Leaked documents have revealed how the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has drawn up plans to make war more “acceptable” to the public.

The document revealed how the government intends to “play down” the number of deaths resulting from war, and make use of more drones, trained assassins from the SAS and MI5 hitmen to sway public opinion in favour of war.

The idea is that by hiding images of bombs, dead soldiers and brutality, there will be less public outcry over wars.

The MoD’s strategy formulation unit outlined in the document how to overcome “body-bag syndrome” in other words, reduce the images which show how many people have died in the wars.

They have also advocated greater use of mercenaries and unmanned vehicles, as well as the SAS and other special forces, because it claims that the public are not as concerned about the deaths of “elite soldiers” whose demise do not have the same impact on the ordinary man and woman and the press.

According to a statement outlined in the document: “Neither the media nor the public in the west appear to identify with contractors in the way that they do with their military personnel. Thus casualties from within the contractorised force are more acceptable in pursuit of military ends than those from among our own forces. The public appear to have a more robust attitude to SF [special forces] losses.”

Perhaps the most startling revelation in the report is the government’s outright admission that the public have become too informed and “sophisticated” about avoiding unnecessary warfare and so therefore the government’s needs to come up with propaganda to convince the public about the need for military conflict. They also claimed that the public need to be convinced that any wars would have benefits to them and make them safer, in order to make them more acceptable. This was followed by the observation that although the public may not be entirely “risk-averse” and keen to avoid endangering lives, there was still a need for damage control by the powers that be.

This extraordinary admission was made in a statement which said: “Historically, once the public are convinced that they have a stake in the conflict, they are prepared to endorse military risks and will accept casualties as the necessary consequence of the use of military force.

“The public have become better informed and our opponents more sophisticated in the exploitation of the sources of information with the net result that convincing the nation of the need to run military risks has become more difficult but no less essential.”

The document also recommended that the armed forces should have “a clear and constant information campaign in order to influence the major areas of press and public opinion”.

Part of this campaign should include steps to to “reduce the profile of the repatriation ceremonies” – an apparent reference to the processions of hearses carrying coffins draped in the union flag that were driven through towns near RAF bases where bodies were brought back.

In addition, the government has admitted that its proposals are to further de-sensitise the public to the realities of war and to foster the opinion that war is necessary.

The report goes on to say that the authorities should ensure that steps are taken to “”reduce public sensitivity to the penalties inherent in military operations” and “inculcate an attitude that service may involve sacrifice and that such risks are knowingly and willingly undertaken as a matter of professional judgment”.

The paper amounts to what could be considered a prescient analysis of why the British public and MPs were so reluctant to support an attack on Syria.

Other conflicts have traditionally enjoyed much more support from ordinary men and women according to the report, which cited historical conflicts such as the Falklands war and operations in Northern Ireland between 1969 and 2007. But more needs to be done to ramp up support for the widespread murders in more recent wars such as Iraq and Afghanistan, it said.

“In those cases where the public is unconvinced of the relevance of the campaign to their wellbeing, they are not prepared to condone military risk and are acutely sensitive to the level of casualties incurred.

“Neither the action in Iraq nor the operations in Afghanistan have enjoyed public support and we are in danger of learning a false lesson from the experience of the last 10 years,” it stated.

The report was subsequently slammed by activists and military families who told the Guardian newspaper of their disgusts at this new propaganda campaign that is now being openly admitted by the government.
Since the releasing of the documents, the government has tried to play down the reports.

An MoD spokesman said: “It is entirely right that we publicly honour those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and there are no plans to change the way in which repatriation ceremonies are conducted. A key purpose of the development, concepts and doctrine centre is to produce research which tests and challenges established doctrine and its papers are designed to stimulate internal debate, not outline government policy or positions.”

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