Inside the Ring

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Mr. Bostom and others who have studied Islam argue that the failure of officials like Mr. Brennan to understand jihad and the Islamic roots of the terrorists has left the U.S. government ill-equipped to defeat the enemy being fought in the current global war.

Afghan special forces

U.S. military officials said one of the untold stories of the war in Afghanistan has been the covert operation to train Afghan special-operations forces over the past several years.

“They’re very good,” said one military officer familiar with the program. “We trained them, and they learned from the best.”

Praise for the Afghan commandos contrasts with numerous reports from Afghanistan on the difficulties of training Afghan conventional military and security forces.

A small number of elite Afghan commandos have been working closely with the large numbers of U.S. and allied special-operations forces that have been in the forefront of killing and capturing key Taliban and other terrorist and insurgent targets throughout Afghanistan. Among them are the Army’s secret Delta Force, which has been very active in Afghanistan for the past several years.

The military officer said the Afghan special-operations training carries risk: “We’re concerned that some of these Afghans will defect” to the enemy.

Should that occur, the insurgents will learn extremely valuable special-operations warfighting skills that could then be used by the Taliban and its allies to counter or neutralize the special-forces troops and their operations.

Rummy returns

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is in the last stages of writing a book on his life — the politician, businessman and architect of the war on terrorism.

“Mr. Rumsfeld is hard at work writing the last sections and putting the final touches on the manuscript,” Rumsfeld spokesman Keith Urbahn told special correspondent Rowan Scarborough. “He’s enjoying the process. We expect it to be out on bookshelves in the first half of next year.”

No title or length to announce yet for the book, to be published by Sentinel, the conservative imprint of Penguin.

Mr. Rumsfeld was pushed out as defense secretary after the GOP lost congressional seats in the 2006 election amid a botched Iraq occupation. Mr. Rumsfeld returned to the Pentagon last month for the unveiling of his official portrait — part 2.

Robert M. Gates, tapped by President George W. Bush to replace Mr. Rumsfeld and kept on by President Obama, recalled Mr. Rumsfeld’s early moves after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Mr. Gates said the country saw:

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About the Author
Bill Gertz

Bill Gertz

Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.

He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.

Mr. ...

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