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I think you are on to something. It is a truism that we are all the same, we have more in common with each other than there are differences between us, but civilians far removed from war often forget it. My Irish father, who worked with the British Army in the 1980s, used to say that the least anti-Irish place in Britain at that time was the British Army, despite the dangers of tours of duty in Northern Ireland, which rarely passed without a deadly ambush by Irish Republican terrorists. Irishmen working in the British Army were more likely to be known as "Micks" than the more derogatory "Paddies". I think the more professional and experienced the force, and the more skilled its leadership, the more it focuses on the enemy organization, and not the wider culture/demographic group from which it is drawn.
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Sep 15, 2011