Friday, October 20, 2017

My biggest fears about Africa/SOCOM are being realized. Locals may have helped ISIS ambush Green Berets.

First up.  Do you remember the retired Special Forces General lambasting the SOCOM Head, Admiral McMasters, about SOCOM's publicity seeking?
A retired general today assailed the commander of the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden for drawing too much media attention to operations that he argued should be kept under wraps.

Special Operations Commander Adm. Bill McRaven was confronted by retired Lt. Gen. James Vaught, who said he didn't understand why the recent raids by the Navy SEALs, such as the one to kill Osama bin Laden or to rescue U.S. hostage Jessica Buchanan, were all over the media.

"Since the time when your wonderful team went and drug bin Laden out and got rid of him, and more recently when you went down and rescued the group in Somalia, or wherever the hell they were, they've been splashing all of this all over the media," Vaught, 85, said. "I flat don't understand that.

"Now back when my special operators extracted Saddam [Hussein] from the hole, we didn't say one damn word about it," he continued. "We turned him over to the local commander and told him to claim that his forces drug him out of the hole, and he did so. And we just faded away and kept our mouth shut.

"Now I'm going to tell you, one of these days, if you keep publishing how you do this, the other guy's going to be there ready for you, and you're going to fly in and he's going to shoot down every damn helicopter and kill every one of your SEALs. Now, watch it happen. Mark my words. Get the hell out of the media," he concluded, as laughter broke out at a meeting of the National Defense Industrial Association in Washington, D.C.
The ABC article covering the event (along with a video) is here. 

Fast forward to the here and now.  Check this out from UPI.
The 12-man team of Green Berets ambushed in Niger were delayed as they left a meeting with local leaders -- which may have been part of the plan to attack them, Army officials told UPI.

Officials suspect that some people in the Oct. 4 Tongo Tongo meeting may have been working with the Islamic State. Some people from the town have been arrested.

The attack, in which four U.S. soldiers were killed -- including one who was not found until nearly 48 hours later, was a surprise. Intelligence had indicated the likelihood of an attack was low.
Story here. 

There you have it.

My biggest fears are being realized.  You've heard me rant about the dangers of operating in Africa and yet I could almost hear the laughter coming from some of you. 

Are you laughing now?

As a quick side note.  They didn't discover the body of the 4th SF troop until 48 hours later.  I hope I'm wrong.  Correction.  I PRAY I'M WRONG!  But I suspect he might have been captured alive.  If that's the case then I hope God had mercy and I hope his killers are castrated and their genitals stuffed in their mouths.

Back on task.

Operating in a region of the world, using the same techniques, not modifying your operating procedures when you see the battlefield changing is all part of this agony.

We saw early in the war in Iraq that small units were/are vulnerable.  We saw it again more than a few times in Afghanistan.  But for some unknown reason the Pentagon (and even the Marine Corps) is infatuated with them.


Because the concepts are manpower "saving".  They hope to make up the difference with the use of technology.  But that tech ain't here yet and these small units are getting mauled at a time and place of the enemies choosing.

I don't feel a need to touch on the religious and tribal aspects of the region.  If you don't know instinctively that they're fucked up beyond recognition then I can't help you.

Shifting tribal loyalty, religious zealotry not seen since the Middle Ages and these are the very same people that our SF guys are depending on?  These are the guys that they're suppose to turn into force multipliers? Foreign Internal Defense is not a "cover" for operations globally.  In some parts of the world it just won't' Iraq, Afghanistan and all of Africa.

We must adapt.  We must accept the world as it is, not as our concepts would like it to be.  If we don't then we're gonna see more of this.

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