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Militarisation of Youth

Child Soldiers: Learning from Kony2012?

The issue of child soldiers is back on the global agenda, thanks to two major recent developments. In March, Thomas Lubanga became the first person to be convicted by the International Criminal Court. He was found guilty of forcibly recruiting child soldiers to his Union of Congolese Patriots, known as 'the army of children'. The second, most visible development, was the massive popularity growth of web-based film KONY2012.

Recruitment of and resistance by queers - example Sweden

In this article we will explain how we understand in what ways politics about gender, sexuality and war are related to each other. We will also tell you about some actions Ofog (anti-militarist network) did against the Swedish Armed Forces participation in the last Pride festival (August 2011).

How the U.S. collects data on potential recruits

The US military maintains an Orwellian database containing intimate details on 30 million youth between the ages of 16 and 25, providing local recruiters with personal information to use in a psychological campaign to lure youth within their designated regions. Before meeting, recruiters know what's in Johnny's head, if Johnny has a girlfriend, and what she thinks of his decision regarding enlistment. We'll examine how they do it.

Universities, the Bundeswehr and “networked security”

The debate about the “militarisation of research and teaching” is relatively new in Germany, and happens against the background of the restructuring of the German Bundeswehr from an alleged “defence army” to an “army in deployment”. This restructuring and the extent to which it affects the entire German population, are usually underestimated. While the defence army was, by design, relatively evenly distributed over Germany’s territory, at present, several military bases are being closed or merged, and military capabilities are concentrated at some locations.

Challenging the military's involvement in education in the United Kingdom

The UK armed forces visit thousands of schools each year. They offer school presentation teams, ‘careers advisors’, lessons plans, away days and more.

Countering the Militarisation of Youth

– A new area of work for War Resisters' International

In Europe, and to some degree on a global level, there are presently two trends which both contribute to an increase in the militarisation of youth. The first trend is the end (or, more exactly, the suspension) of conscription in most European countries since the 1990s. In 2011, Germany, one of the last major military and economic powers in Europe which still maintained conscription, suspended conscription. The second trend is one of an increasing “normalisation of war”. Since the war in the Balkans, but even more so since 9/11 and the announcement of the “war on terror”, the political use of military force has increased – war is no longer seen as a failure of politics, but as one of the tools of politics. This led to a radical restructuring of military forces, oriented towards mobility and military intervention. But it also brought with it new justifications for the use of military force: first “humanitarian intervention” (Yugoslavia, Somalia), then the “war on terror” (Afghanistan, Iraq) and the “responsibility to protect” (Libya). Both trends reinforce each other, and one outcome is the increased militarisation of youth from an early age on.

Militarisation of youth in Bolivarian Venezuela

Rafael Uzcátegui

In 1998 lieutenant colonel Hugo Chávez won the presidency of Venezuela, after staging a coup d’etat in 1992. For the first time in Venezuela’s democratic period (which began in 1958), a member of the Armed Forces was elected head of state. One of the consequences was that a new phase of progressive militarisation had begun in the country, initiated with a constitutional reform in 1999, which granted members of the Armed Forces the right to vote, in addition to other political rights, such as the right to be elected to public office in a public vote. Today, soldiers occupy different offices, such as ministers, governors, and mayors. Although there is a coalition of political parties that supports president Chávez, the Gran Polo Patriótico, there is a lot of evidence that shows that, in fact, the Armed Forces are Hugo Chávez's political organisation of trust to exercise political power.

Stop drift towards militarization of brave new democracy

On 27 April the Defence Review Committee appointed by the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans published its Defence Review draft report. The last time South Africa undertook a Defence Review was in the late 1990s and it was in the context of a new democratic dispensation. However, those civil society organizations who participated in the 1996-98 review were disappointed and felt compromised by the final outcome.

On militarisation in Colombia

The most recent manifestations of the conflict in Colombia date back to 1948, when the presidential candidate Jorge Eliecer Gaitán was assassinated, cutting off the possibility that socialist-leaning ideas might have a place of decision and power in the Colombian state.

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