Academic journal article Military Review

MR Letters

Academic journal article Military Review

MR Letters

Article excerpt

Being Ever Vigilant

As the US Army enters a new century of peacemaking, as well as peacekeeping, renewed emphasis must be placed on guarding against terrorism. The need to be ever vigilant is amply illustrated by the embassy bombings in Sudan and Afghanistan. The study of terrorismthe poor man's mode of warfareshould be absolutely required at both the US Army Military Academy, West Point, New York, and the US Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. We should never again be so naive regarding the mood of the peoples who live around our embassies. We should also foresee what is truly required to attain and maintain security for those facilities. Improved intelligence and truly coordinated efforts to better allow us to know our foe will help ensure that terrorists lose their "war of the future."

SSG Joe Hammel, USA,

Retired, Waynesboro, Pennsylvania

The View from Tunisia

The week my family and I spent in Tunisia was one of the most enjoyable and enlightening I have had in a some time. I had never been in an Islamic country-unless you count Bosnia-and I had never been in an Arabic country. I knew the culture was rich and diverse, but even so, I was almost overwhelmed by what I found.

Tunisia apparently is about as far as you can get from Talaban-style extremism and still be in an Islamic country. The Tunisians actually pride themselves on the political, social and legal freedom women enjoy. We saw many women still completely covered in the traditional veils, but we also saw many in typical Western dress. It is apparently a matter of personal choice.

We spent the week based in Tozeur, which is on the edge of the Sahara next to a huge oasis. In the Middle Ages, it was one of the biggest cities in the country-in fact, the population was three times larger than it is now. A good part of the old town from the 1300s is still standing. Much of the newer town is built in the style of the older town.

A unique type of off-white brick made of clay and sand is produced in the area. The brick factory is an open-air operation where the bricks are still made by hand, using a technique that came from Yemen in the 5th century. One worker produces 500 bricks a day. By Western standards this is about as primitive an industrial operation as one could find. However, the workers possess a fierce sense of pride in their skill and craftsmanship. …

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