Should we use our special operations troops as assassins? Is it right, or even smart?

Summary: As we learn the details about the raid by US special operations forces on bin Laden's home, we should reflect on how we have used our elite troops since 9/11. Years of dark deeds with bad outcomes show a people on the road to failure. Closing our eyes while we fantasize makes the ride … Continue reading Should we use our special operations troops as assassins? Is it right, or even smart?

What overthrew the Taliban: Special Forces’ guns or CIA’s cash?

Summary: The information superhighway gives us the illusion of knowledge about our world. Yet the past 50 years teaches us that we know so little and that so much remains hidden for so long. Previous posts provide examples from the post-WWII era. Today we look at a telling vignette from our post-9/11 era, a story … Continue reading What overthrew the Taliban: Special Forces’ guns or CIA’s cash?

Expanding the size and scope of our Special Operations Forces, an alternative to learning from our failed wars

Summary:  The military runs to daylight, using the public's fears and cheers to expand. We make that easy, since Americans have long loved bold violent heroes. Our latest heroes are the men of the Special Operations Forces. And so the military literature fills with proposals for their expansion in size and missions. Without, unfortunately but typically, … Continue reading Expanding the size and scope of our Special Operations Forces, an alternative to learning from our failed wars

The military takes us back to the future. To Vietnam, again and again.

Summary: Now that our most recent wars are ending, we have an opportunity to learn. Will we? Making clear insights more difficult, our war machines has already started preparing us for new wars: threat inflation plus cheap/easy solutions. After 9-11 we bought such stories about Iraq and Afghanistan, with no questioning or skepticism. Will we … Continue reading The military takes us back to the future. To Vietnam, again and again.