Saturday, March 02, 2019

SOCOM has only one real mission into the future. Seizing rogue nation nukes...and they're not ready....

SOCOM is going thru a bit of an identity crisis.  After years of being involved in the war on terror and after allowing the entire enterprise to morph into one huge "raid" outfit (giving up practically every other mission...pawning it off on the conventional force), they're now faced with the prospect of trying to find missions into the future.

Special Recon?  Nope.  Sats and UAVs and Cyber have that covered for the most part.  No need to risk boots on the ground for that.  Training of allied forces?  They gave up on that long ago. Conventionals now have that covered. COIN?  Yeah of course, but conventionals do that and even when they got the nod to become the supported instead of supporting force they couldn't get the ball across the goal line in Iraq, Syria or Afghanistan.

So besides small scale efforts around the edges that aren't really special operations type missions (lets be honest...most raids don't require the level of training these bubbas purportedly have) and can be handled by well trained conventional forces whats for them to do?

One mission is obvious from the fight between India/Pakistan.  Seizing the nuclear weapons from rogue nations.

Check out these links...

A quick primer from the articles?  Check this out...
Mattis responded to the letter on October 27 via the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, saying, “The only way to ‘locate and destroy—with complete certainty—all components of North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs’ is through a ground invasion.”

Experts have warned that a ground invasion of North Korea would get “very bloody, very quickly,” with Mark Fitzpatrick, executive director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, telling Newsweek last month that any ground invasion would be part of a multipronged effort.

“The key part of a ground invasion would be the effort to seize North Korea’s nuclear assets,” Fitzpatrick said. “[The U.S.] wouldn’t wait too long until after war-level hostilities broke out. They would have to try to seize them before they’re used.”
The internet sucks because its current and find even recent articles is a pain in the ass, but if you guys remember we talked ad nauseum about the news that SEALs, Rangers, MARSOC and S. Korean Special Ops were all gearing up to make a run at N. Korea's nukes AND conduct a decapitation strike against their leader (this was during the time of Trump calling Kim "rocket man" and the US doing almost daily demonstrations of force by falling aircraft damn near to the border of the NKs).

I won't make you aware of some communication (at least in detail) that I had with UTAHBOB (long time reader) but I'm starting to seriously wonder if it could be pulled off.

When I talked about it before it was with the thinking that it would be a ride into hell.


Now I think it would not only be a rid into hell but you'd have to campout for a bit while fighting demon hordes, extract the weapons, extract personnel --- all while HOPING that casualties don't rise above 50%.

A quick and dirty run down?

To seize a nuke facility you would have to deal with the embedded security (some version of USMC FAST or Royal Marines, I believe 45 Commando), and additional quick reaction forces.

Just to secure the perimeter and conduct the initial assault you're probably looking at the entire Ranger Regiment along with MARSOC Regiment.  The air support required just to get them onsight will be HUGE!  Assaulters would probably be your SEAL Platoons along with US Army Special Forces counterparts (hopefully you'd see allies along for the ride so that means in the case of seizing N. Korean nukes S. Korean Special Ops, hopefully a few of our European friends...SBS/SAS, the boys from Poland are well respected, a few maybe from the Netherlands...) that increases the size of the air arm just to fly them in.

You'd have to setup a corridor for all this to happen and you'd need some fast movers to provide fire in case they do the obvious and sniff out the move you're making (which they will).

So long story short.

Have we ever seen such a large scale exercise conducted by SOCOM?

If called upon could they actually even assemble such a force?

Could our airpower support a max effort that would last at least a day in support of such an operation?

Is the coordination there even within just the US defense community, across the various commands to make such an action possible?

This is the bad future that we don't want to see.  The terrible thing is that as bad as such an operation would be from a casualty perspective (note that I'm just talking about the guys on the ground...we can credibly expect several aircraft to go down during an effort either from enemy action or mechanical failure) we aren't even ready to get it done from a planning perspective as far as I can see it.

Of course the other possibility is that planners have decided that nukes in the wild will be easier to recover than they will from nation state facilities.

I don't know but I hope I'm reading this wrong.  This bad future might be coming faster than anyone wants to admit.

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