How JSOC Became a Force of “Networked Ninjas”

September 9, 2011

Spencer Ackerman has a new piece today in Wired that offers a fascinating look at how Gen. Stanley McChrystal built JSOC — the Joint Special Operations Command — into “a lethal, agile, secretive and highly networked command — essentially the U.S.’ very own al-Qaida.” (Or, as Dana Priest and William Arkin have reported, “the force that orders the universe but can’t be seen.”)

Ackerman writes:

The network McChrystal built … in stark contrast to the rest of the U.S. security bureaucracy, which Priest and Arkin call “Top Secret America” and which remains disconnected, bloated and expensive. Priest and Arkin bluntly conclude that McChrystal turned JSOC around “by outright rejecting at least four of Top Secret America’s defining characteristics: its enormous size, its counterproductive duplication, its internal secrecy, and its old-fashioned, hierarchical structure.” What the post-9/11 reforms failed to accomplish across the sprawling national security apparatus, McChrystal did in miniature.

Read the story here.

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