February 2019This report, written by ForcesWatch and published with the public health charity Medact, analyses the way the armed forces market their careers to adolescents and young people, creating powerful messages that which exploit developmental vulnerabilities and social inequality, risking the health and well-being of recruits. Narratives of camaraderie and self-development also serve to promote an uncontroversial and depoliticised idea of the military more widely which promote self-fulfilment in the context of conflict.
2018A new film about recent militarism and the battle for the hearts and minds of young people in the UK. The film follows the stories of Ben Griffin, former SAS soldier and founder of Veterans for Peace UK, and Quaker activist Sam Walton, and features the work of ForcesWatch and partner organisations. See here for screenings and how to organise one.
In the run up to Armed Forces Day on 30 June we provide background information on how this and other public events are part of a concerted effort to increase general support for the military amongst the public, stifle criticism and recruit young people. We list events that challenge the militarism of Armed Forces Day with messages of peace and resistance.
updated August 2018We have teamed up with the Peace Pledge Union to produce a White Poppy Schools Pack, which aims to explore Remembrance in a way that encourages critical thinking, and gives space for marginalised perspectives on war and peace.The learning resource can be read online here, or purchased from the Peace Pledge Union as a bigger pack including white poppies and white poppy leaflets.
This poster on Everyday Militarism (designed by Abbey Thornton and produced by Quakers in Britain) features many aspects of current militarism in the UK. It is a great way to spark off conversation about the roots of war and the kind of society we need to build peace. Available as a download, or to order and there is also an interactive version. It comes with discussion notes. See the poster and related resources
September 2018This briefing summarises key elements of military involvement in education and youth activities in the UK. It covers the defence industry as well as the armed forces and Ministry of Defence. It outlines the main concerns this raises and how these concerns have been voiced so far.
July 2018The nationwide survey found 72% of people who expressed a view believed young people should not be able to join the army until they are 18.
August 2018These presentations were recorded at the launch of the report Warrior Nation: war, militarisation and British democracy by Paul Dixon (published by ForcesWatch) in June 2018 in London.
- Warrior Nation: war, militarisation and British democracy, by Professor Paul Dixon
- Military Britain by Professor Joanna Bourke
- Militarism in public life in the UK, Emma Sangster, Coordinator of ForcesWatch
June 2018This report explores how the 'Militarisation Offensive' which started in 2006 to improve public recognition and support for the armed forces failed to produce majority support for the war in Afghanistan but deepened the militarisation of British politics and society. Since 2006 the military have broken constitutional convention and made public attacks on politicians, leading to the most severe tensions in political-military relations since the Second World War.