THE HUNT FOR TERRORISTS IN REMOTE MOUNTAIN LOCATIONS.
An In-depth Look at American Military Tactics That Re-Wrote The Battle Field History.

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A CV-22 Osprey flown by USAF 8th Special Operations Squadron.
This specially designed aircraft enables special forces units to pass and receive information in realtime enhancing their battle field awareness.

The September 11th attacks in the US rattled the Americas’ intelligence community and its’ military brass. The then defence secretary, Donald Rumsfield assembled a select group of Republican policy makers who drafted what has been known as “The Bush Doctrine.” This was a radical perspective by a leader whose strength had been questioned and tested. America needed to act. The entire structure of American defence strategy was revised and what came to be known as “The war on Terror” was born. Iran, Iraq, Syria and North Korea were labelled as ” the axis of evil” and as Bush intoned “… if you are not with us, you are against us.” These led to two invasions and a long drawn out war that tested America’s resilience. The emergence of the Joint Special Operations Command under General Stanley McChrystal however reversed the dynamics of the war on terror. It is the outcome and future of this clandestine body that is discussed herein.

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A special forces officer during training. The effective co-ordination of the mind, eye and body is a key feature emphasized during this exercise.

Handed a killer weapon…..

Ever since he took power President Obama has worked towards winding down the war on terror. His administration however, working in deep secrecy, has brought some of the most wanted terrorists to book in a war that has been largely covert. Obama has had at his disposal a team of highly trained operatives never seen before outside movie theaters. These teams have been under a specially created and later enhanced Joint Special Operations Command.
It was established in 1980 on recommendation of Col. Charlie Beckwith, in the aftermath of the failure of Operation Eagle Claw. It is located at Pope Field (Fort Bragg) in North Carolina, USA. The JSOC is a component command of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and is charged to study special operations requirements and techniques to ensure interoperability and equipment standardization, plan and conduct special operations exercises and training, and develop Joint Special Operations Tactics.

Lethal killer units.

It is among these that if we are to see a speedy and effective end to the Syrian conflict that Mr. Obama should tap into. The highly trained units include the;

1. Army’s 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment—Delta,
2.The Navy’s Naval Special Warfare Development Group, and
3. The Air Force’s 24th Special Tactics Squadron.

Other units from the Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment and 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment are controlled by JSOC when deployed as part of JSOC Task Forces such as Task Force 121 and Task Force 145.

What makes these soldiers uniquely lethal ?

Before joining the hallowed ranks of these group the pre-selection process involved ensures that only the best of the best are selected. First one has to be a trained member of the U.S military.

The initial formal training program for entry into Special Forces is divided into four phases collectively known as the Special Forces Qualification Course or, informally, the “Q Course”. The length of the Q Course changes depending on the applicant’s primary job field within Special Forces and their assigned foreign language capability but will usually last between 55 to 95 weeks.

After successfully completing the Special Forces Qualification Course, Special Forces soldiers are then eligible for many advanced skills courses. These include, but are not limited to, the Military Free Fall Parachutist Course (MFF), the Combat Diver Qualification Course and the Special Forces Sniper Course (SFSC). Most of the training undertaken here is classified.

No effort, resource or technology is spared in sculpting the deadliest killing machine for combat. These officers do not undertake publicly acknowledged missions and will not carry U.S.A insignia during their missions.

THE C.I.A PARAMILITARY UNITS

The CIA America’s premier clandestine organization too has its own deadly troops under what is known as the “Special Activities Division.”
The CIA’s formal position for these individuals is “Paramilitary Operations Officers” and “Specialized Skills Officers.” Paramilitary Operations Officers attend the Clandestine Service Trainee (CST) program, which trains them as clandestine intelligence operatives (i.e. “spies”; known as “Core Collectors” within the Agency).

The primary strengths of SAD/SOG Paramilitary Officers are operational agility, adaptability, and deniability. They often operate in small teams, typically made up of six operators (with some operations being carried out by a single officer), all with extensive military special operations expertise and a set of specialized skills that does not exist in any other unit.

As fully trained intelligence case officers (i.e. spies), Paramilitary Operations Officers possess all the clandestine skills to collect human intelligence—and most importantly—to recruit assets from among the indigenous troops receiving their training. These officers often operate in remote locations behind enemy lines to carry out direct action (including raids and sabotage), counter-intelligence, guerrilla/ unconventional warfare, counter-terrorism, and hostage rescue missions, in addition to being able to conduct espionage via HUMINT(Human Intelligence) assets.

There are four principal elements within SAD’s Special Operations Group:
1. The Air Branch.
2. The Maritime Branch.
3. The Ground Branch.
4. The Armor and Special Programs Branch.

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A member of the the Air Force’s 24th Special Tactics Squadron parachutes with a specially trained canine.

The Armor and Special Programs Branch is charged with development, testing, and covert procurement of new personnel and vehicular armor and maintenance of stockpiles of ordnance and weapons systems used by SOG, almost all of which must be obtained from clandestine sources abroad, in order to provide SOG operatives and their foreign trainees with plausible deniability in accordance with U.S. Congressional directives.

POSSIBLE ROLE OF SPECIAL FORCES

With all these resources at your disposal Barrack Obama will look to Admiral William H.McRaven the Commander of the J.S.O.C to provide options for his military strategy in Syria. It was from this command that Navy SEAL team six credited with the killing of Osama Bin Laden was assembled. The covert missions likely to be undertaken may include;

1. Targeted assasination of key regime leaders.
2. Guiding and pinpointing of targets for targeted air strikes.
3. Battle field tactical intelligence gathering.
4. Establishing of forward operating bases(FOB) for advancing ground troops.

There are operations carried out by these teams that are rarely acknowledged even in official circles. This involves the license to operate behind enemy lines, acting as teams of killers backed up with a billion-dollar military technology machine. Terrorists have in many instances been surprised in their sleep by dark silent figures with painted faces, who quietly end their lives and vanish into darkness. Special operations officers are trained in disguising, and blending in unfamiliar environment that you would hardly notice one. Many a suicide bomber has been caught unawares performing their last rituals by a hooded figure whom he assumed to be a fellow Muslim. What follows is usually a mortal blow delivered in form of an effective knife to the base of their spine or through the heart. Basically these are government sponsored assassins trained exclusively in the art of death.

TECHNOLOGICAL EDGE-THE NSA

Another tactical advantage the U.S has are the super-computers at the National Security Agency, (NSA). Recently brought to light by renegade C.I.A officer revelations, the NSA has the ability to listen in to all electronic communication the world over, process it and validate that with strategic or tactical significance in any ongoing operation. That means that President Assad of Syria will be unable to conventionally communicate with his lieutenants without risking the exposure of his strategy or position. He may choose to use trusted couriers to convey messages, a strategy employed by Osama Bin Laden that lead to his death( It was a courier trusted with delivering and passing messages that lead C.I.A teams to his hideout in Abottabad in Pakistan).

NSA’s deadly capability has been demonstrated time and again. During the war in Iraq, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musaf Al Zaqawi took time out to venture into the mountains. He wanted to make a secure call to his lieutenants in the battle field. It is estimated that the second he dialed his phone an unmanned predator drone in the skies of Iraq immediately changed its course and zeroed in on the grid location from where Abu Musaf was making his call, apparently in secure wilderness. By the time the cell phone timer read 20 seconds the predator drone had the Al Qaeda leader on its gunsights. It took the push of a button from a military officer seated behind a screen at the United States Central Command in Doha to bring to an end the most sought after terrorist next to Bin Laden.

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An un-manned aerial vehicle also known as predator drone

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Battle field conditions for a special forces soldier.

PROVEN BATTLE-FIELD EFFECTIVENESS

News services go to great lengths to point out the failures of military operations wherever they occur. It is however the clandestine operations that still remain highly classified that have brought Al Qaeda to its knees. Killing bin Laden was just the culmination of a furious, decade-long pace of lethal operations, involving hundreds of Afghanistan night raids in a single year.

It will be up-to military planners and tacticians to judge the value of employing what it deems best. Presidents have a special relationship, legally and personally, with the country’s elite special-missions units. In secret annexes to several presidential directives, JSOC is designated as the official executive agent for counterterrorism worldwide. It nominally reports to the Defense secretary, but the president can task it directly and often does. Presidents get to know the majors and colonels who command Delta Force units and the captains who lead the SEAL platoons.

Before the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, President Obama had experience monitoring a white-knuckles counterterrorism operation. In the early morning hours of April 12, 2009, less than three months after the president took office, Somali pirates were holding an American merchant-marine captain captive.

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Conducting raids in Afghan villages

Three Navy SEALS had three pirates in the sights of their long-barreled Barrett BMG rifles. A SEAL platoon leader stood on the deck of the USS Bainbridge, on patrol in the Indian Ocean off Somalia, directing the operation as Obama listened in. The president had already given them the authorization to shoot if the life of the hostage was in danger.
Moments later, the SEAL snipers snapped their triggers, and the hostage situation was over.

Just months after the Somalia episode, the White House authorized a large expansion of clandestine military and intelligence operations worldwide, sanctioning activities in more than a dozen countries. Obama gave JSOC unprecedented authority to track and kill terrorists, to “mow the lawn,” as one former top JSOC commander was quoted;in turn, JSOC would keep al-Qaida from regenerating the networks and branches needed to mount large-scale attacks against the U.S homeland.

JSOC’s warriors have inverted the way that asymmetric warfare is fought by becoming a little bit like crime-scene investigators. Using techniques as simple as basic forensics and as advanced as Radio Frequency Identification chip technology that remains highly classified, JSOC forces have sought to move faster than the enemy and to get inside the decision loop of terrorists and insurgents.

JSOC has brought intelligence analysts to the battlefield and created fusion centers so that evidence that might help identify terrorist plots could be processed as soon as it was found, rather than languishing in an FBI lab back in the States. The operators are in the same room with the intelligence analysts. JSOC “borrowed” surveillance and reconnaissance assets from the rest of the military, becoming its own hotbed of intelligence analysis. The operational tempo has been increased significantly. The time between the flash and the bang seems to become as short as that between lightning and thunder. You raided a house, you found evidence, you processed it, and you were on to the next battle, quickly and efficiently.

And so it will be the Joint Special Operations Command that decides how the United States Of America engages in its future wars. The JSOC has the biggest trump card of all to play, institutionally: It works.

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A SEAL TEAM DURING TRAINING:
The United States Navy’s Sea, Air, Land Teams, commonly known as the Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy’s principal special operations force and a part of the Naval Special Warfare Command and United States Special Operations Command.
“SEAL” is always capitalized in reference to members of the Naval Special Warfare community. The acronym is derived from their capacity to operate at sea, in the air, and on land.

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The labyrinth that is NSA computer network with unprecedented capabilities in communication monitoring.

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