ForcesWatch scrutinises the ethics of armed forces recruitment practices and challenges efforts to embed militarist values in civilian society.
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our new book on militarism
At a comfortable distance from warfare, our culture easily passes over its horrific reality in favour of an appealing, even romantic, spectacle of war. Yet, over the last decade, most Britons have opposed Western military ventures abroad. This book takes a fresh look at a culture of militarism in Britain, public resistance to it, and the government's increasingly prodigious efforts to regain control of the story we tell ourselves about war. See more detail here Buy the book
We will be involved in a session at the 'Health Through Peace' conference, organised by the health professionals' campaigning network Medact, looking at the health impacts of war and militarism, in London from 13-14 November 2015.
We will be speaking and running workshops at the conference on 'Militarisation in our Society' (organised by Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in partnership with Central England Peace Committee, ForcesWatch and Quaker Peace & Social Witness) in Birmingham from 12-14 February 2016.
Security for the future: In search of a new vision
Here they outline their concerns about the existing model, and offer a different vision for the future, welcoming input from anyone who wishes to engage in this debate. Read more
Watch our film - Engage: the military and young people
Why does the military have a 'youth engagement' policy and why is the government promoting 'military ethos' within education? What is the impact of military activities taking place in schools? This short film explores these questions and gives teenagers the opportunity to voice their reaction to the military’s interest in their lives.
Watch the film trailer below:
Watch with Welsh subtitles here
Sign the petition to raise the age of recruitment
A funny short film by a young boy on The Militarization of Boys
Raise the age to join the army to 18
By William and Noah
A 4 part investigation of 'the soldier myth' - talking to soldiers about recruitment, training, fighting and coming home
Concern over No 10’s ‘military ethos in schools’ initiative is prompting charities to press the government over its commitment to the UN children’s treaty
Government figures indicate that, since the Military Ethos in schools projects were announced in 2012, £45.185million of new funding has been awarded to them. Most of this new funding comes from the Department for Education. A further £50million was pledged by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the July 2015 budget for expanding cadet units in schools to 2020.
French soldiers have been criticised by the French MoD and local education authorities for having school pupils aged 10 and under try out unloaded assault rifles. There had been no similar outcry regarding similar armed forces activities in schools in the UK, which are driven by the UK MoD.
A major new Army officer recruitment drive is targeting university students. Why is this acknowledged as 'recruitment', when similar activities in schools are not?
ForcesWatch are encouraging people in Wales to fill in the Children's Commissioner for Wales' 'What Next?' survey, asking her to work on two things: helping to make sure the Welsh Government acts to improve transparency and balance regarding armed forces visits to schools in Wales (the Welsh Government recently committed to doing this), and lobbying the UK government to end the armed forces' recruitment of under-18s.
Concerns over how many visits army officers make to schools in deprived areas will be debated by assembly members on Wednesday.
Evidence suggests that the BAE Systems-RAF team that visits primary and secondary schools ostensibly to encourage students to take an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, gives students a sanitised, glamourised image of both BAE and the RAF.