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Should the armed forces encourage young people to interact with weapons and military vehicles? Our new web resource looks at why is this happening and asks if it is right and how can it be challenged?
At 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These 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
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.
This submission made by ForcesWatch and Quakers in Scotland to the Scottish Parliament's human rights inquiry details our concerns around the need for regulation and transparent accountability of military activities in schools, the lack of education about peace and human rights, and the continued recruitment of children into the UK armed forces.
Written evidence submitted by ForcesWatch to the Defence Committee's Armed Forces and Veterans Mental Health Inquiry.