By How Miller
Greg Walker, author of “Burying the Dead with Dishonor,” parts 1 and 2, has informed us of doings in El Salvador and other locations. He also wrote a very interesting and informative book on the evolution of Special Operation Forces from WWII through the first Gulf War in 1991. Briefly, it is titled In the At the Hurricane’s Eye. He puts a heavy emphasis on explaining the often-fraught relationship SOF has had with the “Regular Army” through that period and still must navigate. He is also very balanced in how he relates SEALS, Rangers, SOAR (160th), and others to SF, pointing out each outfit’s strengths and how they have been used in the past, both correctly and incorrectly.
He pulls no punches in describing the struggles between the services for their “piece of the pie” and how that has contributed to some major snafus, told in fascinating detail, giving very constructive “lessons learned.”
It is interesting to note that Greg takes no credit in the book for the significant role he played in the “Ground Truth” operation that Schwarzkopf found so valuable in his execution of the war. He did write a story for the Sentinel about that, though.
An interesting sub-plot is the turnaround in Stormin’ Norman’s attitude toward SOF, and there’s another surprise at the end of the book, where Greg lists numerous articles that he has authored under pen names. Of course, he continues to be a credentialed journalist for Military Veterans in Journalism and a regular contributor to the Sentinel.
This book is very much worth the read, and it helped me appreciate the struggle to come up with the joint special operations command and cooperation we appear to have today. A lot has changed since he wrote this in 1994. His theme of the groping struggle for the regular services to be comfortable with using SOF to accomplish tasks that others can’t is what works best for all concerned.