Native American trackers to hunt bin Laden

Crusader74

Verified Military
Verified Military
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
2,759
WASHINGTON: An elite group of Native American trackers is joining the hunt for terrorists crossing Afghanistan's borders.

The unit, the Shadow Wolves, was recruited from several tribes, including the Navajo, Sioux, Lakota and Apache. It is being sent to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to pass on ancestral sign-reading skills to local border units. In recent years, members of the Shadow Wolves have mainly tracked smugglers along the US border with Mexico.

But the Taliban's resurgence in Afghanistan and the US military's failure to hunt down Osama bin Laden - still at large on his 50th birthday on Saturday - has prompted the Pentagon to requisition them.

US Defence Secretary Robert M.Gates said last month: "If I were Osama bin Laden, I'd keep looking over my shoulder."

The Pentagon has been alarmed at the ease with which Taliban and al-Qa'ida fighters have been slipping in and out of Afghanistan. Defence officials are convinced their movements can be curtailed by the Shadow Wolves.

The unit has earned international respect for its tracking skills in the Arizona desert. It was founded in the early 1970s to curb the flow of marijuana into the US from Mexico and has since tracked people-smugglers across hundreds of square kilometres of the Tohono O'odham tribal reservation, southwest of Tucson.

Harold Thompson, a Navajo Indian, and Gary Ortega, from the Tohono reservation, are experts at "cutting sign", the traditional Indian method of finding and following minute clues from a barren landscape. They can detect twigs snapped by passing humans or hair snagged on a branch and tell how long a sliver of food may have lain in the dirt.

Some military experts want the Shadow Wolves to help to track down bin Laden. Despite a $US25million bounty on his head and the use of billions of dollars worth of sophisticated equipment, US forces have so far failed to fulfil President George W. Bush's promise to capture bin Laden "dead or alive".

But a senior US official insisted last week that bin Laden's trail had "not gone stone cold". Vice-Admiral Mike McConnell, the new US director of national intelligence, told a Senate committee that bin Laden and his lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahiri, were setting up new training camps in northwestern Pakistan.

The deployment of the Shadow Wolves came as Iraqi militants holding a German woman and her son threatened yesterday to kill their captives unless Germany started withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan within 10 days.

The 61-year-old woman made a tearful plea for help to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a video posted by the abductors on an Islamist website.
"I'm asking you to help me," she said in German, sobbing. "We're Germans as well. These people want to kill my son before my eyes and then kill me. I don't want to die like this."

Hannelore Marianne Krause and her adult son were seized on February 6 by armed men who burst into their family home in Baghdad. One of the kidnappers read a statement in Arabic on behalf of a little-known group calling itself the brigade of the Arrows of Righteousness.

"We give the German Government 10 days from the date of this statement to announce and start the withdrawal of their troops from Afghanistan, otherwise ... they will not even see the bodies of these two agents," he said.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...6-2703,00.html
 

pardus

Verified Military
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
10,183
The method (if I understand it correctly) that the Native American trackers use, while it works is very dangerous in this scenario and needs specialy trained troops to support them.

Just bringing in people who can follow a track and say "OK go get him" is a bit naive, it takes skilled people time to learn the area and the ways of the locals etc... this will take time, but a good step in the right direction.
 

RackMaster

Nasty-Dirty-Canuck
SOF Support
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
10,706
Location
Land of Swine and Maple Syrup
The method (if I understand it correctly) that the Native American trackers use, while it works is very dangerous in this scenario and needs specialy trained troops to support them.

Just bringing in people who can follow a track and say "OK go get him" is a bit naive, it takes skilled people time to learn the area and the ways of the locals etc... this will take time, but a good step in the right direction.

Exactly, they should have been brought in a long time a go and immersed into the local areas.
 

pardus

Verified Military
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
10,183
My issue with this is that these arent soldiers, they have no tactcal experience, that will lead to them and their supporting troops being put in danger unless of course they are given decent build up training alongside the troops that will be operating/protecting them.
 

RackMaster

Nasty-Dirty-Canuck
SOF Support
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
10,706
Location
Land of Swine and Maple Syrup
My issue with this is that these arent soldiers, they have no tactcal experience, that will lead to them and their supporting troops being put in danger unless of course they are given decent build up training alongside the troops that will be operating/protecting them.

Oh, my understanding was that they are a trained military unit. Just volunteer trackers?
 

pardus

Verified Military
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
10,183
:doh: :rolleyes:

I'm sure they would be better off taking guys from the SF community experienced in the Afghanistan/Pakistan border areas and immerse them with Native American trackers to learn the skills required. Then they can train locals once back in country. :2c:

There is a plan in place at the moment that will rectify this deficiency if the DOD can get their fucking ass into gear :rolleyes:
 

RackMaster

Nasty-Dirty-Canuck
SOF Support
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
10,706
Location
Land of Swine and Maple Syrup
There is a plan in place at the moment that will rectify this deficiency if the DOD can get their fucking ass into gear :rolleyes:

Yah didn't think I would come up with something that the community wouldn't have thought of already. We have the same problem up here for some things. The only time we get the tape cut is after some thing serious happens.
 

pardus

Verified Military
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
10,183
Same shit all over mate, nothing worse than a fucking peacetime military mentality. :rolleyes:
 

RackMaster

Nasty-Dirty-Canuck
SOF Support
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
10,706
Location
Land of Swine and Maple Syrup
Same shit all over mate, nothing worse than a fucking peacetime military mentality. :rolleyes:

Yup and they don't realize we're not in any peaceful days. If you look at the conflicts going on, this is just another World War going on. They don't realize that the days of nations against nations are rare instances now. Just because someone hasn't landed clearly identified troops on the coast, marching towards a capital, doesn't mean the enemy isn't on the ground and there isn't a war being fought.
 

pardus

Verified Military
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
10,183
Sadly I think it'll take many years before the west works it out.
We are so fucking ashamed of our colonial past we are denying that we are the hard bastards we really are.
If we had a WW2 military mentality and the political backing of out govts/populace we'd finish this quite quickly I think.
 
Top