Editorial

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The past months have brought news of the high profile cases of Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, US soldiers who have gone public with stories of military activities the army hoped would stay secret.

Chelsea (known for a long time as Bradley), helped bring to public awareness to the attack by a US Apache helicopter attack on a group of men (some armed, some unarmed) that included Reuters journalists. The attack continued later as they shot at the van that came to rescue the wounded men. Manning's three-and-a-half-decades jail-term is unprecedentedly long for someone convicted of leaking US government documents.

My hope is that these instances will bring attention back to relationship between conscience and the military, which affects not only those soldiers who act as 'whistleblowers' or refuse illegal orders, but also those focused upon in the newsletter, who never go to the army in the first place, but are still detained, in Colombia and Greece.

We report here child soldiers are still recruited in Myanmar– a most vicious and pressing form of the 'militarisation of youth' that WRI is working on, share the slightly bizarre news (that's nonetheless good for the COs involved) that two COs in Azerbaijan were freed to mark a dead President's birthday, and, along with Group for Switzerland without and Army, hope that Switzerland might say 'yes' to ending conscription in next months' referendum.

You can also find Ellen Elster's piece looking at the decision in Norway to expand conscription to include women.

Hannah Brock.

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