commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

The irony of command…Gen. McChrystal…a 'Snake Eater' has joined the regular Army and is reigning in Special Forces Operators……

It’s one thing to be an operator…it’s another to be the boss…..

This piece in the New York Times caught my eye and made chuckle…..(it’s not funny, just ironic)

General Stanley McChrsytal is the in country boss for ALL American and NATO troops in Afghanistan…..

He came from a Special Operations commad…….and he now finds it necessary to issue orders unifying Special Forces Operators under his command…..something he would have  not been happy about before assuming this command…..a lot of  regular Army bosses are going to be smiling……

McChystal is pursuing a policy of antiseptic war fighting…trying to get rid of collateral civilian death’s…..while this admirable….it is the antithesis of war it self…which,is brutal, randon….and uncertain…..

But in this age of instant communication’s and embeded reporters and asymmetrical war…civilian deaths have become a huge factor for an emeny to use against a larger foe…..

War is hell…and shit happens…..

But now McChrstal is the boss so he has been forced to deal with the aftermath of mistakes in the field …..instead of just getting a mission done….

Life is full of changes……

McChrstal see’s them everyday……

Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top American commander in Afghanistan, has brought most American Special Operations forces under his direct control for the first time, out of concern over continued civilian casualties and disorganization among units in the field.

“What happens is, sometimes at cross-purposes, you got one hand doing one thing and one hand doing the other, both trying to do the right thing but working without a good outcome,” General McChrystal said in an interview.

Critics, including Afghan officials, human rights workers and some field commanders of conventional American forces, say that Special Operations forces have been responsible for a large number of the civilian casualties in Afghanistan and operate by their own rules.

Maj. Gen. Zahir Azimi, the chief spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defense, said that General McChrystal had told Afghan officials he was taking the action because of concern that some American units were not following his orders to make limiting civilian casualties a paramount objective.

“These special forces were not accountable to anyone in the country, but General McChrystal and we carried the burden of the guilt for the mistakes they committed,” he said. “Whenever there was some problem with the special forces we didn’t know who to go to, it was muddled and unclear who was in charge.”

General McChrystal has made reducing civilian casualties a cornerstone of his new counterinsurgency strategy, and his campaign has had some success: last year, civilian deaths attributed to the United States military were cut by 28 percent, although there were 596 civilian deaths attributed to coalition forces, according to United Nations figures. Afghan and United Nations officials blame Special Operations troops for most of those deaths.

“In most of the cases of civilian casualties, special forces are involved,” said Mohammed Iqbal Safi, head of the defense committee in the Afghan Parliament, who participated in joint United States-Afghan investigations of civilian casualties last year. “We’re always finding out they are not obeying the rules that other forces have to in Afghanistan.”

The Special Operational Forces units have traditionally be under the command of their superiors back in the states…not the regular Army command structure in the theatre of operations…..The Dog reported on the same problem of unified command with the Marines in afatgahanistan…..and the top special operators ….Navy SEALS and Army Delta’s will still work outside the in-country chain of command…..

He [ Rear Adm. Gregory J. Smith, General McChrystal’s deputy chief of staff for communications ] depicted General McChrystal’s new policy as a natural outgrowth of the general’s plans all along to unify his command; when he first took charge, he brought together under his controlwhat had been separate NATO and American command structures in Afghanistan.

The NATO official said that the unified command initiative would be obeyed, though it was not universally popular. “They may not like it, they may not want to follow it, but they are going to follow it,” the official said.

Aides to General McChrystal say he has been deeply troubled by the continuing episodes of civilian casualties, including the three major ones still under investigation. “You won’t believe how focused on these issues this command is, almost more than anything else,” the NATO official said.

Mr. Safi, the Parliament member, expressed concern that with the continued exemption of some Special Operations units from the directive, the problem of civilian casualties would continue. “If they are excluded, naturally it means the same thing will happen,” he said. “If there are individuals who do not obey McChrystal, then what are they doing in this country?”

General McChrystal addressed that concern in the interview. “There are no operators in this country that I am not absolutely comfortable do exactly what I want them to do,” he said. “So I don’t have any complaints about that, particularly after the latest change.”

Tension between Special Operations and conventional commanders has often surfaced in the American military, but General McChrystal himself has a great deal of credibility in the black operations world. Before he became the top commander in Afghanistan, he was in charge of the Joint Special Operations Command in Iraq and Afghanistan, which ran elite, secretive counterterrorism units, believed to include Delta Force and the Seals, hunting high-value targets.

March 15, 2010 - Posted by | Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Military, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , , ,

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