Is an aggressive military mindset good for Canada?

(Canscene) — Although Canadian forces had been committed to the anti-Taliban offensive in Afghanistan before Stephen Harper’s government took office, the increasing Tory commitment to military spending has its highly disturbing elements.

Item: A former defence industry lobbyist becomes defence minister, responsible for Canada gaining membership in the military-industrial complex club that already dominates the USA.

Item: Some contenders for the Liberal Party leadership seem to support the need for enhancement of Canada’s military potential, moving us further away from the “peacekeeper” image.

Item: Polls indicate a majority of Canadians would prefer to see our forces in a peacekeeping rather than a belligerent, role.

Eisenhower’s warning
The phrase military-industrial complex was first used on January 17, 1961, by retiring President Dwight Eisenhower in his final address to the American people . He said:

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

“We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

The military-industrial complex is generally defined as a “coalition consisting of the military and industrialists who profit by manufacturing arms and selling them to the government.” Until World War II, the United States did not have an armaments industry Eisenhower said. “Even though “American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well,”

Saul’s warning
Canadian writer John Ralston Saul has said of the military – industrial complex: “The end………..has been the inversion of the meaning of the word ‘armaments.’ What for thousands of years was a non-productive necessity of warfare has been dressed up as a productive necessity of job creation and technological innovation

“Where the public ownership of arsenals had once given some guarantee that weaponry would relate to defence and attack, the privatization of production puts the requirements of national protection on the back burner. In other words, the only way to reduce expenditure while ensuring the production of the right quantity of the right weapons without international proliferation would be to reverse the current policy: establish a policy of state production and openly assume the costs of defence.”

Aerial view of graveyard

One Response to “Is an aggressive military mindset good for Canada?”

  1. Frank Says:

    Canada is on the wrong course right now. Our activities in Afghanistan will prove to be a waste of lives, resources and time. Eventually we will withdraw, having accomplished nothing. We’d do better defending Canada’s sovereignty in our own north.