Critical view of military recruitment needed

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Simon Barrow, co-director of the think-tank Ekklesia, which focusses on religion and society, but has a particular interest in promoting alternatives to violence and armed conflict, has welcomed a new report, 'Informed Choice?', on military recruitment in the UK from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.

He said: "Perhaps predictably the Ministry of Defence and the armed services are defensive and dismissive towards critical research highlighting questionable and undesirable aspects of their recruitment policy. But this should not be allowed to detract from the need for a serious public debate about security and the role of force in a world threatened by escalating violence - and the need to offer positive alternatives to young people who often look for a career in the military because of perceived lack of prospects elsewhere in society."

The author of the new report, David Gee, is a researcher based in London. He worked for eight years in Quaker Peace & Social Witness managing a programme dealing with international peace and security topics.