Lest we forget

As the UK public are invited to celebrate the razzle-dazzle of very British pipes, drums and loud bangs on their recently-constituted Armed Forces Day, Up in Arms asks how war impacts on national culture and what this tells us about the ‘special relationship’ between the US and the UK.

By Vron Ware

As the UK public are invited to celebrate the razzle-dazzle of very British pipes, drums and loud bangs on their recently-constituted Armed Forces Day, Up in Arms asks how war impacts on national culture and what this tells us about the ‘special relationship’ between the US and the UK.

On Saturday June 29 the UK will be marking Armed Forces Day (AFD) for the fifth consecutive time. Nottingham has been honoured as this year’s host city where the festivities will commence with a roar of gunfire, apparently known as a ‘feu du joie (loosely translated as a ‘fire of joy’), delivered by a local Territorial Army unit. The day will also feature spectacular uniformed parades through the city and demonstrations by the RAF. Residents can also expect a headturning show from the Red Arrows and a flypast from some of the vintage planes that featured in the Battle of Britain. 

Numerous events of all shapes and sizes will be held throughout the country from a “Brew for the Few” at the Railway Inn in Burnham on Sea to an “Armed Forces afternoon tea dance” in Blackpool’s famous Tower Ballroom.… Read more

On the militarisation of the European Union

In our work on peace here in Brussels, QCEA is using the lens of militarisation to analyse the changes in the defence policy of the European Union over the last fifteen years. But, what do we mean by militarisation and why should it worry us?

In our work on peace here in Brussels, QCEA is using the lens of militarisation to analyse the changes in the defence policy of the European Union over the last fifteen years. But, what do we mean by militarisation and why should it worry us?

What is militarisation?

I understand militarisation to be the process by which the presence and the approaches of the military are made normal1. It is a complex and multifaceted process that can occur at all levels of society; both within and across state borders. The process may not necessarily have any geographical, economic, or political boundaries, and, as such, it can be hard to recognise, never mind quantify. Is education militarised if the armed forces are granted privileged access to schools and universities for recruitment? (The British government has been criticised for this). I would say it is. In the UK, the introduction of an ‘Armed Forces Day’ at which you “Show Your Support” for the military is another example of the militarisation of society.… Read more