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Archive for Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lawrence man to appear on History Channel

Gary Bjorge’s familiarity with military history, Asian culture good background for examining ‘The Art of War’

April 28, 2009

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Military strategic lessons from Sun Tzu, the Chinese author of “The Art of War,” have lived on for centuries.

Even the U.S. Army at Fort Leavenworth emphasizes the tactics for military personnel at its Command and General Staff College.

“He addresses pretty much the entire range of issues or factors that come into play in warfare,” said Lawrence resident Gary Bjorge, who has taught military history at Fort Leavenworth for 25 years.

Sun’s strategy requires military leaders to incorporate economic, diplomatic and political factors when crafting a battle plan, said Bjorge, who will be featured in a two-hour special about Sun at 7 p.m. Sunday on The History Channel, Sunflower Broadband channels 54 and 254.

The special, called “The Art of War,” will examine how Sun’s book, which was written 2,400 years ago, and his military strategy have had a lasting impact on several wars, including Roman battles, the American Civil War, World War II and present-day combat. The special also will focus on how his ideas could transfer to sports, business or other aspects of life, according to a preview.

Bjorge, who was a curator of the Chinese collection at Kansas University’s East Asian Library from 1980 to 1984, traveled to Boston in September to be interviewed for The History Channel special.

Bjorge said Sun is one of the great military thinkers of all time because in his planning he considered all factors and forces that could be in play before moving an army for battle.

“If you can understand this potential in a situation and the potential energy there, then you can come up with strategies and a course of action that will allow you to achieve your objective without expending too much energy yourself,” Bjorge said.

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