I am almost finished listening to Shadow Warriors: Inside the Special Forces by Tom Clancy, with Carl Stiner and Tony Koltz. A few observations:
- Given time to plan, the US Military will accomplish the military objectives of the political goals set by civilian leaders with a minimum loss of American and opposition lives.
- Given insufficient time to plan, the US deaths will go up some, the opposition deaths will go up exponentially.
- US military leaders are the smartest, most educated, best trained, and most disciplined ever. So are the soldiers they lead.
- In the Special Forces, this translates to a 120 minimum IQ, fluency in languages and culture of target areas, multiple masters degree, and a psy-ops unit that, in the first Gulf War, included more than 50 Ph.D.'s.
- In Panama, when it was learned Noriega was a practitioner of witchcraft, a warrant officer with a masters in the subject was available to explain and interpret the displays found in his homes and offices.
- Shwartskoff wasn't a big fan of SF, and may have underutilized them in the liberation of Kuwait. However, the teams attached to all coalition forces provided a bridge for language and communications technology, as well as operational and tactical expertise.
- Logistics, logistics, logistics.
- We need to worry about a gap between a culture of discipline, responsibility, respect and relgious faith in the military and one of license, "rights", self-promotion, and secularism in significant parts of the rest of society.