Since I have nothing to do over the summer, when I was at the library a week or two back, I decided to pick up some random books. I’m almost finished one of them, While Canada Slept: How we lost our place in the world.
The author argues that the importance of Canada on the world stage today is self-imagined. Canadians tend to think that we really matter in the larger scope of things, through things like peacekeeping and other such international endeavours. We used to, but today, we don’t.
The one thing that stuck out to me was one of the earlier chapters about the state of our military. It’s been a running joke for as long as I can remember, that Canada’s military consists of mounties, polar bears, and beavers. Canada’s military is crap and I believe that recent governments have been neglecting it, probably because we’re not a warring nation or anything, so we don’t need to maintain a military.
Coming out of World War II, Canada had something like the fourth largest military in the world. Obviously, that number dropped after the war. But this is the reason we were able to send forces to the Suez Canal in 1956 to “save the world” and start the whole peacekeeping tradition. If we don’t have a good military, how can we continue to support peacekeeping missions that we’re so proud of?
That’s something I’ll be keeping in mind for the next while.