Ann Jones on the Child Soldiers of JROTC

Ann Jones on the Child Soldiers of JROTC

I’ve enjoyed Ann Jones’s writing since I read Kabul in Winter, one of the best books about the American war in Afghanistan.  This article paints an ugly picture of JROTC classes which turn mostly disadvantaged youth into child soldiers.  These programs, Jones points out, “inculcate obedience to authority, inspire fear of “enemies,” and advance the primacy of military might in American foreign policy.”  They also cost school districts money, essentially using them to subsidize military recruitment.  The values of the military are diametrically opposed to those of a critical pedagogy for a democratic society. 

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One thought on “Ann Jones on the Child Soldiers of JROTC

  1. This quote just kills me:

    “A senior boy, who had also signed up with the recruiter, wanted to escape the violence of city streets. He joined up shortly after one of his best friends, caught in the crossfire of somebody else’s fight, was killed in a convenience store just down the block from the school. He told me, “I’ve got no future here. I might as well be in Afghanistan.” He thought his chances of survival would be better there, but he worried about the fact that he had to finish high school before reporting for “duty.” He said, “I just hope I can make it to the war.””

    But American is the greatest country in the world, right?

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