Wednesday, January 10, 2007
the news called it crack, I called it diet coke:
According to Hirsh & Hosenball, Lieutenant General Jerry "My God Is Bigger Than Yours" Boykin was the principal force behind the not-so-covert-anymore U.S. involvement in the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia. Bob Gates is going to get rid of the guy, for fear that Boykin's approach of involving the U.S. in all of these proxy wars is a recipe for disaster.
Critics of the covert program say that Gates and Cambone's replacement, Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper, are concerned that too much collateral damage may work against U.S. interests. Giraldi says the U.S. Special Ops teams operate too often without accountability, not even notifying the local U.S. Embassy of their presence. In one case in East Africa a clandestine team was arrested by the host government and had to be bailed out by the ambassador, Giraldi says. Adds Arquilla, an advocate of dropping small teams into countries rather than launching air strikes: "There's a growing realization in the Pentagon that the more collateral damage is done, the worse is our position in the 'battle of the story'—in other words, every time we kill innocents our story is much less compelling and the clash of civilizations story is much more compelling."
A wag might say Boykin is constantly Killing Pablo -- that is, fighting an unconventional war with the tactics of taking down a drug cartel. But to give Boykin the benefit of the doubt on something: the prospect of actually taking down al-Qaeda affiliates in far-flung locations really does demand stuff like this on occasion. That's not all it requires, and it's appropriate to factor in the likelihood of blowback or strategic futility -- as Petraeus's counterinsurgency manual says, sometimes it's wiser to actually do nothing -- but there really is a place for the application of Special Forces and AC-130s. The relevant consideration is whether Somalia was and is such a place, which prompted the questions that Matt and I were criticized for asking. It may be that Boykin was simply buck-wild -- God knows moving DOD into strategic intelligence is a dangerous and unnecessary game -- but he's not coming out of nowhere with this.
--Spencer Ackerman
Wasn't Boykin also in charge of the Delat Force Battle for Mogadishu operation immortalized in "Black Hawk Down"?
Blogger Paul Blumenthal | 11:15 AM

Very well prognosticated, Spencer. Boykin's been bounced, per Josh Marshall.
Still, it does not appear to answer the question whether he was entirely freelancing along the lines of Jack D. Ripper; could he have been taking orders from Dick Strangelove?
Blogger Ginger Man | 1:27 PM

The answer to your question is "yes" -- not only that I think he was injured in that operation. Making him trebly the wrong person to be involved.
Blogger Ginger Man | 2:33 PM

In a nutshell, no. The US, like any other nation, needs to be on good relations with other nations that can apply law and order in their own sovereignty. Having and using the capability to invade other nations and kill people is the exact opposite of that.

It's basically like cooking. After you visualize the end-state you wish to achieve, you can start to visualize what you need to have and do to get there.

And, incidentally, believing that we will need Agent 007 is exactly what gives them the right to fuck with your life. You can't complain if they use the chokechain you give them.
Blogger serial catowner | 5:11 PM