Last October I trekked through the high Atlas Mountains in central Morocco with four other midshipmen studying Arabic on a semester-abroad program. While hiking, we discovered to our dismay that the few local shepherds in the area spoke only Berber. This added more excitement to a low-budget adventure. With no guide, we navigated with free maps of questionable quality downloaded from the Internet. As we struggled to communicate, we thought of recent U.S. struggles in Iraq and Afghanistan during the past decade, and how our military leaders and strategists had slowly realized how difficult it would be to achieve success in those nations. Despite having more capability and precision weaponry than ever before, we lacked a deep understanding about those we were fighting, which allowed disadvantaged insurgent forces in two separate theaters to achieve surprising success against the best-trained and -armed military in the world.
Nobody Asked Me, But . . . - We Must All Be Warrior-Diplomats
By Midshipman Henry Bond, U.S. Navy