militainment, military in society, remembrance

This article was originally published in Red Pepper

Vron Ware reports on how the Armed Forced Community Covenant is a crucial part of the creeping militarisation of UK society.

As politicians have sought to prove their own commitment to the troops in an effort to control ‘the message’ about the wars, they have effectively turned this public concern into a political instrument. One consequence has been that, within the last two or three years, local authorities up and down the country, from borough to county level, urban, metropolitan and rural, have been ushered into an unprecedented programme of support for the armed forces in their areas. This development is symptomatic of a wider process of integrating military work into civil society, but it also reveals the social costs of maintaining a professional military force at home.

29/06/2014 Herald Scotland

THERE are hook the duck stalls, fairground rides and countless ice-cream vans. But these are not the most popular attractions with the thousands of small children who descended on Stirling yesterday for Armed Forces Day. They seemed to prefer handling the high-velocity sniper rifle, getting to grips with an 81mm mortar or staring down the sights of a Starstreak II missile launcher, with its operator on hand to boast of its "multi-target capability" and 7km range.

28/06/2014 ForcesWatch comment


This article was originally published on openDemocracy

Armed Forces Day represents a major shift in military-civil relations over the last 6 or 7 years that has seen the embedding of the military in civilian institutions in a way never seen before. What will be the impact on how we, as a society, view and accept military activities and military approaches? How will the promotion of the military affect young people as the next generation of 'future soldiers'?

28/06/2014 Letter to The Times (see all signatories below)

Letter to The Times (see all signatories below)

On this day 100 years ago, Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and his wife were assassinated in Sarajevo in an action that led to the First World War. Unchecked militarism in Europe was also a major factor. 

Today is also Armed Forces Day, one of the clearest indications of the re-militarisation of British society. Established in 2009 to increase public support for the forces, there are over 200 public events, many billed as 'family fun days'. This week also saw Uniform to Work Day promoting the reserve forces and 'Camo Day' in schools. 

27/06/2014 Ekklesia

“The stirring music, smart uniforms and synchronised marching that characterise Armed Forces Day are a glossy front behind which sits a deliberate strategy to manipulate the public,”

24/06/2014 The Morning Star

"Machine guns and other weapons were presented to the children as playthings"

01/04/2014 Youth and Policy

Given the widespread culture of support for the Armed Forces after their engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan, it may seem difficult to discuss the question of ‘military ethos’ in schools and also in youth work, which has been placed strongly on the agenda by Michael Gove as Secretary of State for Education. Nevertheless, an open and democratic perspective in youth work implies that we should not accept such matters uncritically: it is necessary that we should raise questions and debate about this, as much as any other social and political matter. 

17/03/2014 Telegraph

Philip Hammond says he is prepared to introduce new powers to exempt armed forces from human rights laws which are hampering military operations

03/03/2014 Open Democracy

The country’s military institutions must not be seen as deserving of special consideration. Once the ethos of public service has been smashed and discredited by neoliberal restructuring, the danger is that it will take more than an army to bring it back.

military in society
23/01/2014 Guardian

Repeat of Afghanistan-or-Iraq-style invasion ruled out for war-weary UK, according to senior officials

military in society