Long Article on SEAL Team 6 in the New York Times

#1
Quite a lot of info in that 18 pages (when printed !) piece...

SEAL Team 6: A Secret History of Quiet Killings and Blurred Lines
The unit best known for killing Osama bin Laden has been converted into a global manhunting machine with limited outside oversight.

By Mark Mazzetti, Nicholas Kulish, Christopher Drew, Serge F. Kovaleski, Sean D. Naylor and John IsmayJUNE 6, 2015


They have plotted deadly missions from secret bases in the badlands of Somalia. In Afghanistan, they have engaged in combat so intimate that they have emerged soaked in blood that was not their own. On clandestine raids in the dead of the night, their weapons of choice have ranged from customized carbines to primeval tomahawks.

Around the world, they have run spying stations disguised as commercial boats, posed as civilian employees of front companies and operated undercover at embassies as male-female pairs, tracking those the United States wants to kill or capture.

Those operations are part of the hidden history of the Navy’s SEAL Team 6, one of the nation’s most mythologized, most secretive and least scrutinized military organizations. Once a small group reserved for specialized but rare missions, the unit best known for killing Osama bin Laden has been transformed by more than a decade of combat into a global manhunting machine.

That role reflects America’s new way of war, in which conflict is distinguished not by battlefield wins and losses, but by the relentless killing of suspected militants.

Almost everything about SEAL Team 6, a classified Special Operations unit, is shrouded in secrecy — the Pentagon does not even publicly acknowledge that name — though some of its exploits have emerged in largely admiring accounts in recent years. But an examination of Team 6’s evolution, drawn from dozens of interviews with current and former team members, other military officials and reviews of government documents, reveals a far more complex, provocative tale.

While fighting grinding wars of attrition in Afghanistan and Iraq, Team 6 performed missions elsewhere that blurred the traditional lines between soldier and spy. The team’s sniper unit was remade to carry out clandestine intelligence operations, and the SEALs joined Central Intelligence Agency operatives in an initiative called the Omega Program, which offered greater latitude in hunting adversaries.


Much more here:


http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/world/asia/the-secret-history-of-seal-team-6.html?_r=0
 
#4
Surely every nation has and needs warriors like this. Only the West wants to publicly criticise its own for not using Queensberry Rules.

Someone on this site has the tag about sleeping safely because rough men stand ready, etc.
 
#5
Which is bollocks, frankly. Either we, as a nation, follow the rule of law or we don't. The problem of units operating as it has been asserted here is that there are very few checks and balances. If they go after the bad blokes, how do you stop then going after the not very bad blokes, or the blokes who've annoyed them a bit, or the blokes who were in the way, etc etc.

Possibly the most interesting point made in that article was that McRaven was pushed out of DevGru - I wonder if they regretted that when he became SOCOM?
 
#6
The rule of law only applies under the Queen's Peace. By definition, the Peace don't apply where the rule of law don't reach.

(Yes, I know they're Americans)
 
#7
Apart from, you know, the law of warfare?
 
#10
Which is bollocks, frankly. Either we, as a nation, follow the rule of law or we don't. The problem of units operating as it has been asserted here is that there are very few checks and balances. If they go after the bad blokes, how do you stop then going after the not very bad blokes, or the blokes who've annoyed them a bit, or the blokes who were in the way, etc etc.

Possibly the most interesting point made in that article was that McRaven was pushed out of DevGru - I wonder if they regretted that when he became SOCOM?
Sometimes chicken, sometimes feathers.
 
#11

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#13
Also didn't they try this before - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_Program

I think we all know how that turned out.
You mean exceptionally well? Phoenix (which was actually an intelligence sharing organisation, but the label is attached to a lot of other associated organisations) caused heavy losses to the VC shadow government and had relatively few CIVCAS compared to any other US targeting method.


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#14
Really? I doubt that there is any real evidence that can substantiate that.

Even if there were, the fact is that was yet another PR disaster for the US government that contributed to the overall loss of legitimacy and support for the conflict at home. If you think you're the good guys then you have to behave that way otherwise people get upset.
 
#15
You mean exceptionally well? Phoenix (which was actually an intelligence sharing organisation, but the label is attached to a lot of other associated organisations) caused heavy losses to the VC shadow government and had relatively few CIVCAS compared to any other US targeting method.


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Like the allegations of torture, rape, murder, incorrect targeting and assassination?
 
#16
#17
#18
Who are the allegators?
Big bitey swimmy beasties with thick skin. Like 'crocediles'.

As soon as I read (I'm paraphrasing) 'so secret they don't exist' or some such Charlie Sheen pish I filed the whole thing under 'pish'.
 
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#20

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