Volunteer Army

They are cutting back our regular armed forces and relying more on territorial army reservists. One rationale for this is that the US army and European forces makes for more use of part-time reservists than we do. The Israeli army has a whole nation of post conscript reservists constantly at the ready to return to the fight.   The idea is to give more training and equipment to the TA , but I think it will further militarise our national thinking and public policy, not soften it. 

Apart from many other misgivings, this made me think more about the nature of attachment and commitment, and how it will diffuse or under emphasise the extreme nature of soldiering in its effect on the psyche. Post traumatic stress and suicide among ex soldiers remain at an unprecedented high. Not only might you suffer irreperable damage to body, but your brains, nervous system and emotions can be fatally scrambled by active duty. 

Can someone sustain the adrenalin levels needed to become a hired killer, in and out of civilian normality?  Are we natural fighters and killers, so switching into attack mode is relatively easy, or is it a matter of turning off natural pro-human kindness and gentleness and reluctance to shoot someone’s  guts out?    Violence is so atavistic and hormonal, but it can also be a controlled stream of venom. It has become institutionised by politics for centuries.   Thinking about this is very heavy on the head and heart.   People have died in Oslo over the last twenty four hours, through a car bomb and gun attack.  I watch the pictures while eating my wheaty-bang breakfast, and pray for their parents.

About mrsgarnettsgarden

After a life in International Development where I have seen many resililent women farmers bring abundance out of almost nothing, I'm now more often at home in Derbyshire with my husband David, a retired Archdeacon who runs the churches on the Chatsworth estate. Our garden and my allotment are the setting for a little diary of plants and pottering, aided and abetted by our dogs, Spaniel jess, and Collie, Pip. David is a hen fanatic so the chicken runs encroach ever nearer the house. I work freelance as an assessor for Comic Relief International grants, and also run a little not for profit agency to help African women get going in business, called "Lasting Solutions."
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