Interrogating British armed forces recruiting in contemporary times

March 2019
Featured Video Play IconIn this lecture Professor Paul Higate from the University of Bath looks at the ways in which ‘British values’ have helped to obscure the militarised character of the nation, which is evident in its long history of the use of military violence abroad.Paul draws upon his service in the RAF to discuss the British Army’s recruitment campaign ‘This is Belonging’, the Home Office instigated ‘hostile environment’ and the racialised character of social policy more broadly. Read the lecture transcript.

Selling the Military films

March 2019
Featured Video Play IconAt the launch event for our report with Medact on Selling the Military: A critical analysis of contemporary recruitment marketing in the UK, contributors and participants told us why they think this is an important issue. And a longer film of the presentation summarising the report.

Resources to use with political representatives

updated 2019
Contact your MP, other political representative or local union or political branch about the military involvement in education and raising the age of military recruitment.

Model motion on military and defence industry influence in education

March 2019
For discussion in union or party branches and councils etc. The motion calls for oversight and regulation of military activities in schools, including for careers and curriculum purposes, and for military-themed activities or perspectives to be balanced by activities focusing on peace and human rights. It also calls for activities run by arms companies in schools to cease.

Liberty Soldier’s Rights campaign

The human rights organisation Liberty campaign on Soldier's Rights and have addressed a number of substantial concerns with the military justice system in recent years.

Selling the military: A critical analysis of contemporary recruitment marketing in the UK

February 2019
This 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.

War School film

A 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.

#ResistMilitarism on Armed Forces Day 2018

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.

White Poppies for Schools

updated August 2018
We 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.

Everyday Militarism poster

July 2018
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

Military involvement in education and youth activities in the UK

September 2018
This 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.

Public poll on minimum age of armed forces recruitment

July 2018
The 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.

Warrior Nation: war, militarisation and British democracy – films

August 2018
Featured Video Play IconThese 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

Warrior Nation: War, militarisation and British democracy

June 2018
This 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.

The new tide of militarisation

updated 2018
Militarism has existed in the Britain for a long time, but there is a new tide of militarisation that has developed over the last five years. This briefing from Quaker Peace and Social Witness, explores the government strategy to increase public support for the military, in order to raise the willingness of the public to pay for the military, make recruitment easier, and stifle opposition to unpopular wars.