Photo: CP24

Ottawa: Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to put his country’s nuclear arsenal on high alert last weekend has sparked hope that Ottawa and Washington will finally act with urgency in upgrading North America’s defences.
Successive Canadian and American governments have been promising for years to modernize the North American Aerospace Defence Command, or Norad, which was first created during the Cold War to protect against a Soviet attack.
Yet despite increasingly urgent warnings from senior military commanders on both sides of the border about the need to address a growing number of gaps in North America’s defences, many are still waiting for Canada to act.
Norad commander U.S. Gen. Glen VanHerck this week highlighted the growing threat that North America faces as Russia and China develop and field long-range weapons that can hit Canada or the United States, and which the current system can’t detect.