United Airlines Flight 1532
On a September night somewhere over the Midwest, Professor Scott Sagan was getting nervous. He was flying to Billings, Mont. — or at least, he was trying to — a pilgrimage of sorts that he’s made for each of the last six years. The trip was part of a Sophomore College seminar Sagan teaches, one of 20 selective courses that rising sophomores can apply to take for the last three weeks before fall quarter. Titled The Face of Battle, his course whips students through a weeklong history of military theory, starting with Carl von Clausewitz and his “remarkable trinity,” up to modern counterinsurgency combat like that in Afghanistan, or the ongoing ISIS conflict.
But the terminology has a way of distancing people from war’s gruesome reality. To get that, they visit battlefields.