Documents about militarism and war.
The danger of allowing militarism in education.
Advocates of progressive social change in this country are asking important questions about possible directions to follow after the 2008 election. For the peace movement, this question is particularly challenging because, while there is good reason to celebrate the defeat of the Republican Party and the election of the first African American president, there is also a real danger that Obama’s victory will under-cut anti-war protest if he doesn’t move quickly to end the Bush administration’s two wars.
Source: Project YANO
As students, we are constantly being targeted by the military, whether it’s through military recruiters at our schools, calls at our homes or even through our educational curriculum.
Toward the end of our high school years, we find ourselves deciding whether or not to pursue higher education or to choose what seems to be “the easy way out” (military, in some cases). Sometimes raised by immigrants or by a single parent, we struggle with the reality that we do not all receive equal access to resources to prepare us for college. What should be our right is only a privilege for a few.
Source: Nancy Cruz
Since the early 1930s, the United States has become significantly militarized in government, economy, society, and culture. While never quite slipping over the edge into militarism either in behaviors, policies, or norms and values, the American people's identification with and use of war images and thinking, and a belief in the primacy of standing military forces for American safety, have become normalized. The danger of an endless "war" on terrorism is that the militarization common to America society in wartime will become permanent, infecting the country with militarism, and transforming the United States incrementally, over time, into a nation its founders would recognize, but abhor.
"The exploration and use of outer space … shall be for peaceful purposes and shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interest of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development. … [The] prevention of an arms race in outer space would avert a grave danger for international peace and security"
— Prevention of an arms race in outer space, United Nations General Assembly Resolution, A/RES/55/32, January 2001. (PDF Document)
"It’s politically sensitive, but it’s going to happen. Some people don’t want to hear this, and it sure isn’t in vogue, but—absolutely—we’re going to fight in space. We’re going to fight from space and we’re going to fight into space. That’s why the US has development programs in directed energy and hit-to-kill mechanisms. We will engage terrestrial targets someday—ships, airplanes, land targets—from space."
— Commander-in-Chief of US Space Command, Joseph W. Ashy, Aviation Week and Space Technology, August 9, 1996, quoted from Master of Space by Karl Grossman, Progressive Magazine, January 2000
In an effort to counteract the growing militarization of schools, military counter-recruitment (CR) has emerged as an effective grassroots movement across the United States. Led by a small number of local activists, CR utilizes community organizing methods to confront the structures supporting military enlistment as a viable career option. Despite operating with limited resources, counter-recruitment has secured key legal and policy victories that challenge the dominant social narrative about military service. Three examples of counter- recruitment are profiled to illustrate the different tactics and strategies used for successful organizing within a culture of militarism.
Scott Harding - School of Social Work University of Connecticut
Seth Kershner - Simmons College