Friday, 21 November 2014

Endurance

Friday, 21 November 2014 12:51
littlemsmack: (Default)
I went to a talk on Weds at the Imperial War Museum, reflecting on WWI and today, and "What Makes Soldiers Fight". A lot of thoughts to be written up about that (around both the content but also the 'performance' as it were, of the talk).

But the opening panelist talked to not only the motivations of Great War soldiers to enlist, but the mentality of resilience that made them endure the duration of the conflict. Reading this article just now "The Two Deaths of Crazy Fakhir", brought this quality back to mind. Fakhir fought in today's Iraq conflict - his endurance was that despite losing a leg in 2008 he continued working to disarm IEDs until one finally killed him last week. His endurance was his drive to continue to work, to protect others from IEDs.

Today, we often cite the motivations and endurance of the Great War soldiers, and the resilience of the citizens, as something unique to its time, utterly discrete and try though we may to draw parallels and understanding for today's environment, we may not be successful or appropriate in doing so.

Fakhir's example of one individual's continued drive to participate, contribute and make a difference in their conflict is the kind of motivation we probably should laud all the more, not least when attempting to devise policy from understanding of just where armed forces (and indeed individuals) sit within society.

 

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