ForcesWatch challenges the ethics of military recruitment and questions the climate of uncritical national pride in the armed forces
Subscribe to our mailing list
Stay in touch with ForcesWatch by subscribing to our announcement list.
Get in touch
We look forward to input from many different individuals and groups and welcome ideas, comments and suggestions. Please use the contact form to email us.
Support our work
Make a donation to our work or find out more about how you can help.
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.
The book was launched at Housmans Bookshop with ForcesWatch and Veterans for Peace UK on 3 November 2014.
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 new 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? ForcesWatch have been working with the charity Headliners and a group of young people in London to produce this short film which explores these questions and gives teenagers the opportunity to voice their reaction to the military’s interest in their lives.
Sign the petition to raise the age of recruitment in 2014
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
The Department for Education is giving a further £8.7 million to the Troops to Teachers scheme between February 2015 and September 2018, despite the fact that only 41 veterans started in the first cohort in January 2014, and only 54 in the second cohort in September. The move has been criticised by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.
Can war ever be celebrated, or is it essentially futile? Do remembrance rituals, symbols and ceremonies do more to romanticise warfare than bring home its horror? Does the event of remembrance exclude the sacrifice of those who died on the opposing side? Disagreement abounds on these issues and we are unlikely to see a public consensus any time soon. We should also think carefully about the part our schools play in these public events.
In the last month or so ForcesWatch have facilitated several critical thinking workshops on the military's youth engagement for schools, colleges, youth groups, and the general public recently, including in Bath, Edinburgh, Neath, and Oxford. See our Facebook page for photos.
If you can recommend our workshops to a teacher, or would like to do a workshop on our behalf, email Owen at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone 020 7837 2822.
A new interactive theatre production, Over The Top, created by and featuring the experienced writers and performers of issue-based theatre Lynn and David Morris, looks at the opposing views of a pro-military head teacher and a peace activist parent regarding the military's influence in the school. To find out more, or to book a performance for your school/college/youth group email email@example.com
Campaigners lodge claim for judicial review of “Catch-22” rules, which force youngest recruits to serve for longest. New poll: public support for raising armed forces’ enlistment age to 18 continues to grow.
The Peace Education Network invite teachers, parents, governors, and any others involved in school to critically reflect on your experiences as we explore the benefits, risks, problems, and concerns of military involvement in education.
Our Education Campaign worker Owen Everett was interviewed for a new short film about conscientious objectors during the First World War, 'Watford's Quiet Heroes: Resisting the Great War'. His full interview, in which he talks about ForcesWatch's three main areas of work scrutinising UK military recruitment and the influence of the military and military approaches today, is available to watch on YouTube (it is also one of the extra features on the DVD, which can be bought here). You can also watch a video of Owen and others speaking on the relevance of the film and the questions it raises to the situation today, as part of a panel at the launch of the film, here.
Three pupils at a leading private school have been charged with assault and reckless conduct following the alleged beating of army cadets.