Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by MOD_Oracle, Oct 21, 2005.
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War In Iraq Putting Off Recruits, Says Army
It ain't the war putting people off, it's the thought of being arrested and put in a Cherie Blair Sponsored show trial for defending yourself!
I'd say it was both - an awful lot of people disagree strongly with what we're doing in Iraq and the constant stream of news that use the words "soldier", "prosecution" and "war crime" in close proximity doesn't help to make the Army an employer of first choice.
Now, don't have a go at me for what I'm about to say as its not intended as an insult - but the Army does tend to be slow at picking up on these societal trends. Part of it I'm sure is that regulars do tend to live in a bit of a military bubble in terms of where they live (quarters) and who they socialise with (other military personnel). Arguments that sway the average citizen are dismissed by regulars as a result of this difference in environment. And let's face it, it's very difficult for someone who's been out to Iraq, put their heart and soul into the job and lost friends to admit that most of the country wish they hadn't gone.
Thanks to the widescale use of the TA and the near certainty of mobilisation these days even the reserves are affected - arguably more so.
if thats your point about most regular soldiers being " in a bubble" i have to disagree. regulars are paid professional soldiers who have taken the queens shilling to do her and her govts bidding. it does not matter if the rest of the general public thnks its wrong we do not have a choice. yes we do have opions and our own thougths but in the end if they say go we go, no argument. so are you implying that the WWII "objector" should reapper, what would that do for recruiting, turn the army in to something like the dutch where they have a union. Be realistic, the only ones that have a pop about not going are they TA, thats when they have come back and got a pocket full of cash. i knw the army needs then to survive but if they have a pop about doing sme graft overseas, why join.
You've missed the point I was trying to make I fear - I am not proposing to change the Army one iota. However, unpopular war equals fewer recruits. And I would disagree about the TA, they don't join and whinge - nowadays they just don't join. The whinging was from those who objected to the fundamental change in the social contract. They are rapidly voting (or have voted) with their feet. Again, unpopular war equals fewer recruits.
As to the "bubble" comment, I'm basing my statements on observation of a body of people who hold standards and values that are higher than those of society as a whole and who tend to live and socialise together. If they didn't form a "bubble" I'd be surprised, it's not a bad thing. Do we want to adopt civvy standards ? Thought not. Then you have to accept you're not representative of the mainstream - and long may it continue so !
I'd say it is civilian society which is living in a bubble. A bubble that only exists because of soldiers who are willing to do an unpleasant and dangerous job. Civvies are like little Hobbits, happy in their Shire, blisfully unaware that their existence is only posiible because their are rough men ready to do violence on those that threaten them. In the meantime, the Hobbits have adopted a PC attitude towards Sauron and his Orcs, in fact many Orcs have fled Mordor claiming persecution from Sauron and seek a better life in the Shire. On arrival in the Shire however they continue to eat man flesh and sharpen their swords and claim it is anti orc rascism for the Hobbits to object. In the meantime, the men of the west are fighting Sauron the deceivers hords but it is an unpopular war and the Hobbits believe that it will inflame the Orcs that are now living in the shire, many prefer to give up their way of life than fight.....
If potential recruits are that politically motivated or disagree with Iraq they would never join anyway. Iraq and its rights or wrongs is a smoke screen, people join to soldier or get a trade etc etc. It was usually the case that in times of war recruiting went up, look at the Falklands aftermath. There is a problem recruiting due to the HUGE negative publicity by our patriotic and supportive press and the fact, rightly pointed out above, that Cherie and her kind are only too happy to send troops to jail and HMG are only too happy to agree. To the prospective and to a large extent ignorant recruit, now more so than ever, it appears HMG will send you to Iraq and then send you to jail if you fire your weapon... if you have any ammunition thats is.
I really dont think Pte Snooks cares about political hand wringing and the leader in the Guardian. Society worships unrealistic aspirations to celebrity, we have a decent'ish economy which is always bad for recruiting, every child is led to believe they are good enough for university and very very few people have the remotest idea of the military outside of Dads Army, Bravo Two Zero or Gareth from the office.
The rights and wrongs of Iraq are a drop in the ocean for falling recruitment, it is society and its feminised and weak values alligned with the shocking neglect and disgust this government have for the forces which is the real problem. Saying our involement in Iraq is to blame is pandering to the anti war lobby.
Ahhh a fine analogy, I hate the films but good work bloke
The Scourging Of The Shire Continues.......
Gents, your remarks about "it's not us in the bubble it's everyone else" and "it's society's fault" do tend to confirm the existence of a difference between the military and the civilians we protect. However, as one who spends his time among civvies and sees the military at weekends I do think you underestimate the effect Iraq is having on recruitment. Private Snooks may not care, but his parents probably do and they'll steer him away. Pte Snooks (TA) probably does care and won't join as a result. This is not driven by a "weak, feminised" society but by a genuine belief by those we wish to recruit that what we are doing in Iraq is wrong. Again, not something that's easy to accept if you've been out there and lost friends.
Well he can take his politics elsewhere, do we really want soldiers regular or TA who pick and choose where they deploy according to their political opinions? "oh dont agree with Iraq? ok you dont have to go then" People like Pte Snooks are the kind who will leave anyway, George Soloman anyone?
I always thought soldiers should have a morally ambigious streak to them, since when do we have to "agree" on everything.
But that's the point - you don't get soldiers like that as they don't join and we end up understrength. If you're happy with that then stag on. Again.
What made that creature Solomou so reprehensible in my opinion was that he didn't leave, he stayed in and made political capital out of it and now he's out turns up to demos in his uniform. If you can't commit to the job at hand you should leave - and those who can't have in my experience. However, when people do and stay away to the extent we're understrength - then let's not kid ourselves about the reasons.
so whats your point, that we should allow soldiers to join up and pick and choose when and when not to fight just to improve recruiting. and you say that we dont attract that sort of recruit, glad we dont, i am sure everyone in the forces has a political slant on iraq and blairs Govt. But as i pointed out before you signed the dotted line and depoly with the rest.
just because society is going down the pan, it doesnt mean that the army should follow suit so it can be seen as "nice and fluffy" i am sure thier are lots of parents out there who still see the armed forces as a very good career, its just the recruit standard that is the problem.
so come on then if you can see a problem what is PC solution?
Like H M The Queen?
I'm not sure if it has, I've seen a few using the TA as short cut to get out there (mainly injured ex-regular recruits). Recruiting of certain types has picked up but dropped in other areas.
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