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Joint Chiefs Chairman Says There Is No Plan For Invading Canada

Blame Canada

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of the Staff wants to make it clear that we don’t have plans to invade our neighbors to the north:

Wednesday’s hearing of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee was informative on a great many serious subjects. It also revealed that the United States isn’t prepared to take aggressive action against its looming menace to the north, according to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Dan Coats, R-Ind., was asking about how prepared the military was to act in Iraq. “Based on my previous service in the Senate and some service now, I’m totally aware that the Pentagon has a contingency plan on the shelf for just about every possible scenario, everything from nuclear war to an invasion by Canada, and everything in between,” he said, per the transcript by CQ.com.

Answered Gen. Martin E. Dempsey:

“Let me first assure you we do not have a plan on the shelf for the invasion of Canada. I want to make sure that our Canadian allies, who may be watching…

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)”

The Obama administration has previously denied any secret plan to invade Canada, but this is the first public admission that it has no blueprint to be able to do so if needed.

If Dempsey is to be believed — and some Canadians have assumed that the U.S. military has just such a plan on the shelf — he is ignoring military history. The United States found cause to invade Canada in 1775 and 1812, then developed War Plan Red in the 1920s and 30s, which contemplated a potential invasion of Canada. And as recently as 1999, a bloody, near-apocalyptic (fictional) war with Canada broke out.

Now, we have no war plan, and they’ve sent us everything from Celine Dion to Justin Beiber. Maybe we need to reconsider this…..

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Tillman says:

    Then our top military brass should all resign en-masse as a show of honor.

    No plan to invade Canada?! This is an outrage!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  2. Electroman says:

    @Tillman: It’s always possible. After all, they *do* have oil.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  3. Tillman says:

    @Electroman: I have always been a proponent, semi-half-seriously, of U.S. military invasion into Canada, Mexico, and Australia. Consolidate the continent under one rule! Try out flags with more stars!

    (Australia’s for the uranium reserves and increased global projection of the military. Now that is a pivot to Asia!)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  4. C. Clavin says:

    they’ve sent us everything from Celine Dion to Justin Beiber. Maybe we need to reconsider this…..

    But also Neil Young, Rush, and the Tragically Hip…not to mention Molson and Labatts.
    I say leave ‘em alone.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  5. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Doug, how could you post this article AND that picture without a link to this video?

    But in our nation’s military’s defense establishment… C’mon, it’s Canada. Would we even NEED a plan to invade? All Obama has to do is pick up the phone to the Joint Chiefs and say “invade Canada,” and boom — it’s done.

    But that raises the question of why bother? I think we’d be better served to just line the border with explosives, set them off, and let Canada drift off into the Arctic. Hell, half of it’s already there, it just needs a little more pushing…

    On the other hand, someone should ask them about their plans to invade Texas. Now that would actually be a challenge…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  6. Peacewood says:

    Mandatory for any Canada thread.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  7. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Peacewood: Called and raised.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  8. al-Ameda says:

    The Obama administration has previously denied any secret plan to invade Canada, but this is the first public admission that it has no blueprint to be able to do so if needed.

    Based on our recent record of invading places like Iraq, I for one, am mighty glad that we have no plans to invade Canada and pillage great cities like Vancouver, Victoria, Montreal and Toronto.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  9. PJ says:

    The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of the Staff wants to make it clear that we don’t have plans to invade our neighbors to the north

    All lies. There are plans to invade Canada.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  10. To be fair, our several previous attempts to invade Canada all went rather poorly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  11. gVOR08 says:

    @Stormy Dragon: We didn’t make much of a thing of the bicentennial of the War of 1812. Canada, I understand, did make more of a thing of it. As they are entitled.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  12. michael reynolds says:

    To any Canadians reading this: don’t get cocky. You mess with us we may not send the army, but we can send still more Hollywood film crews to Toronto and you know what that will do to traffic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  13. James Joyner says:

    Like we’d need a plan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  14. Franklin says:

    The question by Senator Coats was about an “invasion by Canada” not “invasion of Canada”. We may very well have some plan for the former, but probably not the latter. We don’t know because Dempsey subtly changed the subject.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  15. al-Ameda says:

    @Franklin:

    The question by Senator Coats was about an “invasion by Canada” not “invasion of Canada”.

    Well, I have been harboring hopes that Canada would take us over and impose a Single Payer Health Insurance system down here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  16. Rafer Janders says:

    @James Joyner:

    Like we’d need a plan.

    Bold talk for a country which couldn’t defeat a few thousand lightly armed insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  17. Rafer Janders says:

    @James Joyner:

    Like we’d need a plan.

    And it’s that kind of attitude that produced the oh-so-successful invasion and occupation of Iraq….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  18. Alex says:

    Hey, there was a twelve-year-long armed standoff between Canadian and US forces that ended as recently as 1872. The only casualty during the whole thing was a pig, however.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pig_War

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  19. anjin-san says:

    We WILL be welcomed as liberators…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  20. anjin-san says:

    Actually, it’s not a bad idea. Canadians don’t have to worry about being bankrupted by medial expenses.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. Electroman says:

    @gVOR08: The War of 1812 is indeed big in Canadian history, but not because they won (although they do see things this way). It’s because their nationbuilding myth centers around the War of 1812 just as that of the US centers around the American Revolution.

    In fact, the concept of Canadian national identity began at Montreal early in that war, when the Francophones chose to ally with the unfriendly Canadian Anglophones (UK) to repel the second group of unfriendly Anglophones (The US, who had invaded). The US had hoped it would go the other way, but better the Devil you know than the one you don’t.

    I’ve always thought there was at least a master’s thesis on differing nations’ view of the War of 1812. which basically is one way in the US, a second way in Canada, and a big shrug almost everywhere else.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  22. wr says:

    @Electroman: “I’ve always thought there was at least a master’s thesis on differing nations’ view of the War of 1812. which basically is one way in the US, a second way in Canada, and a big shrug almost everywhere else.”

    I suspect this is the case with every conflict between two nations…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. george says:

    @michael reynolds:

    To any Canadians reading this: don’t get cocky. You mess with us we may not send the army, but we can send still more Hollywood film crews to Toronto and you know what that will do to traffic.

    Actually most Canadians figure that while the US Army could walk over Canada’s in an afternoon, it’ll never happen, because the end result would be the US owning Bieber and Celine Dion …far worse than any traffic jam.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  24. Matt says:

    @george: But our heart would go on?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0