Showing posts with label JSOC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label JSOC. Show all posts

Sunday, January 24, 2016

SOF News

Special Forces More Active in Afg? A recent news report says the U.S. Special Forces could be playing a larger role in Afghanistan. The recent death of an SF NCO in Marjah district, Helmand province highlighted the tactical deployment of SF teams advising the Afghan National Army (ANA) Special Operations Kandaks (SOKs). Read more in "US Special Forces in Afghanistan Poised to Assume More Active Role", Voice of America, January 19, 2016.

A SEAL Casualty of War. In December 2012 the commander of a SEAL Special Operations Task Force (SOTF) in Afghanistan was found dead in his room of a gunshot wound. He had experienced a rough deployment with several members of his command killed in combat. The stress of command was certainly having an effect on him Read more in "A Deadly Deployment, a Navy SEAL's Despair", The New York Times, January 19, 2016.

Wife of Fallen Green Beret Shares Her Story. SSG Matthew McClintock was killed in early January 2016 in Marjah district, Helmand province. He leaves behind a wife and three-month old son. His wife, Alexandra, shares her story of her fallen Green Beret in "Wife of fallen Green Beret shares their love story", Army Times, January 20, 2016.

SF Officer Remembers Bergdahl Recovery Effort. Former Special Forces commander Mike Waltz commanded seven Special Forces operational detachments in the operational area where Bowe Bergdahl went missing. He redirected his ODAs from their primary mission to join the intensive and dangerous search for Bergdahl. Listen to a podcast as he remembers the events of that frustrating period of time posted by Task & Purpose (Jan 19, 2016).

JSOC Connections. Howard Altman writes on the ascendancy of JSOC general officers to key positions in the fight against ISIS. Read "Likely leaders in the battle against Islamic State will have JSOC connections", The Tampa Tribune, January 18, 2016.

Video on Robin Sage. The culminating event of U.S. Army's Special Forces Training is Robin Sage. Watch a 13-min long video of Robin Sage by Alex Quade published on in Nov 2015.

SOF in Libya? "The next battleground in the war on ISIS is forming in the sands of Tripoli. The U.S. Special Operations Command is spending more time and attention on Libya, trying to keep the Islamic State from growing more powerful there . . ." Read "Here's What Special Operators Want to Do in Libya", Defense One, January 20, 2016.

Navy SEAL Ignored Lawyers. The author of "No Easy Day" about the Osama bin Laden mission in Pakistan is suing his legal representatives for bad advice. (Military Times, Jan 20, 2016).

Former SEAL to Lead Counter-ISIS Messaging Center. A current Defense Department official, Michael Lumpkin, will be the lead to revamp the federal government's effort to counter ISIS and other group's recruitment propaganda. (National Defense Magazine, Jan 20, 2016).

SOF in Syria. The Secretary of Defense Ash Carter recently alluded to activities of special operators in Syria. Read more in "Special Ops forces in Syria doing more than raids, Ash Carter says", CNN Politics, January 20, 2016.

SOCOM Seeking High Technology. General Votel spoke at the National Defense Industrial Association's special operations conference in Washington, D.C. on January 20th. His message was that key capabilities provided by advanced technology helps special operators maintain an edge over potential adversaries in challenging environmental conditions. See "U.S. SOCOM Officials Lay OUt Technology Challenges", National Defense Magazine, January 20, 2016.

10th SFGA and SIGINT Training w/ 173rd. Members of the 10th Special Force Group and the 173rd Bde recently conducted signal intercept training in Germany. Read more in "Special operations intelligence specialists refine skills in combined training",, January 22, 2016.

Indian SF Command. A ". . . lack of agreement on who would control a separate Indian Special Forces Command (SFC) has stymied creation of the unit despite the military's urgent desire for one." There appears to be rivalry among the Army, Navy, and Air Force over which would take command. In addition, the civilians in the military bureaucracy are weighing in with their vision of who commands the SFC. Read more in "Control Issue Stymies Creation of Indian Spec Ops Command", Defense News, January 17, 2016.

Spanish SOF Grows. The Spanish Army is increasing the size of its Special Operations Force  - Grupo de Operaciones Especiales (MOE). The MOE has been deployed in multinational training missions in Mali, CAR, and Iraq in the past few years. Currently the MOE is deployed in Taji and Baghdad, Iraq. Read more in "Spanish Army Bolsters Special Forces Against Jihadism", Defense News, January 17, 2016.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

SOF News

JSOC Officers Moving Up. It appears that the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) crowd is doing well in the U.S. Army. General Votel, the current commander of the United States Special Operations Command  (USSOCOM) is likely to be nominated to head up Central Command - he formally commanded JSOC. LTG Tony Thomas will probably head to command USSOCOM - he commands JSOC and is also a former commander of the Special Operations Joint Task Force - Afghanistan. MG Scottie Miller, currently at Fort Benning and instrumental in overseeing the successful integration of women in Ranger School during 2015 has been mentioned for command of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Miller is a long-time Ranger Regiment and JSOC officer. He was a former commander of the Combined Joint Special Operations Component Command - Afghanistan (CFSOCC-A) and of the SOJTF-A.

New SOCKOR Cdr. The current deputy commander of the Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan - BG Tony D. Bauernfeind - is heading to Special Operations Command Korea. See "General Officer Assignments", DoD News Release, January 12, 2016.

SEALs Under Investigation. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is - once again - investigating allegations that Navy SEALs beat detainees in Afghanistan in 2012. Read more in "Investigation of SEAL conduct in Afghanistan is Reopened", The New York Times, January 14, 2016.

Webcast Event - "Acquisition for SOF". USSOCOM performs a variety of functions - one of those is the acquisition of services, products, and equipment for the SOF units and organizations of the four services. Mr. James F. Geurts, Acquisition Executive at USSOCOM, will be discussing the challenge of planning and executing acquisitions to equip our forces' most elite warriors. The event (webcast) is hosted by the Atlantic Council on Tuesday, January 19th at 4:30 pm EST.

SOF and the "Gray Zone". Terminology is constantly evolving in the military. New buzzwords make their debut, stick around for a while, and then fade away. One of the newest terms to enter the special operations community vocabulary is the "Gray Zone". This, according to some reports, is the space or area between peace and war. Read more in "Special Operations and the Challenge of Working in the Gray Zone"SOFREP, January 14, 2016.

Wanted: Foreign SOF to fight ISIS. "Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said Thursday that the United States has asked more countries to send Special Operations troops to join the fight against the Islamic State, and not just typical partners like Britain and Australia." These countries probably include Jordan, UAE, and Saudi Arabia. Jordanian and UAE SOF units have long worked with U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan and the relationships between the SOF units are strong. Read more in "Wanted: Foreign Special Operations troops to join the U.S. in targeting the Islamic State", The Washington Post, January 15, 2016.

US SOF Deploys to Iraq. Additional Special Operations Forces have arrived in Iraq to assist Iraqi troops with better coordinating and targeting for coalition airstrikes. While the President contends there are no 'boots on the ground'; what is certainly clear is a bunch of guys wearing sneakers or hikers are running around Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and a lot of other places around the world. In addition to the deployment of special operators key leaders with a SOF background being put into important positions with the military,  state and elsewhere. Read "U.S. Special Operations Forces Deploy to Iraq", Foreign Policy Report, January 14, 2016.

Obama and SOF. Kim Dozier writes on how President Obama is turning to special operations forces to help manage hot spots in the world. Read "Obama Turns to Special Ops to Salvage His Legacy", The Daily Beast, January 15, 2016.

SOCEUR Cdr Visits Slovak SOF. The commander of Special Operations Command Europe visited the Slovak 5th Special Forces Regiment in Zilina on January 12th. The Slovak SOF have worked alongside U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan for a number of years. (The Slovak Spectator, Jan 15, 2016).

"Generation Kill vs Generation Cupcake". Dan O'Shea, a former Navy SEAL, writes on 'safe spaces' on college campuses and lack of 'safe spaces' in combat zones. (The Tampa Tribune, January 16, 2016.

ISIS Threatens UFC Fighter. Tim Kennedy, a UFC fighter who is also a Green Beret with time in 7th and 19th Special Forces Group, is on the receiving end of threats from the Islamic State. (Army Times, Jan 13, 2016).

Multi-Intel Drones for SOF. "Army aviation special operators want new unmanned aircraft systems that can carry multiple sensors to collect vital intelligence from the battlefield . . . " Currently special operations forces have a variety of small and mid-sized drones that can do many different things. SOF wants and 'all in one' platform. Read more in "Army Special Operations Want Multi-Intelligence UAVs.", Defense News, January 14, 2016.

SO/LIC Director Lumpkin to State. The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operation and Low Intensity Conflict (SOLIC), Mike Lumpkin, is in the mix for running the State Department's new Center for Global Engagement. He is a former U.S. Navy SEAL.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

SOF News

ANASF Trains ALP Recruit
SOF and Helmand Province. The fight for Helmand province is still ongoing despite the end of the fighting season. The Taliban control a number of the provincial districts (see what constitutes 'control of district') and the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) are barely holding on to some district centers. The United States has supported the ANDSF with air strikes and with SOF teams on the ground working with Afghan SOF units. Read more in "Afghan Province, Teetering to the Taliban, Draws In Extra U.S. Forces", The New York Times, December 13, 2015.

Book Review - Relentless Strike. Dr. J. Paul De B. Taillon reviews a book about the secret history of the Joint Special Operations Command. (Mackenzie Institute, Dec 1, 2015).

Tip of the Spear - Dec 15. The latest issue of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Tip of the Spear magazine has been posted online.

Homeless Man Lives in 3rd SFGA Barracks. According to one news report - "Almost Valor: Homeless Man Gets Away Living in the 3rd Special Forces Group Barracks as Fake Soldier",, December 22, 2015 - a civilian got a free ride for a few months living rent free (no doubt he had a meal card for the dining facility as well). Not so hard to do. Just square away your uniform, buzz cut your hair, be on time for morning formations, and the SGMs will leave you alone. Kind of reminds me of my four-month long backpacking trip through Europe in the 70s - I ran out of money at the end of the trip and spent some time in the transient barracks at Vicenza, Italy. Nice place.

UW Fills Gap b/t Peace and War. David Maxwell, a retired SF colonel explains Unconventional Warfare to us and says we need to develop a strategy to counter UW being conducted by our adversaries. Read his article "Congress Has Embraced Unconventional Warfare: Will the US Military and the Rest of the US Government?", Small Wars Journal, December 29, 2015. Learn more about unconventional warfare.

SOF and Global Deployments. Special Operations forces have been deployed to many countries over the past several decades. This has not changed under the Obama administration - especially given that the Global War on Terrorism (yes, some folks still use the term GWOT) has expanded in the last decade. Read more in "Obama's 'Boots on the Ground': U.S. Special Forces Are Sent to Tackle Global Threats", The New York Times, December 27, 2015.

Origins of Women in SOF History. A profile of a women who worked for the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II. The OSS was the fore-runner to the CIA and U.S. Army Special Forces. An 8-min video posted on on December 9, 2015.

SOF and the Push for Women in Combat. A RAND study conducted on behalf of USSOCOM found that 85% of SOF operators were not in favor of fully integrating women onto the SOF teams. Many advocates of the push to have women fully integrated into special operations combat units are discounting the views of these SOF operators saying they lack experience with working with women and that they are only interested in preserving their "male-only domain". This viewpoint sells these very experienced SOF operators short. In fact, the SOF community was way ahead of most of the military with its use of female Cultural Support Teams (CSTs) as enablers with Special Force ODAs, SEAL platoons, and MARSOC units in Afghanistan. Read more on this issue in "Pentagon's women-in-combat push faces chilly headwinds", The Hill Blog, December 30, 2015.

More on Women and Combat Arms. It appears that the move to fully integrate women into the combat arms will see lots of attention put on SOF units. Read "How Not to Integrate Females into Combat Arms", Small Wars Journal, December 30, 2015. And what about the 'draft thing'? Is it time for women to register for the draft - I mean equal rights and equal opportunity should equate to equal responsibility.

JSOC Secrets. The Joint Special Operations Command, commonly called JSOC, is busy around the world. The personnel of the secret and lethal organization work in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, and other conflict-ridden areas. Read more in "The not-so-secret history of JSOC", The Washington Post, December 15, 2015.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

SOF News

Gen Votel to CENTCOM?. The Internet continues to spread the word that the current USSOCOM commander is on the short list to succeed General Austin at Central Command. The move would be unusual as Votel only recently assumed command at USSOCOM in mid-2014. He would be an excellent choice, however. The U.S. is not engaged in a conventional fight in the region - Iran is busy with Iraq and Syria; so it is less inclined to confront the U.S. in naval disputes (let's hope), and SOF seems to be the flavor of the day for the Obama administration in resolving disputes and conflicts in the Middle East. Read more in "Socom's Votel would be good choice to lead Centcom", Tampa Bay Online, December 7, 2015.

Special Forces for Iraq/Syria - PR Ploy or Meaningful Deployment? A defense analyst, Anthony Cordesman, comments on the deployment of SOF to the Middle East in light of the lack of a credible U.S. strategy and plans to create effective Iraqi and Syrian forces. He worries the SF Soldiers will be a political tool rather than an effective force in a political game on the part of the Obama administration. Read "More Special Forces for Iraq and Syria: Tactical Asset or Strategic Tokenism", by Anthony Cordesman, Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), December 3, 2015.

DoD "Quiet" on Commando Force for Iraq. The 'specialized expeditionary targeting force' that will take the fight to ISIS in Iraq and Syria will be positioned to gather intelligence, conduct raids, free hostages in Iraq when partnered with Iraqi forces. In addition, it will conduct unilateral hit-and-run raids into Syria. Beyond that, the Defense Department is not saying much more. Some observers believe the small force of 100-200 commandos can make a difference while others say it smacks of the usual Obama strategic incrementalism. The special operations force, although small in number, will probably enjoy significant close air support, drone coverage, and intelligence reach-back to CENTCOM, USSOCOM and JSOC. (think of the operations profiled in the book Relentless Strike). Read more in "US keeps wraps on new commando force for Iraq", The Sacramento Bee, December 10, 2015.

DoDIG Fails to Protect War Hero. LTC Amerine, a war hero and Green Beret, was unjustly victimized by the FBI and the U.S. Army. He was denied his retirement and threatened with a court martial for relaying to a member of Congress how badly the U.S. hostage recovery effort is managed. One aspect of the criticism that LTC Amerine offers is that the Bergdahl prisoner swap undercut ongoing efforts that would have released Bergdahl and other American hostages. The Good News? The DoD IG is resigning!  Read more in "How the System Went After a War Hero: Jason Amerine Goes to Washington"War on the Rocks, December 10, 2015.

AC-130 Air Attack on Hospital - Conflicting Accounts. A recent news report says that the U.S. Special Forces who called in the air strike on the hospital in Kunduz city believed the Taliban were using it as a command center. To some observers there continues to be a gap in what is being reported and what really happened. Perhaps we will really never know. (Military Times, Dec 8, 2015).

France Sending 300 SF to Congo. France (a country that seems to have a far more active and robust counterterrorism policy than the United States) is sending 300 of its Special Forces to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to provide training to the Congolese Army to hunt down and neutralize the Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces in the eastern part of the DRC.

Intelligence News

Afghan Intelligence Chief Resigns. The chief of the Afghan spy agency - National Directorate of Security or NDS - has resigned amid policy differences with President Ghani. Rahmatullah Nabil submitted his resignation on Thursday, December 10, 2015. Nabil's deputy -Massoud Andrabi - has been appointed as acting chief. One constant source of friction between the NDS chief and President Ghani is the approach to Pakistan. Afghanistan's neighbor has been supporting the various insurgent groups for years - in the belief that an unstable Afghanistan is much better for Pakistan than a strong country that could possibly ally with India and/or make demands on the disposition of the Durand Line. Mr. Nabil has been heading the NDS for about five years. See "Afghanistan intelligence chief resigns amid row", BBC News, December 10, 2015. Read also "Afghan Spy Chief Quits After Denouncing Talks With Pakistan", The New York Times, December 10, 2015. See also a report from Khaama Press, Dec 11, 2015.

Problems with Drones. Thomas Ricks writes about "5 big problems with the drone programs" in Foreign Policy, December 10, 2015.

LTG (Ret) Flynn to Write Book. A high-ranking U.S. Army intelligence officer, Michael T. Flynn, will soon be writing a book on how to win the global war against radical Islam. Flynn served as the intelligence officer for the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), as the G2 for ISAF in Afghanistan, and is the a former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He is at odds with the Obama administration in their handling the fight against Islamic terrorism and the conflicts in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. Read "Michael T. Flynn Inks Deal With St. Martin's Press", GalleyCat, December 9, 2015.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

SOF News

VSO, Gant, Water, Crops, and COIN. One writer, Doyle Quiggle, manages to combine a variety of topics (although related) into an essay on how to win a small war! He tells us of the failures of the Village Stability Operations (VSO) program of U.S. special operations in Afghanistan, of how Jim Gant was doing VSO right, and the importance of water in counterinsurgency at the village level. Read "Small Farms and Small Wars: Planting The Garden in Village Stability Operations", Small Wars Journal, November 29, 2015.

Event - "Lessons from VSO and ALP". Dr. Corey Lofdahl is presenting a lecture on the topic of Implementing  Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan: Lessons from Village Stability Operations and Afghan Local Police (VSO/ALP). He is a senior scientist with Charles River Analytics who worked in 2011 and 2012 at the Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command - Afghanistan (CFSOCC-A). The presentation is on Thursday, December 10th in Washington, D.C. and is hosted by The Institute of World Politics. (Note: CFSOCC-A is now known as the Special Operations Joint Task Force - Afghanistan or SOJTF-A).

DoDIG Investigation on ANASOF TAA. The Inspector General for the Department of Defense intends on conducting an assessment on U.S. and Coalition efforts to Train, Advise, Assist, and Equip the Afghan National Army Special Operations Forces (ANASOF). The objective is to determine whether U.S. government and coalition goals, objectives, plans and resources to train the ANASOF are sufficient, operative, and relevant. Read the memo from DoDIG, November 25, 2015.

Joint U.S. - Afghan SOF Raid Frees 40 from Prison. A prison rescue mission successfully liberated at least 40 Afghan security personnel from a Taliban prison in Nawzad district of southern Helmand province in an operation that began on Thursday night. (Tolo News, Dec 4, 2015). See also an NBC News report dated December 4, 2015.

"Project Gray" - Fighting in the Gray Zone. Warfare has changed over the past few decades. The advent of Hybrid Warfare, Irregular Warfare (IW), and the use of Unconventional Warfare (UW) by our adversaries (Iran, ISIS, al Qaeda, Russia, and others) has forced the U.S. military to take a long look on how to operate in this new environment. The UW experts at Fort Bragg (that would be the Green Berets) are learning to fight in what is now being referred to as the "Gray Zone".  The initial Special Forces training that Green Berets undergo goes a long way to prepare its members for this kind of fight; yet the learning never stops. As part of this never-ending learning process the U.S. Army Special Operations Center of Excellence has started "Project Gray" and published a website that reflects the work in this area.

Advocating a "Human Warfighting Domain". One writer is strongly proposing that a Human Warfighting be established and that the proponent should be those in the U.S. Army who are the most proficient in counterinsurgency and unconventional warfare - that would be the 1st Special Forces Command. Read "Should There Be a Human Warfighting Domain?", by Thomas Doherty, Small Wars Journal, December 3, 2015.

5th Group Reviving Vietnam Era Flash. The solid black flash worn on the berets of members of the 5th Special Forces Group will be giving way to a bit of history. The new (or old) flash will be the one worn by 5th Group Soldiers while serving in Vietnam (and also stateside). Read more on the perplexing move by 5th SFGA and Special Forces Command in "Army's 5th Special Forces Group to Resurrect Vietnam-Era Beret Flash",, December 1, 2015.

'Targeting Force' to Iraq / Syria. In testimony before Congress SECDEF Carter stated that more U.S. military forces will be headed to the Middle East to fight against ISIS. The number of airstrikes will increase as well as on-the-ground intelligence gathering and special operations raids. Carter also said that a "specialized expeditionary targeting force" will assist Iraqi and Kurdish peshmerga forces fighting the Islamic State. Sounds very JSOC-like! Read more in "DoD to deploy 'targeting force' to hunt down ISIS leaders"Military Times, December 1, 2015. See also Kim Dozier's article - "Obama Unleashes Hunter-Killers on ISIS", The Daily Beast, December 1, 2015.

USSF Fighting with Kurds for Months. Kurdish fights say that US Special Forces have been fighting ISIS for months in northern Iraq. The Obama administration continues to maintain that there are 'No Boots on the Ground"; however, perhaps that is because the SF dudes (in another era they were referred to as "Sneaky Petes") are all wearing sneakers. (The Guardian, Nov 30, 2015).

SOCOM Cdr Likely Choice for CENTCOM. General Votel is a top candidate to succeed General Austin for command of Central Command. Given the importance of the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria he is a good choice. Read more in "SOCOM's Votel is Top Choice to Take Over CENTCOM", Defense One, December 3, 2015.

How Does SOCOM Feel about the Gender Integration Order? - He is all for it! The commander, General Votel, seems to think it is a good idea. (The feedback I hear from those on the SF teams is quite different.) Listen to a 8-minute long video of the leader of SOCOM justifying his decision to support the SECDEF in the full integration of women into all special operations organizations. (USSOCOM, December 3, 2015).

How Do SOF Operators Feel about Women in SOF Units? Not So Much! The RAND Corporation conducted a study that special operations leadership commissioned on the integration of women into SOF units. 85% of the rank and file said "NO!, Don't Do IT". But with the proper 'career guidance', 'gender integration seminars', 'focus groups', 'safe space discussions', and more I am sure the steely-eyed combat veterans with multiple deployments in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere will come around. Read "Special Ops Survey Showed 85% Opposed Serving With Women", Defense One, December 4, 2015.

Book - Relentless Strike. I just finished reading Sean Naylor's recent book about the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Very informative read with perhaps more information than USSOCOM would have wanted published. I am sure there was more than one former 'operator' talking out of school. The book is available on

Sunday, October 11, 2015

SOF News

Behind the Scenes. Barbara Star, CNN Pentagon Correspondent, interviews General Votel (cdr of USSOCOM). Votel chats about SOF successes, failures, SOCOM creation, covert operations, and more. Read (and watch the video) "Behind the scenes with the commander of Special Ops",, October 5, 2015.

Spetsnaz in Syria. Russia's special forces has now deployed to Syria according to some news reports. Read "Putin has sent the feared Spetsnaz special forces nto Syria to bail out Assad", Mirror UK, October 6, 2015.

JSOC in the Shadows. "One of the least publicized organizations active in counter-terror operations is the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Formed in 1980 in the aftermath of a failed mission into Iran to rescue American embassy personnel being held captive there, JSOC was meant to eliminate the coordination problems between the services that were found to be the main reason the Iran rescue mission failed." Read more in "Special Operations: JSOC in the Shadows", Strategy Page, October 3, 2015.

History of Special Operations Executive (SOE). This famous organization was created by British prime minister Winston Churchill to carry out top-secret missions against Germany. Read more in "The Top Secret WWII Warriors Who Inspired James Bond and Birthed Modern Black Ops", Maxim Magazine, October 8, 2015.

Syrian Training Program "Paused". After the disastrous testimony of CENTCOM commander General Austin before Congress and subsequent reports of failure coming out of the Middle East the Syrian training program has been halted. At least the military part of it. A program to train up 5,400 Syrians had produced only 60; and those were either killed or captured as soon as they entered Syria. The more successful (?) CIA training program is reportedly still ongoing. It appears that rather than start from scratch in recruiting and vetting "moderate" Syrians the Pentagon may provide aid to already established rebel groups (what a concept). Perhaps they should have armed up and trained the Kurds in a big way right from the beginning. Thus far the Kurds have proven themselves to be the most effective fighters on the ground in Syria (besides ISIS).

SF Failing at UW? One wonders just how well our Army is in conducting the Special Forces core mission of Unconventional Warfare - if we couldn't get the Syrian training program off the ground with a $500 million budget, a years worth of work, existing rebel organizations already established, training camps in countries adjacent to the area of operations, air superiority, and sanctuaries for the resistance movements. Does the CIA know how to do UW better than the Army? Read "Pentagon plans major shift in effort to counter Islamic State in Syria", The Washington Post, October 9, 2015. See also a DoD press release on the topic (Oct 9, 2015).

10th SFGA & 4th ID Aligned. The 10th Special Forces Group is regionally oriented with Europe and has a battalion forward deployed near Stuttgart, Germany. It's home base and group headquarters is at Fort Carson. 10th SFGA teams have worked for many years alongside European SOF training, advising, and assisting special mission units of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) in Afghanistan. The 4th Infantry Division is also located at Fort Carson. Both the 10th and the 4th are now going to be aligned and operating together in Europe. Read more in "Army looks to rotating and reserve forces for Europe mission", Army Times, October 8, 2015.

Report - Female Marines a NO for SOF. "A report conducted by the U.S. Marine Corps on integrating women into all military units concluded that even the top female troops likely cannot cut it in the special operations forces . . ." See "Report finds female Marines cannot meet some standards for special operations forces", Fox News, October 7, 2015.

Discharge of Green Beret for Assaulting ALP Officer Postponed. An SFC who was scheduled for discharge from the Army is getting a 60-day reprieve. The Army has agreed to postpone the discharge in order to review the case. The SF NCO received a letter of reprimand for assaulting an Afghan police officer in 2011 who continuously raped a young Afghan boy. The letter was instrumental in a personnel action that was removing the NCO from the Army. The case has received national attention and caused a certain amount of embarrassment for the Army. Read more in "Army agrees to postpone discharge of Green Beret", The Hill, October 6, 2015.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Special Forces and JSOC on a Crusade Against Muslims? Not Likely

Seymour Hersh, an investigative journalist, author and contributor to The New Yorker, has accused General McCrystal and others of the Special Forces (and JSOC) community of secretly plotting crusades against Muslims.  He did this in a speech in Doha, Qatar on January 17, 2011.  (See the transcript provided by Foreign Policy).  Among his statements are nuggets such as accusing JSOC members of being members of the Knights of Malta and Opus Dei.  He says the war in Afghanistan is part of a huge secret worldwide crusade by these secret Christian organizations.  Several journalists have refuted his statements.  See "Seymour Hersh, the Knights of Malta, and me", Foreign Policy, January 21, 2011 and "Hersh rebuked on crusaders", The Washington Post, January 21, 2011.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

JSOC Task Force Targets the Haqqani Network in Afghanistan

The secretive special operations task force - called JSOC - is reportedly targeting the Haqqani Network in Afghanistan. Read a recent news article on this topic - "JSOC task force battles Haqqani militants", Army Times, September 14, 2010.