Special Ops paradigm shift
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Christopher Gregory/The New York Times
DISPATCHES FROM AMERICA Empire's changing face masks old ambitions By Nick Turse
Special Operators in Action | The Age of Special Warfare: The Medill Project on Targeted Warfare and the LawSpecial operators have conducted missions in dozens of countries since 2001, according to the Age of Special Warfare Project's database. On this map, countries in blue appear in the Top 20 of the Of the 20 highest-ranked unstable nations — the 2010 Failed States Index — special operators are found in 14 (70%). If you were to overlay a world-wide map of Special Operations from this project’s database onto the Failed States map, special operators would appear in nearly all of the volatile regions, ranging from South Asia, where they are training Pakistani paramilitary officers, to the Caribbean, where they have helped hurricane victims in Haiti and elsewhere.
Beneath its commitment to soft-spoken diplomacy and beyond the combat zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, the Obama administration has significantly expanded a largely secret U.S. war against al-Qaeda and other radical groups, according to senior military and administration officials. Special Operations forces have grown both in number and budget, and are deployed in 75 countries, compared with about 60 at the beginning of last year. In addition to units that have spent years in the Philippines and Colombia, teams are operating in Yemen and elsewhere in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia. Commanders are developing plans for increasing the use of such forces in Somalia, where a Special Operations raid last year killed the alleged head of al-Qaeda in East Africa. Plans exist for preemptive or retaliatory strikes in numerous places around the world, meant to be put into action when a plot has been identified, or after an attack linked to a specific group.
Document, Prepared At the Request of a “Tea Party” Congressman, Indicates the 7th Special Forces Group “Has Conducted Operations in Every Latin American Country” A Pentagon document has come to light that confirms the U.S. has put special operations troops on the ground in Mexico as the drug war there continues to escalate, notching some 40,000 murders since late 2006. The document is a Department of Defense briefing presented in mid-May 2009 in Washington, D.C., to a group of business and political leaders from northwest Florida. The “Unclassified/For Official Use Only” briefing reveals the 18 Latin American nations where 7th Special Forces Group soldiers [Airborne Green Berets] were deployed as of fiscal year 2009, which ended Sept. 30, 2009. Among those nations, according to the briefing document, was Mexico.
Somewhere on this planet an American commando is carrying out a mission. Now, say that 70 times and you’re done... for the day. Without the knowledge of the American public, a secret force within the U.S. military is undertaking operations in a majority of the world’s countries.
August 18, 2011 |
<img class="aligncenter" src="http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/dangerroom/2010/09/SF-Night-Vision.jpg" alt="" width="640" height="426" /> When trading ended Tuesday night at the New York Stock Exchange, the closing bell wasn’t rung by a titan of finance or an imported celebrity. It was sounded by the CEO of an obscure defense firm with deep ties to the U.S. intelligence and special operations communities. The traders on the floor may not have recognized Mary Margaret “Peggy” Styer. But her company’s products are well known by the small group of commandos and spies who hunt down top terrorists.
Somewhere on this planet a US commando is carrying out a mission. Now, say that 70 times and you're done ... for the day. Without the knowledge of much of the general American public, a secret force within the US military is undertaking operations in a majority of the world's countries. This Pentagon power elite is waging a global war whose size and scope has generally been ignored by the mainstream media, and deserves further attention. After a US Navy SEAL put a bullet in Osama bin Laden's chest and another in his head, one of the most secretive black-ops units in the US military suddenly found its mission in the public spotlight. It was atypical.
A NASA composite image of the Earth at night, seen from space, offers an illuminating reference point for the shift in Special Operations Forces' missions since 2001, their senior officer said this week in Washington. Before Sept. 11, 2001, the military considered the places where the lights are to be the most strategically important on the globe, Navy Adm. Eric T. Olson, commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, said this week. Olson discussed the strategic importance of the globe's unlit areas during Feb. 8 remarks at the National Defense Industrial Association's 22nd Annual Special Operations and Low-intensity Conflict Symposium.
The U.S. Special Operations Command’s spending since 2001 has quadrupled, with an almost fivefold increase in revenue for its four largest defense contractors, according to a Bloomberg Government study. The amount paid to the top four defense contractors supplying the special ops command with equipment and services -- New York-based L-3 Communications Holdings, Massachusetts-based Raytheon Co. (RTN) , Florida-based Harris Corp. (HRS) and Chicago-based Boeing Co. (BA) -- has increased from $194.8 million in fiscal year 2001 to $949.9 million in fiscal 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
4GW (fourth generation wafare) is the term used by military thinkers to describe conflict at the end of the 20th century. In general, 4GW is an extremely effective method of warfare that the US and its allies will find very difficult to defeat (a slow burn, rather than complete eradication, may be the best possible outcome). I have outlined the basics of 4GW warfare below to enhance your understanding of the term. Definition 4GW can be defined as a method of warfare that uses the following to achieve a moral victory: Undermines enemy strengths (this may seem obvious, but most of modern warfare has involved direct attacks on enemy strengths -- find the enemy army and destroy it). Exploits enemy weaknesses.