response to Armed Forces Day


ForcesWatch letter to the press

Today [Saturday 25 June] is Armed Forces Day, one of the clearest examples of the creeping militarisation of British society.

From the military covenant to Help for Heroes, from military displays at summer festivals to an increased engagement of the the armed forces with our schools, a massive PR apparatus is being deployed to promote military culture and its values.

To date, over 370 UK armed forces personnel have died while serving in Afghanistan Most of these deaths were of men and women in their early 20s. Nearly 30 were just 18 or 19 years old.

While public involvement in events such as Armed Forces day is rooted in concern for members of the forces, veterans and their families, the Government has other ends in mind. After 10 years of unpopular wars, it clearly gains from creating a climate of uncritical acceptance of all things military.

After so many military deaths – not to mention the uncounted numbers of civilians killed in the conflict zones – surely it is time to reflect on the longer-term impact of our military culture and to ask what steps we might take to prevent war itself.


See more: military in society, ForcesWatch