Best Practices and Training to Kill:

University of Toronto's OISE to Help in Future War Training

 (for more information click here to go to the page for People Against the Militarization of OISE)

TORONTO, September 24, 2004 -- The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) of the University of Toronto has brokered a partnership with a leading Canadian warmaker, Atlantis Systems Corp., which provides training and simulation equipment for the militaries of the U.S., U.K., Denmark, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Finland, Switzerland, Malaysia, Spain, Oman, Uruguay, and Kuwait. Numerous of these countries are human rights abusers, and some armed forces of these countries have been implicated in the commission of war crimes.

On September 15, a "strategic partnership" was announced between Atlantis and the Institute for Knowledge, Innovation and Technology at OISE "to apply the latest training methodologies, systems, and practices to Atlantis and will create a leading-edge, knowledge-building organization."

The government handout which is funding the project has been billed as the largest single education research grant ever awarded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) - "Initiative on the New Economy", and joins together OISE, Atlantis, Sun Microsystems, The Bank of Montreal, Apple Canada, and the Canadian War Dept.

"Understanding and evaluating how and what people learn are critical to delivering more effective training solutions," explains Andrew Day, President and CEO of Atlantis. "Building our knowledge in these areas will provide recurring revenue opportunities for our company and create added value for our customers by allowing us to apply these capabilities to our existing products and services."

What, exactly, will OISE's research contribute in terms of training solutions?

If we are to speak truthfully, and not hide behind the business world balderdash which sanitizes the disease of war, we would conclude that one solution will be better and more cost-efficient killing.

Atlantis supplies leading purveyors of war such as Raytheon, CAE, Boeing and Northrop Grumman (formerly Litton), and produces "products" for some of the deadliest aircraft on the planet, including the F-15 Strike Eagle and Black Hawk helicopter.

The F-15E, for example, is "an advanced long-range interdiction fighter and tactical aircraft" used by the US Air Force, US Air National Guard and the air forces of Israel, Japan and Saudi Arabia. The fighter is equipped to drop 23,000 pounds of bombs, including the deadly joint direct attack munition (JDAM), and if that doesn't do the trick for the Afghanis, Palestinians, or Iraqis fleeing below, it also relies on a 20mm Gatling gun installed in the right wing root, which can fire 6,000 shots per minute.

Perhaps OISE's research will enable pilots to squeeze out another 500 to 1,000 rounds if 6,000 per minute is deemed not enough to defend the integrity and values of the free world. Or maybe one of the new learning solutions will explore how to overcome that natural instinct in humans which compels us to help, and not harm, our fellow humans.

Shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Atlantis noted in a press release that, given a full 70% of Atlantis training systems are for the military, "we are well positioned to benefit from the increased attention" the war sector was expected to see. Then-CEO of Atlantis Doug Olson proudly stated his company provides an important service because, given cost restraints, it is easier to train bomber pilots through simulation than through using the real thing, thus "increasing the availability and life span" of instruments which rain down death and destruction from the skies.

Among the Atlantis clients is the Canadian War Dept. and its CF-18, which Canadian general Gerard Theriault told the Toronto Star is particularly deadly because their accuracy "makes the destructive ability of one CF-18 as great as an attack by hundreds of bombers in World War II."

As the Pentagon and its allied war departments try and figure out why countries like Iraq simply won't lay down and surrender once foreign forces have occupied them, it will continue looking to the creative work of corporations like Atlantis and their university partners for the answers.

As for the students, faculty and alumni at the University of Toronto (where numerous other military research contracts exist), there remains much food for thought (and subsequent positive action) when considering this contract and the question of why an institution for higher learning is engaged in "improving" the ability of militaries to wage war.

This notice is provided by the folks at Toronto Action for Social Change which, with its numerous partners, has produced a Pledge of Conscience which it encourages indiviuals and groups to present for signing at their workplaces, universities, and credit unions.(see below). It's hard to see why anyone would NOT sign it, but any refusal to do so should speak volumes about our ultimate intentions.

Pledge of Conscience to End Work for War


* the horrible toll war has taken during the 20th century, and to honour the 110 million-plus victims of warfare (a figure which surpasses one billion victims, according to leading radiation expert Sister Rosalie Bertell, when we consider the victims of the nuclear fuel cycle);

* the massive poverty which consumes the majority of the world's population because governments continue to devote over $800 billion annually to the planning and preparation for warfare instead of investing these funds in desperately needed social programs;

* the world's biggest polluter is war and the military;

* plans to further militarize space and wage war from the upper atmosphere represent what could be a final, fatal blow to the fragile planet we call home;

* the only way for us to stop war is to stop not only war but the political, social and economic causes of war;

I/we pledge never to participate in

1. the research, design, development, testing, production, maintenance, targeting, or use of any form of military weapons (be they nuclear, biological, chemical or so-called "conventional" weapons), their means of delivery, and their related components;

2. research or engineering that I/we/informed individuals and groups have reason to believe will be used by the military.

3. the funding, through loans, lines of credit, or donations, of any enterprise which has amongst its clients military manufacturers and militaries

I/we further pledge to

* cut any and all ties to military contractors;

* seek out only that work which benefits the environment, humanity, and all life forms which inhabit the earth.

*place a restriction limiting to civilian uses only any technological advances and research which result from our work.