I've been meaning to plug a terrific new site, World Politics Watch, and today gives me the perfect opportunity -- a story from DefenseTech contributor David Axe, titled "Military Training Goes Hollywood."
To better prepare its troops for tough counterinsurgency warfare, the U.S. military is investing in super-realistic exercises that combine traditional live-fire training with sophisticated cultural instruction and Hollywood-style special effects that blur the lines between training and combat.At the start of the so-called Global War on Terrorism, the military's combat training infrastructure reflected an entrenched Cold War mentality. . . .That was then. Five years later, NTC and JRTC have transformed into high-fidelity simulations of Iraq and Afghanistan, complete with mock towns, Iraqi expatriates portraying restive natives, "insurgents" played by highly trained soldiers and sophisticated scripting and assessment that ensures U.S. troops are prepared for the latest challenges in evolving conflicts. The Marines, with a much smaller training establishment and less money, have launched their own small-scale realistic exercise while also sending units to the Army's events.World Politics Watch, by the way, is the brainchild of Hampton Stephens, a former Inside the Air Force editor and colleague of mine who's created a unique news service covering foreign policy, national security and international affairs. Bookmark it.-- Dan Dupont