The terrible thing is that I could imagine that about some of the radical schools in the UK.
Having grown up in NI and experienced first hand the stuff that interests people in further fields I can appreciate how complicated these things become, the british army role in NI has been a complicated one, there has been a sectarian war here and that's been, for people living here, the bigger issue.
If you read any of the good early accounts of the troubles, like From Civil Rights To Armalites, you'll know that there was a popular, mainly left wing, struggle which became mired in a republican rennaisance, the traditional form of resistance won out and it more than 25yrs for republicans to realise that the very traditionalism of it meant that it had become vital to the union with Britain and the unionist status quo.
Its very different from Afghanistan and the comparison is off base, however, in my experience in NI there are sectarian elements who would and did and still do USE young people, as young as twelve years old, as assets in their campaigns. The kids are glad to play their part, lends meaning to their lives at that stage at which their identity is just emerging and they want to live a large and history making heroic life.