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Friday, August 21, 2015

Lone Survivor

Ben Foster as Matt 'Axe' Axelson
Grim little story of four Navy SEALS who are dropped off in lower Slobovia, sorry, some obscure part of Afghanistan, to take out a Taliban honcho. As you can tell from the title, things do not go well. It's a true story, though the movie was made in Hollywood, so some liberties have been taken.
    One interesting thing about this movie was the mountains. I've climbed a couple of hills, and any time I got above 10,000 feet it was a friggin' struggle, but then I have a flaky heartbeat. Robert Kaplan in Soldiers of God talks about how once Afghans are away from town they can walk up mountains without even breathing hard. Here we have Navy SEALS, young men in their prime, trained to perfection, and climbing this hill is a chore even for them. Which makes me think that maybe they should have done a little more high altitude acclimatization. On the other hand, this was a movie, and maybe the cues I picked up didn't accurately portray these soldiers tolerance for moderately high altitudes.
     Our guys did manage to kill a bunch of the ragheads, which makes me think that we do know how to train our soldiers. Still, ten to one is not good odds, even if you are ten times better than your opponents. That just makes it about even.

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