Retired Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal: While a deeply flawed insurgent force in many ways, the Taliban is a uniquely 21st-century threat. And just like their allies in al Qaeda, this new Taliban is more network than army. In bitter, bloody fights in both Afghanistan and Iraq, it became clear to me and to many others that to defeat a networked enemy we had to become a network ourselves. We had to figure out a way to retain our traditional capabilities of professionalism, technology, and, when needed, overwhelming force, while achieving levels of knowledge, speed, precision, and unity of effort that only a network could provide.