Countering the Militarisation of Youth Programme (CMoY) at WRI is launching the first issue of its new periodical which will specifically focus on the issues surrounding youth militarisation. In the CMoY bulletin, you'll find articles addressing...
As a journalist and researcher, I’ve spent the last several years investigating the expanding network of links between public education and the U.S. military. With my colleague Scott Harding, I’ve also been researching the grassroots response to this phenomenon: the counter-recruitment movement.
In South Sudan, as in many parts of the world engulfed in conflict, youth are growing up in communities that have been torn apart by war. The film The Good Lie, which tells the story of the lost boys and girls of Sudan, vividly portrays their struggles during the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983-2005). Throughout the war, children were actively conscripted, both voluntarily and by force, into the national army and other armed groups. That legacy of recruiting child soldiers has continued into today’s conflict in South Sudan.
There are a lot of young men who play Call of Duty on their Xbox consoles, so it makes sense that the government would use Xbox Live as a billboard for recruitment ads for the Canadian Forces.
In case you weren’t aware, Xbox consoles connected to Microsoft’s online service show paid advertisements on the system’s main menu screen. The Ottawa Citizen reports the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces started paying for these ads between 2006-07. So much of the ads likely appeared on the Xbox 360.
Documents say the purpose of the ads was indeed to reach an audience of males between the ages of 18-24. The audience is described as “18-24-year-olds, male & female, looking for adventure & excitement and/or interested in helping others.”
“A true Israeli doesn't dodge draft!”  – this slogan stands at the centre of a large-scale publicity campaign in Israel. The campaign was not run by the Israeli military, and it was not aiming to add more soldiers to the dwindling ranks of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). Israel has (at least de jure) universal conscription, for both men and women. But this slogan did express, and strengthen, how most Israelis understand the role of military service in the life of an Israeli – a true Israeli.
“Questioning the militarist value system and its practices which are identified with military service, one is also obliged to question the hegemonic understanding of masculinity. In Turkey, military service is a laboratory in which masculinity is reproduced. The patriarchal system is solidified through military service. I objected to military service, because I am also against this laboratory manufactured masculinity. The struggle against militarism defined in heterosexist terms through sexist structures finds its fundamental expression in anti-militarism. This refers to freedom of sexual orientation, gender equality and total and unrestricted freedom”.1
Through articles, images, survey data and interviews, Sowing Seeds: The Militarisation of Youth and How to Counter It documents the seeds of war that are planted in the minds of young people in many different countries. However, it also explores the seeds of resistance to this militarisation that are being sown resiliently and creatively by numerous people. READ MORE