interesting article

newbie

Unverified
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Messages
15
December 27, 2009
Elite U.S. Force Expanding Hunt in Afghanistan

By ERIC SCHMITT
BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan — Secretive branches of the military’s Special Operations forces have increased counterterrorism missions against some of the most lethal groups in Afghanistan and, because of their success, plan an even bigger expansion next year, according to American commanders.

The commandos, from the Army’s Delta Force and the Navy’s classified Seals units, have had success weakening the network of Sirajuddin Haqqani, the strongest Taliban warrior in eastern Afghanistan, the officers said. Mr. Haqqani’s group has used its bases in neighboring Pakistan to carry out deadly strikes in and around Kabul, the Afghan capital.

Guided by intercepted cellphone communications, the American commandos have also killed some important Taliban operatives in Marja, the most fearsome Taliban stronghold in Helmand Province in the south, the officers said. Marine commanders say they believe that there are some 1,000 fighters holed up in the town.

Although President Obama and his top aides have not publicly discussed these highly classified missions as part of the administration’s revamped strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, the counterterrorism operations are expected to increase, along with the deployment of 30,000 more American forces in the next year.

The increased counterterrorism operations over the past three or four months reflect growth in every part of the Afghanistan campaign, including conventional forces securing the population, other troops training and partnering with Afghan security forces, and more civilians to complement and capitalize on security gains.

American commanders in Afghanistan rely on the commando units to carry out some of the most complicated operations against militant leaders, and the missions are never publicly acknowledged.

The commandos are the same elite forces that have been pursuing Osama bin Laden, captured Saddam Hussein in Iraq in 2003 and led the hunt that ended in 2006 in the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader in Iraq of the insurgent group Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.

In recent interviews here, commanders explained that the special-mission units from the Joint Special Operations Command were playing a pivotal role in hurting some of the toughest militant groups, and buying some time before American reinforcements arrived and more Afghan security forces could be trained.

“They are extremely effective in the areas where we are focused,” said one American general in Afghanistan about the commandos, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the classified status of the missions.

Gen. David H. Petraeus, who is in charge of the military’s Central Command, mentioned the increased focus on counterterrorism operations in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Dec. 9. But he spoke more obliquely about the teams actually conducting attacks against hard-core Taliban extremists, particularly those in rural areas outside the reach of population centers that conventional forces will focus on.

“We actually will be increasing our counterterrorist component of the overall strategy,” General Petraeus told lawmakers. “There’s no question you’ve got to kill or capture those bad guys that are not reconcilable. And we are intending to do that, and we will have additional national mission force elements to do that when the spring rolls around.”

Senior military officials say it is not surprising that the commandos are playing such an important role in the fight, particularly because Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the senior American and NATO officer in Afghanistan, led the Joint Special Operations Command for five years.

In addition to the classified American commando missions, military officials say that other NATO special operations forces have teamed up with Afghan counterparts to attack Taliban bomb-making networks and other militant cells.

About six weeks ago, allied and Afghan special operations forces killed about 150 Taliban fighters in several villages near Kunduz, in northern Afghanistan, a senior NATO military official said.

Some missions have killed Taliban fighters while searching for Pfc. Bowe R. Bergdahl, who was reported missing on June 30 in eastern Afghanistan. The Taliban in July posted a video on jihadist Web sites in which the soldier identified himself and said that he had been captured when he lagged behind on a patrol. A second video was released on Friday.

“We’ve been hitting them hard, but I want to be careful not to overstate our progress,” said the NATO official, speaking on the condition of anonymity in order to describe the operations in detail. “It has not yet been decisive.”

In Helmand, more than 10,000 Marines, as well as Afghan and British forces, are gearing up for a major confrontation in Marja early next year. Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson, the senior Marine commander in the south, said in a recent interview, “The overt message we’re putting out is, Marja is next.”

General Nicholson said there were both “kinetic and nonkinetic shaping operations” under way. In military parlance that means covert operations, including stealthy commando raids against specific targets, as well as an overt propaganda campaign intended to persuade some Taliban fighters to defect.

Military officials say the commandos are mindful of General McChrystal’s directive earlier this year to take additional steps to prevent civilian casualties.

In February, before General McChrystal was named to his current position, the head of the Joint Special Operations Command, Vice Adm. William H. McRaven, ordered a halt to most commando missions in Afghanistan, reflecting a growing concern that civilian deaths caused by American firepower were jeopardizing broader goals there.

The halt, which lasted about two weeks, came after a series of nighttime raids by Special Operations troops killed women and children, and after months of mounting outrage in Afghanistan about civilians killed in air and ground attacks. The order covered all commando missions except those against the top leaders of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, military officials said.

Across the border in Pakistan, where American commandos are not permitted to operate, the Central Intelligence Agency has stepped up its missile strikes by Predator and Reaper drones on groups like the Haqqani network.

But an official with Pakistan’s main spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, or I.S.I., said there had also been more than 60 joint operations involving the I.S.I. and the C.I.A. in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Baluchistan in the past year.

The official said the missions included “snatch and grabs” — the abduction of important militants — as well as efforts to kill leaders. These operations were based on intelligence provided by either the United States or Pakistan to be used against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, the official said.

“We can expect to see more U.S. action against Haqqani,” a senior American diplomat in Pakistan said in a recent interview.

The increasing tempo of commando operations in Afghanistan has caused some strains with other American commanders. Many of the top Special Operations forces, as well as intelligence analysts and surveillance aircraft, are being moved to Afghanistan from Iraq, as the Iraq war begins to wind down.

“It’s caused some tensions over resources,” said Lt. Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr., the second-ranking commander in Iraq.

Richard A. Oppel Jr. contributed reporting from Islamabad, Pakistan.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/27/w...tml?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&pagewanted=print
 

pardus

Verified Military
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
9,976
Sounds like Marja might be another Falluja in the making.
Good chance for a good body count.
I'd like to be in on that one.
 

surgicalcric

Special Forces
Verified SOF
Joined
Nov 3, 2006
Messages
1,411
Location
Here and there
...Military officials say...

I wonder when these military officials will pull their heads out of their asses and STFU.

Jesus H Christ I am tired of hearing/reading in the news about what our guys are out doing. It is none of Joe the Taxpayer's business; he may want to know but he doesnt need to know. All they need to know is that we are fighting a war on terrorism. The who's, how's, and where's shouldnt be put out even after the operations are over...

Sorry for the rant...
 

Florida173

SOF Support
Joined
Oct 14, 2008
Messages
1,948
Location
NCR
I wonder when these military officials will pull their heads out of their asses and STFU.

Jesus H Christ I am tired of hearing/reading in the news about what our guys are out doing. It is none of Joe the Taxpayer's business; he may want to know but he doesnt need to know. All they need to know is that we are fighting a war on terrorism. The who's, how's, and where's shouldnt be put out even after the operations are over...

Sorry for the rant...



X2


I always seem to read about what we are doing to fight terrorism.. only an idiot would think that the terrorists aren't reading it too
 

Viper1

Special Forces
Verified SOF
Joined
Apr 9, 2008
Messages
2,441
Location
Cajun Land
I wonder when these military officials will pull their heads out of their asses and STFU.

Jesus H Christ I am tired of hearing/reading in the news about what our guys are out doing. It is none of Joe the Taxpayer's business; he may want to know but he doesnt need to know. All they need to know is that we are fighting a war on terrorism. The who's, how's, and where's shouldnt be put out even after the operations are over...

Sorry for the rant...

X3. I see this quote frequent in the news "a military official, who requested to remain anonymous because they were not permitted to speak with the press/discuss details, etc" It makes me upset when I see that. An order is an order. Keep your mouth shut. I can't imagine what it is like trying to be a flag officer or even a field grade officer trying to fight your own staff for their loyalty as far as the press is concerned.
 

pardus

Verified Military
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
9,976
X3. I see this quote frequent in the news "a military official, who requested to remain anonymous because they were not permitted to speak with the press/discuss details, etc" It makes me upset when I see that. An order is an order. Keep your mouth shut. I can't imagine what it is like trying to be a flag officer or even a field grade officer trying to fight your own staff for their loyalty as far as the press is concerned.

We need to execute one or two for leaking intel to the enemy.
Sadly I think some of these leaks have been ordered by the honchos themselves to further their agendas.
All generals are politically appointed AFAIK and therefore have political/personal agendas that often override good Military sense.

A bullshit system IMO. :2c:
 

TheWookie

Fortes Fortuna Juvat
Verified Military
Joined
Jun 12, 2009
Messages
339
Location
cape cod
We need to execute one or two for leaking intel to the enemy.
Sadly I think some of these leaks have been ordered by the honchos themselves to further their agendas.
All generals are politically appointed AFAIK and therefore have political/personal agendas that often override good Military sense.

A bullshit system IMO. :2c:

I agree

This reminds me of that 60 minute show last night where they interviewed that x-CIA spook. There was also an agenda last night for that story, I'll admit it was good to hear it; but, I didn't need to know those details.

Rant over, back to my coffee
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
SOF Support
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
15,903
Location
Not Afghanistan
“We can expect to see more U.S. action against Haqqani,” a senior American diplomat in Pakistan said in a recent interview.

I love it, "We're killing the Taliban. "No, we're killing the Haqqani Network." The sad thing is, America won't pick up on that subtle little shift in the article.

The increasing tempo of commando operations in Afghanistan has caused some strains with other American commanders. Many of the top Special Operations forces, as well as intelligence analysts and surveillance aircraft, are being moved to Afghanistan from Iraq, as the Iraq war begins to wind down.

“It’s caused some tensions over resources,” said Lt. Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr., the second-ranking commander in Iraq.

Good! Fuck you, Jacoby, Iraq has had too much for too long anyway and we're paying for it spades (in every manner conceivable) in the war that mattered first and foremost. ETADIK. You too, CENTCOM.
 

Florida173

SOF Support
Joined
Oct 14, 2008
Messages
1,948
Location
NCR
Why are these officials not accountable for their spillage? I know that if I do something that results in spillage I'll probably end up losing my clearance... in the very least.
 
7

7point62

Guest
Good! Fuck you, Jacoby, Iraq has had too much for too long anyway and we're paying for it spades (in every manner conceivable) in the war that mattered first and foremost. ETADIK. You too, CENTCOM.


x2. The War of Necessity had to sit in the back of the bus while The War of Choice had to be unfucked.
 
8

8'Duece

Guest
I wonder when these military officials will pull their heads out of their asses and STFU.

Jesus H Christ I am tired of hearing/reading in the news about what our guys are out doing. It is none of Joe the Taxpayer's business; he may want to know but he doesnt need to know. All they need to know is that we are fighting a war on terrorism. The who's, how's, and where's shouldnt be put out even after the operations are over...

Sorry for the rant...

Politicians get way more mileage out of DA kills than UW/FID missions. I believe I heard that somewhere, so there's your culprit.
 

QC

1 CDO
Verified SOF
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
1,784
Location
ADEGVSWGV
Whilst I'm not a big fan of journos the article isn't too specific. Get a good search engine and type in whatever and you'll get a similar result. It's the same information, as opposed to intelligence, that everyone has read before over the past twelve months. There's some rear view mirror gazing now and then but nothing IMO that's too revealing. MIL INT is supposed to be an oxymoron but give them a bit of credit.
 

Crusader74

Verified Military
Verified Military
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
2,759
I wonder when these military officials will pull their heads out of their asses and STFU.

Jesus H Christ I am tired of hearing/reading in the news about what our guys are out doing. It is none of Joe the Taxpayer's business; he may want to know but he doesnt need to know. All they need to know is that we are fighting a war on terrorism. The who's, how's, and where's shouldnt be put out even after the operations are over...

Sorry for the rant...


I was going to more or less say the same thing..I don't know why they let this out? I can only imagine what the Guys on the ground are sayn about all there efforts being put to paper or the internet...
 
J

JJ sloan

Guest
Quoting SC:

I wonder when these military officials will pull their heads out of their asses and STFU.

Jesus H Christ I am tired of hearing/reading in the news about what our guys are out doing. It is none of Joe the Taxpayer's business; he may want to know but he doesnt need to know. All they need to know is that we are fighting a war on terrorism. The who's, how's, and where's shouldnt be put out even after the operations are over...

Sorry for the rant...


Agreed my friend
 

x SF med

the Troll
Verified SOF
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
10,841
Location
Not far from the south of Canada, 'Murica!
SSMP
SOF Mentor
Ok... Senior Military officials... wtf? Don't they have to have clearances? Don't they have the honor to stand by the demands of the clearances? I wonder how much they made from the reporters for divulging the information. Unless it's a poorly planned PsyOp mission ....
 

Manolito

Lewis B. Puller for todays problems!
Verified Military
Joined
Aug 4, 2009
Messages
762
Location
Milford CA Pop 72
I don't live in your community so I can't judge the harm an article like this can do. If you get a chance read Blind Mans Bluff it is about a program that kept the opsec and eventually suffered in the funding arena. The complete base was put on BRAC and closed. Years later when the book was written people kept saying then why did we close the base. Looking through this old mans eyes I couldn't find any information that I could have used on the other side. But remember I am not the brightest penny in the box.
 
Top