Security, Strategy, and the Global Economics of Defence Production

Description

144 pages
Contains Bibliography
$24.95
ISBN 0-88911-875-2
DDC 338.4'76233'0971

Year

1999

Contributor

Edited by David G. Haglund and S. Neil MacFarlane
Reviewed by J.L. Granatstein

J.L. Granatstein, distinguished research professor emeritus of history
at York University. He is the author of Who Killed Canadian History? and
co-author of The Canadian 100: The 100 Most Influential Canadians of the
20th Century, Prime Ministers: Ranking

Review

The papers in this book are the product of a Canada–United Kingdom
Colloquium held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1998. Naturally enough, the
authors are mainly British and Canadian academics, but there are also
businessmen and military officers, serving and retired, included. The
result is an impressive survey of the uncertain strategic environment at
the century’s end and the ways in which the revolution in military
affairs is affecting defence procurement and government defence budgets.
Overshadowing the book—and the world—is the status of the United
States as the sole superpower, the only state with the resources and
reach to affect, if not determine, almost everything everywhere. For
Canada and Britain, these factors are difficult ones to manage. There is
a tendency on the part of the public and the press in both countries to
want to leave it to the Americans, but the governments cannot act in
that way. Even so, how can defence ministers pry dollars out of their
governments’ purses when there are other areas crying for allotments?
Not easily, it is clear. At the same time, weak nation–states seem
able to survive wars, with the strong, democratic publics understandably
averse to plane loads of body bags returning from the front. Then there
is the question of what drives defence procurement. For the British, it
is ordinarily the strategic calculus; for the Canadians, predictably, it
is hardware, contracts, industrial offsets, and all the petty patronage
of our regionalized political system. Moreover, the British believe it
important to keep a defence industrial base while Canada has clearly
abandoned any attempt to do so.

Security, Strategy, and the Global Economics of Defence Production is a
useful book of essays. It is coherent, it delivers important messages,
and it can be read with some pleasure. For a political
science/international relations/military volume of essays, that is
saying something.

Citation

“Security, Strategy, and the Global Economics of Defence Production,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 28, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/31112.