Major General Mike Nagata has been named to command the effort to form a guerrilla force to fight ISIS. Nagata is a career Green Beret who is highly regarded within the Big Army and the Pentagon. His appointment shows that the administration is serious about an unconventional effort in the region and has put the professionals in charge. Nagata is picking an all star inter-agency team to bring an all encompassing multi modal attack right where ISIS lives.
In the weeks since he was named, wheels have been turning and preparations being made. According the AP, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday that Saudi Arabia would host the training. It is rumored that Jordan will support training bases also. The plan is to produce 5000 guerrillas in the next year. Training soldiers is the easy part, but these guys are not just going to be cannon fodder. The most important part of Nagata’s job is to build a command-and-control structure with viable political support among democratic groups in Syria.
Previously in charge of Special Operations Command for Central Command, Major General Nagata has presented classified briefings to congressional members and staffers. He was met with some healthy skepticism, but he is a true believer in unconventional warfare and has been very persuasive. This campaign will not be a repeat of the conventionally driven training of the Iraqi army.
This is some very good news for America. Our guys are the very best in the world at unconventional warfare. With a competent Special Operations chain of command, our guys can do their best work. Without delving into speculation, which could help our enemies, I expect an integrated, joint unconventional-warfare campaign which will use every element of allied power to make some very bad things happen to ISIS politically, economically, and militarily. I am not sure ISIS will still be a coherent force by the time the 5000 guerrillas show up.
(Featured Image Courtesy: Staff Sgt. Horace Murray)