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In the Crosshairs of the US Special Forces

Two reports of stunning developments in America’s fight against global terror were announced in the last few days.  The first was an amazing victory for the Trump administration and the US military as Delta Force was employed in a secret raid on the compound of ISIS leader, Abul Bakr al-Baghdadi.  During the raid, our special forces managed to not only hunt down the sadistic head of the Islamic State, but were able to force his surrender (albeit, a messy one) in the way of a suicide vest detonation.

Following this, the Trump administration just announced hours ago that US forces once again managed to strike at the heart of the terrorist organization inside Syria by taking out the suspected number one replacement of Baghdadi.

“Just confirmed that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s number one replacement has been terminated by American troops,” President Trump tweeted today. “Most likely would have taken the top spot – Now he is also Dead!”

With this news, it was assumed that the day would be spent with celebrations and sighs of relief that not a single one of our troops had been injured or killed.  It was assumed that, like the day when the Obama administration announced that Osama bin Laden had been slain, politicians and statesmen and women would have congratulated the Trump administration and basked in the victory over terror.  Instead, America was subjected to quite a different manner of celebration.  In fact, it turned out to be more of a mournful dirge over the death of what was sounding awfully close to a reverenced man.  The Washington Post even claimed that he was an “austere religious scholar” who apparently was in dire need to be eulogized in a fitting and respectful fashion.

The Fake News Media and members of the DNC (one and the same, if you ask me) were even worse, insinuating that Trump was worse than an ISIS totalitarian dictator who should be reprimanded for his harsh treatment of such a good and loving man like al-Baghdadi.  Once the mainstream media turned to name-calling, it was pretty obvious that a great day for America meant misery and defeatism for the Leftists in this country.

Yet the job of the US special forces was lost in all this.  There was no celebration that American soldiers had returned unscathed by this mission.  There was no happy tone struck at the pure genius of the move to appear to be withdrawing from the region, while Trump pretended to be golfing, and the pincer movement of the choppers filled with Delta Force closed in on its target.

In the Crosshairs of the US Special Forces


If there was ever such a time to be joyous for the return of troops unharmed in battle, it should be now.  Not only have our special forces taken out one of the most despicable human beings on the face of the planet, al-Baghdadi in Syria, but they also took down his number one replacement in the leadership role.

Not many could have predicted that Donald Trump could literally outsmart the entire Washington DC Establishmentariat, but it happened…and the egg on the faces of the Deep State, the DNC, the neo-Conservatives, the Globalist Cabal and the Fake News Media couldn’t be more sunny-side-up!

Rush Limbaugh has espoused a recent thought that this whole move to “withdraw” the troops from Syria was engineered to fool the ISIS leader into believing that the US had finally given up on its quest to nail him.  He believes that Trump may have actually done one better by fooling the entire Establishmentariat of the Swamp.  Remember that it was only a few days ago that the entire media and the DNC were bemoaning our abandonment of the Kurdish allies in Syria.  They were warning with a crooked wagging finger that this would most certainly lead to a rise in ISIS and embolden them both abroad and domestically.

The media wasted no time in painting this picture with the full intention of turning this whole troop pullout story into a negative campaign on the Trump administration, assisting the flagging Democrat 2020 candidates, as well as shoring up a drowning Democrat Party in the House of Representatives.  What it actually accomplished instead, however, was the clever PR that was needed to coax the cowardly ISIS leader out of his cave and reveal himself.

It worked like a charm.  Little more than a week had gone by when Kurdish remnant forces in the region reported the whereabouts of the ISIS leader and his intent on causing more havoc in the vicinity.  That led directly to President Trump contacting the Russians and informing them that we would be utilizing their airspace briefly.  Trump actually told the Russian emissary that they would “really love why they’re using the airspace.”  Without delay, the authorization was granted and US helicopters flew into Syrian territory and immediately homed in on the compound of the ISIS leadership.

The small skirmish that ensued was not enough to deter their choppers and they safely landed.  Within minutes, they had secured the civilians, and rounded up or killed ISIS resisters, and they also rescued a dozen or more children, placing them quickly into unnamed third-party hands on the ground.  In the meantime, the forces had reached the doors to the underground complex and, fearing that the door was most likely booby-trapped, they instead blew a hole in the side of the wall.

Now that’s impressive!  “Door’s booby-trapped, LT!”

“Then blow a hole in the wall, Sergeant!”

Following the breach, the forces were able to identify and hunt down the high-value target, giving him the option to surrender and come quietly.  Instead, the coward decided to flee the scene with his three young children and proceeded to detonate his suicide vest, killing himself and his children.

And that was that, as the saying goes.

A victory for the White House, for the military force involved, for the people of Syria and the external regions, for the American people, and for the departments of the federal government who extensively planned this event.

ANATOMY OF A UNITED STATES RAID ON TERRORISM

While each decade that goes by reveals even more technology that can assist the special forces, it must be understood that, despite scientific advances in electronics, AI, robotics and smart weapons, there remain the essentials of human contact and planning that cannot be mocked-up by a computer.  Sure, the models by the software programming can assist with logistics and placement of assets, but the fact remains that human interaction in the field still holds the highest value for the commanders who are planning these pinpointed assaults.

One of the most important determinations to take into account is that the modern battlefield is no longer only made up of uniformed and disciplined soldiers who fight on a chosen battlefield where all the different modes of combat are brought to bear.  There are no echelons of cavalry tank units or bombardments of artillery through recon in the traditional sense.  Not in this new millennium.

Today’s battlefield is filled with those who are predisposed to flight upon the first engagement, withdrawing to a more defensible position that usually includes a barren, desolate landscape filled with caves, holes and cubbies that serve to frustrate some of the most invasive explosive devices known to man.

The United States has in turn developed technologies in munitions that make the bunker busters of the Iraq War era look like firecrackers.  That said, the point of the argument about the differences in the enemies of today versus the enemies of yesteryear is that these irregular adversaries are attempting to conceal themselves inside a civilian population, making it extremely likely (by design) that collateral damage to innocents is experienced.  America’s military forces are the best trained soldiers in the world today and their sole employment of force is the application of controlled and discriminate violence.  In other words, they are trained to ensure that as little potential collateral damage is encountered during any mission.  The missions of the US soldiers also fall into ethical categories that require sound and patient decision-making by upper leadership.

The jobs of the modern US soldier is to be at once diplomat and highly trained killer.  Not an easy balance to maintain, especially when it comes to the high pressure stakes in the milieus of the Middle East deserts.  Whether they are assaulting a cave network or a small village, extreme care must be taken to ensure a minimal amount of casualties among the wider populace.

These leaders and their subordinates must work with civilian agencies, host nation officials, as well as other allied powers.  Some may also be required to work in tandem with un-allied powers, as the president demonstrated when he requested Russian-Syrian airspace use for this particular raid.  Remember, too, that this is not a war that has a beginning and an end.  This war against terrorism really has no end.  Terror exists because there are areas of the world where military dominance cannot be achieved in the local populace.  These people are prime targets for terror and sadists like al-Baghdadi will make sure to tip the scales in their favor.

The “Long War” as it is called in strategic military circles is not won in a single combat engagement.  Neither is it won in multiple encounters.  This is won by constantly engaging these terrorists when and where they exist, preferably in their own chosen territory.  In the old days of war, the victor typically was able to choose the “good ground” on which to fight.  In today’s modern combat, while many different factors exist that will hurry victory along, the simple fact is that with the amount of firepower and the vehicles and systems by which we may deliver them, it is almost a foregone conclusion that the ground is always good.

THE INTEL

The difficulties facing today’s military officials and government sponsors fall within the realm of intelligence gathering.  This step may seem to be the least invasive of them all, being that engagement on the military level is not imminent, but that assessment would be incorrect.  An America that is confronted by terrorism must always have the best and most reliable intel available, otherwise lives are jeopardized.  The assets in the field are basically becoming the enemy in order to blend in with and learn their many secrets, both outward and inward.  Attempting to “fit in” is just the tip of that iceberg.  There is the language barrier that must be completely overcome.  Hints of accents or dialects, no matter how slight, are already enough to raise red flags.  Often times, the asset is the last to know that their cover has been blown.

On top of discovering the secrets, it now must be communicated to the contacts through a means that may not always be ideal, especially if the asset’s identity has been compromised.  Once that information is communicated, perhaps the most frightening time for the asset is remaining in character and in place, acting as if nothing is amiss.  This is, of course, the most dangerous time of all.  Once the operation begins, the asset has either already agreed to be pulled out by special forces, foreign contacts on the ground, or has to arrange other alternative means of escape from the region or country.

Once intel is received, it must be verified.  Much of this is done internally, through many difference divisions of both the military and intelligence communities.  However, often times, it is also done through communications with foreign allied powers, particularly those dealing with FVEY (or the Five Eyes) who are represented by the Australian, UK, Canadian, New Zealand and US governments.  This is a multilateral UKUSA agreement where intelligence is shared between the aligned nations.  If the intel pans out and is verified, operations and logistics kicks into play and begins the surveillance and planning stages of who, what, where, when and how.  Which unit gets the nod, what will be required in the way of vehicles, air/sea suppression fire support, rearguard activities/communications, where the operation will begin and where the rally point will be in the event of success or abort mission, when the cohesion will take place with all elements and how it will transpire in the prediction sense.  All these questions must be answered before a single piece of equipment or personnel can be moved.  At this point, diplomats and foreign emissary contacts will be pooled to begin the process of ensuring foreign assistance and authorization for such missions.

WE’RE A “GO”

Finally, once the planning stages are discussed and approved at the Pentagon level, the strictest of secrecy is engaged and forces are called up for action.

In the case of the modern raid, many times, leaders are equipped with DNA kits which allow the forces to 100% identify the target following capture or kill in order to rate the success of the mission.  These kits will literally give a positive ID to the high-value target within minutes.  This is a valuable addition to the forces’ capabilities to ensure that “mission accomplished” can be stamped on this event.

In the case of the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the DNA kit assessed that Delta Force had acquired the correct target and the words that resonated within the Situation Room while the president, vice president and their generals were “Jackpot!”

It was a good day for America.

 

Image: NationalInterest

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