Special Operations

Hypothetically Speaking…

Asked by ABC over the weekend if he’d stay on as defense secretary if Mitt Romney wins the presidential election in November, Leon Panetta had a simple answer: “I don’t engage in hypotheticals.”

The wisdom of such an …

War (Business) Is Hell

Nifty contract solicitation posted Friday by the U.S. Special Operations Command. You know, the guys who got Osama bin Laden. They need local Afghan security guards to protect their “(firebases, village stability platforms, etc.)” as the U.S. special forces go about their business. You may recall that Afghan President Hamid Karzai …

Another Face of Multiple Deployments

It’s been nearly two months since the Kandahar massacre – some time and distance, but not much. Some things are clearer, some things still aren’t. We don’t know why Staff Sergeant Robert Bales did what he did. We do know the American public’s confidence in the war effort plunged post-Kandahar. We don’t know if that …

Letters from Abbottabad: Bin Laden’s Bleak Final Days

The latest batch of Osama bin Laden documents shows what you’d expect from a one-time terror mastermind whose best years were behind him. He’d spent six years confined to a house with several of his wives, and where the only way he could get outside was to walk inside the walled compound, or atop the walled rooftop.

Nearly 200 …

The Army and Special Forces: The Fantasy Continues

The Army, it would appear, and, perhaps the nation, has learned nothing from its unhappy experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. This morning’s New York Times reports that Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno is setting off to restructure large pieces of his ground force to do in other regions, especially Africa, what they have done …

What’s Wrong With This Trahc?

This chart comes from a just-released Rand Corp. study that concludes U.S. military information operations – psyops or propaganda, in less polite company – in Afghanistan have grown increasingly unsuccessful with the Afghan population over the past decade.

Speaking of info ops – have you ever seen a chart with a timeline …

Final Dive

Christian Lambertsen, a World War II combat diver from the Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the CIA, conducted his final mission March 10 when his ashes were committed to the Atlantic Ocean. There was a small …

Afghanistan: Shok Therapy

A pair of intrepid reporters has just published No Way Out: A Story of Valor in the Mountains of Afghanistan. Veteran journalists Mitch Weiss, now at the AP — who won a Pulitzer Prize while at the Toledo Blade in 2004 — and Kevin Maurer, who has traveled frequently with U.S. troops in Afghanistan, tell the tale of a Special Forces team …

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