New Internationalist

Dubious Sentinel: Canada and the World Military Order

Issue 081

Published by Project Ploughshares and the Development Education Centre. Available from DEC, 121 Avenue Road, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Single copies $2.50/£1.00, Ten or more $2.00/80p each.

A file-style compendium of seven dossiers on militarism, this kit offers a wealth of data and research in quite digestible form. Although much of the information is specifically about the Canadian military, and its continental and international links, there are separate pamphlets that explore in great detail the world Military Order and the arms trade to the Third World.

The kit is especially illuminating on the social and political impact of increasing militarization; the misallocation of billions of dollars and the tragic misdirection of human creativity and intelligence into military research and production.

The writing by Ernie Regehr and Richard Swift makes the endless flow of ink spilled on the SALT talks seem like an exercise in obscurantism. It is crisp, straightforward and uncompromising and for the most part free of bewildering ‘technospeak’. In a world gone slightly mad, where the increasing sophistication of tools made to kill people more quickly and in increasing numbers can be discussed as if it’s all properly logical, the Dubious Sentinel is a refreshingly human look at a brutally inhuman problem.

The kit is designed for use as a discussion starter and as a teaching resource. It features an excellent bibliography and, since Project Ploughshares, one of the co-producers, is sponsored by the Canadian churches, a final section that examines Christian perspectives on militarism.

Wayne Ellwood

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