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.