Chapter 7

Dragon-Slayers

You know, it would sort of be like, if you’re a dragon-slayer and there just were no more dragons. And then you wonder, like, who am I and what am I doing here?

—Laird Hamilton1

Clausewitz, Updated

How must we engineer the turn to humanity that General Dallaire exhorts us to accomplish in the 21st century? Against the backdrop of the progression laid out in the introductory chapter from fighting to competing to imagining to leading, how do we civilize our martial impulses, even as we add the bite of pragmatism to our everyday civilian dreams? We can begin with the point where the two worlds cross over into each other and—at least for this chapter—with the young men who seem predisposed to make that happen.

In 2007–2008, ...

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