March 11, 2006

Roman legions and video war games

The amateur Roman Legions

The U.S. military's logistical feats make the Romans look like amateurs by comparison. The entire greater Middle East, from Qatar to Afghanistan, is studded with vast installations, few of which existed just four years ago. Here, relatively safe behind rows of barbed wire and giant concrete barricades, tens of thousands of Americans can enjoy a simulacrum of their lives back home, albeit without their families (although there is a small but growing minority of soldiers who are married to each other and can wangle an assignment at the same installation). Soldiers may lead Spartan lives by the standards of modern America, but they enjoy luxury unimaginable to their predecessors in World War II or Vietnam. Dorm-style quarters (called "chews," for Containerized Housing Units) are stocked with iPods, TVs, mini-refrigerators, and air-conditioning/heating units.

Video war games making the military easier to understand


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