The Canadian Armed Forces is collapsing - not might or could collapse but is collapsing. The problems with the navy's marine helicopters that dogged Jean Chretien during his tenure as prime minister are only a sample of the problems facing today's military. Besides the three billion dollars needed to replace these essential pieces of hardware, billions more will be required over the next few years to replace transport aircraft, navy destroyers, and army logistic vehicles - to list just a few. The estimated budgetary shortfall for equipment replacement for the period ending 2008 is approximately $15 billion dollars - and equipment replacement isn't the military's most pressing problem. Even more critical is personnel. The men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces are being called upon to participate in too many missions, which not only causes fatigue and burn-out but is seriously affecting training, particularly for new recruits who do menial tasks at home while the people who should be training them participate in foreign missions. Canada Without Armed Forces? offers a way out of this morass, with concrete proposals that will allow the Canadian military to regain its stature among ordinary Canadians and on the world stage and will enable our military forces to once again become an effective tool for our foreign policy.
Contributors include Brian MacDonald (President, Strategic Insight Planning and Communications), Christopher Ankersen (graduate student, London School of Economics), and Howie Marsh (Conference of Defence Associations).
'"Once in a blue moon, a book appears that deserves to be read by prime ministers. Douglas Bland's Canada Without Armed Forces? is just such a study. Jean Chretien should read it to see the legacy he has left the Canadian Forces and future Canadian foreign policy. Paul Martin must read it to get an idea of the magnitude of the challenge his government faces - if it wants to have any foreign and defence policy at all ... If governments allow the Canadian Forces to fall into even greater disrepair, Canada cannot help but become the first modern and major power to disarm itself." J.L. Granatstein, author of Who Killed the Canadian Military?
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