People

Books

Fighting for a combat-ready military

March 1 2004
People

Books

Fighting for a combat-ready military

March 1 2004

Books

Fighting for a combat-ready military

Historian Jack Granatstein is no Maoist, but he shares one bedrock belief with the former Chinese dictator. “Power still comes primarily from the barrel of a gun,” he writes in his splendid polemic, Who Killed the Canadian Military? (HarperCollins). It’s not a book to dip into. Open it at page 159 and the author answers his title question with “Brian Mulroney;” on page 124 he’s even more unequivocal -“without a doubt, Pierre Trudeau.” Others also receive a share of the blame, and it’s not until near the end that Granatstein gives his final word:

“We all did.” Although he realizes most Canadians do not share his pro-military views, Granatstein is dogged in presenting his case. Canada needs armed forces with teeth if it’s going to regain any of the influence it had after the Second World War, he writes, and that will require 20,000 more personnel and a “staggering sum” of money.