Jac Holmes: Mother describes 'fearless' son killed in Syria

Ninja_Stoker

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This particular case raises several interesting issues about a former British individual, described as an IT worker, who went to Syria three times to fight ISIS.

His story is well documented in the press and worth a read.

On the face of it, he had no previous military experience so far as I'm aware and he claimed to have been sufficiently moved to want to go into battle, untrained and in a country foreign to him. Whatever the reasons, whether or not it includes naivety, vanity, self-publicity, bravery, high moral beliefs or whatever else, a mother has lost her son and my condolences for her loss.

What is interesting is the fact that the individual chose his war in which to fight and on which side he fought. In this case it was against ISIS but in many respects it is not a great deal different from a person in that chooses to fight alongside ISIS for their own principles - although clearly the Western governments and media would claim it very different.

Trouble is, there are so many different factions involved, with different enemies and different objectives by a variety of governments and countries, that it's almost impossible to work out who the "good guys" really are and whether their well-meant principles are a help or a hindrance.

What it does bring sharply into focus however is the new Army "inclusive" recruiting campaign launched today, aimed at minority groups who could otherwise possibly join "irregular" combatants actually in ongoing conflicts.

What is interesting is many people join outr armed forces with the intention to experience the excitement of combat and to push boundaries to see how they will cope. With a reluctant electorate, successive governments are going to be unwilling to commit UK troops. In addition, the stringent standards required for entry into the UK Armed Forces, exclude many who are clearly capable of fighting.

Question is, do we seriously need to review entry standards? Do facial tattoos really matter, for example, does long hair stop you fighting, is your nationality and residency status that important, does having earrings or a goatee beard make a scrap of difference, is an ACL operation that could affect you at age 40 going to affect a person aged 20 joining for just 5 years?
 

Chelonian

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Trouble is, there are so many different factions involved, with different enemies and different objectives by a variety of governments and countries, that it's almost impossible to work out who the "good guys" really are and whether their well-meant principles are a help or a hindrance.

Not to mention the doubts some of us may have about our supposed 'official' allies, including Saudi Arabia, USA and Israel. :)

The media is kicking up a storm about the new Army ad campaign but I understand that Army recruiting is falling off a cliff. If the campaign—insipid as it is—taps into an as yet unexploited demographic, then fine.

Not forgetting that although all Army personnel are subject to military discipline and most are liable for operational deployment comparatively few are required to close with and kill the enemy. Which is at odds with the suggestions to the contrary made by the tired old generals wheeled out today by the media to comment on the topic. A career dental technician might spend his or her entire career closing with erupted molars at a Colchester dental centre.
 

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