“One cannot guard the house by simply barricading it.”

[T]he US has managed to secure its mainland post 9/11 is not only because of an efficient Homeland Security organisation but because the US Special Forces (USSF) are operating in 200 countries including India. Significantly, USSF have undeclared tasks such as conducting proactive, sustained ‘man-hunts’ and disrupt operations globally; building partner capacity in relevant ground, air and maritime capabilities in scores of countries on a steady-state basis; helping generate persistent ground, air and maritime surveillance and strike coverage over ‘under-governed’ areas and littoral zones and employing unconventional warfare against state-sponsored terrorism and trans-national terrorist groups globally. Before 26/11, Al-Qaeda had planned similar operations against New York but could not because the USSF had infiltrated Al-Qaeda. One cannot guard the house by simply barricading it. You must patrol the streets and the area outside.

Lt. Gen. Prakash Katoch, “Optimising the Potential of Special Forces,” Indian Defense Review, Vol. 28.2, Apr-Jun 2013. *(H/T Zenpundit.)

It is good to hear that all this is going on. It is precisely what the military should be doing. How much does it all cost, compared to the price tag of an F-35 fighter or a Littoral Combat Ship?

16 thoughts on ““One cannot guard the house by simply barricading it.””

  1. Robert Kaplan’s book, Imperial Grunts, goes into considerable detail. Mongolia is an ally largely because of an American Special Forces colonel who was the only member of his “team” in Mongolia. It helps that they fear China and the Han Chinese. They don’t want to be another Tibet.

  2. That is a good book, Michael.

    Not sure we could do much for Mongolia if China just walked in and took it, though.

  3. OTOH, while the F-35 fighter or a Littoral Combat Ship can be used in conventional warfare, I am not convinced that is what they were built for. The Littoral Combat Ship would soon die during conventional warfare, and the F-35 probably wouldn’t even be up-to-date in its code before the first nuke was launched.

    there may come a time when you will want to add the cost of the F-35 and the Littoral Combat Ship to the price of a SF. At least to the cost of a SOF in the future, if nothing else.

  4. I remember commenting to someone 7-8 years ago that I expected the SOF were all over Africa and Asia showing up at mud huts in the middle of the night and putting bullets in everyone’s head. At least I HOPED that’s what they were doing, since that why we have them and equip them and that’s what they train for!

    Glad to see I wasn’t too far off the mark. If anything, I underestimated the extent of it.

  5. @Michael – a great bnook on that is ,I.Imperial Grunts by Robert Kaplan. We have Army SF and Marines in places as far as Mongolia, Columbia and Africa (by Somalia).

    At least we did.

  6. Wouldn’t it be cheaper just not to import so many Muslims into the U.S.?

    Also, should the quote be taken at face value?

  7. “Also, should the quote be taken at face value?”


    I offer it without asserting its truth. I don’t know if it is true. I hope it is true.

  8. Comparing a new plane or new ship to an army unit is like comparing apples and oranges to pears.

    Air superiority is critical in any modern conflict. Control of the sea is critical for the well being of the world’s economy in time of peace, and is especially important for re-supply in time of war.

    Now, these particular platforms, plane or ship, might be good or not so serviceable, I don’t have the expertise to judge without relying on a more informed opinion.

    But the mission of the Special Forces is unique and very effective, and not only is complimented by these other services’ missions, but is very dependent on them for overall success.

    On a personal note, I think we are downgrading our forces across the board in foolish and dangerous ways, but given the ideology dominant in the current regime, not unexpected.

  9. “I remember commenting to someone 7-8 years ago that I expected the SOF were all over Africa and Asia showing up at mud huts in the middle of the night and putting bullets in everyone’s head.”

    What goes around … comes around.

    So you think it is a good thing to be in a low intensity war with … oh 2 billion people and keep that in check by use of special forces?

    Good luck, you will need it.

  10. “So you think it is a good thing to be in a low intensity war with … oh 2 billion people”

    No, only those that wish us harm and plan to do something about it. But you knew that.

  11. PenGun, are really so bigoted against Muslims that you think all of them are terrorists who want to attack the USA? I don’t think you are. You just aren’t thinking it through. Waging warfare against the small number of active, organized terrorists is nothing remotely like fighting 2 billion people.

  12. Even in Iraq, it was a very small number of radical muslims terrorizing the entire population. The turning point was when army units began to set up in villages and stay there. Once the locals, after a period of watching, began to realize we weren’t there to bother them, but were looking for the terrorists, they started ratting them out. They wanted them gone at least as much as we did.

    Those terrorists cells are the people I’m referring to. Not the general muslim population of the world. I think their religion is misguided and destructive socially, but as long as they’re peacefully following it I have no problem with them. When they attack me and my homeland, I have a problem, and I support killing them. The most effective way, without displacing and killing or wounding huge numbers of people, like in classical warfare, is to find them individually and kill them.

    Why you have a problem with that I don’t understand.

  13. BTW, if we close Guantanamo, that just means we’ll be killing all these people on sight or capturing them and turning them over to the local or regional powers. They will then be, no doubt, tortured brutally. That seems to me to be the Democrats plan, albeit an unspoken plan.

  14. Lex, are you so naive that you think the small number of active, organized terrorists are not supported and encouraged by most of the balance of the 2 billion, just as the majority of Americans support the efforts of the SOF? That these people are not part of the tip does not mean there isn’t a spear.

  15. Maybe I’m naive and all the Muslims everywhere really do support mass murder — but I doubt it. Some certainly do, but many and hopefully most do not. Let’s not make a very serious problem worse than it actually is.

  16. You attacked Afghanistan and Iraq over an event perpetrated by Saudi wahhabism. You have killed many hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Pretty well all Muslims.

    You will need your special force protection for a long time.

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