Seen on ‘Dune’ – and Influenced – Half a Century of Worldwide Conflict


Before his Sending to Iraq in 2003, Ryan Kort saw a copy of the paper Dune at a bookstore near Fort Riley, Kansas. The 23-year-old second lieutenant was intrigued by the black cover of the book, which features an intricate image of a desert landscape next to the title and the silhouettes of two robed figures walking across the sand. Despite its 800-plus pages, its small print makes it a relatively dense cubic object. So he bought it and took it to the Gulf, the only novel he wrapped in his mouth including his Army manuals and farm guides.

Kort read the book in moments of scarcity in the following weeks, as he led his platoon of 15 soldiers and four tanks through the Kuwaiti desert, and after they lived in a powerless state. , an abandoned building in Baghdad. It tells the story of a young man who leaves a lush green world and arrives on the increasingly dangerous and arid planet Arrakis, which beneath its sands is a critical resource for all. competing universe. (“At that time, when people said‘ This is a war for oil, ’I would roll my eyes at them,” he said of the Iraq War. “I don’t go around anymore. my eyes on it. “)

The similarities felt unsurprising, he recalls. As the call to prayer woke up around him that afternoon in the dark building of the Iraqi capital, he said he felt a connection to Dune. Reading the book felt almost like watching a much larger story mirror the one in which he played a small part. “There’s something in the book that really clicked,” he said. “It’s past the time I’ve been here.”

The Court will be a Dune fanatical, reading and also reading the entire six -book series by Frank Herbert. But a few more years later, after his second takeover in Iraq – an even heavier tour of duty where he was assigned to a hotbed of the Sunni insurgency, his troops were constantly hit by bombs in by the way – that he was starting to see more similarity.

Afterwards, in Dune it was the native Fremen that the insurgents, guerrilla tactics later proved superior. Not the protagonists of Atreides, the villains of Harkonnen, or even the galactic emperor and his spartan warriors Sardaukar. It doesn’t matter what comparison you choose for the United States — or whether the Fremen of that resemblance are Iraqi or Afghan — the rebels can’t win or have more superpower.

“You look at it now and you think to yourself, well, of course the lessons are there, aren’t they? We know that a preponderance technology is not a guarantee of success. That the military element is only national power your intentions are uncertain sometimes, ”said Kort, who now serves as the Army’s strategic planning and policy plan. “It has these bad human natures out there, where people have the dignity and interest attached to it. And the enemy is sometimes willing to pay a higher cost.”

In the decades since Herbert’s publication Dune, in 1965, the ecological, psychological, and spiritual theme was asked to win the award for good result in coming out beyond a hardcore sci-fi audience. In his own public commentary on the book, Herbert focused all on environmental messages, and later he became a class ecological guru, making his home in Washington state, which he called Xanadu, to a DIY innovation experiment.

But reading Dune half a century later, when many of Herbert’s environmental and psychological ideas were mixed up in the tree or out of style-and to erupt into the disastrous fall of the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan after 20 years of war – it’s hard not to hit, instead, the book’s focus on human conflict: an intricate, highly detailed world of factions relentlessly striving for power and advantage by exploiting every tool available. they can use. And Herbert’s vision of the future is now revered by a class of sci-fi-reading geek in the military and intelligence community, nerves of war who saw the book as a more experienced lens. for understanding conflict on a global scale.



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