Tools for combating militarisation (from campaign tactics to information websites)

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Tools for combating militarisation (from campaign tactics to information websites)

Share the resources and tools that you have found useful!

  • What campaign tactics have you found most effective for countering militarisation?
  • What resources - such as books, films, websites – have you used for this work?
  • Have you used international mechanisms, such as UN processes, to support your work?
  • What resources needs do you have? How can you obtain them, or find alternatives?
  • How can we use this online conversation to help us share or developing new tools for combating militarisation?

Share your experiences, thoughts, ideas and questions by adding a comment below or replying to existing comments!

For help on how to participate in this conversation, please check out these online instructions.


Militarisation of youth - good explanation

To start us off, I found this article from Andreas Speck really helpful in considering why the militarisation of youth in particular is an important theme for antimilitarists today:

Here's the introducation

'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.'

Sharing counter recruitment resources US-Puerto Rico

Hello! Since Puerto Rico lives the same reality as, say, Latino communities and/or poor folks in the US where recruitment is targeted towards, I wanted to know where I can find resources that I could translate and, in turn, share for use in Spanish-speaking communities and/or homes in the US. Thanks! I'm specifically looking for information for parents regarding opt out forms, the truth about paying for college education, the sort of information we can place next to the recruitment materials the military takes to schools.

counter-recruitment resources from the US

Hi Yeidy,

Here are some good counter-recruitment resources for use in the US:


a brief, engaging 'talking head' arguing against military recruitment in schools in the USA -

news coverage of protests in the USA against military recruitment in schools -


I hope they are useful.


Great resource list for Puerto Rico and the US

I can't thank you enough, Owen! If you ever come across the need for translations eng-Spanish-English, please count on me. Same goes for anyone else. We can absolutely use all of these materials. What would you, or anyone else, say is missing and/or needed in terms of materials? It's hard to compete with rock climbing, and video games like the recruiters have, but maybe folks have one resource that's indispensable?

You're welcome! 

You're welcome! 

Yes, we often need translators. Can you also do English - Spanish?

We are currently translating our latest book, 'Sowing Seeds: The Militarisation of Youth and How to Counter It' (, which has sections on education and recruitment relevant to this online conversation) into Spanish. 

Can you email us at so we get your email address?

In terms of competing with the activities that the military can offer children and young people - in school and university cadet units, as well as for those who actually join - it's difficult to compete because the reason they can still offer these activities despite cuts to the funding of so many other things (health services, disability benefits) is that the state prioritises military spending. However, there are alternative ways of having the same adventure experiences, and it's important that we do highlight them and promote them (as well as trying to develop new opportunities): examples in the UK are initiatives such as the Duke of Edinburgh and the Scouts. 

There are many nonviolent video games - a google search comes up with lots of articles about them: (although some of those cited do seem to involve fantasy/cartoon violence) - but there seems to be little funding for the development of sophisticated games which present the military critically. One of the articles in our 'Sowing Seeds...' book that I mentioned above, looks at this. The third-person shooter 'Spec Ops - The Line' was described by The Spiegel as 'A game that makes you feel bad'. The article also looks at 'newsgames' - 'A real alternative to military shooters', such as Global Conflicts: Palestine. 

I think that viable alternatives to what the military can offer do exist, but that more need to be developed, and this will happen as militarisation is challenged and it becomes harder for states to justify military spending. 



Yes, English-Spanish-English.

Yes, English-Spanish-English. I'll email you! Thanks for the information! It is all very helpful. Please keep sharing.

Military and multinational companies

Hi all,

I am sorry for just have a chance to join the conversation now. I just want to add another aspect of Militarization, which is the relation between state, military and multinational companies. In many developing countries, as far as I know, it is legal for multinational companies to use military to back up their investment. Companies spending huge amount for security by recruiting or create agreements with the military institutions to provide security services within the concessions areas. Even more, military institution can provide private security services which is part of the military private business.

I can give you one example case on Freeport McMoran, the US gold and cooper mining in West Papua (Indonesia). Here is the link of a good report by Global Witness

I hope there you can share some other examples so we can find the similarity and connection of them and we can discuss it more deeply.




New Profile's exhibit - Making Militarism Visible

Hello to all,

I would like to offer New Profile's exhibit “…Neither shall they learn war…” Isaiah 2, 4, as an example of a possible tool that creates awareness within communities. You can find it on our website at

As many of you know Israel is highly militarized country, where Jewish men and women and secular men from the Druze community are required to conscript at the age of 18; men for 3 years, and women for 2 years.  

However internalizing militarization starts at home with the parents and continues  through our children's education at school. Preparing our children for conscription is deeply embedded in our family ethics and is also expected of us by society.As parents, we are an integral part of a well-oiled induction system, walking hand in hand with our children through the early stages of their lives and then willingly encouraging and preparing them for their eventual conscription. We are obedient to the calls of our leaders and raise generation after generation of fighters for a “war of no choice.” Our compliance and acceptance of this process, which is also full of religious and cultural symbolism, is rarely questioned. 

The violent nature of Israeli society seems to be undisputed: violence against women and children, violence inside the schools, on the road, in demonstrations, verbal hostility etc. New Profile works to change these accepted mindsets and patterns of behavior, and create a cultural transformation.

As Israeli culture advocates the notion that social, national and political problems are to be solved by violent means. This notion mobilizes educational and cultural systems, which in turn mobilize the entire population to serve this power concept. Such belief destroys the most fundamental human desire to live in freedom, security, dignity and with equality. Thoughts and actions are mobilizes. This is a violation of the freedom of choice, creating an illusive lack of personal responsibility for our conduct.

However we would like to regard instances of daily life with a different perspective. Through our exhibit we pose questions challenging the accepted modes of thought and action which serve us all the time.

All the best,

Ruth Hiller - New Profile

The Broken Rifle on countering the militarisation of youth
War Resisters League Pie Chart

One of our most effective tools at just starting a conversation about the depth and breadth of military spending is the War Resisters League annual pie chart, based on the budget for the upcoming fiscal year:

Almost nobody believes that the extent of our military spending is around 50% of the discretionary budget every year. It's a jawdropping statistic.

War tax resisters have also used "penny polls" to get people thinking about spending priorities.

And speaking personally, I really like the GI coffeehouses and other projects that spring up near military bases and can support folks in getting out of the military. 



I can tell the expirience of ACOOC. A tactic is to collect information about issues related with recruitment. Through the web page they ask people to hand in information about "batidas" or round ups, one of the illegal tactics the army has to recruit youth; in this case ACOOC has developed a format through which a person gives information about the place, time, person and other data. With this information, ACOOC makes advocacy with national and international authorities.

Please check it in, however the information is in spanish. 

Eager to learn more about this crowdsourcing tactic!

Thanks for sharing this, Milena! This kind of crowdsourcing tactic reminds me of I Paid a Bribe, from India. I'd love to learn more about this initiative! Can you share more about how this information is used, once people enter it into the website? Is it used for advocacy? Is the data collected shared publicly? How do you verify the information? What has been the impact so far? How many people have contributed so far?

Also, can you explain more about the problem? Do military recruiters take people against their will?


- Kristin Antin, New Tactics Online Community Builder

Reader on the militarisation of youth

I'd really recommend the reader that WRI produced for the conference on the militarisation of youth last year, as a resource for those both new and experienced in the topic:


Analysing militarisation

Country examples

Military in schools

Resisting militarisation of youth


Rights of the Child

    Thank you for participating in this conversation!

    Thank you for your participation in our New Tactics conversation on Tactics for Combating Militarisation!  Your participation was a great contribution to the conversation – I am so glad that you were able to join us!  We covered a lot in a short period of time: the recruitment of vulnerable communities, the militarization of culture and the military’s influence over education. I hope you found it helpful to reflect on your own experiences, learn from the experiences of others, and meet new people doing similar work. I hope you are taking away new ideas, resources, reflections and allies!

    This week, the main conversation page and the discussion threads were viewed over 1300 times! On average, visitors spent around 3 minutes on the conversation pages.  Visitors from 100 countries/territories came to the New Tactics site last  week – I am sure that most were coming to read the conversation. There were 94 comments added to the conversation. In total, 28 people contributed to this conversation (18 were conversation leaders and 10 were other contributors from the community)! This is AWESOME!! Obviously, there is a community of practitioners who are interested to learn more about how they can make a change in their community in relation to military recruitment and militarization.  

    Your commitment to continue participating in this conversation is over, but the discussion threads will remain open for a few more weeks for people to continue adding comments. So feel free to continue the discussion!

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    I hope that we will have the opportunity to work together again the future!  I hope you’ll add your comments to our future conversations, which includes:

    Powerful Persuasion: Combating Traditional Practices that Violate Human Rights from August 19 to 23, 2013

    I would also be very happy to collaborate with you on another conversations, so if you have ideas for topics – please send them my way!


    Kristin Antin, New Tactics Online Community Builder

    About round ups

    I leave ACOOC some months ago and I don't have the exactly information. However, I will ask Julián Ovalle to share the last report ACOOC did and the information you asked for.



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