On Monday's ME, Tom Bowman and Renee Montagne assess the Obama War switch of commanders in Afghanistan from General McKiernan to General McChrystal and - boy - is Bowman juiced by McChrystal's Green Beret credentials.
"Well he's known, of course, for being a Green Beret - those are highly skilled soldiers that are adept at working with local forces and governments going after insurgents. He spent a lot of time in Afghanistan and Iraq as head of what's called the Joint Special Operations Command - that's a secretive and elite counterterrorism force. They were helpful in getting Saddam Hussein and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi....but he also has somewhat of a blemish on his record, too. He was involved in the case involving army ranger, Pat Tilman..."
Yes, indeed those Green Berets (and other US special forces) do have a history of being "adept at working with local forces and governments"! Green Berets involved in torture - what does that have to do with McChrystal and Afghanistan? Actually, quite a lot as Andrew Sullivan has noticed. As the Kaplan "Obama War" link above notes McChrystal's special force command included providing personnel to the US torture operations at Camp Nama in Iraq.
Bowman's not done putting the shine on the state terror that special operations are so special at. He tells us that
"McKiernan too conventional not really adept at this counterinsurgency warfare...he really wasn't focused on, they said, on protecting the population, which is the key thing in insurgencies like this."Whew, I bet all those Afghans are so relieved that McChrystal will be helping to protect them, especially now that he will be "getting the added troops and civilian experts that they need to help rebuild the country..." Is that special, or what?