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Militarising Politics

The armed forces' leadership exercises influence over UK government policy

This occured in both world wars. However, there is evidence that the situation has got worse in recent years. The Chilcot Report on the UK's involvement in the Iraq war noted that the army leadership had lobbied Tony Blair to deploy a greater number of British soldiers to Iraq than he was originally minded to do. Professor Paul Dixon points to several further examples of military influence in his recent report Warrior Nation: War, militarisation and British democracy

In 2006, the head of the British army, Richard Dannatt broke the longstanding convention that the military leadership should not criticise the government in public, when he gave an interview to the Daily Mail in which he attacked the government's foreign policies. In 2015, an anonymous general effectively threatened a military coup if Jeremy Corbyn were to become Prime Minister. 

When an organisation rooted in violence, hierarchy and obedience seeks to exert influence in these ways, democracy itself is threatened.