Fort Polk Guardian 02-01-2019

Viewpoint 2/ The Guardian , a civilian enter- prise newspaper, is an authorized publication for members of the U.S. Army. Contents of the Guardian are not necessarily official views of, or en- dorsed by, the U.S. Government, De- partment of Defense, Department of the Army or Fort Polk. The Guardian is published weekly by the Public Affairs Office, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk. Printed circulation is 13,000. Everything advertised in this publication shall be made available for purchase, use or patronage with- out regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation or any other nonmerit factor of the purchaser, user or patron. A confirmed violation of this policy of equal opportunity by an ad- vertiser will result in the refusal to print advertising from that source. All editorial content of the Guardian is prepared, edited, pro- vided and approved by the Public Af- fairs Office, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk. The Guardian is printed by the Natchitoches Times , a private firm in no way connected with the Depart- ment of the Army, under exclusive written contract with Fort Polk. The civilian printer is responsible for com- mercial advertising. The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts and supplements, does not constitute en- dorsement by the Department of the Army or the Natchitoches Times of the products or services advertised. Guardian Editorial Staff Brig. Gen. Patrick D. Frank Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk commanding general Col. Jarrett Thomas II Garrison commander Kim Reischling Public affairs officer Chuck Cannon Editor Jean Dubiel Angie Thorne Staff writers Editorial Offices Building 4919, Magnolia Street Fort Polk, LA 71459-5060 Voice (337) 531-4033 Fax (337) 531-1401 Email: Trading post ads: Fort Polk Homepage Advertising For advertising contact (337) 404-7242 Email: In our view Guardian staff asked Fort Polk residents, "If you could get yourself anything, what would it be and why?" Here are their responses: Guardian Feb. 1, 2019 Sgt Christopher Ar- vey: "A house for me and my family on a nice island where I don't have to worry about anything." Pfc. Cory Arnett: "It would probably be a nice house where I can do what I want. I'm a home- body and some- thing like a fancy watch won't keep you warm at night." Pfc. Christian Ybar- ra: "I'd want to buy my Mom a ranch so she can have lots of horses. It's always been a dream of hers." Sgt. Corey Reed: "A winning lottery ticket so I can be rich." FORT POLK, La. — Think you know geography and how to read a map? Before you answer, read Parag Khanna’s “Connec- tography.” There is reading a map, seeing bor- ders and then there is “understand- ing a map and the real geography of map — independent of border lines drawn on a map.” That’s what I got from this book. I will have to admit, this was a tough read, and frankly, not for every- one. As I start- ed reading this book, I was drawn into and in- trigued (and admittedly – educated) by the author’s perspective on geogra- phy in relation to maps. His theme is that to assume you understand bor- ders, regional dynamics, relation- ships, trade and commerce relation- ships and complexities of interde- pendence by merely seeing the lines drawn on a map is amateurish and something to be considered heavily and seriously by the field grade mili- tary professional. Many of us have studied and ap- plied some of the techniques he talks about on a global scale in a micro- scale in counterin- surgency operations over the past almost two decades we have been in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places in what seems to be a perpetual state of conflict. I remember doing excruciat- ing country and provincial studies prior to numerous deployments and then refining those assumptions and studies with reality once in theater. What the author does really well — that it seemed we never reached — is explaining geographical “un- derstanding.” After studying this book, I feel all I ever achieved was an in-depth level of awareness. Maybe if we had the author’s per- spective on geographical impacts, we would have reached this level and potentially contributed more to the national strategic objectives. I don’t know, and likely never will. It is too late for me, I’m retired, but it is likely, you — the reader — are not. Reading this book could lead your team to a level of not only geograph- ical but also cultural understanding and make theater objectives a little clearer. The author talks things like flows, frictions, transactions, connections, Internet of things, “tug-of-war” war- fare, migration, devolution and countless other terms that will chal- lenge the reader and take military professionals out of our comfort zone. I won’t pretend to understand or discuss them all in this review but I will briefly highlight one that the ‘Connectography’ offers glimpse into megacities By Retired Lt. Col. MARK LESLIE DPTMS chief, Plans and Operations Please see Khanna, page 9 Book review Leslie For advertising contact Theresa Larue ( ) E ail: sales