NEWS, AUSTRALIA - An increasing number of would-be recruits to the
Canadian military are prone to displaying traits of social disobedience,
intolerance toward ethnic groups and being fatalistic, a new report
says. The report cautions that such recruits could put the Canadian
Forces' positive public image at serious risk.
The analysis, delivered to the Department of National Defense in March,
warns of the "increasingly socio-dysfunctional profile of military
aspirants." It goes on to suggest the military's reputation could be
"easily shattered by the actions of a few or even just one Canadian Abu
Ghraib" - a reference to the abuse of Iraqi detainees by U.S. military.
The report raises the specter of the Canadian military scandal in
Somalia, in which the Canadian Forces covered up the 1993 murder of a
young Somali prisoner for several weeks. The incident led to criminal
charges, a public inquiry and a decade of soul-searching for the
A profile drawn up in the study shows that today's average potential
military recruit is "proud and intense," a "crude hedonist" and drawn to
transgressive behaviour - or breaking the rules. Potential recruits are
also driven by the need for social status and "to belong," and feel a
lack of confidence in the future.
Male candidates are "macho," while women have "a strong masculine side."
The potential recruits tend to show an affinity for social Darwinism,
characterized by the view that only the strongest members of society
will survive. Violence and sex are also prominent interests associated
with potential soldiers, according to the study, by Montreal-based
polling firm CROP Inc.