The "New Age" US Army,
Verifizierter Kauf(Was ist das?)
Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Men Who Stare At Goats (English Edition) (Kindle Edition)
Jon Ronson a "Gonzo" Journalist, non-fiction writer & documentary film maker in his 3rd book claims the US Army in the late 1970's and early 1980's adopted New Age concepts and developed psychological warfare techniques, non-lethal weapon systems and "human potential movement" for use in US Army units. His many vignettes are based on the stories told by "real people" who were involved in the initial development of many of these "techniques" in the Post-Vietnam 1970's. LTC Jim Channon is a retired US Army officer and developer of "The First Earth Battalion" which he continues to operate as a civilian organization. Did the US Army really have him develop this or did he do it on his own free time and continued his concept after he retired?
As a young US Army MI Officer at the end of the 1970's and early 1980s I had a lot of contact with Special Forces soldiers. In the Cold War years, they talked of "long hair" teams who infiltrated behind enemy lines as civilians and they also talked about those OTHER "long hair" teams. Maybe a test unit? Special Forces is trained in "unconventional" warfare which means "thinking outside of the box". The US Army does experiment with "new" concepts and some I have seen could be considered a bit "whacky". Unfortunately for the author, he can only report the stories of the people who told him and cannot get an official substantiation to prove that these "stories" are true or not.
The Army has been involved for years in developing non-lethal weapons such as BZ gas in the 1960's, Psychological warfare and many non-lethal weapons systems. After 9-11 a new interest in the development of these systems to help reduce collateral damage began and I think a lot of discussion was going on in military circles that Ronson picked up on and started to investigate the beginnings of this for his book.
Maybe we will know after 2030 when documents form the 1980's are declassified or we will find out if thrsr were just the "fantasies" of former military personnel.
The book was fun "escapist" reading whether you believe the various storylines in the book or not. He writes well, it is humorous with a "conspiracy" twist. Great weekend or beach reading!