COD military advisor defends MOH
Taliban are "hard little f***ers".
The retired soldier employed by Activision to ensure Call of Duty games are an authentic representation of real war has defended rival game Medal of Honor for allowing gamers to play as the Taliban in multiplayer.
Defence Secretary Liam Fox sparked a media storm when he demanded shops refuse to sell EA's upcoming Afghanistan shooter.
"I am disgusted and angry," he said. "It's hard to believe any citizen of our country would wish to buy such a thoroughly un-British game. I would urge retailers to show their support for our armed forces and ban this tasteless product."
EA's already hit back at Fox, and the Government has distanced itself from his comments.
Now Hank Keirsey, a US military advisor with 24 years experience on the ground, has weighed in on the debate, accusing the media of inaccurately connecting the Taliban with Al-Qaeda.
"Those are hard little f***ers," Keirsey told Eurogamer.
"From a soldier perspective, I gotta admire certain qualities in those guys. They're not fighting for Al-Qaeda. Maybe one or two of them is. Most of them are fighting 'cos they've always fought.
"They've got what someone told them is a foreigner in town. They're gonna come down from the mountains with their little AKs and rally with other guys and try to beat the foreigner out of there.
"You gotta get into your enemy's mind set. There's courage on both sides."
"[The media is] making a connection that these are the guys that cut the heads off of women and kids in the night, then the next thing they do is climb into an aeroplane and fly into our buildings. That's not necessarily the case.
"Al-Qaeda did that. Yes, Taliban may be supporting those guys, because they're looking for some kind of ally and monetary support. But you have to understand your enemy.
"People are always looking at something to throw at the gaming industry – it's all cracked up bad."
In a statement issued today EA defended its game, describing it as "a highly authentic depiction of the soldier's experience in Afghanistan – matching US forces against the Taliban in today's war".
Keirsey, who worked on upcoming shooter Call of Duty: Black Ops, admitted Medal of Honor was "dicey", but said the game and others like it may lead to a greater respect from young people towards soldiers.
Keirsey referenced Operation Anaconda, a real life 2002 military endeavour in which Allied forces attempted to destroy Al-Qaeda and Taliban forces in the Shahi-Kot Valley. Medal of Honor references the conflict.
"Anaconda was a hell of a battle. I know the developer over there – we actually proposed that idea at one point. I remember that battle, so me and my other co-worker suggested it because it was a hell of a fight.
"That battle is over. Just like World War II is over. And there are all kinds of lessons to be learned from it, all kinds of elements of human courage... mistakes.
"If we can somehow replicate that fight and get some insight into it, I don't have a problem with it. No more than I have a problem with doing World War II or the Pacific. But I suppose somebody might."
Medal of Honor is due out on PS3, 360 and PC on 15th October.