â€œWe are currently locked in an insurgent war, one thatâ€™s likely to go on for a very long while,â€ writes Dick Couch, author of Chosen Soldier: The Making of a Special Forces Warriorand many other books. Chosen Soldier is the main book Iâ€™ll be blogging about this summer. This niche of the militaryâ€”the Green Beretsâ€”is a significant detail of a larger issue that will figure prominently, not only in the upcoming election, but also in our nationâ€™s near future and that of the rest of the free world.
This war with terrorists and religious radicals in the Middle East has made both our technology and â€œconventional military superiorityâ€ nearly irrelevant. Whatâ€™s needed now is getting an â€œinâ€ with the locals in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. They are the ones who can tell our soldiers who the enemy is. â€œSimply stated, if we lose or fail to gain the popular support of the people, we lose it all,â€ writes Couch in the introduction to his book. â€œOur initial victories in Afghanistan and Iraq will have been for nothing.â€
(Iâ€™ll leave alone whether or not we should have entered this â€œwar on terrorâ€ in the first place. Regardless, weâ€™re in it now. So we have to be savvy about where we are and what weâ€™re now doing there.)
So, we are in a very different war, indeed. (For example, as Anne highlighted and I referred to in my first post on Chosen Soldier, weâ€™re dealing with suicide bombers the age of U.S. high school freshmen.) It is one that requires intelligence as much asâ€”really, much more thanâ€”it requires brute strength. And thatâ€™s where our branchesâ€™ special operation forces come inâ€”namely, Army Special Forces (SF), or Green Berets. As Couch writes, â€œSpecial Forces are the most valuable asset on this battlefield. The Special Forces soldier is the most important man in uniformâ€”our most essential warrior.â€