Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) collects and analyzes data from a variety of current and historical sources, including Army operations and training events, and produces lessons for military commanders, staff, and students. CALL disseminates these lessons and other related research materials through a variety of print and electronic media, including their web site.

I learned about this organization from NPR's "This American Life". In this time of war, it seems like this would be the most important organization in the military. We have been in Iraq longer than we where in World War II and there is no sign of us being able to end the war. They collect lessons learned from training, experimentation, historical and lesson from actual combat in Iraq it seems like they would be able to create a plan for us to rebuild Iraq and leave.

Though there reference desk, which soldiers can call and get any information they request, only has 500 people call per month. They give out information on topics like traffic in Iraq, counter insurgency tactics, how to get warring factions to get along better and even football scores.

They are paid to research and then give answers needed, weird thing about all this is that there are a lessons that could have be learned from World War I and World War II and so many other sources on how to win the War In Iraq. If military had read "Reconstructing Iraq" then we would probably be out of Iraq now. Dr. Conrad C. Crane, Dr. W. Andrew Terrill outlined problems of Iraq in 2002. Reading it now seems like they had a crystal ball to see all of the problems that are occurring now. Though the where not just nay sayers they wrote solutions too. When writing "Reconstructing Iraq" Crane and Terrill looked at post war reconstruction efforts going all the way back to the Civil war. They learned lessons from our occupation of and nation building in Germany( after World War I and World War II), Japan, the Philippines, Hati, Samalia and Bosnia.

Hearing about this it is easy to think that the Military is hard headed and that the Center for Army Lessons Learned is a joke and that they army or the military in general never learns from lessons. Though in truth reconstruction of Germany after World War I went poorly but the took notes so after World War II the reconstruction was a great success.

All I can say about this is I hope that the US Government will learn from the lessons cause "Our enemies are going to make us fight these kind of wars until we get them right." - David Kilcullen, quoted by Conrad Crane On This American Life #333.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Oh Crazy Times in Wikiland

I am having a birthday party tomorrow, so I was reading about Tootles (one of Peter Pan's "Lost Boys") on Wikipedia. Which led to reading about Wendy Darling, which led to reading about Peter Pan Syndrome which led to reading about The Catcher in the Rye, which led to reading about banned books which led to reading about Josephine Mutzenbacher - The Life Story of a Viennese Whore, as Told by Herself the best selling pornographic novel of all time. The novel is famous in the German-speaking world, having been in print in both German and English for over 100 years. This I would normally just surf by, but it was probably written by Felix Salten. Felix Salten it turns out also wrote the books, "Bambi, A Life in the Woods", "Perri" and "The Hound of Florence" which inspired the Disney films Bambi, Perri and The Shaggy Dog.

The Jewish Museum of Vienna displayed an exhibit at the Palais Eskeles called "Felix Salten: From Josephine Mutzenbacher to Bambi" where the life and work of Felix Salten was on display, which ran from December 2006 to March 2007. Austrian State Parliament Delegate Elisabeth Vitouch appeared for the opening of the exhibit at Jewish Museum Vienna and declared: “Everyone knows Bambi and Josefine Mutzenbacher even today, but the author Felix Salten is today to a large extent forgotten.

It is crazy to me that Felix Salten's books inspired 5 Disney movies and 11 pornos.