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Equipment & Capabilities Relevant capabilities and equipment are table stakes for winning those hearts and minds.

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Old 06-19-2006   #1
SWJED
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Default The Hidden General

Newsweek Magazine - The Hidden General by Michael Hirsh and John Barry.

Quote:
No one would have mentioned his name at all if President George W. Bush hadn't singled him out in public. Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, West Point '76, is not someone the Army likes to talk about. He isn't even listed in the directory at Fort Bragg, N.C., his home base. That's not because McChrystal has done anything wrong—quite the contrary, he's one of the Army's rising stars—but because he runs the most secretive force in the U.S. military. That is the Joint Special Operations Command, the snake-eating, slit-their-throats "black ops" guys who captured Saddam Hussein and targeted Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi.

JSOC is part of what Vice President Dick Cheney was referring to when he said America would have to "work the dark side" after 9/11...

Rumsfeld is especially enamored of McChrystal's "direct action" forces or so-called SMUs—Special Mission Units—whose job is to kill or capture bad guys, say Pentagon sources who would speak about Special Ops only if they were not identified. But critics say the Pentagon is short-shrifting the "hearts and minds" side of Special Operations that is critical to counterinsurgency—like training foreign armies and engaging with locals. (Special Operations Command spokesman Ken McGraw says the Pentagon is "significantly increasing" those units.) Experts like former Deputy Defense secretary John Hamre are also concerned that Special Ops now has generic authority to deploy where it wants without case-by-case orders. Without proper civilian oversight, a Zarqawi-style success can easily become a "Black Hawk Down." Keeping that from happening is McChrystal's most important mission.
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