• People Talk and My Ear Bleeds


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    Friday, November 11, 2005

    Personal Experiences

    Today I heard a speech about Maj. Gen. Orville A. Anderson by Dr. Mark Grandstaff. He is a Col. ret. in the Air Force and holds the George C. Marshall chair at the US Air War College. He just got back from meeting with the Sec. of the Army and other armed forces big-wigs as they discussed molding the army to meet the new threats in the world--grand strategy for the 21st century. Last year I took a class of World War II from him and he directed my senior thesis, The Image of Ho Chi Minh in the New York Times, 1945-1975.

    I asked him what the war in Iraq has done, if any, to change the way army planners view conquering and rebuilding. His reply (paraphrased slightly) was:

    They are moving towards more focus on marines and the air force in attack and conquer. The army is changing its fundamental unit to be smaller, more flexible, and able to deal with the multiplicity of situations it faces. They want to get rid of the "plodding" army stereotype. We will be there [in Iraq] for a couple more years.

    Not that any of this is a surprise, but it's always interesting to get it from someone so well known in grand strategy and who instructs all the generals on how to implement it.

    Also, the other day bombers destroyed a couple hotels in Jordan and killed party-goers at a wedding. Ms. H. Madanat, a instructor here, lost two members of her family in that blast. My wife and I know her well and the general strong silent support the college has given is a testament to her, and brought the destruction a little more close to home.

    On a lighter note, I'm currently watching the full season of Full Metal Alchemist. I have it in Japanese with English subtitles. It's amazing. If you like anime, or are looking for something new, try it. Yes, it's a cartoon, but for those uninitiated, anime is far more adult than your child's typical Saturday-morning flick.

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