By C. Duncanson
This e-book utilises the growing to be phenomenon of British soldier narratives from Iraq and Afghanistan to discover how British squaddies make experience in their function on those advanced, multi-dimensional operations. It goals to interfere within the debates inside severe feminist scholarship over even if infantrymen can ever be brokers of peace.
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Additional info for Forces for Good?: Military Masculinities and Peacebuilding in Afghanistan and Iraq
In other words, SCR 1325 does not address itself to the deep-seated issues at the root of gender inequality: patriarchy, notions of masculinity and militarized power (Olonisakin et al. 2011). The radicalism of a gender 28 Forces for Good? analysis is the way it exposes the role of gendered dichotomies in perpetuating militarism and war: arguments: for example, that it is the gendered dichotomy of (masculine)war/(feminized)peace which means that confrontational and combative approaches to international relations are privileged over more conciliatory and cooperative approaches (see Cohn 1987; Tickner 2001: 52–53; Ducat 2004).
I undertake a feminist discourse analysis of soldiers’ personal narratives. British soldier ‘herographies’ (Ledwidge 2011: 9) have proliferated in recent years. Through them we can gain an insight into the identities of British soldiers – we can trace the way that ideas of gender, race, class and nation inform a soldier’s social identity. Of course, they are also problematic as sources. How do we know if the soldiers are telling the truth? Authors of autobiographies can overemphasize some things, neglect others and misinterpret relations (Hynes 1998; Harrison 2001; Smith and Watson 2001; Woodward and Winter 2007).
This sort of evidence is drawn on by many soldiers to legitimize the continuation of a focus on war fighting in training even when the most likely deployment might be a peace operation. It also informs the British military view that it is not particularly difficult to ‘add-on’ training for peace operations. As such, many feminists remain sceptical (Herbert 2012). If you are training for war, they maintain, it is hard to see how you are really able to achieve peace: ‘military training that inculcates militarized masculinity neither prepares peacekeeping troops for the humanitarian work they are expected to perform nor encourages them to embrace the light weapons they carry or force restraint they must observe’ (Peterson and Runyan 2010: 174–175).