When it was first published in 1998, J.L. Granatsteins Who Killed Canadian History? set off a firestorm of controversy, touching a chord in our nations psyche. Who Killed the Canadian Military? promises to follow the same trajectory, as Canadians question the effectiveness of a military that is weakly waving the white flag both at home and on the international peacekeeping front. From failed submarine deals to tragic helicopter crashes, military equipment is sadly out of date and out of shape, Granatstein asserts. Military personnel are stretched far too thinly and are ill-prepared for the battlefield or peacekeeping. He wonders if Canadians are aware that we rank 34th among nations in the provision of troops for UN peacekeeping, and that our vaunted reputation for diplomacy is pretty much in tatters. And now, its not just Canadians who are questioning our diminished military. Since 9/11 and the USIraq war, America is seriously evaluating our ability to defend our own border against a terrorist attack.
Who are these killers of the Canadian army, navy, and air force? Granatstein fingers a government who believes that peacekeeping solves everything, and the organizational restructurers who thought that putting everyone in green might make a new breed of soldier. He notes, too, the anti-American sentiment that says wed rather fight the Yanks than our (potential) enemies.
Most important, Granatstein provides a powerful and articulate argument for the re-establishment of a well-funded and well-trained militaryand a realistic strategy for how we can achieve it, given the threatening new climate of the 21st century. Written by one of our most outspoken military experts and thoughtful historians, Who Killed the Canadian Military? will provoke impassioned debate and controversy in the media, and among ordinary Canadians.