Scholars and Warriors.

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by CutLunchCommando, Sep 5, 2007.

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  1. There are some great quotes in the Random Quotes but I think Carrots has struck gold with this one. Especially if you susbtitute Politician for Scholar, which I think is what Tucky...., Thuddy...., the greek bloke was trying to say.

    Does anyone disagree that we have a greater Cowardly Scholar than a Follish Warrior problem though?
  2. Leaving aside the scholar angle- 'cos I think Thucydides said what he meant to say- the quote reminded me of this article:

    Now, Petraeus is famously a pointyhead; he's taken on an Aussie anthropology professor (and reserve Col.) as a key advisor; so are the US, contrary to received opinion, recruiting brighter but possibly less soldierly chaps than us? The guy above sounds smart, but it doesn't sound like he'd break records on a PFT. If he was British, would he even have got past Westbury, let alone to Baghdad?
  3. Recent experience of working with them during the last couple of months is that clever a few of them may be, but less soldierly ought to be almost a given. Mind you, the conversation between one of their BCs and the full colonel commander of a field hospital about up coming deployments to AFG was enough:

    BC (who spent a year in Baghdad three years ago in an MP role) to Col who's unit will beat the gunner unit into AFG by about four months next year: So, Sir, do you get much in the way of cultural briefs in the mobilisation phase for Afghanistan?

    Medic Col: No, not really. <pauses to chew tobacco and then spit on the ground> Not much at all.

    BC: Well, I supose that's fair enough, we've all got experience of Iraq: I don't suppose there's much difference just across that one border...

  4. Actually this article sort of points more to what I was thinking of but obviously failed to express. Scholars as advisers to Politicians (and to a lesser extent politicians with Scholarly backgrounds, though they mostly seem to be lawyers these days). I suppose I was trying to exclude certain stripes of Scholar/Academic but then a double first in Greek was seen as a ideal education to be a minister of state at a time.

    It still is in some circles I imagine. :D
  5. I should also say that on the Warrior side I'm not just envisaging formally qualified people but also the Ewen Southby-Tailyours of the world.
  6. Speaking of whom:

  7. Thanks for posting those, Rumplestiltskin.

    Killcullen's "28 Articles" is an excellent aide-memoire, one that I haven't seen in British circles.

    Its seems a shame that BAR - the obvious forum for such articles - seems to have atrophied since its BAOR / PSO heyday. There always seem to be the regular articles comprising each of the following:
    - One involving lots of doctrine I barely understand
    - A WW2 reflection piece by Sydney Jary
    - A discussion about uniform / drill
    - Reproduction of a 50s COIN aide-memoire
    - Use of specialist assets on BATUS / in the jungle / in FIBUA
    - A winning RMAS / RA essay

    but rarely a pooling of experience and debate concerning the conduct of Bn / Coy level ops. We recognise its importance, and I've certainly encountered enough opinions on the matter, but are we curious and committed enough to try hard enough to collectively find common solutions?

    Perhaps the scholarly inclinations of army officers ( such as they are! ) are either disappated by continual ops / prep for ops, or channeled into largely conversational debates on ARRSE? Is it a bad thing that we *seem* to becoming less scholarly?

  8. Surely the UNCLAS nature of BAR prevents it being used for the purpose you suggest - isn't that why ATDN exists?

    As for on-line, the VitalGround website is certainly intended to address it; perhaps you should PM The_Hawk...

    There was a discussion a while ago about the US Army site,
  9. Er, yeah. Afraid that ATDN slipped my mind - don't know why. However the A-M Rumplestiltskin referred to was open, and I don't really see why the British equivalent should be any different.

    I regret that BAR has been marginalised. It is a resource open to all, in a relatively easy format. It is also on paper which - in addition to having an irrational appeal for me - makes it portable and ideal ruminative RHQ loo reading matter.

    I personally find a magazine more conducive to theoretical / scholarly contemplation than web sites. I confess to being too easily distracted by the site's look & hyperlinks, and find reading a screen uncomfortable.
    ( I have to add here that I am not a retired Colonel squinting at the screen through half moon glasses or a monocle! )

    While ARRSE has seen many interesting serious discussions it suffers somewhat from running issues being fragmented into many threads - often resulting in cyclical arguments, or particularly worthwhile contributions being lost because the author understandably doesn't want to recount it every time the issue arises. Those who have the most internet time are able to monopolise debate. Various angles to recurring problems are discussed and commonly slide down the forum within a week - for the "big issues" considered debate over months is probably more appropriate.

    While I find the invariable descent into ad hominem attacks entertaining it doesn't help either!

    However, I admit that, contrary to one of its editorials a while ago BAR / ATDN do not deserve, by right, to be the main forum for the Army's scholarly musings and tactical tips, and should adapt.

    Perhaps BAR / ATDN should go online as heavily moderated forums - perhaps no more than four posts per topic per user per week, with the best scholarly threads / letters / reviews published physically on paper and online in PDF format. Restricted - on ArmyNet, Unclass on paper.

    That said, with ARRSE and the below on line would soldiers & officers bother? Should they?

    Thank you - I will look into them.

  10. I know I've already posted this in a different forum, but it would make better sense here:

    This is something I strongly suspect we aren't doing...

    For all the spam-bashing, I respect their CoC more every day...
  11. Link dead, so here's the article again (sorry for repetition, mods):

  12. He'll be spinning in his grave at me making this link but this is pure Schumacher.
  13. Well Bugger Me!

    Article 24 "Small is Beautiful"

    Schumachers most famous work.