Friday, August 12, 2011
Ten years on and the people of America and her Allies simply cannot get their heads around what this war is about . . . its not about taking real estate, and even when we do take real estate is not secure . . . the enemy has no capital city, no flag, no uniform . . . there are no air clashes between mighty carrier armadas . . . no carpet bombing of cities, no tank columns battling it out on dusty plains . . . combat is largely symbolic; it's really a conflict between ideologies. Theirs embraces suicide, suffering and denial now as a ticket to Paradise, ours is the promise of freedom and a good life which the enemy somehow twists and perverts in the minds of their brainwashed followers.
How do you prevail over an enemy that numbers in the millions, most of them illiterate or if they can read they've only read one book in their entire lives and their frothing-at-the-mouth mad mullahs tell them what it means: that they should be more than willing to sacrifice their miserable lives to kill the Infidel? We slay a thousand, ten thousand of theirs and it doesn't matter - they all went to Paradise and who would miss them anyway? They're all loincloth-wearing mud hut dwellers with nothing better to do and all day to do it. They kill ten, twenty or thirty of ours and it's a major coup so body count math simply does not work. Symbolic victories is what it's all about, that and the hearts and minds of our home populations.
This war could conceivably go on forever; at the very least until the Second Coming, and we could conduct it a lot more cost-effectively than how we are currently going about it.
One way is to say to Hell with Nation-building - haven't we done enough for these people? First of all we liberated them, then we put up with the bombs and bullets of the insurgents they support, we shed the precious blood of thousands of our best & brightest. We can't simply pull out because that's handing victory over to the savages who ran Afghanistan into the Stone Age - not that it was very much out of the Stone Age in the first place - but the current status quo is simply unsustainable. Besides if they get those natural gas and oil pipelines run from the 'Stans down to the Indian Ocean ports, they'll finally have some kind of worth to their land which is otherwise a inhospitable pile of rocks, only good for growing opium and xenophobic zealotry.
The concept would be to maintain some fortresses over there, manned by Special Operations Forces and defended by private military companies. Let these people decide what they want to do with their cities and real estate - the whole place is incurably tribal anyway - while we maintain a permanent state of siege from within our firebases, resupplied by helicopters and Ospreys, straining the enemy's resources while we come and go at will on operations to punch him in the nose and kick him in the ass.
At a recent dinner table conversation in DC, one distinguished dinner guest suggested America needs some kind of mercenary force to conduct these kind of operations. I disagreed; we are not France and a Foreign Legion is not in keeping with our Constitution. There is no shortage of brave individuals willing to come forward to serve their country, and if the Mainstream Media wasn't so adamantly hellbent on surrender at any cost, there'd be a whole helluva lot more.
A reader wrote about Aaron Vaughn and those guys, commented that they're his age, how it's sobering to think about the time and effort that goes into building a spec ops guy like a SEAL (on both sides, trainer and trainee) . And these guys had families, kids to boot.
I was once their age and I went downrange dressed to kill and I had a family at the time (still do of course), my kids were young when I was going in and out of the Bad Countries . . .
When I went through the Special Forces Q Course it was between six to eighteen months long (depending what MOS you went for). On top of that you had to already be a sergeant in the Regular Army - I had five years under my belt as a grunt in the 82d Airborne by the time I went into the Q Course - so you could say it averaged four to five years to make a Green Beret; about the same to make a SEAL.
I read something somewhere that it takes ten years to fully train a Special Operations soldier in anyone's army; when you consider training and schools intersected with operational time I'd say that's about right. To me a fully trained professional should have a specialty insertion technique (scuba or halo), have at least three MOS's (one in their regular forces and two Special Forces), speak at least one foreign language (I have French, Thai and Spanish), graduate advanced Special Operations training courses (combat pistol marksmanship, CQB, breaching and advanced demolitions, tradecraft, technical surveillance, etc), and have some useful civilian credentials as well such as locksmithing, mechanic, etc.
These guys were the highest of their profession, and when you crunch the numbers it is easy to say they are less than 1% of 1% of all the military - the true elite.
Others will step forward to fill their shoes, and the Big Wheel Keeps on Turning.
It was just announced: the Special Operations Warrior Foundation will offer full college scholarships to the children of all of the U. S. military personnel who perished in the recent CH-47 helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
For the past 31 years, the SOWF has supported the families of fallen Special Operations members by providing college educations to their surviving children. Today, the foundation’s board of directors has decided to provide its services to the families of all U. S. troops aboard the helicopter that was downed on Aug. 6.
"This was a tragic day for our military and their families. While the majority of the military personnel onboard the CH-47 were special operators, and they are automatically covered by the foundation, we wanted to offer our services to all who were on that fateful mission,” said retired Air Force Col. John T. Carney, Jr., SOWF President. "The least we can do for the grieving families is to honor the sacrifices of their loved ones and to offer a college education to the surviving children.”
We know now that the Chinook was a regular CH-47, not an MH- series Special Operations bird - I mistakenly posted that it was an MH-47 on the assumption that an outfit like SEAL Team 6 gets around in MH- series birds (the whole time I was in Special Forces I can count the times we flew regular birds on the fingers of one hand, and I was in SF for 20 years.) Suffice to say something went terribly wrong - they were possibly flying in on their contingency plan means of infil - in any case it is an act of class for the SOWF to include the non-Spec Ops personnel in their generous charity; they died on a Spec Ops mission, as far as I'm concerned they're Spec Ops now, they earned it the hard way.
"Only the Dead have seen the End of War."
- SEAN LINNANE SENDS