on April 3, 2007
I have never been a big fan of military spending but this book makes some very compelling arguments. The author argues that the role of the military is not just to fight wars but to provide key support in civil disasters and maintenance of sovereignty, particularly in the two thirds of our country which is largely unpopulated. It is less about carrying guns and more about providing logistical support, food, shelter and mobilization of resources to areas of acute need. We currently have little capability to handle any sort of crisis, whether it is an ice storm, earthquake or terrorist attack.
The other key points in this book include the dangers inherent in constantly bashing our major trading partner to the south and our inability to maintain any sort of significant presence in the north especially as the world demand for natural resources increases.
This is not an alarmist book in any sense but rather a realistic appraisal of our current state of readiness which should be a source of embarassment for all Canadians.
Every Canadian with an interest in our national identity and how we define ourselves should read this book. At 200+ pages it is a quick and easy read.
on March 7, 2007
Now I have to state right at the onset, that I have never been a particular fan of the writings of Granatstein. I tend to find his work very elementary. Until now! This book is amazing and is a real eye opener for people in Canada who continue to hold outdated and antiquated views of the Canadian military and its role in society.
I feel that some of the strongest arguments that Granatstein makes in this book centre around the perversity and sickness of anti-Americanism in Canada and why it is so harmful to us as a country. We do not always have to see eye-to-eye on every issue with the United States, and we do not. However, to take disagreements on policy and turn it into hatred is not healthy for Canada. It only adds a sense of false nationalism. The other area where he is strong is the myth of the Canadian peacekeeper. Armies are not trained to be peacekeepers and in fact, Canada has long abandoned its role as a peacekeeper because of the draconian budget cuts in the 1990s. Now, Canada is not even called on to provide troops for UN missions.
This book is a welcome, and much-need addition, to Canadian foreign and defense policy literature. This book has made me a fan of Granatstein.