UK military: harbingers of death or climate change activists?

Georgina Andrews is a member of the YCL’s Birmingham branch

Whilst visiting the US, Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, has disclosed the Tories’ military plans, suggesting that British soldiers will wage secret wars and employ new types of warfare. Furthermore, he asserted that the military was capable of handling climate change, population growth, and migration.

Wallace added that the Tory government was still keen to be close to American power.

His address happened at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, a leading neo-conservative think tank, which is backed by ExxonMobil and has ties to climate change denial and 2003 Iraq War figures, such as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Wallace informed those attending that he agreed with another previous AEI member, former US president Gerald Ford, that strength alone could bring peace: “President Ford saw his fair share of turbulence too and his approach was to always return to first principles of shared values. Setting out his National Security policy forty-five years ago, he summed it up in three words: “peace through strength”. Wallace claimed that this involved military strength and cooperation. 

Going forward, ranger battalions, freshly developed from previous regiments, will play a central role in UK military policy, too, with Wallace explaining, “On land the Army will be more mobile, protected and lethal, with a new Ranger Regiment, able to train, advise and – when needed – to operate alongside our partners in complex, high-threat environments.” 

Similar to other special forces units, the new ranger units will most likely be shielded from Freedom of Information requests.

Wallace also mentioned unconventional issues for the military, including, “…climate change, population growth, urbanisation and migration – all with their associated human security implications, the threats pile up.

James Heappey, a defence minister, spelt out the Tory government’s means of tackling climate change in March 2021, saying: “Above all, it means influencing the mindset of all the ranks of our military and all the members of our Whole Force to regard protection of the environment and protection of the UK as one and the same thing.

This comes at a time when the UK military’s CO2 emissions are greater than the direct emissions of approximately 60 nations.

Moreover, ‘sub-threshold’ wars, which applies to warfare below the levels of open conflicts, were discussed, highlighting the change in direction towards more covertness and less accountability in terms of war.

With the Tory’s response becoming increasingly militarised, politicians are using climate change to stoke tensions between the native population and the migrant population, as well as justifying population control, which continues eugenics employed by the Tories during the pandemic, by labelling migrants and population growth as “threats” to be thwarted.

This is one of the key Tory tactics to divide and rule working people and the ever-growing reserve army of labour and this is what really underlies the fears they stoke about population growth in this country. The money, resources and technology already exist to prevent climate change and provide a dignified life for working people. What we don’t have is an economic system able or willing to implement the necessary change.

It will be the working classes who are first hit by population control schemes, especially ethnic minorities and disabled people, groups that have been hit hardest by the government’s response to Covid-19 and other Tory policies in the past.

The government says that it wants to tackle migration, yet they are implementing policies that will tear people, mostly in Third World countries, from their families and homes with a savagery that is to be cloaked in mystery so the Tories can spin their lies about asylum seekers and other oppressed groups, dividing the working class so the government can exploit workers further.

We can never achieve our liberation independently of the people whose lives are decimated by the UK military’s overseas and domestic operations. Ben Wallace and the Conservative Party should be challenged at every level.

Georgina Andrews

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