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“Chang Yu says: ‘Humanity and justice are the principles on which to govern a state, but not an army; opportunism and flexibility, on the other hand, are military rather than civil virtues to assimilate the governing of an army.’”

Sun Tzu
The Art of War

“For inspiration I would turn again and again to Lieutenant Jason C. Redman, a Navy SEAL who had been shot seven times and had undergone nearly two dozen surgeries. He had placed a hand drawn sign on the door to his room at Bethesda Naval Hospital. It read, ‘ATTENTION. To all who enter here: If you are coming into this room with sorrow or to feel sorry for my wounds, go elsewhere. The wounds I received I got in a job I love, doing it for people I love, supporting the freedom of a country I deeply love. I am incredibly tough and will make a full recovery. What is full? That is the absolute utmost physically my body has the ability to recover. Then I will push that about 20% further through sheer mental tenacity. This room you are about to enter is a room of fun, optimism, and intense rapid regrowth. If you are not prepared for that, go elsewhere. From: The Management.’”

former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates
Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War

“After Vietnam and the stinging Washington scandals of the 1970's many [CIA] case officers feared local political entanglements, especially in violent covert operations. Many of them had vowed after Vietnam that there would be no more CIA-lead quixotic quests for Third World hearts and minds. In Afghanistan, they said, the CIA would stick to its legal authority: mules, money, and mortars. For many in the CIA the Afghan Jihad was about killing Soviets first and last. [CIA officer Howard] Hart even suggested that the Pakistanis put a bounty out on Soviet soldiers: 10,000 rupees for a Special Forces soldier, 5,000 for a conscript, and double in either case if the prisoners were brought in alive. This was payback for Soviet aid to the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong, and for many CIA officers who had served in that war it was personal.”

Steve Coll
Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001