Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Three Busy Weeks

It's been sort of a busy week. The next couple of weeks look busy, too. Here's what's been going on.

Today was our first for-credit event. Well, let me qualify that: a few people have made presentations in Strategic Intelligence, but the first main event for all of us was today. With a time limit of ninety minutes and four available topics, we were to write an essay of approximately two thousand words. The available topics were as follows:

1. What is strategy, and how useful is strategic analysis in national security policy-making?

2. Identify the tenets of the strategic thought of two of the following: Sun Tzu, Thucydides, Machiavelli, Clausewitz and Van Creveld. Assess their validity to modern conditions of conflict.

3. Explain why and how the conduct of war was transformed between 1815 and 1914.

4. Consider the view that the use of the military instrument is no longer a viable foreign policy option.

We were allowed a half-sheet of notes, not to exceed one hundred fifty words. Over the last several days, we carefully assembled these note sheets - mine was put together a couple of weeks ago, and I refined it twice last night. From the sound of things, everybody came ready for a fight today, because everyone I talked to was pretty satisfied with their performance. My confidence, preparation, and pre-exam rituals paid off. I won't know for sure until next week, but I'm fairly confident in my performance. I was taught to write well, and under duress, by four of the best teachers and professors a guy could hope for. I was also taught military history by a series of exceptional instructors, and for that I'm quite grateful.

So, that kept me busy the last couple of days. My presentation for Strategic Intel is tomorrow afternoon, and I'll be spending Friday, Saturday, and Monday working on a project to be discussed later.

In mid-November, I have a five thousand word essay due for Strategic Intel, but Gus will also be arriving during that timeframe with my other sea bag, so I'm going to try to get that essay completed next week. I've got it to about seventy-five percent, what remains is to finish the writing, refine the writing and format, and then reformat it for submission. I think that if I focus next week, I can get it done.

I have a few items waiting in the hopper, so I'll try to spread them out over the course of next week. Stay tuned. Good things are coming to the Operation Highlander blog.

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