What do you think of the lads who go off to fight in Syria? (Not Jihadis)

Discussion in 'Current & Military Affairs Discussion Forum.' started by Ballista, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. Ballista

    Ballista Member

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    I should make it clear that I'm on about those lads that fight with the Kurds or the Middle-Eastern Christians, not the scum from our country that sign up to ISIS.

    In my opinion: God bless them, they've got to be brave and selfless to do it. They're paid a pittance, the conditions and food are poor, and they're equipped with 40 year old Warsaw pact weaponry. I can't think of a better cause to die for.

    The Kurds are an honourable people who deserve all the support we can give them, and the Christians defending the small areas where they haven't yet been cleansed from must be some of the bravest people on the planet.
     
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  2. ThreadpigeonsAlpha

    ThreadpigeonsAlpha Royal Marines Commando

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    I think they are mugs to be brutally honest.
     
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  3. ThreadpigeonsAlpha

    ThreadpigeonsAlpha Royal Marines Commando

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    You're new here, aren't you?
     
  4. C30

    C30 Member

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    From the accounts and short films I've watched, the individuals with no previous military experience and not a lot of money behind them tend to pick up any weapon they can, join any unit and fight. This I find to be a little silly.

    However, there is a specific unit of western volunteers who are fighting smart. They are made up of only western Armed Forces veterans. They fund themselves with donations from a growing social media following which allows them to be kitted out slightly better than the average man in the fight - M4, Plate Carrier, Chest Rig, Mortars, Drones etc. And they don't reveal their identity. In my opinion if you were to go and fight, it should be done smartly.
     
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  5. H01ty

    H01ty Active Member

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    Peshmerganor is one of the main ones on social media and was Norwegian SF, however apparently his oppo Peshmergaswe is a 19 year old with no prior service!

    I think a couple of years ago the volunteers made a huge difference because the west was standing by idly. Now they are still doing a great thing but they are needed a lot less and even Kurd commanders have asked people to stop coming unless they can provide medical aid. These days NATO has bombing sortees and SF on the ground as well as regular infantry out training the Kurds, and our trusty old pals the Russians are waging all-out war there even though their final political goal there is not to our tastes and neither is their use of force on civilians which is abhorrent.

    2011 - Arab Spring
    2012-2015 - volunteers were essential to help out
    2016 - volunteers should get out of the way unless they are medics and aid workers.

    All my opinion of course.
     
  6. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Careers Adviser

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    These type of idealist freelance irregular freedom fighters have always existed. They range in abilities, usefulness and combat effectiveness, to put it very mildly.

    Those who want to make themselves useful and be taken seriously, usually gain their military skills by joining some form of conventional government-sponsored militia before heading-off to fight for their respective cause.

    Sometimes their claimed and actual military experience and background differs a good deal because this sort of thing attracts people who also very often seek kudos as a fighter, rather justice for any given cause.

    The fighters that make themselves known to the press corps whilst in theatre are very often those who place their own kudos before their ideology. You can be assured that the same applies to these type of people on all sides of any given conflict, whether or not they align themselves with or against the general political consensus of their country or origin.
     
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  7. Ballista

    Ballista Member

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    Yup ;)

    I think I'm allowed some idealism in my youth.
     
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  8. Ballista

    Ballista Member

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    Quite, with the volunteers who signed up to various leftist groups during the Spanish civil war being the most famous example; I really need to read Homage to Catalonia. Though the impression I've got from what I've already read about those volunteers seems to align exactly with what you've written; some being complete incompetents with a name to make, some just being bloodthirsty, and others being genuinely committed to the cause and willing to tolerate awful conditions pursuing a hopeless dream because of it. I imagine it's much the same today, though the number of foreign volunteers can't number more than a few hundred.
     
  9. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Careers Adviser

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    Don't forget, those fighting for the "other side" are no different. It's all to do with perspective.
     
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  10. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    I don't know of any credible statistics to back up the notion but I'd wager that historically one of the biggest single motivations for embarking on such 'causes' has been the individual desire for adventure.
     
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  11. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    Definitely. Idealism need not evaporate with age. But one's priorities change as the practicalities of life and the dependency of others intrude.
     
  12. Ballista

    Ballista Member

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    Thanks, I remember reading that when Enoch Powell was asked what his biggest regret was he said "I should like to have been killed in the war". Always struck me as a profound thing to say, so forgive me if I'm a bit gung-ho about good causes.
     
  13. ThreadpigeonsAlpha

    ThreadpigeonsAlpha Royal Marines Commando

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    I don't see how that's in anyway profound.
     
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  14. cc1

    cc1 RAF Commando Officer (former RM)

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    Middle-aged men having mid-life crises jetting off to Syria to get their rocks off and prove their masculinity. Those that have prior military service presumably filled a role that meant they never saw frontline action, and thus, are bitter; Syria is their chance at a piece of the action. Most that have seen frontline action would be quite happy staying home with the family once retired?!

    Those that don't have any military experience are there purely to assert themselves as an alpha-male because they've lived a life they feel ashamed of. There's nothing profound, gung-ho or honourable about hijacking a civil-war so that you can legitimately get a taster for war.
     
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  15. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Careers Adviser

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    Fair points.

    Done the war thing. I'm buying a boat instead. Well, I am now. ;)
     
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  16. cc1

    cc1 RAF Commando Officer (former RM)

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    Buying a boat is a perfectly acceptable! I'm also saving for one... Then it's just the small matter of re-mortgaging our house to afford the mooring fees.
     
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  17. BoxSwallow

    BoxSwallow Active Member

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    An interesting watch about this is this


    There's a German whose 55 years old was in the German Army then served 10 years in the Foreign Legion.
    Obviously there are also those with no military experience who've come, one girl from Canada and one from Poland.
     
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  18. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Careers Adviser

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    Yep. Having had a couple previously, the tip is acquire the moorings before the boat, otherwise you'll pay even more for a temporary berth.

    Apologies for thread drift, but it's my mid-life crisis.
     
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  19. Rossi

    Rossi Royal Marines Commando

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    Good old Vice and their attempts to re invent the wheel with new age reporting. Good to note regardless of the side your fighting for or the group it's still treated the same legally if you ever return to the Uk and handcuffs await. There are definitely some Serbs, Albanians and Chechens but guarantee they aren't out there for anything other than a pay check.
     
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