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GEN McChrystal On ISIS: Four Tips From Someone Who Actually Knows How To Fight Terrorists


Stashed in: Strategery, Military!, Middle East, Military

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It takes a network to beat a network.

1)  “The effectiveness of a group is not its numbers, it’s how effectively it’s connected.” 

This was certainly true of JSOC, whose relatively small size belied the organization’s enormous impact on the battlefield in Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other locations around the world.  McChrystal correctly recognized that small groups of specially selected, highly trained, and well-supported operators, backed by superb intelligence, could be entrusted to do what needs to be done in a complex, protracted, and often bloody conflict.  JSOC wasn’t a large organization when McChrystal took over as commander, but because he was effective where others weren’t, he kept getting more and more resources and achieving better and better results.

A key aspect of the success of McChyrstal’s plan was his emphasis on building a network to defeat a network

Unlike many others in the Special Operations community, McChrystal was willing to reach out to other units, other services, other agencies, and even other countries to put a team together that used precision intelligence to drive operational and tactical decisions that resulted in operations at a pace faster than the enemy could withstand.  Units under McChrystal’s command would crack open enemy networks and exploit them up and down the chain until those organizations were utterly exhausted and completely neutralized.  Then they would move on to the next one.  This is the kind of mindset, commitment, and persistence that it will take to defeat ISIS.

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