This is a thoughtful piece by David Tucker on how to understand the use of America’s Special Operations Forces (SOF). You know these guys: they live with the people they need to know, they ride horses and call in precise bombs using cool techno-gizmos. They are all steely eyed, bearded, native-looking guys who get more calm and confident as the pressure increases. In short, they’re not your typical sociology professor. Tucker has a serious point for us (and Rumsfeld): In this kind of warfare it is much more difficult to find the enemy than it is to kill him; the opposite is true in conventional warfare. The problem now is not a firepower problem, it is an intelligence problem. Tucker suspects that the folks at Defense don’t quite see this as clearly as they should (witness the order to SOF’s to be clean shaven and to dress in regular uniforms!). Hence they are hindering the real work of the SOF’s. A must read.
Making SOFs shave and wear uniforms is not the sort of mistake Churhcill would have made.