February 18, 2006

SPECIAL FORCES: here’s more on Rumsfeld’s new defense strategy:

Each of the four military services has special-operations forces, which are overseen by U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Fla. For the most part, they fall into two categories. “Black units,” such as the Army’s elite Delta force and the Navy’s SEALS, focus primarily on highly sensitive “direct action” missions such as hunting terrorists or rescuing hostages. “White units,” like the Army’s Green Berets, work closely training, advising and in some cases fighting alongside indigenous forces world-wide.

Under Mr. Rumsfeld’s plan, special-operations forces would work in small teams, fanning out to remote corners of the globe to live with, train and advise indigenous security forces battling terrorists. Troops also would gather intelligence and build relationships with locals over the course of months and years.

“To succeed…the U.S. must often take an indirect approach, building up and working with others,” Mr. Rumsfeld’s review states. It uses the term “indirect approach” no less than 11 times.

An oblique approach often works.

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