Nuclear Weapons and Militarisation in the UK

A society has to be militarised for a government to justify the development and maintenance of nuclear weapons to its citizens; militarisation creates a culture of acceptance. It popularises military euphemisms such as ‘Defence’, ‘Security’, and – particularly relevant to nuclear weapons – ‘deterrent’, and makes it hard to for those challenging these to be seen as credible.

Militarisation’ means the ways in which the presence and approaches of the military (typically state armed forces and Defence Ministries) are normalised in a society. Military solutions are prioritised, and the military is privileged in various ways.

A society has to be militarised for a government to justify the development and maintenance of nuclear weapons to its citizens; militarisation creates a culture of acceptance. It popularises military euphemisms such as ‘Defence’, ‘Security’, and – particularly relevant to nuclear weapons – ‘deterrent’, and makes it hard to for those challenging these to be seen as credible.

The indicators of militarisation used in the Bonn International Centre for Conversion’s Global Militarisation Index 2012 are comparisons of: military expenditure with gross domestic product (GDP) and health expenditure; the total number of (para)military forces with physicians, and the overall population; and the number of ‘available’ heavy weapons with the total ppopulation.… Read more

Combat soldiers more likely to commit violent crimes: study

British soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan – particularly young men and those who have seen active combat – are more likely to commit violent crimes than their civilian counterparts, according to research published on Friday.

British soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan – particularly young men and those who have seen active combat – are more likely to commit violent crimes than their civilian counterparts, according to research published on Friday.

The study of almost 14,000 British soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan is the first to examine the link between military service and violent crime by using official criminal records.

Researchers said the findings could help military officials improve their risk assessment of violence among serving and ex-military personnel.

They stressed that although the study points to a serious problem for those affected, it does not mean all ex-soldiers will become violent criminals.

“Just as with post traumatic stress disorder, this is not a common outcome in military populations,” said Professor Simon Wessely, co-director of the Centre for Military Health Research at King’s College London, who co-led the study.

“Overall you must remember that of those who serve in combat, 94 percent of those who come back will not offend.”

The study found that those in combat roles were more than 50 percent more likely than those in non-combat roles to commit assaults or threaten violence after returning.… Read more