The Washington Post describes Michael Vickers' plan to build a global counterterrorist network. The plan is focused on a list of 20 "high-priority" countries. According to the Post, "Vickers hints that some European countries could be on it."
The plan deploys a variety of elite troops around the world, including about 80 to 90 12-man teams of Army Special Forces soldiers who are skilled in foreign languages and at working with indigenous forces.
Vickers is Assistant Secretary of Defense and used to be the principal CIA strategist for the paramilitary operation that drove the Soviet army out of Afghanistan in the 1980s. The movie "Charlie Wilson's War" portrays Vickers in that role.
Blake Hounshell asks in Foreign Policy Passport: "Charlie Wilson's brain runs the war on terror?"
He points out that "many people blame U.S. policy-in which Vickers played such a key role-for fanning the flames of Islamic radicalism in Afghanistan and Pakistan that later came back to bite the United States on 9/11." Great irony of history. Well, Charlie Wilson won the war. It's "just" the aftermath that was lost.
Vickers joined the Pentagon in July to oversee the 54,000-strong Special Operations Command (Socom), based in Tampa, which is growing faster than any other part of the U.S. military. Socom's budget has doubled in recent years, to $6 billion for 2008, and the command is to add 13,000 troops to its ranks by 2011. Senior Pentagon and military officials regard Vickers as a rarity -- a skilled strategist who is both creative and pragmatic. "He tends to think like a gangster," said Jim Thomas, a former senior defense planner who worked with Vickers.
Vickers's outlook was shaped in the CIA and Special Forces. His training including a scenario for him "to parachute into enemy territory with a small nuclear weapon strapped to his leg, and then position it to halt the Red Army." Now I am beginning to believe the reviewer, who wrote that the movie "Charlie Wilson's War" is less sureal/absurd and "more realistic" than what actually happened in the 80s.
Truth can be stranger than fiction.