British DSF tries to ban new SAS book.

#1
British DSF tries to ban new SAS book.

The head of Britain’s special forces has been trying to stop the publication of a book by a senior BBC journalist which describes in “tactical detail” operations carried out by the SAS in Iraq from 2003 to 2009.
The major-general, who cannot be identified for security reasons, is concerned about the impact of Task Force Black on the elite regiment’s operational effectiveness because of the contents, which are understood to be based on interviews with members and former members of the SAS.
Negotiations with lawyers representing the book’s author, Mark Urban, Newsnight’s diplomatic and defence editor, and the Ministry of Defence, have been going on for months, and a compromise had been reached.
However, the Director Special Forces (DSF) remains unhappy with the publication. The DSF is in command of all the special forces: the SAS, the Special Boat Service, the Special Forces Support Group (formerly the 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment), and the Special Reconnaissance Regiment.
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“As far as DSF is concerned, when he saw the manuscript, all he wanted to survive was about three lines,” one defence source said. “All DSFs would prefer nothing to be written about the SAS. In fact their ideal situation would be if neither the word ‘special’ nor ‘forces’ ever appeared in print,” he added.
The book describes missions in Baghdad, Basra and along the border with Iran in the south, and is to be published this week by Little Brown, despite the concerns of the most senior personnel in the special forces.
The defence source said that after lengthy negotiations with the publisher, the MoD was satisfied that the book would not compromise the operational effectiveness of the SAS.
“It has not been approved, because that implies that the MoD and special forces are happy with the publication, which they are not,” he added.
The first time an account was written about SAS operations in Iraq, it caused such a storm in Whitehall that all members of the special forces were ordered to sign a confidentiality agreement which barred them from divulging any operational details without permission from the MoD.
The author was General Sir Peter de la Billière, commander of British forces in the Gulf War in 1991. Earlier in his career he was Director Special Forces and he included a chapter on the SAS in his memoir, written after he left the Army.
General de la Billière’s book was submitted, as required, to the MoD, but he was treated for some time as persona non grata and was banned from attending SAS functions. A flood of SAS books followed, the most famous, Bravo Two Zero, by Andy McNab, a former sergeant in the elite regiment.
Although much has already been written about SAS operations in the 2003-2009 British campaign in Iraq, most of the focus has been on the regiment’s covert missions in Baghdad, where it served alongside the American Delta Force and other US special forces.
The forces worked together hunting down al-Qaeda operatives and Sunni insurgents, and were involved in negotiations to persuade militants to give up and to support the Government in Baghdad. Far less is known about SAS operations in Basra, where a squadron from the SAS carried out covert missions alongside US Navy Seals.
One key aspect of SAS operations in Iraq was the close working relationship with MI6. The SAS and MI6 worked together in some of the most dangerous environments.
When British forces crossed the Kuwaiti border into Iraq in March 2003, and advanced to Basra to liberate it from Saddam Hussein’s troops, MI6 officers and SAS troopers were the first to enter the city to try to discover where the bulk of the enemy units were positioned.
In March 2006, the SAS, along with other forces, rescued three Westerners from captivity in Iraq. The three men, Norman Kember, a Briton, and James Loney and Harmeet Sooden from Canada, were members of a group of four peace activists who had been kidnapped in November 2005 by an Iraqi organisation known as the Swords of Righteousness Brigade.
Following the kidnap and killing of British workers Ken Bigley and Margaret Hassan in 2005, a multinational unit, which included the SAS, was formed, called Task Force Black.
Apart from hunting prominent Saddam Hussein loyalists and alQaeda leaders, the task force was involved in establishing an intelligence network to counter the threat from kidnappers.
Link to original article

I'll have to admit, it's sad but I have pre-ordered it from Amazon :oops: :oops:
 
#2
I dont think that there is much of an argument here. Details of operations can damage future work carried out by the unit. to discuss any modus operandi is wrong and i feel that banning the book is the way forward.
 
#4
bomb-int said:
I dont think that there is much of an argument here. Details of operations can damage future work carried out by the unit. to discuss any modus operandi is wrong and i feel that banning the book is the way forward.
Well, if the blokes involved hadn't gobed off about it, there'd be no book, simples.
 
#5
Quote "Special Forces Support Group (FORMERLY the 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment)"...................... that will be interesting news to the 600 blokes walking about thinking their still 1PARA then?
 
#6
sneeky_turd said:
Quote "Special Forces Support Group (FORMERLY the 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment)"...................... that will be interesting news to the 600 blokes walking about thinking their still 1PARA then?
There's one of them on Arrse and he just refers to it as SFSG.....they are who they want to be anyway I guess.
 
#8
petergriffen said:
sneeky_turd said:
Quote "Special Forces Support Group (FORMERLY the 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment)"...................... that will be interesting news to the 600 blokes walking about thinking their still 1PARA then?
There's one of them on Arrse and he just refers to it as SFSG.....they are who they want to be anyway I guess.
Theres more than one of the creatures on ARRSE. :D
It's 1 PARA SFSG, theres nothing "former" about it. :x
Even though 2 and 3 PARA call them Once PARA or R1P PARA.
 
#9
Urban did a short stint as an officer in the RTR followed by TA, so you would think he'd have some appreciation of OpSec.
 
#10
Mark Urban is also the author of "Big Boys' Rules; The SAS and the Secret War against the IRA"- Written in 1992, 2 years before the first Ceasefire.
He has good connections and access to some of the "older school" SF community from this. I suspect he would have consulted one or two older and wiser heads before putting the manuscript in, funnily enough most writers like getting published!
 
#12
Nothing to do with tactics at all, it's just the classic "you can't talk about SF except in hushed tones as 'Soldier X' and then we'll refuse to comment" fetish. Urban's stuff is always good. Big Boys Rules was excellent and the man is no fool, so I doubt any of his material is in danger of endangering opsec in the slightest. But for DSF to admit that takes them a bit closer to being human like the rest of us.

But... mystique is UKSF's USP. If they stay as shadowy figures, it allows THEM to remain as strategic shock troops and makes the baddies extremely paranoid, which is exceptionally awesome. That same mystery and kudos also allows to take liberties and portray 's finest as brain surgeon / rocket scientist / secret assassin / James Bond types, rather than the talented infantry NCOs that most of them actually are. And it helps THEM all get second careers doing CP word for dodgy oligarchs. Hey, everyone has to resettle at some point! :D
 
#13
PoisonDwarf said:
That same mystery and kudos also allows to take liberties and portray 's finest as brain surgeon / rocket scientist / secret assassin / James Bond types, rather than the talented infantry NCOs that most of them actually are.
Keep it down! What do you think it will do to morale if the blokes find out that the softly spoken fella in the helly hansen top is THEM?

They're all bulletproof ninjas with eyes that glow red :twisted:
 
#14
I was at the funeral of Tanky Smith MC,when DLB and others were asked not to attend the wake in camp afterwards,by one of DSF's then minions.Not a happy day.
 
#15
smallbrownprivates said:
Mark Urban is also the author of "Big Boys' Rules; The SAS and the Secret War against the IRA"- Written in 1992, 2 years before the first Ceasefire.
Indeed. And MOD told us at the time that it was a Very Naughty Book, and we weren't to go out and buy it. Or read it. Or believe any of it etc. Did wonders for the circulation. And the sky didn't fall in either.
 
#18
muhandis89 said:
I was at the funeral of Tanky Smith MC,when DLB and others were asked not to attend the wake in camp afterwards,by one of DSF's then minions.Not a happy day.
Tanky Smith, finest Officer I served under.

(I was not THEM)
 
#19
bomb-int said:
I dont think that there is much of an argument here. Details of operations can damage future work carried out by the unit. to discuss any modus operandi is wrong and i feel that banning the book is the way forward.
it's only a book most probably the mod wanted to bring one out them selves ,Guys if you want to send me a copy I will read it . Good luck with their new book
 
#20
DFS...no respect for them since TELIC 4...i'm still waiting for my new sofa
 

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