Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Reason Why

Over the last year my friend Mark Kinsey, has shown me the joys of gaming Africa in the Cold War period. His rational is to game conflicts that happened when he was in middle school. So after playing in several games was there are no good guys I thought it was time to move on to Lebanon.

The Israelis launched their Operation Peace for Galilee (Mivtsa Shlom HaGalil) just as I was graduating from high school and moving on to the US Navy. In junior high school and high school I was very interested in Israel and what was going on in that part of the world (to the distress of my good Catholic mother), but that June I was more interested in what my Company Commander thought of me. I had (oh how I wish I still had them) a great collection of books and magazines on the IDF and the conflicts in the Middle East. (Does anyone remember Born in Battle. I think I had the first six issues of it.)

Fast forward to October 23rd 1983. The USMC barracks was bombed at the Beirut airport. Our Marines were there to keep the peace, even though there was little peace to keep. I was now on my way to conduct “ASW training exercises” in the Mediterranean or so I told my family and girlfriend. Reality was we were there to protect the fleet from unfriendlies and there are a lot of unfriendlies in that neighborhood.

So you could say this conflict is personal and in many ways it is. But with Mark’s help we will study the conflict and set up simulations. I look forward to understanding Operation Peace for Galilee a little bit better.

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