Small Wars Journal

How a Navy SEAL Controversy Shows the Limits of U.S. Special Operations Strategy in Afghanistan

Fri, 12/18/2015 - 5:32pm

How a Navy SEAL Controversy Shows the Limits of U.S. Special Operations Strategy in Afghanistan by Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Washington Post

The war in Afghanistan has always been a collection of tiny wars fought from tiny outposts that have their own heroes and villains, pitched battles and murky outcomes. These miniature conflicts are formed by the character of the troops sent to fight in them, Afghanistan’s austere terrain and the country’s multitude of tribes. Often these wars exist separate from one another, only to be found under the larger umbrella of The War in Afghanistan. Some of these scattered battles have household names, such as the Korengal and Sangin, while others are so small that they are rarely mentioned except by those who have traversed their machine gun-raked fields and explosive-laden valleys.

The village of Kalach was one of those almost-forgotten places, and it bore little significance to the world until Thursday, when the New York Times released an exhaustive two-year-long investigative report on Kalach’s terrible little war and the men who waged it in spring 2012…

Read on.


Thank goodness that we have the NYT and WP to remind us that "war is hell." While it appears to be a huge surprise to those esteemed newspapers, the thought has been expressed before.

It seems that the SEALs have been garnering a bit too much favorable publicity lately.

The NYT can barely suppress its glee at having the Green Berets do the dirty work of indicting the entire Navy Special Warfare community, from the small units in the middle of hostile territory right up through the O-6 level.

Dismissing the counter evidence, the WP/NYT have no doubts: SEALs are liars and war criminals, all.

"An' it's Tommy this and Tommy that,
An' 'Tommy 'ows yer soul?'
But its the thin red line of 'eroes
When the guns begin to roll."