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Stuart Tannock

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Is “Opting Out” Really an Answer? Schools, Militarism, and the Counter-Recruitment Movement in Post-September 11 United States at War

“Counter-recruitment” activism has been one of the most visible segments of the American antiwar movement during the U.S. occupation of Iraq. This article takes a critical look at counter-recruitment claims and tactics, and argues that the fundamental power and promise of this movement lies in its ability to shine a much-needed light on the direct involvement of U.S. schools and education with U.S. militarism and imperialism. To fully realize this power and promise, however, counter-recruiters must move beyond a number of shortcomings and misdirections that often threaten to limit their work: these include a privileging of domestic U.S. interests; a narrow and surface-level definition and understanding of school-military connections; and a basically Not in My Backyard political orientation.

military recruitment, antiwar movement, militarism, U.S. imperialism, education

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 32, No. 3 (2005): 163-178.