August 4, 2006
The Art of War
I'm not a military guy but I have heard bullets whistle past me and, while wandering about on my own I have had loaded weapons shoved in my face by grubby paramilitary types in ambiguous situations. Which is to say, I deeply respect people who deal with war for a living. Two things about Lt. Gen. Paul K. Van Riper (Ret.) impress me most. First, he's a leader—if I were in uniform under his command I wouldn't grouse (much) at getting killed for the cause, whatever that might be. Second, he's honest—the kind of honest that steps on toes, breaks china, or otherwise frequently perturbs the panjandrums. How refreshing! I'd like to think that I hew to similar high standards though I dare say mine must be much less useful in practice. In any case, I sought Gen. Van Riper's expertise on fourth generation warfare but found a much grander range of insight. A welcome surprise. Gen. Van Riper was most generous to take the time, for which I sincerely thank him. Runtime of about fifty four minutes. Enjoy!