The wars of southeast Asia were lost, says [Richard Marcinko], because the unconventional warrior was controlled by conventional bureaucrats. In the '70s and '80s, as commander of Seal Team Six, a counter-terrorist force, and Red Cell, a unit acting as terrorists to test Navy security, Marcinko spent millions of taxpayer dollars playing war games and antagonizing the fellow officers who would eventually find falsified travel vouchers that could be used to convict him of conspiracy. He was fined and sentenced to 21 months in prison. But he had already suffered his greatest defeat: In 1983, after creating "the best group of warriors in the nation's history," he was relieved of the Seal Team Six command without ever having led them in battle. He felt "decapitated." Of both heads, one assumes.
Now I'd like to read a bureaucrat's book answering some of the questions Marcinko justifiably raises. Why did the Navy create such groups? For public relations, as a deterrent, as real tools of diplomatic/economic policy? Why do they never seem to be turned loose? Do they actually work? Why a Marcinko in command? And, yo, why are Americans too weenie to use car bombs?
I'd like to hear more from Marcinko and his writer, [John Weisman], too-in fiction. For sheer readability, they leave Tom Clancy waxed and booby-trapped. Also, I prefer this man behind a word-processor, rather than slipping through airport metal detectors with a small revolver in a crotch holster. Marcinko, a civilian now, sees himself going "commercial" as a counter-terrorist, a privateer with no governmental restraints at all.