I wonder if Sean has public sources for all the people named in the book. I received the book last night and though I have not read it all yet there is a tremendous amount of information that I do not think has been publicly acknowledged and I suspect a large number of the personnel named in the book probably to did not give permission to be named but were likely named by the apparently many anonymous sources who provided such information. I am of course not surprised that all the senior officers were named who have been in the public domain but there are a lot of lower ranking personnel whose names I was very surprised to see. I think some of the "sources" might become obvious because some of them are now television news commentator personalities and their "stories" are treated well. Also there are quit a few interesting insights about the senior leadership that might come from disgruntled junior members (though there are many lessons that can be learned especially how operations in Afghanistan unfolded from a JSOC/CIA perspective (and Sean does acknowledge that there are differing view points regarding Karzai between JSOC, the CIA and Special Forces.
I wonder where Sean got the definition of Unconventional Warfare: "The use of proxy forces to foment rebellion against an enemy state. In the U.S. Military it is the primary mission of Special Forces." Needless to say I am not named in the book and Sean did not ask for my opinion on UW.
But my favorite excerpt (so far) is this on page 162:
But despite - or perhaps because of - his repeated exposure to briefings on the high-end counterterrorism that was JSOC's forte, Rumsfeld's understanding of special operations remained
superficial and unbalanced. He did not recognize the value of unconventional warfare and foreign internal defense (helping an ally defeat an insurgency), which were the specialties of Special Forces as well as SOCOM's psychological operations and civil affairs units. To Rumsfeld, the value of special operations lay only in the spooky and lethal activities JSOC exemplified, not in training foreign militaries or standing up local militias. "There were some things that Rumsfeld said and did that indicated that we, his staff, had not fully and well explained to him the nature of special operations forces," said Andrews, a former Special Forces Officer. "He didn't understand and we didn't beat into him an appreciation of counterinsurgency as foreign internal defense, UW [unconventional warfare], the 'white' stuff.
"Rumsfeld ... didn't care about setting up networks, he didn't care about establishing forward operating bases, he didn't want to hear all that shit." said a Special Forces officer who briefed the secretary frequently. "He just wanted a way for bodies to show up." The result was Rumsfeld's almost blind faith in JSOC. "He didn't truly understand us, but he trusted us," Hall said. (yes, that is CSM(R) Mike Hall)
I will be using that quote in my next class on Unconventional Warfare for Policy Makers and Strategists. Thank you Sean.