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The Twisted Genius
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Hindsight Observer, JSOC seldom if ever interacts with the government in the target country. They operate in what is called non-permissive environments. This is nothing new for US forces. Decades ago, the USG was seriously prepared to place SF teams far behind the Iron Curtain purely to obtain situational awareness of ongoing events. While the USG would undoubtedly continue negotiations and discussions with the Mexican government, JSOC could operate without Mexican cooperation or permission.
The old comments in this thread are quite informative and well worth rereading. I’m repeating one of my old comments in response to an article about “America’s assassination industrial complex” as a reminder that JSOC operations are not just an occaissional noteworthy raid and a few snipers. “The point of the article is that a strategy of leadership decapitation of an organization, whether it be a drug cartel or a jihadist group, does not lead to the destruction of the organization. The original decapitation strategy was based on the premise that the targeted organization was strictly hierarchical and could not function without an intact hierarchy. In fact, most of these target organizations evolved into more distributed organizations. We weren't quick to see this because we are also wedded to the need for a robust hierarchy in our organization. This is where the article ends, but the story continued.” “Our strategy also evolved in Iraq and Afghanistan. JSOC strike missions became more than checking faces off a static organizational chart as a hit list. Each strike became an information gathering mission. That information was quickly analyzed into "actionable intelligence" resulting in ensuing JSOC strikes and more information gathering. This evolved into a rapid cycle with often several strikes in a night. This strategy struck at the enemy's growing resiliency and distributed organization. This is the present state of the art in JSOC operations.” What would a shooting war waged against the Mexican (and other Central American) drug lords look like? Probably a lot like the war against IS and their associated jihadis in Syria and Iraq… except a lot closer to home. We can expect to see car bombs in American cities and assassination attempts against soldiers’ families on US bases. The drug lords will probably pump a lot more of their money into local communities in order to buy their loyalty and support. This will be a real war and will require widespread sacrifice by the American people closer to what our home front gladly endured during WWII. On the plus side, breaking the drug lords’ grip on Mexican and Central American societies would eliminate a major impetus for the flow of people moving northward to our border.
Fellow old guy, thanks for your thoughtful comments. Yes, CIA covert action clearly preceded 9/11. My point was that it became the focus of CIA after 9/11 to the detriment of all else. Actually it was paramilitary rather than covert action that took center stage after 9/11. There was nothing covert about CIA or DIA operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Almost by definition paramilitary operations belong in DoD. I am also aware of the political nature of much CA. Much of that political CA can better be described as information operations (IO) or deception operations, both of which could be easily (well, not easily, CA is not easy) taken over by DoD organizations. I will cede that there may be some limited CA not suitable for DoD since , by its very nature, I don't have visibility into the full range of CIA CA. However, I envision JSOC or a JSOC like element will eventually expand into the IO and strategic deception realms. It was obvious that the young CIA students were all newbies, but both FTC and MOTC were the entry level courses for CIA and DoD case officers at the time. Our newbies just had a lot more life experience than your newbies no matter how educated and talented they were. But that was then. The post 9/11 need to expand the ranks brought in some pretty young DIA recruits, but they never went straight to the Farm. They had a year or more of DIA experience, including field work, before being assessed for FTC. I appreciate your warning about tearing everything down without knowing what will come next. When Colonel Lang and I first discussed the idea for this post, I recounted a story from the very early days of the fall of the USSR. The initial vacuum in Moscow was filled by various academics from the Soviet Academy of Sciences. It didn't last long. All those idealistic professors were quickly driven out by apparatchiks and mafiya types leading to the darkest times in Russia since the Great Patriotic War. I also share your perception that Homeland Security was a mistake.
Larry, have you read any of the stuff from the latest CNN FOIA request?
I was leaving the Active Army to take the MICECP position at the time. I wasn't alone in my class. I never regretted the decision. It was as a civilian Army case officer that I served in the SMU. I had the best of both worlds and I was still in the Reserves as required by Army MICECP.
Factotum, perhaps it's because they believe some damning stuff against Trump is in those note that never made it to the Mueller Report. Judging by the release of some of the Mueller notes through a CNN FOIA request, they may be right.
Among other things, she said she did not like the idea of her husband working with such a pack of liars and swindlers. She told them she never liked them and never will. She left them speechless. The spouses weekend was cancelled for the next several runnings of the course.
As Colonel Lang said, the first step is to transfer all covert action to DoD. That's where it belongs. The CIA grabbed onto that as it became their raison d'être with their "capture, kill" mantra after 9/11 and it has only gotten worse since then. The majority of their paramilitary officers are former SF soldiers and Rangers. We might as well hire these former soldiers back into DIA and JSOC similar to the Military Intelligence Civilian Excepted Career Program long used by the Army and DIA for HUMINT officers. Hell, we've already used civilian HUMINTers in special mission units. I was one of them. The CIA is largely into liaison and Embassy operations, the cocktail party circuit. The Army and, later, the DIA relied mainly on rather scruffy and low level commercial cover operations. In my opinion, it takes a lot more skill to develop and run HUMINT operations using a scruffy, nobody cover than than as an Embassy official. We, the military, can do both well. I don't know if the same can be said of most CIA officers. Although, I have to admit the CIA does a much better job at developing cover support mechanisms. Maybe that's a niche for them. Having said that, there are more than enough intelligence requirements to keep two HUMINT organizations fully employed. Let DIA support DoD's requirements and let a CIA without CA or paramilitary capabilities support DoS, Commerce Department, and DOE requirements. CIA is always trying to hog military support. Stay in your lane! I agree with Eric Newhill in that much of the FBI's problems lie with the DOJ and the court system. Our adversarial system either seeks a conviction or seeks to avoid a conviction. Truth and justice take a backseat to these goals. Maybe there should be separation of law enforcement and counter-intelligence. I'm not sure how that would work yet, but that whole Homeland Security mess ought to be included in our bonfire of the Agencies.
JP Billen, I can also attest that a military case officer has far more experience and education than most CIA case officers. In 1988 both military and CIA case officers were trained at the "farm." Our courses were separate, but in the same building. Both classes were shown a slide contrasting the age, experience, education and linguistic abilities of each class of students. The CIA students were predominantly young, inexperience, just out of college type. The military students had far more life, world and military experience. Two CIA students who had prior military experience were admonished by their instructors for hanging out with us. We had a spouses weekend where our spouses were briefed on what we would be doing for a living. SWMBO was shocked. She stood up and gave the CIA base chief and his staff an earful. In SF I became accustomed to practicing stringent OPSEC and kept a lot of details of my job from SWMBO. My advisor, a crusty old warrant officer, told me it was about time those people learned what the rest of the world thought of them. SWMBO is one smart, opinionated woman.
EO, what you are describing is good OPSEC practiced by the Russians. It's designed to defeat enemy HUMINT, SIGINT and any other INT. It's a basic yet complicated art requiring great discipline and ingenuity. I salute the Russians for being good at it. We were once very good at it ourselves. We practiced all manner of battalion level maneuvers including defensive operations and night assaults using radio silence, cover and concealment, stealth and meticulously detailed planning and timing. Of course this was before the era of personal cell phones. Those things are a pox on military and intelligence operations. Even the Russians have been suffering from this pox. I know it's generational, but I can't understand why troops are allowed to carry cellphones while in the field or deployed. And I'd rather skip down the street naked and covered in glitter than go on an intelligence operation with a cellphone. The conundrum now is that absence of a soldier's or intelligence officer's cellphone signal can also be an intelligence indicator and OPSEC violation. I echo Colonel Lang's comments on SIGINT and HUMINT. I'll add that there will never be enough skilled HUMINTers to meet requirements. First one has to master the technical and artistic skills of the craft. In addition to that, one must have the moral and mental mindset to do this to our fellow human beings up close for extended periods of time... hard hearted empaths.
Toggle Commented Nov 2, 2019 on Shut up old man! - TTG at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Mac, the overlap between neocons and Zionists is pretty remarkable, although I don't see them as the same thing. It's a symbiotic relationship. Neocons are stridently anti-communist, sharing that same disdain for pacifists. Although Colonel Lang and I disagree on this point, neocons espouse a warped authoritarian view of America and conservative American culture. They believe the entire world should either accept those views or be forcibly subjugated.
Toggle Commented Oct 31, 2019 on Shut up old man! - TTG at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Harlan, I consider a neocon to be a strident US nationalist totally committed to US world domination.
Toggle Commented Oct 31, 2019 on Shut up old man! - TTG at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Leith, just listened to some Marine General give a briefing on the raid. He said the raid was about an hour flight time away from the target and launched from a base in Syria. Given the lower speed of NOE and low level flying, I think the final flight used a FAARP located in a remote area somewhere outside of Raqqa, maybe far, far outside. I was involved in establishing and running remote FAARPs for the 160th. It's a common procedure.
Toggle Commented Oct 31, 2019 on Killing Baghdadi - TTG at Sic Semper Tyrannis
A couple of days ago, Colonel Lang asked a question about HUMINT support to SFOD Delta in light of the recent raid on Barisha. PL> Woolsey just said on Fox that CIA was the main support for the raid. Do... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2019 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Jim, what the hell are you talking about?
Toggle Commented Oct 29, 2019 on Killing Baghdadi - TTG at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Baghdadi wasn't the jihadis' only loss today. Abu-Hassan al-Muhajir, the likely successor to Baghdadi, was blown away near Jarabulus in a US strike. Here's a couple of tweets about these events: “So SDF and Iraq shared intel with US on position of ISIS leader Baghdadi - 3.5 miles from border with Turkey. And SDF shared intel with US on the position of ISIS spox Muhajir - just outside Turkish Euphrates Shield city of Jarablus. Doesn't look *great* for Turkey, have to say” We believe ISIS spox. Al-Muhajir was in Jarablus to facilitate Baghdadi’s entry to Euphrates Shield area. The two US-led operations have effectively disabled top ISIS leadership who were hiding [in] NW Syria. More still remain hiding in the same area.” The SAA did well at Kabani... if they can keep it this time. From Al Masdar: "Led by the 4th Armored Division, the Syrian Arab Army began their attack around 10 A.M. on Saturday, when their troops began to storm the Zuwayqat Mountain and its corresponding hills. Following a heavy battle that lasted for several hours, the Syrian Arab Army was able to take hold of the Zuwayqat Mountain, giving their forces fire control over the remaining hills south of Kabani. The Syrian Arab Army is now trying to push their way into Kabani; however, they are facing heavy resistance from the jihadist rebels of Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham and the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP)." Maybe with Baghdadi's ass now far from his head, perhaps the HTS and TIP will loose some of their enthusiasm for defending Kabani. They have been tenacious.
Toggle Commented Oct 28, 2019 on Killing Baghdadi - TTG at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Serge, please explain.
Toggle Commented Oct 28, 2019 on Killing Baghdadi - TTG at Sic Semper Tyrannis
The Beaver, I've seen that, too. I've also seen claims of launching from Kurdish territory. Eye witness accounts claim the helicopters came across the Turkish border. I think we're all guessing.
Toggle Commented Oct 28, 2019 on Killing Baghdadi - TTG at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Scott, then it can't be the Lincoln. I don't know what else we have there. The Truman BG was headed to the region without the Truman as a surface action group. Don't know what that entails.
Toggle Commented Oct 27, 2019 on Killing Baghdadi - TTG at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Leith, I have no doubt Iraqi Intelligence and the Syrian Kurds have both been looking for Baghdadi. They both wanted Baghdadi's ass... separated from his head. I know the Kurds have been looking for him since he fled the area around Deir Ezzor.
Toggle Commented Oct 27, 2019 on Killing Baghdadi - TTG at Sic Semper Tyrannis
The first indications that something unusual was going on in Idlib was a series of tweets from @WithinSyriaBlog late last night. I saw this before I saw Trump’s tweet of “Something very big has just happened!” ———— @WithinSyriaBlog Breaking: Several... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2019 at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Peter AU 1, US troops started with 50 Special Forces in early 2016 followed later that year by 250 more. Conventional troops came in March 2017 with 400 jarheads with a battery of artillery to help the SDF take Raqqa. Some time after that additional conventional forces came in, including at least a Ranger company, to provide a deterrent against Turkish attacks in Manbij and elsewhere. By the end of 2017, the number krept up to 2,000Throughout this time there were many airstrikes. The airstrikes actually started at the seige of Kobani. SOF raids also took place through this time. The makeup of the US forces changed over time. These mechanized forces are just another change in the makeup. I have no idea how many SF remain with the YPG/SDF.
J, it leaves me wondering just who the hell is the Commander in Chief in this country. Hanging the Kurds out to dry the way we did was bad enough, but at least it was in line with an overall goal of extracting ourselves from the region. Adding combat troops to protect the oilfields is pure lunacy. If you want to see what a coup looks like, here it is. CENTCOM is complicit in this fiasco.
Colonel Lang, the only way to "overthrow" Trump is through impeachment in the House and conviction in the Senate. That is a Constitutional process, not a coup. The process is intentionally difficult. Was the impeachment of Clinton an attempted coup?