AFB_8000Max Brooks, the author of World War Z, addressed over 150 cadets, staff, and faculty, as part of a MWI Speaker Series titled: Imagining Future War. Brooks merges science fiction (zombies) with actual historical events  to inform his audiences about global disasters and crisis preparedness. He  urged cadets to consider an “alternative history,” as a way to think of what is not probable but might be possible. “You need to learn to think creatively now,” he told the audience in the Washington Hall auditorium. “Counterinsurgency is essentially improv theater.”  Cadets asked Brooks about sections and inspiration for his most famous books, World War Z and Harlem Hellfighters.  He chastised “rigid thinking” among military generals in history who failed to adapt, giving the example of the British trained to fight a Napoleonic war but who lost to the Zulus around the turn of the 19th century. He also discounted the importance of technology to decide future military innovation. Brooks encouraged the cadets in the audience to think hard about counterfactuals – what if Osama bin Laden had gotten his wish to go in and fight Iraq after the 1990 invasion of Kuwait? – and to prepare for every possible contingency in war by thinking creatively.

 


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