Brandon Friedman

Profile in Government Executive, May 2012

Profile in Government Executive, May 2012

"There are some militarists who say: ‘We are not interested in politics but only in the profession of arms.’ It is vital that these simple-minded militarists be made to realize the relationship that exists between politics and military affairs. Military action is a method used to attain a political goal. While military affairs and political affairs are not identical, it is impossible to isolate one from the other."

— Mao Tse-tung, On Guerrilla Warfare

"Confront a child, a puppy, and a kitten with a sudden danger; the child will turn instinctively for assistance, the puppy will grovel in abject submission, the kitten will brace its tiny body for a frantic resistance."

— H.H. Munro (Saki), The Achievement of the Cat.

"If you want to be big time, you’ve got to sacrifice: who you hang out with, what you eat, how long you practice, the way you live your life."

— Lou Holtz, on TV several years ago during a halftime show

"It’s impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror. Horror has a face…and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies. I remember when I was with Special Forces. Seems a thousand centuries ago. We went into a camp to inoculate the children. We left the camp after we had inoculated the children for Polio, and this old man came running after us and he was crying. He couldn’t see. We went back there and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile. A pile of little arms. And I remember…I…I…I cried. I wept like some grandmother. I wanted to tear my teeth out. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. And I want to remember it. I never want to forget it. I never want to forget. And then I realized…like I was shot…like I was shot with a diamond…a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought: My God…the genius of that. The genius. The will to do that. Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we. Because they could stand that these were not monsters. These were men…trained cadres. These men who fought with their hearts, who had families, who had children, who were filled with love…but they had the strength…the strength…to do that. If I had ten divisions of those men our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have men who are moral…and at the same time who are able to utilize their primordial instincts to kill without feeling…without passion…without judgment…without judgment. Because it’s judgment that defeats us."

— Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now on having the strength to do what is necessary to succeed in armed conflict.