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Tue
04
Jul

UK: New report on the effects of army training on attitudes, health, and behaviour

The First Ambush? Effects of army training and employment

Veterans for Peace UK has released a new report exploring the effects of army employment on recruits, particularly during initial training. The report, drawing on veterans’ testimony and around 200 studies, finds that the risk of violent offending and heavy drinking rises after joining the army.

Dan joined the army in 2006, at 18, having grown up in an area of high unemployment. He was told that military discipline would keep him out of trouble. After training he deployed to Iraq, and when he came home he assaulted a warrant officer. He was sentenced to 18 months in military prison.

Fri
08
Apr

This Ex–Army Ranger Goes on Missions to High Schools—but Not to Recruit

 (AP Photo / Hasan Jamali)

By Rory Fanning 

For a decade, Afghanistan vet Rory Fanning has been battling the desire to inflict pain on himself. Instead, he visits schools.

Early each New Year’s Day I head for Lake Michigan with a handful of friends. We look for a quiet stretch of what, only six months earlier, was warm Chicago beach. Then we trudge through knee-deep snow in bathing suits and boots, fighting wind gusts and hangovers. Sooner or later, we arrive where the snowpack meets the shore and boot through a thick crust of lake ice, yelling and swearing as we dive into near-freezing water.

Fri
26
Jun

David Gee explores the mental health issues of youth recruitment on ‘Armed Forces Day’

By David Gee

Although not all veterans are severely affected, a military career carries significant mental health risks, particularly at times of war when substantial numbers of psychiatric casualties are usual. Research from the last decade shows that certain mental health-related problems in the armed forces, particularly harmful alcohol use and post-deployment violent behaviour, are a serious problem. Those who have left the forces during the last decade show markedly higher rates of a number of mental health-related problems, particularly PTSD and harmful levels of drinking. These issues are of particular concern in relation to ‘Armed Forces Day’, which serves among other things as a recruitment opportunity for the armed forces. But what are the mental health implications for those who enlist, particularly the youngest recruits who are most vulnerable to these risks?

Mon
02
Feb

Hansel and Gretel at the Military Recruiter

Military recruiters must feel like Hansel and Gretel’s “wicked witch,” fattening up the children to eat them. With sexual violence, endless wars of occupation, fatalities, brain trauma, permanent disabilities and an epidemic of suicides, what they’re selling these days looks like a lot like a bad horror show.

With the chance of being sent into quagmires in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, etc. on one hand, the likelihood of being sexually assaulted on the other three-fourths and the specter of suicide among vets of all stripes¾you have to wonder how recruiters get anyone in the door. Newbies must not be reading the papers; all four active-duty services and five out of six reserve components met their recruiting goals in 2014, according to the Pentagon.

Mon
06
Oct

'War is the Antithesis of Motherhood:' A Voice From Puerto Rico

Photo: Dr. Sonia Santiago, founder and director of Madres Contra la Guerra/Mothers Against the War. (Photo: Jovanni Reyes)

Members of Iraq Veterans Against the War, along with allies from various peace and justice organizations, congregated at the Woodbine Ecological Center in Sadalia, Colorado last month to attend the 2014 IVAW National Convention and commemorate the 10th anniversary of the post-9/11-era anti-war veteran led movement. Ironically, this date fell on the week after the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War—a war that devastated Europe and was supposed to end all wars—and coincidentally at a time when the Obama Administration authorized another round of aerial attacks on the people of Iraq. This brought ill memories of the last war on the people of Iraq by U.S. forces, leaving many of the combat veterans attending with mixed feelings, self-reflection and, for some, sentiments of despair.

Tue
12
Aug

Civilian Ally: Veterans as an Affected Population

This manual focuses on building the GI resistance movement, and doing so requires an understanding of how veterans are directly impacted by war and militarism. Civilian organizers need this awareness in order to to build relationships and organize effectively in the military community. Below we explore veterans’ experiences with the military.

Wed
19
Mar

War College says Courage to Resist impedes recruiting

Source: http://couragetoresist.org/news/1018-war-college.html

By Mike Mckee, Courage to Resist. March 17, 2014

A recently circulated academic paper from a U.S. Army War College research fellow demonstrates that organizations like Courage to Resist are having a substantive effect on the military’s ability to recruit and retain soldiers.

The paper, titled “Civilian Organizational Inhibitors to US Army Recruiting and the Road Ahead (PDF),” singles out Courage to Resist as a key example of its most formidable opponents that “aim to hinder, deter, or prevent United States Army Recruiters from presenting information and providing opportunities to their target market.”

Mon
13
Jan

Just say No: Organizing Against Militarism in Public Schools

Swearing in new recruits

Scott Harding -

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.

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