JSOC’s warriors inverted the way that asymmetric warfare is fought by becoming a little bit like crime-scene investigators.
Using techniques as simple as basic forensics and as advanced as Radio Frequency Identification chip technology that remains highly classified, JSOC forces sought to move faster than the enemy and to get inside the decision loop of terrorists and insurgents.
JSOC brought intelligence analysts to the battlefield and created fusion centers so that evidence that might help identify terrorist plots could be processed as soon as it was found, rather than languishing in an FBI lab back in the States.
The operators were in the same room with the intelligence analysts. JSOC “borrowed” surveillance and reconnaissance assets from the rest of the military, becoming its own hotbed of intelligence analysis. The operational tempo increased significantly. The time between the flash and the bang seemed to become as short as that between lightning and thunder. You raided a house, you found evidence, you processed it, and you were on to the next battle, quickly and efficiently.
Of course, this didn’t happen overnight. It took three years to hone JSOC’s crime-scene techniques. McChrystal’s exacting and iconoclastic intelligence chief, Maj. Gen. Michael Flynn, has complained that the rest of the intelligence establishment was slow to catch on. Flynn will soon take a position at the office of the Director of National Intelligence where he can spread his techniques and theories throughout the intelligence community.