During the Cold War, the Middle East was the site of proxy wars between the two superpowers. Afterwards, the ethnic conflicts that were simmering beneath the surface erupted into full-scale civil wars. By 2014, the political situation was still fragile. The land and its people had been ravaged and exhausted by years of constant warfare. With food scarce and the economy near collapse, the region was barely being kept afloat by aid from developed nations. Despite all this, the local governments still hired PMCs to put down anti-government militias, or "terrorists" as they called them.
The Middle Eastern militia was a PMC hired to fight against one of the regimes that was in power. Most of them were from the region itself, though it was more than ethnic ties that prompted them to pick up their guns. The region suffered from chronic high unemployment with lots of households just barely scraping by. Children growing up in this environment didn't have the chance to get a decent education, and there wasn't enough opportunities for them to go abroad and find work, either. PMCs were one of the few options they had to earn a living, which they would go out and risk their lives for.
In 2014, the militia continued their struggle against the government, who had hired the Praying Mantis PMC to restore governmental control. They were very inexperienced in battle, having hired several instructors from smaller local PMCs to train and lead them in battle, although they still tended to lose many men compared to the number of Praying Mantis troops lost. Although they tended to use weapons that are outdated for the SOP's control, such as AK-102s, RPG-7s and Molotov Cocktails, they did at very rare times request the services of a gun launderer to expunge the ID-lock on weapons they managed to find.
In battle, the militiamen often cowered behind cover and fired blindly at the Praying Mantis soldiers. They also fired from the hip instead of from the shoulder, thus proving their inexperience in combat. The militiamen, presumably because of their inexperience with combat, were also shown to be extremely careless with how they hold their guns even when not in combat. This is especially evident when a militia soldier, while bragging to his friend about getting an HK21 from a gun launderer (implied to be from Drebin), waved his gun around near his friend, which is forbidden by several rules of gun safety. Given that they lacked the use of the Sons of the Patriots system, this gave them a huge disadvantage, as evident when many were shot down with ease by the Praying Mantis troops despite vastly larger numbers. If their instructors were killed, they often lost morale easily and fought much less efficiently. This was evident when a full squad of them fought against the Beauty and the Beast Unit and several of them immediately ran for safety, only to be killed by Raging Raven. The instructors themselves did nevertheless utilize nanomachines, though this made one vulnerable to manipulation by Screaming Mantis, during the BB Corps' ambush.
Solid Snake infiltrated the battlefield via militia cargo truck disguised as a militia instructor. Several of the militamen ended up slaughtered in the heat of the battle, with one truck also crashing into another and knocking the occupants overboard after its driver ended up sniped in the head by a Praying Mantis Sniper, and Snake was forced to abandon them after his AK-102 jammed. Snake later lost his disguise when being chased by two Gekko unmanned weapons. In addition, several militiamen were having trouble stopping the onslaught of the PMC's advancement, especially with the arrival of Sliders and two Strykers trying to attack their hideout. In addition, the militiamen managed to succeed in shooting down one Slider, and took its remains back to their hideout to find out more about it by studying its wing. During this time, some snipers were also positioned in a ruined apartment complex from the Sliders' earlier bombardment, but were ambushed by some PMC soldiers. A militiaman also ended up finding Johnny Sasaki hiding in a drum can after his diarrhea forced him to compromise his hiding area, reeling in disgust when he realized what Johnny was doing and then proceeded to give chase to him. This also saved Snake the trouble of hiding from the same militia soldier, as he was near his hiding spot when Sasaki was forced to blow cover. They then pressed forward deeper into the city, attempting to get through snipers, missiles, choppers, and a Stryker. Afterwards, some of the militia soldiers managed to plow through with an ICV and eventually with an armored bulldozer, but were ambushed by the BB Corps.
The Middle Eastern militiamen mainly used AK-102s, RPG-7s, and Molotov cocktails. In very rare cases, they also used the HK21E, which they had gained primarily via using gun launderers. They lacked a sidearm which gave them a large disadvantage in combat. They often wore shemagh scarves, bullet/ammunition belts around their chest and waist, T-shirts, camouflage jackets, backpacks, and harnesses. They entered the battlefield via cargo trucks. In the Crescent Meridian, just before the area where the Praying Mantis PMC camp was located, they used a Caterpillar D9R armored bulldozer and a BMP-3 IFV to plow through barricades and get through heavy PMC resistance.
The militia instructors were hired by the militia forces to lead and train them in battle against Praying Mantis. The instructors wore gray tactical vests and white robes along with chocolate chip camouflaged tactical pants and black gloves. As noted earlier, the militia soldiers fired from the hip whereas the instructors could be seen firing from the shoulder with much better accuracy. In combat, the instructors gave out tactics via hand signals, similar to the more advanced PMC soldiers operating under Outer Heaven.
Behind the scenes
In Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Solid Snake can make friends or enemies with the militia soldiers depending on his actions on the battlefield. By default, Snake's relationship with the militia is neutral, although he actively avoids them during cutscenes after losing his instructor uniform. Snake can later retrieve a new uniform inside a locker within the Militia Safehouse. If the player feeds the militia soldiers a healing item by pressing the triangle button when near them, the soldier will repay the effort by supplying Snake with an iPod song, which is either "Destiny's Call ~ Break for the Fortress", "Love Theme (Action Version)", the "MPO+ Theme Song", or "Show Time", which will cause soldiers to become angry, break down into tears, find humor, or scream in terror, respectively.
According to Ryan Payton, Kojima Productions, when writing both the militiamen and the overall story of the first act, had to take careful considerations to avoid implying that the militiamen were all terrorists.
Notes and references
- ^ A Middle Eastern militiamen soldier is heard considering getting a weapon laundered via a gun launderer in earshot of Solid Snake. Knocking him out or putting him to sleep reveals that the weapon in question is the HK21E, making it quite apparent that this is how they gained the use of the HK21E.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 4 Afterthoughts with Ryan Payton