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.