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Canada, U.S. expanding joint defense plan

Jan. 25, 2012 at 2:08 PM

OTTAWA, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Canada and the United States are soon to have a joint defense plan in place to allow both militaries to cross the border, the Canadian defense minister said.

At an Ottawa meeting of the Permanent Joint Board on Defense Tuesday night, Defense Minister Peter MacKay said the Combined Defense Plan, years in the making, was almost completely written by both countries, Postmedia News reported.

"The plan describes the authorities and means by which the two governments would approve homeland military operations in the event of a mutually agreed threat, and how our two militaries would collaborate and share information," MacKay said.

The agreement covers such mutual threats as war, acts of terror, cyber-security and threats to the Arctic and from space, the report said.

Part of the plan will also expand the joint Civil Assistance Plan, which allows for soldiers from both countries to respond to terror attacks and natural disasters to assist civilians, MacKay said.

The minister said the plan is nearly complete, but didn't give a date for its release.

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