I am a proud American who works supporting DoD. I am also from French Canadian decent. This book create a excellent case study of how good intentions can get confused with politics and you are left with a second rate military dependent on the United States for support to even protect its borders. At the same time the canadian government is bashing the United States.
It also raises the clasic question about the role of a peacekeeper military and how ill defined that is and how it can influence the military ability to function in other roles over time. It talks quite about about the shortage of systems needed by a modern military but still the key is the people the book explains how single service, dual language, peace keeper role, shifting politics and priorities conspired to reduce the quality, motivation, and effectivenss of the canadian military from its strong roles in World War II. The books answers the title question with a number of canidates. The way ahead Chapter has some good ideas.
The intresting question for the one remaining superpower is will these Candian problems creep into our military over time and will we ever again be able to count on significant help from our allies to the north.