What if Bill Clinton woke up tomorrow in an expansionist mood. He wants to name some new territory after himself as his legacy. Looks around. Sees a sparcely populated, resource rich, militarily deficient plot of land to the north. Convinces congress to go along with it and sends in the troops. A determined U.S. force would probably wipe out the Canadian Army in about 3 weeks with minimal losses itself. Voila - the 51st state.
Who would stand up to the U.S anyways?
Now don’t get me wrong - I am not advocating this. Being Canadian I would rather not see this happen (although I am marrying an American just to be safe ). But what is to stop the U.S. if they wanted to do this?
Heck, our Salvation Army could kick your ass! Our civilians probably own better guns than your military does!
And it’s going to happen! We’re gonna march up there and get our baseball teams back (hey, it was cute until they won the World Series!).
In actuality if Geo Washington had his way you would already be a state (spelled Kanada). There is nothing militarily you could do about us coming up there, I really think some of the civilan militias we have down here could do it. But it would look really bad internationally.
(sigh) So we’ll just let you have your little “country” up there and leave you alone. (until it’s vacation time, then we’re comming up with our strong American dollars!).
Let’s compare the U.S. war with Canada to the U.S. war with Iraq 10 years ago, and maybe you’ll see the differences.
With Iraq, we had six months to get our troops in place and bomb the hell out of their army without fear of retaliation- an Iraqi missle strike could hit U.S. troops, but the U.S. itself would be free of damage.
Conversely, war with Canada would mean all of our open border subject to invasion, and actual damage of U.S. property very likely. The U.S. wouldn’t have the time to sit back and bomb Canada into submission before the Canadian Army began a forward invasion; heck, given the strength of the Canadian Air Force, it would be a long while before the U.S. could guarantee air superiority.
Then, add in that the Canadian Armed Forces are on a tech level approximately equivalent to our own, as compared to the somewhat backward Iraqi army. By the time the ground shooting started, we won’t have decimated Canada’s infrastructure, and well-equipped Canadian troops would do a lot of damage to the U.S. Army.
Now, let’s throw in guerilla and sabotage movements- after all, there are plenty of Canadian citizens living in the U.S. that would take offense to U.S. actions like this; and even supposing that the U.S. managed to take Canadian territory, it would likely face local armed resistance (for years if the U.S. wanted to force Canada into the States; I don’t even want to think about what would happen if the U.S. tried to annex Quebec).
So, we’re talking at least moderate casualties- very heavy when compared to the military actions taken since 'Nam; we’re talking about a campaign that would end up lasting decades in trying to quell local unrest; and then we’d have to try and convince everyone else that we’ve signed multiple defensive treaties with that just because we broke all of our treaties with Canada and stabbed them in the back, the rest of the world can still pretty much trust us.
Now, try convincing 67 out of 100 Senators that taking a massive dump on every treaty we’ve ever signed, suffering moderate casualties and probably having to institute a draft in order to get the army size necesary to invade and occupy Canada, and facing decades of local resistance, is worth voting for. Good luck.
Seriously, if a Prez woke up and wanted to do something like that, the U.S. public would be the biggest obstacle. To do it right he/she would have to start a subtle media campaign to convince us (the public) it is ethically, logically, and morally correct to invade, and that could take weeks. The warning signs would be increasing tension between the nations over insignificant issues, leading up to small conflict where a Canadian soldier/secret service agent/police officer shoots someone for what he/she believes is a justifiable reason, and all the evidence supporting such action disappears, leaving us to think it was an unjustified attack. The Prez sends in the troops to protect American interest and serve justice, the now Evil Canadians resist, so we seize their country and liberate their people from an obviously corrupt and uncaring government. Everyone’s happy.
I should note that currently this is only likely if the Canadian P.M. has a cute chubby intern living under his desk that he won’t share. She would probably be the first person to be liberated.
If you want to read a rousing SF series on that very topic, may I suggest Harry Turtledove’s Great War series in which WWI is fought on the North American continent between Canada, The United States, and the Confederacy, which won the Civil War. It’s rousing stuff and very well researched.
FYI, we did invade Canada during the War of 1812 and we got our butts whipped back across the border. Don’t mess with the Canucks. I wouldn’t want to get into a shooting war with a bunch of hockey thugs.
I’m sorry, were you really able to type that with a straight face?
If so, my hat is off you you, m’man. The UN is a joke organization that depends on the US for its funding and for its continued existence. The US has continually shown throughout my lifetime (and for decades before that) that it doesn’t really give a rat’s ass about world opinion when it comes to matters that affect it internally.
Nor should we. The UN is worthless, and carries no authority beyond what its member nations choose to allow it. If the US, making up probably at least 40% of member nations’ combined military power, withdrew or even chose to tell the rest of them “go to hell, we want Canada”, then who would be able to do anything about it?
Well, besides the Canadians…
What stops Canada from being invaded is a combination of goodwill, convenience, lack of need for it, lack of gain once it was done, and prohibitive cost. In order to really take over, we would have to do enough damage that what was left wouldn’t be worth the expenditure. Especially since Canada is one of the most US-friendly nations in the world anyway. You just don’t attack your friends. Not to mention that the US population at large would likely be enraged.
Not being from anywhere near the states, I can’t really add any intellectually stimulating comments to this issue. The only thing I can ask is that why would the US want to expand?? I’m thinking this world domination attitude went out with flares!! Isn’t the US about just being a country full of guns and thousands of homicides each day? …Or am I just being stereotypical again?
As much as I hate to put down my own country, I must disagree. The only “fighting” aircraft that Canada possesses are about 120 F-18s that are anywhere between 15 and 20 years old - not mentionning that they do not possess alot of the current “high-tech” gear that most, if not all, their U.S. opponants would have. The U.S. Air Force alone has over 1000 dogfighting aircraft (F-15s, F-16s, F-117s) at it’s disposal. Plus numerous aircraft that could be launched by the Navy. While Canada does have some highly SKILLED pilots, I think that air superiority would be in the American’s hands in short order.
Any technology that we have, the U.S. gave us. But what it really comes down to is TRAINING. The U.S maintains a far better trained army on hand than we do. We don’t NEED one, because we rely on the U.S. so much and have nothing to fear.
As I said. I don’t wish for this scenario to happen. Nor do I ever expect it to. I am GLAD that we have the U.S. on our side. But sometimes you just can’t help wonder…
There is nothing to physically stop the U.S., but what would be the point? The world’s “longest undefended border” is there and undefended for a reason. Aside from the silly jokes of the sort that appear here from time to time, there actually is a level of respect between the two nations. Why screw that up in order to maintain an (expensive) army of occupation for decades beyond the foreseeable future?
This following statement is only part of the story:
Actually, both sides tended to lose when on the other guy’s territory with a few notable exceptions (Detroit and River Raisin vs Thames River.
However, most of the battles were between British regulars and Indians on one side and mixed U.S. militia and regulars on the other. The decisive defeats of the U.S. invaders along the Niagara River included a very few Canadian militia (who were, of course, lauded out of proportion to their efforts, according to later Canadian histories I have read).
One reason for the invasion’s failure was that U.S. militia had been called up to defend against British invasion. When the brass looked at the number of troops they had available, they decided to head into Canada, but several of the militia companies decided that invasion wasn’t really “defensive” and they refused to come along, depleting the number of troops that actually invaded.
All in all, a rather pointless exercise (aside from the mythology it created to bolster each country’s self-image in later years).
Let’s also think about what would happen after we absorb Canada into the US. All the Canadians I’ve met have been very liberal compared to Americans. If we took over and Canadians ever got the right to vote we would risk such horrors as affordable health care, gun control, and reduced military spending! Let’s just leave them to stew in their own mismanaged nation for now.
Let me get this straight: The U.S. funds the the U.N.? This has got to be a financial theory on the same level as Reaganomics.
How do we manage to keep from paying MILLIONS of dollars in U.N. dues for years (I’m not sure what the amount is, but add a decimal point midway through the figure, give that money to me, and I could retire) and still give financial support?
The only thing we give the U.N. is our inflated sense of ego and a few square acres of land (which would probably be more appropriate in Switzerland, but that’s a whole different thread).
Why pick on Canada? What if the President decided to invade, say, Texas? The goal would be to bring Texas forcibly into the Union. Who would stop him? … and don’t tell me that the Texans have guns and would defend themselves, Alamo-style. How far would that go against the U.S. army’s never-miss missiles? Pah! Texas would succumb in a matter of weeks.
Retaliation? Pfui! What would the Texans do, invade Oklahoma? or New Mexico? Who would care?
No, seriously, the U.S. invasion force going into Canada would have to clear immigration, and those Canadian border guards would have the U.S. armed forces rounded up and in interrogation rooms (“Are you doing business in Canada?” “You need a proof of your U.S. citizenship, and a drivers licence and military uniform and uzzi are not sufficient identification.”) Never underestimate the power of government bureaucracy to thwart foreign invasion.