, for example, you will find 300,000 fishing boats in their fishing fleet. As a sidebar, those boats have, in many cases, been pressed into service as proxies in the disputes over places like the Senkaku. If you look at the final photograph in my handout, you will see a compelling picture of two Japanese coast guard vessels coming to grips with a Chinese fishing boat.

There are some other issues. I will leave the larger policy issue of the balancing of the fleet to the commander of RCN. There are the dictates of geography in the sense of access to the Arctic, for example. Is it easier from Halifax? Is it easier from Esquimalt? If you go from Halifax to the Indian Ocean, you can go all the way to Chennai, or Madras, at one time, on the eastern flank of the Indian subcontinent, and that is the make-and-break point between Halifax, on the one hand, and Esquimalt on the other. One can argue that you can just as effectively service the whole of the Mediterranean, the Horn of Africa and so on from the East Coast as you can from the West Coast.

These are some features of global maritime geography that are worth bearing in mind, I think, when it comes to how ships are deployed. I will leave the specifics because that is really a policy issue that needs to be dealt with, and there are historic reasons why, in fact, the fleets were asymmetric in their size.

Senator Dallaire: You met the threat in the past. This growing threat and uncertainty is now in the West. Why is there that shift? You are an intellectual scientist in providing strategic guidance to these flag officers. Why is that not simply recognized in that action being taken?

Mr. Boutilier: I think that argument has been advanced. The countervailing argument is our NATO commitment and other things — this was certainly borne out in Libya and in the current presence of vessels in the eastern Mediterranean or in the Persian Gulf — and that there were other equally compelling arguments for the maintenance of a presence in the Atlantic. Again, I think that is a policy issue that is best addressed by the commander of the navy.

The Chair: He will be a witness for us soon.

Mr. Boutilier: That is good, and I am sure he will come to grips with that.

Senator Mitchell: With respect to CNOOC buying Nexen, if China is a threat, how does that fit into that?

Mr. Boutilier: This is part of this larger issue of ambiguity. I talked about geostrategic ambiguity. Now we are moving into a commercial, political ambiguity. One can make compelling arguments that China is an unparalleled opportunity. Indeed, one could argue that in the past decade, the world economic vitality would have suffered far more profoundly if it had not been for the dynamism of China. We go back to 2001-02 when a major global downturn was anticipated but did not occur as a result of Chinese economic dynamism.

One can make the compelling argument that China is an opportunity. One can make the equally compelling argument that it is a threat. One of the important things to bear in mind is the prevalence and the pervasive presence of the party in China.

It is very much the same as if the Democratic Party in the United States controlled, for example, the appointment of all university presidents, the editors of all newspapers, the presidency or CEO-ships of all major corporations. That reality causes people to be concerned. One can argue that there are checks and balances, and I think that the Chinese have gone to some considerable lengths to try to tailor their offers to meet the realities of the Canadian marketplace.

Of course, this is not the only country where there have been hesitations about Chinese involvement. We can see, back more than a decade ago, Chinese overtures to Unocal in Texas, and that was turned down by Washington.

It becomes even more complex when we move into weapons systems, computer systems and so forth, to what degree we should permit their presence in North America. More and more evidence is forthcoming that hacking attacks and so on originate out of China.

I think clearly the CNOOC-Nexen issue is a decision that must be made at the senior-most levels in the political realm. It is somewhat removed from the maritime realm, other than of course it is part and parcel of China's insatiable demand for energy.

Just to conclude, I would say that the Chinese have embarked on an exceedingly impressive worldwide diversification of energy over the past 15 years, with energy coming out of Iraq, Iran, Angola, Sudan, Central Asia, Russia, Venezuela and Colombia. Their interest in energy in Canada is not surprising in any way. They are eager to, first, meet demand and, second, diversify to the extent that their ship-borne imports of energy will not be confined to one or two, for example, choke points like the Strait of Malacca, where they could be interdicted, one of the reasons for the whole complex energy politics with Central Asia.

Senator Mitchell: The U.S. has an interest in this relationship with CNOOC. In fact, today I read that Senator McCain suggested that the Parliament of Canada should look at this carefully. How intense are they about that, really, and what does that do to our relationship with them?

Mr. Boutilier: This is straying a long way from maritime issues, I have to confess, but I think there are arguments in some quarters that the Chinese will not forget if we do not embrace their offers. However, these are the hard challenges of the marketplace, I think. I know that other nations, like Australia, are also subject to overtures, although I think probably in broad terms the Chinese have made more headway in Australia in mining and energy than elsewhere.

The Chair: Thank you for keeping that brief and getting us back on focus.

Senator Lang: I will turn back to the maritime issues and the navy and the size of our navy. I am not clear in your presentation here just exactly where you are recommending that the Royal Canadian Navy go in respect of their fleet and what they have. As you know, the government has made a major commitment to revitalize the navy and is in the process of putting that in place.

Taking it from that point of view, are you satisfied that, within the limits of our financial capabilities, we are going in the right direction?

Second, with the four submarines we have, in conjunction with the other 196 or 200 that are in the Pacific, will that suffice from our point of view as a country in the contribution and trying to maintain a presence? In particular, you have referred to the Chinese as a threat a number of times during your presentation. Maybe you would comment on that.

Mr. Boutilier: Once again, I think this is really the province of the commander of the navy. What I would suggest, however, is that our submarines can be seen within the larger context of an arena in which submarines are becoming increasingly prevalent. The fact is that virtually all the nations of the world in that region are moving into the submarine realm. Even Singapore, which has a population equal to metro Toronto, has missile boats, frigates, corvettes and submarines. It also has a budget too large to spend in defence.

If you look at the highly aspirational and ambitious defence plans in Australia, for example, we see that their intention is to increase their number of submarines from 6 to 12. A whole host of issues have affected the Collins Class in Australia, whether it is the availability of crews or technical challenges and so forth. It is a measure of how Canberra sees the nature of the maritime threat that one of the principal areas in which they want to move is to increase submarine capability.

Submarines, I think, will be increasingly part of the currency of the region. I know that in the case of the United States Navy they leased from Sweden a boat and its entire crew to operate on the California coast to begin to give the United States Navy — this was some years ago — experience in anti-submarine warfare. This is a particularly challenging issue.

It is also interesting to see that the Russians, who have some major ambitions in revitalizing their aging fleet, are beginning to move some of their newer generation of boats into the Pacific. Originally, if we were to go back 10 years, they were all to be in the White Sea in the northwestern corner of Russia. Suffice to say, I am sure all commanders would like to have more assets. Within that context, submarines, I think, will be very important.

My general thrust to you all is that in this maritime century navies are going to be critical in advancing the interests of the nations of the region.

Senator Nolin: Thank you, professor, for coming to Ottawa.

Mr. Boutilier: I am flattered.

Senator Nolin: After hearing you in Esquimalt and here, I think it is great.

Canada's interest in trade in the Pacific is no secret. What about the defence alliances? I do not know whether you have written publicly on the subject. I would be interested if you have. What are your views on Canada's interests in developing an alliance, multilateral alliances, similar to what we have in the Atlantic or the Pacific? Should we go bilateral only?

Mr. Boutilier: As I suggested, one of the challenges in the region is there is no equivalent to NATO. There is no framework into which we can plug in terms of our larger effort. I would suggest to you that, over the past 10 years, there has been a compelling shift in attitudes. Whereas, perhaps in the 1990s, we saw it as a uni-polar world with the Americans taking the lead, now our American colleagues are increasingly forthright and candid about the fact that no nation can do it on their own.

If we go back some five or six years, we see the thousand-ship navy concept, which was really a mythological concept. What it did was to place a premium on cooperation. Americans are particularly eager to cooperate with like-minded nations in the region. One of the things that facilitates that, to some degree, is that nations like Japan and South Korea all have, as a common denominator, close association with the United States Navy, for example, over many decades. Thus we find that Australians, New Zealanders, increasingly Singaporeans, Japanese, South Koreans, Canadians, all have some degree of commonality by virtue of having worked closely with the United States Navy.

I think Americans would argue, among other things, maintaining peace and stability at sea, addressing an increasing array of challenges like humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the region, all place a premium on naval collaboration.

I wrote a piece recently, which I anticipate NATO will publish, arguing that cooperation at sea is perhaps one of the ways we can begin to build relationships in East Asia. Of course, the beauty of naval cooperation is that it is — not to put too fine a point on it — out of sight, out of mind. It is not a contentious issue in the sense that land-based operations or exercises are. One can make an argument that there are many issues, whether it is fisheries patrols or search and rescue or humanitarian assistance, as illustrated in the great Indonesian tsunami of 2004, where navies should work together.

Indeed, we have begun to get some movement in that arena with the serendipitous collaboration of an amazing array of vessels off the Horn of Africa in anti-piracy operations. Thus we find Chinese, American, Russian, Singaporean vessels all interacting. The levels of interaction are pretty minimal, to say the least, but it is a start. I have argued that I think we should do everything we can to try to foster greater confidence building and collaboration at sea involving the navies of the region.

I do not see formal alliances appearing at sea any time in the future, but I certainly see that the whole trend in senior naval thinking across the region is to place a premium on collaboration and cooperation.

Senator Nolin: You said you wrote a piece and that NATO will publish it?

Mr. Boutilier: Yes. I was invited by the NATO Defense College to write a piece. They produce a regular series of opinion pieces. One issue that confronts NATO, not to put too fine a point on it, is what is the future of NATO after Afghanistan. Is there a future in Asia? The fact that NATO is in Afghanistan would have been, in the early 1990s, absolutely, utterly unthinkable, but now we see a situation where NATO is looking to recreate itself.

Recently I was in Rome lecturing to an audience of generals, flag officers and ambassadors, and much to my delight, in the audience was a Chinese rear admiral. This is an initiative on the part of the NATO Defense College to reach out, as they have already done to Australians and Japanese and others, the so-called NATO contact nations in Asia, to China. It is very much a work-in-progress, but it seems to me that maritime cooperation is one of the most promising arenas in which to begin building, softly, softly, a greater sense of community at sea.

The Chair: On that note, are there any other structures? There are lots of Asian trade organizations. Is there any structure? Is RIMPAC actually a structure?

Mr. Boutilier: It is in the sense that it remains a work-in-progress. No sooner has this year's RIMPAC come to an end than they are planning the next one. One structure you may not have encountered in your work is the Western Pacific Naval Symposium. Canada is a full member of that symposium. This brings together the heads of almost all the major navies in the Pacific Ocean. There is an Indian Ocean subset or equivalent, in a way, but this gives a real opportunity for heads of navies to interact, and they are, for example, trying to look at ways to avoid the unpleasant circumstances associated with unexpected encounters or collisions at sea, the sort of thing they did during the Cold War with the Incidents at Sea Agreement with the Soviets. They are also looking at basic, low-level communications documents that would give Western Pacific naval fleets, whether it is China, Australia or Chile, interoperability. Of course, we have had documents of this sort in NATO for decades. The WPNS, as it is called, Western Pacific Naval Symposium, I think is quite promising as a launch point for greater cooperation at sea.

The Chair: We have gone over our time, but I appreciate all of the information you have managed to cram into that brief time. I think we are all better for it. Thank you, Dr. Boutilier, for making this trip and joining us today.

Mr. Boutilier: I am delighted to support you and happy to do so on any other occasion.

The Chair: Thank you so much. We will officially adjourn our meeting.

(The committee adjourned.)