Photo by Ted Van Pelt (Flickr CC)
Al-Qaeda can get awfully difficult at times. We call it asymmetric warfare, after all. According to Wikipedia (my trusty Man Friday in times of blog block), " 'Asymmetric warfare' can describe a conflict in which the resources of two belligerents differ in essence and in the struggle, interact and attempt to exploit each other's characteristic weaknesses."
I beg to differ. I think asymmetric warfare is when one side has helicopters, smart bombs, nuclear warheads and Tornado jets, and the other side has Semtex, a bucket of nails and an unlimited supply of gullible idiots.
But the point is, when dealing with terrorists you never know what's around the corner. One day they're blowing up a cauliflower, the next day they're kidnapping a chimney sweep – the key is that all-important element of surprise.
So what better way to train soldiers for the rigours of the 21st century battlefield than a random approach – hence the Gorch Fock's curriculum of waterskiing and sexual harassment. You might scoff, but the next time you're on a river and a militant sexual deviant suddenly comes at you out of the reeds swinging a snooker ball in a sock, you might wish you'd paid more attention. With a ramp and a speedboat you can simply jump clear of even the most determined marauding nonce.
Now we see what a genius move it was of Angela Merkel to make Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg defence minister. He might be the poshest and most popular potential Chancellor rival in the German political firmament, but keeping one's political career together is hard when you constantly have to defend the actions of a bunch of armed nutjobs with too much time on their hands.