Danger Room has an article posted fact checking the claims made in the new The Men Who Stare at Goats movie:
Hippie Army? True. Lt. Col. Jim Channon dove deep into the New Age movement, and came back to the military with a most alternative view of warfare — one in which troops would carry flowers and symbolic animals into battle. In the movie, Channon is played by Jeff Bridges. His First Earth Battalion is renamed the “New Earth Army.” But the ideas are the same. Much of the artwork from the New Earth manual is lifted straight from the Channon original.
Channon has been taking advantage of the publicity for his cause; this week he has a column in the Guardian newspaper, suggesting (among other things) that armies should be used for reforestation and navies to control over-fishing.
The military’s interest in Eastern and alternative practices is once again on the rise. “Warrior mind training“, apparently based on ancient Samurai techniques, is being taught at Camp Lejeune as a possible treatment for PTSD. Elsewhere the Army has a $4 million initiative exploring other approaches including Reiki, transcendental meditation and “bioenergy.” The Air Force is looking into acupuncture for battlefield pain relief.
Keiko Wakabayshi, nicknamed the “Samurai Granny” effortlesssly neutralises an opponent
“Martial arts expert Keiko Wakabayshi, nicknamed the “Samurai Granny”, has been hired by the country’s military to train recruits in hand-to-hand combat. Miss Wakabayshi, who stands exactly 5ft tall, looks tiny compared to her charges who are mostly over 6ft. But the pensioner is a trained master in an array of martial arts disciplines including jujitsu, jojitso, kenjitso, judo, kendo and karate. She wipes the floor with soldiers of the Folgore brigade at their barracks in Livorno on a daily basis.”