How SOF got Screwed by the Conventional Force–A Lesson from Jim Gant

For years, I have known how bad conventional military leadership ruined any hope for Afghanistan. During the initial invasion, our special operations force did an exceptional job in removing the Taliban from power and forcing Al Qaeda’s Afghanistan base to shatter like a broken vase. But in time, to be more precise, within approximately one year after the initial invasion, conventional military leadership and their wisdom screwed the pooch in country.

For whatever reason, conventional military leaders took over the mission in Afghanistan which was once controlled by the special operations community. I have spoken to some former high ranking DoD officials who have stated that the special operations force was merely meant to shape the battlespace prior to the conventional boots on the ground mission. Sadly, I continue to scratch my head as I had when I first heard this and find myself asking, “And what mission was that?”

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About the Author
is an internationally recognized security, terrorism, and intelligence professional. He has taught domestic and international organizations in counter-terrorism, intelligence, and physical security related issues. He has briefed some of the highest government officials ranging from ambassadors to members of Congress and Pentagon staff. He is author of the book Contracted: America's Secret Warriors and Contracted II: America's Terror Trackers, and Going Rogue: The Compilation.

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  • JamesFranklinMorris

    YankeePapa BlackOatmeal  But for counterinsurgency operations perhaps the phrase should be amended to "flip-flops on the ground."

  • BlackOatmeal

    Yankee Papa, to be fair to Combat Arms guys, I should change "never" to "might not." It's a bit arrogant for me to pigeon hole an entire demographic. if Leadership uses "a hammer as a screwdriver" then we can't go blame the individual Joe. The fact is we have to adapt and we ARE adapting to the new paradigm.

  • Allwet

    YankeePapa Allwet BlackOatmeal Roger YP, punched your reply instead.Misfyre isn't the only thing that misfires around here sometimes.

  • YankeePapa

    Allwet YankeePapa BlackOatmeal , . ...Uh, for some reason your reply to BlackOatmeal was addressed to me... content indicates that it was intended for him... . -YP-

  • Allwet

    YankeePapa BlackOatmeal .. an "online" presence with nothing else isn't much of a presence.But I will concede that we most likely grossly under utilize our computer/ web assets, or we use them inefficiently(NSA) comparatively speaking. Not sure I get your point on Ferguson, Mo. I will say as always in "exploding situations"...lots of "omissions"(complete knowledge and understanding of ALL the factors involved). Fire by "inflamed misinformation"is the media recipe for getting some action to cover(ie:to sell it Unconscionably by generating the most inflammatory account). The rule of law that only has meaning when it is administered as to popular opinion , is not a rule of law at all.They made a serious error in judgement when they "just let em riot", but that seems to be the modern solution.Echoes of good men doing nothing once again , no enforcement with out physical presence.