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May 02, 2011



Eric: After taking a break, I am back to my blog. I agree on both your counts: First, to be sure, without good, reliable intelligence, high risk special operations cannot succeed. Second, I know from my own experience in class how much student-veterans contribute and offer in terms of personal experiences and perspectives that other students and instructors cannot. I am glad that Columbia students now have the choice of joining the ROTC program without the hardship of traveling to another campus.

Eric Chen

Good summary, Professor Nacos. I'm going to link to it. Additional points:

Living in Abbottabad effectively protected bin Laden from drone missile attacks. I wonder who else is living there?

The partner to Special Operations is Intelligence. The bin Laden hit is an Intelligence success story 4 years in the making that vindicates the controversial Intelligence methods approved by both the Bush and Obama administrations.

Current Columbia undergrads were 9-12 years old on 9/11, just old enough to remember the world on 9/10, the trauma of 9/11, and then to have their formative years defined after 9/11. Their reaction to the news seemed very deeply felt. Their reaction helps explain the strong student support, which surprised some professors, for reengaging ROTC at Columbia.

The news was also very personal for the many student-veterans attending Columbia, almost all of whom by now served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan. We have Columbia graduates serving over there right now.

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