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Who is a Soldier of American Special Forces? - part I

As usual with his books Dick Couch was not using other people's experiences writing this book. He spent 8 months in Fort Bragg where the Special Forces selection and training is taking place. He had an opportunity to talk with many candidates for Green Beret and with many from training cadre. He participated in all parts of training up to Robin Sage training where together with 300 candidates is more than 1000 persons involved. This training is taking place in North - Central Caroline on the area of 8500 square miles. Then Dick Couch received permission to join Special Forces ODA in Iraq...

The book cointains a lot of interesting information - from the creed of Special Forces soldier up to 4 SOF Truths: humans are more important than hardware; quality is more important than quantity; SOF cannot be mass-produced; competent SOF cannot be created after the emergency arises. It is worth to read - written in 2004 but contains actual information.

There is one more reason to read this Dick Couch book. In the last chapter - epilogue he writes about his private opinions. First of all he makes a remark that War on Terrorism is not conventional army's war. It is the war with the insurgents. They are not fighting as a regular army. They are using the crowd to cover, then they are firing rounds, putting the gun on the ground and again mingling with the crowd. The conventional army - Marines or regular US Army - "owns" the battle space. If SOF with Iraqi or Afghan army want to make the operation they have to get permission from regular Army. In this war the battle space should belong to SOF. The second issue - in Iraq or Afghanistan our soldiers usually live in big bases with a lot of canteens, shops, swimming pools, air conditioned containers. It is huge contrast to the conditions of life of a typical Iraqi or Afghan soldier. Only those who are training the Iraqi or Afghan Army are living like them - Special Forces ODA. Another topic - Rules of Engagement - how to treat a guy with a shovel in hand digging a hole for IED? He is not attacking but he is responsible for death of many soldiers... And the last thing - most important in my opinion - the internal affairs of SOF: Dick Couch is sure that the foreign internal defense skills are most important in this war. Not the direct action, not even the killing of the commanders of insurgents units but training of Iraqi or Afghan army is a key to winning this war. And while developing the language and cultural skills are more time consuming than shot'gun skills they are the most important and they are the elements in this war that WILL BE the most important in its next campaign...

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