Former general Stanley McChrystal held a key position for much of the War on Terror, as head of the Joint Special Operations Command. In Iraq he found that despite the vastly superior resources, manpower, and training of the US military, Al Qaeda had an advantage because of its structure as a loose network of small, independent cells. Those cells wreaked havoc by always staying one step ahead, sharing knowledge with each other via high-tech communications.
In this illuminating memoir, McChrystal frankly explores the major episodes and controversies of his eventful career. He delves candidly into the intersection of history, leadership, and his own experience to produce a book of enduring value. Joining the troubled post-Vietnam army as a young officer, McChrystal witnessed and participated in some of our military’s most difficult struggles. He describes the many outstanding leaders he served with and the handful of bad leaders he learned not to emulate.
When General Stanley McChrystal took command of the Joint Special Operations Task Force in Iraq in 2003, he quickly realized that conventional military tactics were failing. The allied forces had a huge advantage in numbers, equipment and training - but none of the enemy's speed and flexibility. McChrystal and his colleagues discarded a century of conventional wisdom to create a 'team of teams' that combined extremely transparent communication with decentralised decision-making authority.
Stanley McChrystal doesn't believe in extreme secrecy. Obviously there are limits, especially when it comes to national security, but keeping all information on a need-to-know basis requires someone knowing who needs to know. Wires get crossed, and the wrong decisions are made. Trust your team, whether in the military or in the office, to be able to handle the information they're given and to respond in an appropriate way.
"Home Should Not Be a War Zone" is from the June 16, 2016 Opinion section of The New York Times. It was written by Stanley Mcchrystal and narrated by Kristi Burns.