The Current

Military historian Gwynne Dyer on why Canada fights

Gwynne Dyer argues WWI remains part of this country's mythology, and continues to influence Canada's decisions when it goes to battle.
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On the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of WWI, military historian Gwynne Dyer argues the war remains part of this country's mythology. And, he says, those myths continue to influence Canada's decisions when it goes to battle.

Gwynne Dyer attempts to answer the big question: Why does Canada fight?

It was a century ago this week the British Empire marched into the First World War, and Canada marched along with it. Four years later, Canada was less dependent on Britain.

The war is often remembered as the baptism of fire that helped make modern Canada. But military historian Gwynne Dyer argues Canadians are prone to mythologizing about exactly what was won in those trenches.

After the First World War, we were compelled to go on doing the same thing, otherwise we would be betraying the dead.Gwynne Dyer

Mr. Dyer's new book follows our country through two world wars, the cold war and modern conflicts like Afghanistan -- a century of battles that have killed thousands of Canadians. And in none of those fights was there any serious threat to our territory or borders.

Journalist and military historian Gwynne Dyerjoined us to talk about his new book Canada in the Great Power Game: 1914-2014.

Do you think we're prone to mythologizing conflict?

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This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal and Peter Mitton.

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