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Counterrecruitment

Benjamin J. Pauli


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With the end of conscription in 1973, counter-recruitment replaced draft resistance as a means of opposing war and militarism in the United States by cutting off the supply of military personnel at the source. One of the main tactics of counterrecruiters has been to educate students, parents, and the public at large about the realities of war, the abuses of military recruiters, the truth about military benefits, alternatives to military service, and the unique character of commitment to the military that distinguishes it from other careers. Counterrecruitment activists have expressed concerns about student privacy, the coercive and deceptive tactics sometimes used by military recruiters, the military's targeting of students with low socioeconomic status, and the militarization of youth through the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) program. With the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, which requires schools to divulge personal information about students to the military or risk losing federal funding, the movement took on a new salience, carving out a secure place for itself within the anti-war movement. To this end, counterrecruitment organizations have sought, occasionally by taking legal action, “equal access” to students that allows them to set up tables, distribute leaflets, and make presentations in classrooms on days when military recruiters are active ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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