Friday, March 07, 2008

SPP : TOPOFF 5 and the 2010 Olympics

24 Hours : "Canada, U.S. and Mexico are planning a massive joint military exercise in April 2009 "to focus on terrorist events that could affect [the] 2010 Olympics," according to Public Safety Canada documents released to 2010 Watch via access to information.

The rehearsal, led by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is code-named TOPOFF 5. Canadian troops were among the 15,000 participants involved in last October's TOPOFF 4 in Portland, Ore., Phoenix, Ariz. and Guam.

"Exercises provide unique training opportunities to strengthen our ability to deal with potential emergencies," said Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day in an e-mail statement responding to 24 hours' interview request. "They are important tools to strengthen Canada's ability to deal with real incidents."

An undated Public Safety Canada report said up to $22.8 million was needed to fund emergency management, counter-terrorism, cyber security and critical infrastructure protection exercises, "leading to a trilateral full-scale exercise prior to the Vancouver Olympic Games in 2010, as outlined under the Security and Prosperity Partnership."

Now because I'm just not used to finding groundbreaking information about 'deep integration' military wargames in a free newspaper blowing around a bus shelter, I looked on the Public Safety Canada website. Unsurprisingly they don't mention it but the always frighteningly helpful US Dept of Homeland Security website does. Their National Exercise Program (NEP) page has a five year calendar and the June and July 2009 boxes read:
"National Level Exercise 09 Terrorism
TOPOFF 5 (Olympics Prep)."
The lavender colour coding indicates it is "Tier 1: White House directed, U.S. Government-wide Strategy and Policy Focus, Full Participation".

These TOPOFF exercises occur every two years and if this next one is going to take place in Canada around the Olympics, it might explain this news item from a couple of weeks ago :

Canada, US agree to share troops in civil emergencies
"Canada and the U.S. have signed an agreement that paves the way for the militaries from either nation to send troops across each other's borders during an emergency".

I wonder what qualifies as a "civil emergency".


Anonymous said...

I was just telling Mom that I was thinking of moving to France and she said, "what about Canada?" I said, "it's too close," and this is why!

Anonymous said...

All your olympics are belong to us.

I can has Canada?

Of course they will have to scare the living shit out of anyone wanting to protest the olymcraps. You know... "tea row ism"

West End Bob said...

I wonder what qualifies as a "civil emergency".

I'm guessing if you and your Buds look askance at someone on Bowen, this could qualify and they'd bring out the S.W.A.T. guys to take care of you . . . .

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