Saturday, September 10, 2011

How we learn . . .

McChrystal outlines the terrorist and insurgent networks in Afghanistan. Photo: ISAF

A LOT OF PROGRESSIVES get into an automatic negative knee-jerk about Americans and their government. Indeed, mentioning anything that might be seen as "positive" gets lots of sincere progressives foaming at the mouth. That's unfortunate, because the knee-jerk can prevent the perception of change. While the America seems to be sliding into a 3rd world oligarchical fascist nightmare, there is competence to be found, even in this decadent juggernaut. And some of this competence is making some big changes that will affect your future — whether you happen to like the progenitors or not.

As well, I have pointed out another capability of Americans that a lot of progressives find absolutely infuriating: Americans can learn really quickly. Consider how the green American Army got its ass totally kicked by Rommel's Afrika Korps: it was like the Keystone Cops vs The Terminator. Yet 2 years later, Creighton Abrams (they named a tank after him) moved American armor over 125 miles in 24 hours through German resistance to relieve Bastogne. Erwin and Heinz never came close to matching this on their best days, nor Georgi Zhukov, either, come to think of it.

According to WIRED, the Americans learned from their enemy this time 'round, too. Spencer Ackerman has a fascinating article, "How Special Ops Copied al-Qaida to Kill It".

One of the greatest ironies of the 9/11 Era: while politicians, generals and journalists lined up to denounce al-Qaida as a brutal band of fanatics, one commander thought its organizational structure was kind of brilliant. He set to work rebuilding an obscure military entity into a lethal, agile, secretive and highly networked command — essentially, the United States’ very own al-Qaida. It became the most potent weapon the U.S. has against another terrorist attack.

That was the work of Stanley McChrystal. He is best known as the general who lost his command in Afghanistan after his staff shit-talked the Obama administration to Rolling Stone.

Inescapable as that public profile may be, it doesn’t begin to capture the impact he made on the military. McChrystal’s fingerprints are all over the Joint Special Operations Command, the elite force that eventually killed Osama bin Laden. As the war on terrorism evolves into a series of global shadow wars, JSOC and its partners — the network McChrystal painstakingly constructed — are the ones who wage it.

You may not like Americans, fine. I don't happen to like their politics, either. But stay current with their capabilities.


thwap said...


You have a boyish love for weaponry sometimes.

You also have an ugly dislike of Muslim culture. (Please note: Do not enter into paroxysms of whining about me forcing you to be politically correct. Just accept that this is the impression that you give sane people.)

And so, you post an enigmatic paean to the deadliness of the CIA's aerial drone campaign in Pakistan, and I wonder what your point is. (I thought you were celebrating the killing of Pakistanis with aerial drones.)

When I asked you what your point was, you typed "Know your adversary" and that Canada needed drones too. I wonder how you imagine someone is supposed to think anything other than that Canada should build its own drones to use against the USA?

Do you think that I, or anyone else, imagines that the US military, business, or political elites and their higher-level operatives are actually drooling idiots scratching in the dirt with sticks?

You have a knee-jerk tendency to label others as having a knee-jerk anti-Americanism.

Know your adversary.

Scanner said...

Afghanistan has been a catastrophe and McCrystal helped. They are fighting the wrong war with the wrong weapons at the wrong time. They are being held at bay by a ragtag bunch of guerrillas with very little resources and poor weapons. And they are bankrupting themselves. Using the tactics the US (and Canada) have been using guarantees failure

Scanner said...

Oh, and btw - Al Qeda was created by the CIA, so if McCrystal has used their structure, you know where he got it.

Edstock said...

Aw, Thwap, you just don't get it, but, alas, that appears to be par for the course.

I don't have a boyish love for weaponry sometimes — I have a respect for weaponry — all the time.

"I wonder how you imagine someone is supposed to think anything other than that Canada should build its own drones to use against the USA?" I don't — YOU do. If your reading comprehension were better, you might recall I suggested UAV's for Canadian Arctic patrol, to watch over our sovereign interests. That may or may not require "use against the USA".

thwap said...


Thanks for the Dr. Evil impersonation.

You are an incoherent thinker.

In the end, both of us thinks the other is an inconsequential nit-wit.

So let's leave it at that.