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The Military/War Thread

Discussion in 'GMD Social Forum' started by Dak, Jul 3, 2016.

  1. rms

    rms Active Member

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    jeans in Kenya? what a fucking killer
     
  2. Dak

    Dak mentat

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    Watched "War Machine" while on a free Netflix trial. While I agree that Afghanistan was/is a lost cause, the bent of the movie is likely to lead most audiences to come to many wrong conclusions. Still enjoyed it though.
     
  3. Dak

    Dak mentat

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    Gonna rep this book in this thread. I was somewhat familiar with Boyd by name and the general concept of OODA loops, but that was about it. I sought out to learn more and man this book delivered. I had no idea that Boyd was a driving force behind the F-15 and F-16, and by indirect extension, the F-18, nevermind both modern air-to-air tactics and USMC maneuver warfare tactics.
     
  4. The Ozzman

    The Ozzman Melted by feels

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    I'll add that to my list. I'm reading About Face right now. Hack was the man.
     
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  5. Dak

    Dak mentat

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  6. Black Orifice

    Black Orifice Vein-Marbled Tower

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    Found a nice little study in the evolution of cultural orientations toward war and loss near Dortmund in the ruins at Hohensyburg, a place also home to a massive monument to Wilhelm I (and Bismarck) -- itself a fine example of nation building. There are three memorial plaques inside of the ruins, each commemorating the dead of three different wars, namely the Franco-Prussian War, WWI, and WWII. The plaques themselves are superficially similar, but their calls to the living in how they should actively commemorate the dead are radically different. The location itself is extremely symbolic as well. The three plaques are found in the ruins of a medieval castle at a location that was supposedly one of Charlemagne's footholds toward the christianization of Germany. Not content with the seemingly artificial and incomplete process of nationalization brought about by Bismarck, invocations of the Middle Ages were the go-to for nationalists searching for the historical foundation of Germany from the mid-19th century up until WWII.

    *first image stolen from google, the rest are mine
    [​IMG]

    Here's the plaque commemorating the dead of the 1870/71 Franco-Prussian War. It reads "Den Toten zum Gedächtnis; Den Lebenden zur Mahnung; Aus hiesiger Gemeinde starben im Kriege 1870/71 *list of names*" which translates literally as you might expect, "In memory of the dead; In remembrance for the living; From this community died in the 1870/71 war *list of names*." There's an inflection in the word Mahnung, however, which the literal translation of 'remembrance' or 'reminder' doesn't capture. There's an urgency to the word, which can also be translated as 'warning' or 'exhortation.' In this way, as a reminder of the dead this plaque functions as a warning to the living of the consequences of war. The plaque is personal, risen for five dead members of the community. The names are in what I suppose is likely order of rank, but it's not clear.

    IMG_20190615_183613.jpg

    The first striking difference between the 1870/71 plaque and that commemorating the dead from WWI is the shear number of dead. From five to forty-six (I'll confess I'm not quite sure what the last entry is, "geb. Overweg u. Kind" means, and my wife [German] wasn't sure either, so it could be 46 soldiers, or 45 soldiers and a child). Note, too, how many share last names: Heitmann, Clemens, Jeuschede, etc. If not brothers, then cousins and fathers. Though this difference between the plaques is stark, what strikes me as more dramatic is what is inscribed above and below the names of the dead -- what this commemoration of the dead urges the living to do: "Und setzet ihr nicht das Leben ein, nie wird euch das Leben gewonnen sein; Es starben für das Vaterland; [below] Zum ehrenden Gedanken, der im Weltkriege 1914-1918 gefallenen Söhne der Gemeinde Syburg." Literal translation of the first two lines is rather clunky, but it reads "Life will never be conquered if it is not put at risk; They died for the fatherland; [below] In revered memory, to the fallen sons of Syburg who died in the world war of 1914-1918." War and death are not risks to life to be warned about; they are preconditions to life. It is not a reminder or a warning to the living. It is a call to action. The names listed here aren't depicted as victims of war as the previous plaque depicted its dead. They didn't die from war, they died for their country. It's no longer 'In memory of,' rather in 'revered memory,' making these dead men less dead and more spiritually active participants in society, but whose corporal body has been transmuted into that of the body of the state and national spirit.

    IMG_20190615_183631.jpg

    A statue was erected before the plaque in 1930 which directly illustrates this. A greater than life-size monument, the fallen soldier and the eagle, symbolic of the nation, share a dynamic relationship. On the one hand, the eagle is arising out from his grave, or the nation from his sacrifice, and on the other hand, the eagle eyes over the fallen soldier protectively, the nation ensuring his sacrifice was not lost.

    IMG_20190615_183656.jpg

    The resoluteness found in the previous plaque turns to anguish and utter capitulation following WWII. References to the lost generation of WWI almost ring hollow when compared to the list of the dead here. Depicted here is quite literally the death of a generation of men. There need be no warning. An alphabetized list of some seventy-eight dead men suffices. There need not even be complete sentences: "Opfer Weltkrieg 1939-45," or "Victims World War 1939-45," and "Helft dem Frieden," or "Support peace." Nor are there even references to district of Syburg -- it's self-evident where the dead once lived. It is an unadorned, solemn message: 'Never again.'

    IMG_20190615_183644.jpg
     
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  7. Dak

    Dak mentat

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    Wait, when did you get married?
     
  8. The Ozzman

    The Ozzman Melted by feels

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    It seems to be not a big deal to people here to announce that. Krow also mentioned it in passing in a thread years back nonchalantly.
     
  9. Black Orifice

    Black Orifice Vein-Marbled Tower

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    Nothing on my commentary? :p

    Not long ago, in the middle of June. There wasn't a lot of fanfare about it in part because we didn't have the time, money, or interest in a classic wedding. I never planned on marrying, but I also never thought I'd marry a non-US citizen with something other than English serving as the primary language of the relationship and household. For her part, she's a bit of an Anglophile who likes living in small cities, so getting caught up with an 'Ami' and moving to NYC was the last thing she expected. Everything clicked though, so we pulled the trigger. Her visa almost fell through a few weeks ago after we were promised one months ago. If it had, we'd have faced the prospect of living apart for two years instead of just one to apply for a green card, as it takes a while to get married in Germany and a spousal visa in the US doesn't Grant her a right to work, thus striking it off as a possibility.

    I almost mentioned it yesterday after her teaching exchange visa sponsorship forms were finally, but didn't because we were the immediately thrown into the latest nightmare visa/bureaucracy hell in trying to secure an interview appointment at the consulate before our flight in, uh, two weeks :loco: Worst case scenario, we'll be out $650 for her flight ticket and she won't get to meet my family before my brother's marriage at the end of October. The whole thing has been a god damned nightmare with multiple approvals and denials since she was first approved in March, but thankfully she won't have to stay in Germany for a year as we twice been convinced, the first as I was boarding a plane to visit Georgetown and the second the day before our wedding.

    Otherwise, it's great and we're really looking forward to what comes next. We haven't decided which country will be homebase after my PhD, but we're both open minded.


    Love you too, pookie bear. Didn't mean to hurt your feelings <3
     
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  10. The Ozzman

    The Ozzman Melted by feels

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    You'll always be my favorite anti gunner :)
     
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  11. Dak

    Dak mentat

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    It was interesting. I think that it makes a lot of sense given the losses. A decimated and demoralized population was no longer under even the remotest sway of the glorious stories from the Prussian days.


    Your German ought to be pretty amazing at least. I'm sure the visa stuff is a PITA to deal with, on top of other legal documentation that just goes with being married. Why NYC though? Georgetown is in DC.
     
  12. Black Orifice

    Black Orifice Vein-Marbled Tower

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    That's what I found really interesting about the tone in the first plaque. It's a plaque that was erected in Prussia by Prussians after successively winning numerous wars, the last of which the plaque commemorated united Germany (albeit one that excluded Austria). There was still quite a dramatic Prussian/non-Prussian divide after the 1870/71 war, the tension of which became even worse after Bismarck took steps in chipping away at the civil liberties of Catholics, which is literally all of south Germany. Yet, the nationalist, more so jingoistic language or even inference is absent. It was, I suspect, the experience of WWI which nationalized the Prussian glory stories. It wasn't possible after WWII in large part because the decimation in both population and urban infrastructure, but also partly because Prussia was dissected. The only time you really see mentioned of Prussia nowadays are with a few soccer teams thanks to lingering remnants of history, or from neo-Nazis who use Prussian symbolism as stand-in Nazi memorabilia, as Nazi symbols are banned.

    I do pretty well. Casual conversation is a breeze, and I can debate about politics to some extent, though not nearly at the level I can in English of course. With academic texts, I do pretty well with secondary literature, depending on the writer. Stuff like Kant is a bitch, but students here always joke with me, 'well native speakers can't understand either.'

    The choice was between Georgetown and Columbia, which of course my future career path played into as well. I visited both campuses since the universities covered the costs. I figured that with Columbia, I can find something outside of academia if I decide to pursue a different career, but it would be harder to get a position with a PhD from Georgetown if I stuck with academia. I would have been in a dual program there with the School of Foreign Service fully funded and was of course really into the idea, but I still really confident in the choice of Columbia. My adviser at Georgetown would have been wonderful too and we got along really well, but I'll be working with the big cheese instead, fighting for his attention over tweeting, trips to Davos, and forums with World Bank members.The other factor was that my wife got a job in NYC, whereas in DC the school there wouldn't sponsor an exchange visa. Of course, that 'other factor' was a easy balance tipper.
     
  13. Dak

    Dak mentat

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    https://thestrategybridge.org/the-bridge/2019/7/9/quantifying-lethality-on-the-back-of-a-napkin

     
  14. Dak

    Dak mentat

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    https://warontherocks.com/2019/08/the-myth-of-american-military-dominance/

    Been saying this since I spent time in Iraq.
     
  15. rms

    rms Active Member

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    Is that quote the point? Doesn't really make sense
     
  16. Dak

    Dak mentat

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    It's one of many points in the article, but it's an important one. I can't help you if you can't see why desert fighting is easier than jungle fighting for conventional forces.
     
  17. The Ozzman

    The Ozzman Melted by feels

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    Vietnam proves that quote correct tbh
     
  18. rms

    rms Active Member

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    Vietnam proves that massive military power isn't cool when lots of normal people die

    Idk you link an article with one quote, usually implying this is a fast and best takeaway. Glad I didn't read the article if the point is desert terrain is easier to fight in than jungle..
    .
     
  19. Dak

    Dak mentat

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    No, I referenced it as something that I noted a long time ago as a major factor. The article goes a lot more in depth, but you don't seem that interested in learning, so you do you.
     

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