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(From BBC Monitoring International Reports)
Text of report by Juan David Laverde Palma: "Padilla: Tactics and strategy", published by Colombian newspaper El Espectador website on 20 August; subheadings as published
After quickly glancing at his desk, crammed with rows of piled documents, Gen Freddy Padilla de Leon picks up a book with a colourful jacket. He browses slowly through the book and begins to smile - a strategic smile to be more precise - and then begins expounding in wonder about the impact of that book on his military career. Who would have thought: The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, is one of the new armed forces commander's favourite books.
"This is an extraordinary book that is apparently for children but as it turns out, its most important message is for adults," he says. "Look at this illustration: here the little prince is asking his father: 'what is this?' and the father replies: 'a hat'. And the little prince tells him no, it is a boa that has swallowed an elephant. And then he complains that adults do not see what it is. That is remarkable. It has helped me in my military career, to see beyond the obvious," the general adds in his coastal accent and calm intonation.
Almost 37 years of service …