The U.S. is a heavily militarized society. What does that mean? To become militarized is to adopt militaristic values and priorities as one’s own, to see military solutions as particularly effective, to see the world as a dangerous place best approached with militaristic attitudes. The military, arms companies and the government influence society in order to make sure the public supports their work preparing for war. Public understanding of the role of the military determines the climate in which the military can recruit and the willingness of the taxpayer to finance government and Pentagon policy to wage war and engage in conflict.
The U.S. West Region of AFSC includes Arizona, California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah, six states that have an intimate connection with the nuclear weapons and nuclear power industries. AFSC has worked for decades to end the relationship of the UC system to the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, worked with the legacy of testing in Nevada and Utah with both Native Americans and other Downwinders, and forged enduring relationships in East Asia and the Pacific around the legacies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and continued nuclear weapons testing and deployments.
The San Francisco Wage Peace program challenges the militarization of U.S. society, changing the narrative of military efficacy by
- highlighting the high cost of war spending, especially in maintaining our nuclear arsenal, as a method of security that cuts into meeting human needs that build a truer human security;
- exposing high school military recruitment practices that undermine civilian public education through presentations of a full picture of military life and high school alternatives that offer the same discipline, teamwork, community and leadership as JROTC; and
- exposing the war profiteering role of the University of California system and Lockheed-Martin Corporation in the nuclear weapons industry through economic activism campaigns.
Our work is informed by the ethos that recognizes others as fellow human beings, even when they are our adversaries. Sign up for the periodic Wage Peace action alerts from AFSC: http://www.afsc.org/key-issues/campaign/wage-peace
Learn more about some of our initiatives below.