- Do government projects like Armed Forces Day honour armed forces personnel or seek to manufacture public support for military intervention overseas?
- Does uncritical support for the military stifle concerns about how young people are recruited and limit debate on alternatives to war?
- Is it appropriate for the military to be visiting schools when their objective is clearly stated as recruitment and influencing young people and should the military be involved in providing education alternatives?
- Why is the UK the only EU country to recruit 16 year olds into the armed forces and one of very few to recruit 17 year olds? There is a growing international concensus the only adults should be recruited, yet the Ministry of Defence have denied that there is a need to review this policy.
These questions arise when we look at changes in civil-military relations changes in recent years. To explore if this amounts to a process of militarisation, we use the following to define militarism as:
- The normalisation of war and preparation for war.
- Prioritising the needs and interests of military institutions.
- Extension of military culture and influence into everyday life such as in education, central and local government and business, charities and other organisations.
There is much evidence to indicate that these aspects of militarism have intensified over the last decade or more. This 'new tide of militarisation' can be traced through policy and practice and adds up to a concerted effort by government and the armed forces, and supported by others, to promote the military, recruitment to the armed forces, defence spending and military approaches to conflict situations.
See more on 'What is militarism?'