An extract from an article by George Macpherson
Our ‘national defence’ forces do a lot of good: let’s keep them.
We are not against men and women in uniform – simply against the violence that is a small part of their existence. There are so many ‘better things to do’ that, in the long term, are less expensive.
- Our politicians, influenced strongly by arms manufacturers, allow war while, personally, keeping away from any battlefield.
- Every missile, mine, lethal drone, bullet and bomb exported supports our treasury and pension funds.
- Our children are brought up to admire military exploits and stories of valour.
- We celebrate our assassins and condone distant killing by remote control.
Can Britain, also, convert its ‘fighting force’ into a ‘force for nonlethal defence and law enforcement’?
This is a suggestion as to how – by keeping: the command structure; the recruitment; the excellent training in so many artisan and technical skills; the great engineering ingenuity; the communications excellence; the medical expertise; the pomp and pageantry; awards for bravery; the camaraderie and team spirit; the career structure; the overseas bases to meet emergencies; the sporting teams and the rules of conduct.
In my experience, all these existing things are not to be much bettered –I served three years in the RAF in the 1950s. Since then I have worked for other large organisations, but the RAF was outstanding in its procedures, humanity and efficiency.
Let us redefine the role of our military services and leave out weapons of war, mass destruction and combat. Instead, let’s expand into the design and development of nonlethal defence equipment for emergency use against crazed violence, criminal acts and despotic rulers.
Let’s refine prevention nets, vehicle cripplers, darting, Tasers, anaesthetic gases and, of course, digital intelligence to predict future incidents and prevent them.
Let’s redirect our spending towards, for example, disaster relief; housing and services; renewable energy; rapid response to pandemics; the United Nations and international law and order; and environmental conservation.
Read the complete article here: https://thefriend.org/magazine/issue/7600
Note that the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) has adopted a non-lethal strategy in along the border with Bangladesh. The force uses arms only for self-defence and fires weapons which are non-lethal.