Above: PGIA 30K SAR BLT. Sarsential 4: preparation, discipline and habituation unite in mixed-terrain-training (MTT).

"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave the trail."

Ralph Waldo Emerson, as quoted in Daniel Thouw's 'Alter Ego: A Worldwide Documentary About Graffiti Writing'

Official 'Alter Ego' website:

Director/artist Daniel Thouw's website:

"There is a general view that Vladimir Putin governs the Russian Federation as a dictator, that he has defeated and intimidated his opponents and that he has marshaled a powerful threat to surrounding countries. This is a reasonable view, but perhaps it should be re-evaluated in the context of recent events. [ ... ] Putin's strategy was to allow the government in Kiev to unravel of its own accord and to split the United States from Europe by exploiting Russia's strong trade and energy ties with the Continent. And this is where the crash of the Malaysia Airlines jet is crucial. If it turns out -- as appears to be the case -- that Russia supplied air defence systems to the separatists and sent crews to man them (since operating those systems requires extensive training), Russia could be held responsible for shooting down the plane. And this means Moscow's ability to divide the Europeans from the Americans would decline. Putin then moves from being an effective, sophisticated ruler who ruthlessly uses power to being a dangerous incompetent supporting a hopeless insurrection with wholly inappropriate weapons. And the West, no matter how opposed some countries might be to a split with Putin, must come to grips with how effective and rational he really is. [ … ] Putin's popularity at home soared after the successful Sochi Winter Olympics and after the Western media made him look like the aggressor in Crimea. He has, after all, built his reputation on being tough and aggressive. But as the reality of the situation in Ukraine becomes more obvious, the great victory will be seen as covering a retreat coming at a time of serious economic problems. For many leaders, the events in Ukraine would not represent such an immense challenge. But Putin has built his image on a tough foreign policy, and the economy meant his ratings were not very high before Ukraine."

George Friedman in 'Can Putin Survive?', today on the Stratfor-website:

"A frequent question that comes up during [ Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape ] training [ … ] is, "What is the most important key to surviving in the Amazon Jungle?" [ … ] The individual who is properly prepared enjoys a sense of control or composure. [ … ] the self-confidence which results yields an optimism that sustains the individual trough disappointments and difficult times.. This process produces resilience. [ … ] Given that individuals do not respond with equal effectiveness in captivity survival, what accounts for [ … ] varying degrees of resilience? A seemingly logical conclusion is that resilience is inborn [ … ]. While there is evidence that some equally [ unprepared ] individuals do adapt to novel situations more quietly and effectively than others, sound scientific research shows resilience is not the sole province of heredity. [ It ] can be acquired and learned. [ … ] Studies have identified three elements which are necessary to produce resilience. None of the three alone is sufficient to produce the desired result, but when properly combined, they yield optimum resilience. The first element is talent. Talent is the basic raw material of intelligence and creativity which allows the survivor to conceive of and apply coping strategies. An average amount of talent is sufficient. The second element is [ … ] motivation [ to survive ]. The third element is optimism. [ Without ] optimism [ … ] motivation and talent alone will not result in the confidence and persistence necessary for resilient survival behaviour."

Former SERE psychologist Dr. John Bruce Jessen in the paper 'Resilience: Can the Will to Survive Be Learned?'

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