Kids with guns
June 2019Should 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?
The Warrior Nation podcast
The Warrior Nation podcast is a deep dive into military affairs and the relationship between defence, the armed forces and civil society in modern Britain, produced and edited by ForcesWatch.
Issues relating to Service Complaints system and the youngest armed forces personnel
May 2019In this written submission to the Defence Committee's inquiry into the work of the Service Complaints Ombudsman, we focus on how issues with the complaints system may affect the youngest serving personnel in the armed forces, particularly those under 18 years old, and recommend that the youngest members of the armed forces are considered as a distinct group in relation to the functioning of the service complaints system.
Interrogating British armed forces recruiting in contemporary times
March 2019In 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 2019At 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 2019Contact 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 2019For 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 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.
War School film
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.
#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 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.
Everyday Militarism poster
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 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.
Public poll on minimum age of armed forces recruitment
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.