Puncturing the myth of our Special Operations Forces, pawns in an unwinnable war

From the film Act of Valor.

Summary: Special Operations Forces are the heroes in the second phase, the 16th year, of the War on Terror. But years of failure have raised doubts that their bravery and skill have been well applied to these wars, or if they are even relevant. “Counterinsurgency is Not a Substitute for Strategy” --- "Insurgencies and Countering … Continue reading Puncturing the myth of our Special Operations Forces, pawns in an unwinnable war

A descent into darkness by our special operations forces

Summary: Only slowly have Americans begun to see the dark thing done in our name during our post-9/11 wars. For years we tightly closed our eyes. We told ourselves that only terrorists were killed, or fighters “on the battlefield” -- plus a few civilians as collateral damage. Slowly those lies get debunked and we see … Continue reading A descent into darkness by our special operations forces

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?

What is a fourth generation war, the wars of the 21st century? Who fights them, and why?

Summary:  We resume our analysis of modern war with a brief description of 4th generation war. Who fights it, and why. This is the 4th chapter in a series of posts following the 25th anniversary of the Marine Corps Gazette article “The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth Generation”. A series of writers explain our … Continue reading What is a fourth generation war, the wars of the 21st century? Who fights them, and why?