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(The Daily Beast)   Why the US can't just deploy special forces soldiers to Iraq to solve the country's problems on the cheap: "What are they going to do? Host a dinner party? It's 300 guys to stop ISIS from taking over Baghdad"   (thedailybeast.com) divider line 115
    More: Obvious, Iraq, U.S. military, White House announced, Joint Special Operations Command, special forces, Sending, Iraqi security forces, The Daily Beast  
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930 clicks; posted to Politics » on 24 Jun 2014 at 3:15 PM (8 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-06-24 10:30:15 AM
Well, you'd be surprised what 300 highly trained, highly motivated guys can do.

CSB:  The Army base where I learned Morse code was Fort Devens, which at the time was the home of the 10th SF Group.  So there were guys with green berets all over the place.  I remember one in particular.  Unlike most of the other SF guys, who to a man were really scrawny, this guy was just different.  You could tell he spent time lifting weights.  SF places a premium on endurance, not raw strength.  Marathon runners, not powerlifters, so he stood out.  That, and the fact that he was probably at that time pushing 40 years old.

One Saturday while I was at the post library, I happened to run across this guy in the stacks.  Being an impressionable young PV2, and generally not prone to being intimidated by rank, I walked up to him and said "Hey Master Sergeant, what's the hairiest situation you've been in?".

He then proceeded to tell me the story about how, after his second extended tour in Vietnam, he was looking up some of his old war buddies when he started getting hassled by a local cop in a podunk small town.  A deputy ended up dying in the ensuing row, which he insisted was an accident, but it took all of his skills to evade the ensuing manhunt.  Eventually, his commander showed up and they got everything straightened out.

I met him in the language section, btw.  He was getting some books on Pashto.  I assume he was heading at that point to Afghanistan to help out the Mujahideen, but I can't rightly say.
 
2014-06-24 10:34:43 AM
Why do we care about Iraq again? A regional civil war is long overdue there, the tribal alliances that don't match those idiot boundaries the British gave them 100 years ago have been enforced for far too long.

Also, Kudos to the "Religion of Peace" for even having a shiite / Sunni split worthy of a shooting war again, just like every other Islamic holy conflict with itself in the past .. 1400 years now?

Note to any Islamic apologist: The West used to have shooting wars just as violent or angry as the Islamic world does today. And we evolved out of it. The Reformation, The 100 Years' War and so forth, basically our entire history 1500 - 1800 was based around Catholics and Protestants trying to hurt one another over whose version of God was correct.

In the end it served to help the West grow past religious theocracy as a form of government and led to the society we enjoy today.

Someone better educated in Islamic culture could explain why with double the history the Islamic world is still basically fighting for which version of the bible is correct, and is willing to kill itself in order to settle it.

Ridiculously immature and non-modern thing to be arguing over, Islamic World. If you didn't have oil wealth we'd just laugh at your tribal nonsense, but since you inherited some money along the way you actually have the ability to damage the civilized world with your antics.
 
2014-06-24 11:22:44 AM
I'm sure 300 SFs could do some pretty amazing shiat.

It's still 300 more than we should send.
 
2014-06-24 11:25:43 AM
I'm not sure I understand why I'm even supposed to care about iraq.
 
2014-06-24 11:40:49 AM

Generation_D: Someone better educated in Islamic culture could explain why with double the history the Islamic world is still basically fighting for which version of the bible is correct, and is willing to kill itself in order to settle it.

Ridiculously immature and non-modern thing to be arguing over, Islamic World. If you didn't have oil wealth we'd just laugh at your tribal nonsense, but since you inherited some money along the way you actually have the ability to damage the civilized world with your antics.


One quibble. I don't think it's as much to do with theological aspects as it is with which lineage gets to determine those aspects. I'm sure I'm getting some of this wrong, but as I understand it, one group (Sunnis, I think) essentially think that the most qualified administrators should be in charge while the other group (shiites?) think that descendants of Muhammad are the holders of that authority.

There's also a racial divide between the Persians, Arabs and Kurds that needs taken into account too. This is why Palestinians have no where to go. They're the only Arab shiites (or Persian Sunnis, or some combination therein) in the region. Same for the Kurds, who don't even have their own state. (Their flaw is they are settled on some really oil-rich land that Turkey and Iraq don't exactly want to give up.)  Add in those badly drawn British borders you mentioned, and yeah, I too question why we're sticking our nose into that mess.
 
2014-06-24 11:46:46 AM
They don't give a shiat about Iraq. The oil refineries, on the other hand, are the property of the oil companies now, and we CANNOT have them be taken away.
 
2014-06-24 12:31:13 PM

dittybopper: Well, you'd be surprised what 300 highly trained, highly motivated guys can do.


With air support.
 
2014-06-24 12:32:09 PM
The purpose of SF soldiers has never been to win a war. They're guerrillas, who are trained to create more guerrillas. They engage in unconventional and asymmetric warfare, and are uniquely trained to create others who can do the same.

They may or may not be successful in Iraq- my money's on "not so much"- but never mistake their purpose. The US Special Forces have never been about directly winning conflicts but about creating the conditions in which a conflict can be won, which is a subtle but distinct difference.
 
2014-06-24 12:33:02 PM

MisterTweak: I'm not sure I understand why I'm even supposed to care about iraq.


Hey, why bother starting now?
 
2014-06-24 12:42:24 PM

Cyclometh: The purpose of SF soldiers has never been to win a war. They're guerrillas, who are trained to create more guerrillas. They engage in unconventional and asymmetric warfare, and are uniquely trained to create others who can do the same.

They may or may not be successful in Iraq- my money's on "not so much"- but never mistake their purpose. The US Special Forces have never been about directly winning conflicts but about creating the conditions in which a conflict can be won, which is a subtle but distinct difference.


The neat thing is that if they can get a bit of a counter-revolution going in ISIS's rear areas, that puts the pressure on ISIS, changing the momentum.  They have to draw off troops to provide security in their rear, they then have fewer troops available to attack other areas.

But as I've pointed out before, this is a Sunni movement taking over Sunni areas.  It'll stop, hard, once they run up against a majority Shia area.
 
2014-06-24 12:44:08 PM
300 Forward Air Controllers can pretty much destroy anything.
 
2014-06-24 12:52:18 PM

dittybopper: Cyclometh: The purpose of SF soldiers has never been to win a war. They're guerrillas, who are trained to create more guerrillas. They engage in unconventional and asymmetric warfare, and are uniquely trained to create others who can do the same.

They may or may not be successful in Iraq- my money's on "not so much"- but never mistake their purpose. The US Special Forces have never been about directly winning conflicts but about creating the conditions in which a conflict can be won, which is a subtle but distinct difference.

The neat thing is that if they can get a bit of a counter-revolution going in ISIS's rear areas, that puts the pressure on ISIS, changing the momentum.  They have to draw off troops to provide security in their rear, they then have fewer troops available to attack other areas.

But as I've pointed out before, this is a Sunni movement taking over Sunni areas.  It'll stop, hard, once they run up against a majority Shia area.


The tactics sound good, but I assume in this case both groups are citizens of the country in question. As much as I was displeased with the bizarre events of that nutbag rancher from Fox News - the "I know what's good for 'The Negro'" guy? I had little sympathy for him, I would nonetheless have had pretty strong objections if  *spins globe*.... Uzbekistan had send in 300 "advisers" - regardless of which side they had taken.
 
2014-06-24 12:59:37 PM

MisterTweak: The tactics sound good, but I assume in this case both groups are citizens of the country in question


That's... an interesting question in that part of the world. Many people there (most  especially ISIS and ISIL) don't see the borders or the "countries" to be legitimate, but rather the result of map-drawing by colonial powers in the early to mid-20th century. And, if you want to be honest about it, they've got a point.

Many of them don't see themselves as citizens of whatever nation- they don't place any kind of cultural value on that because they see it as just another tool of control. Rightly or wrongly, if you want to affect the course of this conflict one has to take things like that into account.

One problem that powers like the US have is that they tend to see things through their own cultural lens. We think that these are countries like ours with similar values placed on things like citizenship and patriotism. Look at the US and ask yourself- if the USA were to overthrow the government and replace it with an autocratic theocracy based on the principles of Ayn Rand and Biblical literalism, how many current citizens would feel any loyalty to that entity forty years on?
 
2014-06-24 01:15:20 PM

Cyclometh: MisterTweak: The tactics sound good, but I assume in this case both groups are citizens of the country in question

That's... an interesting question in that part of the world. Many people there (most  especially ISIS and ISIL) don't see the borders or the "countries" to be legitimate, but rather the result of map-drawing by colonial powers in the early to mid-20th century. And, if you want to be honest about it, they've got a point.

Many of them don't see themselves as citizens of whatever nation- they don't place any kind of cultural value on that because they see it as just another tool of control. Rightly or wrongly, if you want to affect the course of this conflict one has to take things like that into account.

One problem that powers like the US have is that they tend to see things through their own cultural lens. We think that these are countries like ours with similar values placed on things like citizenship and patriotism. Look at the US and ask yourself- if the USA were to overthrow the government and replace it with an autocratic theocracy based on the principles of Ayn Rand and Biblical literalism, how many current citizens would feel any loyalty to that entity forty years on?


Great point. Our own state boundaries at times are fairly arbitrary and silly and don't reflect the natural features or cultures of the land.

This happens a lot here in the West. The whole Cascadia and Jefferson movements have this to thank - maps lines being drawn in Washington by railroad companies or other fairly ridiculous entities 150 years ago.

Western Washington has more in common with Western Oregon and the Frazier River Valley on both sides of the US / Canadian border than it has with Eastern Washington, which is a lot more like Idaho than Seattle. Just one example. States make no sense culturally.

If things did get to where we'd be overthrowing or dividing, Cascadia would probably become a country long before Washington State would.
 
2014-06-24 01:20:19 PM

Generation_D: Cyclometh: MisterTweak: The tactics sound good, but I assume in this case both groups are citizens of the country in question

That's... an interesting question in that part of the world. Many people there (most  especially ISIS and ISIL) don't see the borders or the "countries" to be legitimate, but rather the result of map-drawing by colonial powers in the early to mid-20th century. And, if you want to be honest about it, they've got a point.

Many of them don't see themselves as citizens of whatever nation- they don't place any kind of cultural value on that because they see it as just another tool of control. Rightly or wrongly, if you want to affect the course of this conflict one has to take things like that into account.

One problem that powers like the US have is that they tend to see things through their own cultural lens. We think that these are countries like ours with similar values placed on things like citizenship and patriotism. Look at the US and ask yourself- if the USA were to overthrow the government and replace it with an autocratic theocracy based on the principles of Ayn Rand and Biblical literalism, how many current citizens would feel any loyalty to that entity forty years on?

Great point. Our own state boundaries at times are fairly arbitrary and silly and don't reflect the natural features or cultures of the land.

This happens a lot here in the West. The whole Cascadia and Jefferson movements have this to thank - maps lines being drawn in Washington by railroad companies or other fairly ridiculous entities 150 years ago.

Western Washington has more in common with Western Oregon and the Frazier River Valley on both sides of the US / Canadian border than it has with Eastern Washington, which is a lot more like Idaho than Seattle. Just one example. States make no sense culturally.

If things did get to where we'd be overthrowing or dividing, Cascadia would probably become a country long before Washington State would.


Living in Olympia, I'd have to agree. It makes sense geographically also. But in the case of the US there's a lot of cultural weight behind those lines on maps. Not so much in the Middle East, or at least not everywhere. Certainly there's a lot of cultural weight on  places, but not so much on  boundaries.
 
2014-06-24 01:38:19 PM
I seriously hope the next season of Archer is about ISIS taking over Iraq for oil.
 
2014-06-24 01:40:48 PM

dittybopper: He then proceeded to tell me the story about how, after his second extended tour in Vietnam, he was looking up some of his old war buddies when he started getting hassled by a local cop in a podunk small town.  A deputy ended up dying in the ensuing row, which he insisted was an accident, but it took all of his skills to evade the ensuing manhunt.  Eventually, his commander showed up and they got everything straightened out.


I think I met him too, at the PX, but this was after he rescued some secret American POWs held in Vietnam and fought with the Mujaheddin in Trashcanistan.
 
2014-06-24 02:03:51 PM
Wasn't listening to Internet Military Strategists part of what got us here?
 
2014-06-24 02:08:34 PM

Rapmaster2000: Wasn't listening to Internet Military Strategists part of what got us here?


You could actually make the opposite argument:  Not seeking out and seriously considering differing opinions is what got us here.
 
2014-06-24 02:09:45 PM

violentsalvation: dittybopper: He then proceeded to tell me the story about how, after his second extended tour in Vietnam, he was looking up some of his old war buddies when he started getting hassled by a local cop in a podunk small town.  A deputy ended up dying in the ensuing row, which he insisted was an accident, but it took all of his skills to evade the ensuing manhunt.  Eventually, his commander showed up and they got everything straightened out.

I think I met him too, at the PX, but this was after he rescued some secret American POWs held in Vietnam and fought with the Mujaheddin in Trashcanistan.


Yeah, that was him.

I can't believe it took over 3 hours for someone to notice that I had PN'ed the thread in the juggs.
 
2014-06-24 02:12:43 PM

dittybopper: I can't believe it took over 3 hours for someone to notice that I had PN'ed the thread in the juggs.


Yeah, we noticed. We just didn't care.

Or maybe it was just me, I dunno. Anyway, well done, thanks.

Moving on...
 
2014-06-24 02:15:57 PM

Generation_D: Why do we care about Iraq Afghanistan in the late 80s / early 90s again? A regional civil war is long overdue there, the tribal alliances that don't match those idiot boundaries the British gave them 100 years ago have been enforced for far too long.


There's your answer.
 
2014-06-24 02:36:03 PM

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: Generation_D: Why do we care about Iraq Afghanistan in the late 80s / early 90s again? A regional civil war is long overdue there, the tribal alliances that don't match those idiot boundaries the British gave them 100 years ago have been enforced for far too long.

There's your answer.


I feel the same way about Israel.  But that's just me.
 
2014-06-24 03:21:34 PM
dittybopper:He then proceeded to tell me the story about how, after his second extended tour in Vietnam, he was looking up some of his old war buddies when he started getting hassled by a local cop in a podunk small town...

media.giphy.com
 
2014-06-24 03:25:06 PM
Oh, a Right Wing Patriot who has no farking idea what Special Forces actually does. I am shocked!
 
2014-06-24 03:25:42 PM
We spent eight years and billions of dollars training the Iraqi military. How long does Dick Cheney think they need?
 
2014-06-24 03:26:37 PM

ArtosRC: dittybopper:He then proceeded to tell me the story about how, after his second extended tour in Vietnam, he was looking up some of his old war buddies when he started getting hassled by a local cop in a podunk small town...

[media.giphy.com image 333x250]


All he wanted was something to eat, but that king shiat cop kept pushing.
 
2014-06-24 03:27:52 PM
Because conducting combat on the cheap worked out so well last time.
 
Bf+
2014-06-24 03:28:29 PM

dittybopper: Well, you'd be surprised what 300 highly trained, highly motivated guys can do.


CSB:
sites.psu.edu
 
2014-06-24 03:28:46 PM
If you gave those 300 guys air support and the ability to buy off the locals they probably could but nobody has the stomach for another stupid waste of lives and money and time in Iraq.
 
2014-06-24 03:28:53 PM
I'm fairly sure those guys are there to defend the embassy and perhaps advise the Iraqi "military", not defend the entire farking city of Bagdad all on their own.
 
2014-06-24 03:30:03 PM

dittybopper: violentsalvation: dittybopper: He then proceeded to tell me the story about how, after his second extended tour in Vietnam, he was looking up some of his old war buddies when he started getting hassled by a local cop in a podunk small town.  A deputy ended up dying in the ensuing row, which he insisted was an accident, but it took all of his skills to evade the ensuing manhunt.  Eventually, his commander showed up and they got everything straightened out.

I think I met him too, at the PX, but this was after he rescued some secret American POWs held in Vietnam and fought with the Mujaheddin in Trashcanistan.

Yeah, that was him.

I can't believe it took over 3 hours for someone to notice that I had PN'ed the thread in the juggs.


I just didn't want to point out that it wasn't that good an effort, but if you're looking for feedback... you, sir, are no PN.
 
2014-06-24 03:31:18 PM

Cyclometh: dittybopper: I can't believe it took over 3 hours for someone to notice that I had PN'ed the thread in the juggs.

Yeah, we noticed. We just didn't care.

Or maybe it was just me, I dunno. Anyway, well done, thanks.

Moving on...


Also, that's not what PN does. But whatever.
 
2014-06-24 03:32:22 PM

Lando Lincoln: They don't give a shiat about Iraq. The oil refineries, on the other hand, are the property of the oil companies now, and we CANNOT have them be taken away.


That's why I suggested we should just bomb the refineries to utter destruction. If Iraq and its people can play along with Big Oil, then instead of wasting more American lives just take the farking ball away from the Iraqis.

As long as there are oil refineries in Iraq, there's going to be American military VOLUNTEERS dying to protect Big Oil's interests.
 
2014-06-24 03:33:38 PM
I've watched American Ninja 4, we just send in Michael Dudikoff and be done with it.
 
2014-06-24 03:36:52 PM

qorkfiend: I'm fairly sure those guys are there to defend the embassy and perhaps advise the Iraqi "military", not defend the entire farking city of Bagdad all on their own.


It is what most people would call a token gesture. There is a perceived need to do something but there is no clear choice on who to support so we dig in defend our billion dollar embassy and provide some logistics to the Iraqi army so there know where to run when they are deserting as the old Iraqi army (the one we disbanded) comes back to reclaim what they lost.
 
2014-06-24 03:37:37 PM

Bf+: dittybopper: Well, you'd be surprised what 300 highly trained, highly motivated guys can do.

CSB:


took long enough...damn
 
2014-06-24 03:37:57 PM
Subby:
On the other paw, there's reports of 800 ISIS fighters routing 5000 Iraqi soldiers.
 
2014-06-24 03:39:31 PM
CAN'T play along not can play along
 
2014-06-24 03:42:52 PM
Worth noting that it's 300 JSOC guys + the 100 Soldiers (+ Embassy Marines and possibly other Sailors/Airmen/Marines/etc there that I don't know about) that have been there for "training purposes" since the withdraw. It's not like there are only going to be 300 BOG in Iraq.
 
2014-06-24 03:43:57 PM

timujin: dittybopper: violentsalvation: dittybopper: He then proceeded to tell me the story about how, after his second extended tour in Vietnam, he was looking up some of his old war buddies when he started getting hassled by a local cop in a podunk small town.  A deputy ended up dying in the ensuing row, which he insisted was an accident, but it took all of his skills to evade the ensuing manhunt.  Eventually, his commander showed up and they got everything straightened out.

I think I met him too, at the PX, but this was after he rescued some secret American POWs held in Vietnam and fought with the Mujaheddin in Trashcanistan.

Yeah, that was him.

I can't believe it took over 3 hours for someone to notice that I had PN'ed the thread in the juggs.

I just didn't want to point out that it wasn't that good an effort, but if you're looking for feedback... you, sir, are no PN.


static.fjcdn.com
 
2014-06-24 03:46:23 PM

dittybopper: Well, you'd be surprised what 300 highly trained, highly motivated guys can do.

CSB:  The Army base where I learned Morse code was Fort Devens, which at the time was the home of the 10th SF Group.  So there were guys with green berets all over the place.  I remember one in particular.  Unlike most of the other SF guys, who to a man were really scrawny, this guy was just different.  You could tell he spent time lifting weights.  SF places a premium on endurance, not raw strength.  Marathon runners, not powerlifters, so he stood out.  That, and the fact that he was probably at that time pushing 40 years old.

One Saturday while I was at the post library, I happened to run across this guy in the stacks.  Being an impressionable young PV2, and generally not prone to being intimidated by rank, I walked up to him and said "Hey Master Sergeant, what's the hairiest situation you've been in?".

He then proceeded to tell me the story about how, after his second extended tour in Vietnam, he was looking up some of his old war buddies when he started getting hassled by a local cop in a podunk small town.  A deputy ended up dying in the ensuing row, which he insisted was an accident, but it took all of his skills to evade the ensuing manhunt.  Eventually, his commander showed up and they got everything straightened out.

I met him in the language section, btw.  He was getting some books on Pashto.  I assume he was heading at that point to Afghanistan to help out the Mujahideen, but I can't rightly say.


They drew first blood.
 
2014-06-24 03:46:55 PM
This definitely needs to be an internationallly-led cleanup.

The US farked up. Bad. Continuing to throw money and lives at a Bush turd isn't working.
 
2014-06-24 03:48:05 PM
An elegant dinner party, maybe...

images.tvfanatic.com
 
2014-06-24 03:49:10 PM

dittybopper: Well, you'd be surprised what 300 highly trained, highly motivated guys can do.


Particularly when those highly trained individuals can call in air strikes, drones, and other equipment.
 
2014-06-24 03:49:27 PM
defense-update.com

I heard there's a laser show after dinner.
 
2014-06-24 03:50:37 PM

dualplains: timujin: dittybopper: violentsalvation: dittybopper: He then proceeded to tell me the story about how, after his second extended tour in Vietnam, he was looking up some of his old war buddies when he started getting hassled by a local cop in a podunk small town.  A deputy ended up dying in the ensuing row, which he insisted was an accident, but it took all of his skills to evade the ensuing manhunt.  Eventually, his commander showed up and they got everything straightened out.

I think I met him too, at the PX, but this was after he rescued some secret American POWs held in Vietnam and fought with the Mujaheddin in Trashcanistan.

Yeah, that was him.

I can't believe it took over 3 hours for someone to notice that I had PN'ed the thread in the juggs.

I just didn't want to point out that it wasn't that good an effort, but if you're looking for feedback... you, sir, are no PN.

[static.fjcdn.com image 400x300]


Thirded, in case it's necessary.
 
2014-06-24 03:51:46 PM

SpectroBoy: dittybopper: Well, you'd be surprised what 300 highly trained, highly motivated guys can do.

Particularly when those highly trained individuals can call in air strikes, drones, and other equipment.


Or if they get their hands on a deuce and a half with an M-60 mounted in the back.
 
2014-06-24 03:53:26 PM
BTW, that paragraph about SF guys being mostly skinny, to the point of looking scrawny?  Absolutely true.  And yes, I did spend 7 months at Fort Devens, and the 10th SF Group was based there at the time.
 
2014-06-24 03:54:04 PM
Actually, probably closer to 8 months.  I was slow.

/Still am.
 
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