The interview with Stanley McChrystal provides an essential insight into the strategies and tactics that were used to destroy al Qaeda and conduct counterinsurgency efforts in Iraq. As the threat of terrorism remains evident, analyzing McChrystal’s responses would be useful in detecting issues and designing effective recommendations. McChrystal’s replies about the efficient use of technology and resources can also help to improve the current state of affairs in the fight against ISIS. The present paper will analyze the interview to outline and discuss the most critical parts of it.
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The events of 9/11 had a noticeable impact on American society and prompted the War on Terror. According to McChrystal, the events of 9/11 showed the true extent and power of terrorist organizations and the risks of inaction (McChrystal & Rose, 2013). As a result, the battle with terrorists evolved into a broad and organized effort that sought to destroy al Qaeda and all related organizations completely. Terrorist organizations drew their strength from several sources, including illegal activity, such as drug and arms trade, human trafficking, and kidnapping (McChrystal & Rose, 2013). These methods of obtaining resources made it somewhat easier to track down and dismantle the terrorist network that presented a threat to America.
There were several different technologies that were involved in operations discussed by McChrystal. First of all, global positioning systems helped to navigate operations and targets, thus improving the efficiency of raids (McChrystal & Rose, 2013).
GPS systems allowed the military to track down vehicles, plan optimal routes, and organize missions faster (Ramani et al., 2013). This helped to expedite the operations conducted by the military, as less time was required for planning. GPS also improved the accuracy of geospatial analysis, reducing the possibility of errors and thus preventing human and financial losses. Therefore, this technological method was highly successful in enhancing the success of the American military in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Secondly, McChrystal mentioned the use of night-vision equipment. Indeed, these technologies were important as leaders used them to ensure the continuity of operations and achieve goals faster. In the absence of night-vision goggles and related tools, operations can only be conducted during the day or when the team has enough artificial lights. However, both of these options would have resulted in poor outcomes of operations, as they were noticeable. This could have given terrorists a chance to escape or help them to locate and kill team members while defending themselves. The use of night vision technology granted a competitive advantage to U.S. teams and was thus useful for counterinsurgency efforts in Iraq.
Lastly, unmanned aerial vehicles were used to improve intelligence and increase the success of operations. McChrystal explained that the lack of adequate intelligence results in inefficient use of resources, thus halting counterinsurgency efforts (McChrystal & Rose, 2013). Unmanned aerial vehicles allowed obtaining a clear picture of the target location and improve the accuracy of planning. This, in turn, increased the number of raids that could be done in one night, leaving terrorists unprepared for the threat.
All in all, it is clear that technological methods help to improve the tactics and outcomes of military operations. Nonetheless, there are also two risks involved in this case. The technologies used by the American military can be taken by insurgents or terrorists, who could introduce the same technology to their troops. Also, they can be used to track down American military bases or obtain information about counterinsurgency plans. This would disrupt military operations and could cause human and financial losses. Hence, before using new technology, it is essential to ensure that it is protected and cannot be used by enemies.
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McChrystal, S., & Rose, G. (2013). Generation kill: A conversation with Stanley McChrystal. Foreign Affairs, 92(2), 2-8.
Ramani, R., Valarmathy, S., Suthanthira, N., Selvaraju, S., Thiruppathi, M., & Thangam, R. (2013). Vehicle tracking and locking system based on GSM and GPS. IJ Intelligent Systems and Applications, 9(1), 86-93.