Apr 30

Though millions of businesses rely on PowerPoint for daily projects such as slide shows, web building and even graphics editing, some sects of our countrymen are not so impressed. In Kabul last summer, General Stanley A. McChrystal, the leader of the American and NATO forces in Afghanistan was shown a PowerPoint slide with the intention to show the complexities of American military strategy. However, it all ended up looking like something far more complicated. As the General left the meeting he stated that they could easily win the war only once they understand the slide.

Since then the slide show has went viral and been passed around on the internet as an example of a strategic military tool that has gone out of control. It seems that PowerPoint has now crept into the lives of military strategist and become somewhat of an obsession for its users. Nowadays PowerPoint seems to be an ongoing joke in the Pentagon and in Iraq and Afghanistan.

General James Mattis of the Marine Corps claims that PowerPoint makes us stupid, as he spoke without using PowerPoint. General H.R. McMaster banned the use of PowerPoint presentations while he led the efforts to secure the city of Tal Afar in 2005. He compares PowerPoint to an internal threat. In a telephone interview he claimed that PowerPoint was dangerous as it creates an illusion of control and says that some of the world’s problems are not going to be resolved by using PowerPoint slide shows.

General McMasters claims that PowerPoint’s worst offense is its bullet points that do not take into consideration the political, economic or ethnic forces. He says that if you remove all of those issues from a war, then it simply becomes an exercise in futility. Commanders feel that behind all of the slide shows and bullet points critical thinking may be lost.

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