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Posted: 1/8/2005 8:38:30 PM EDT
The left-wing press STILL has an axe to grind regarding our activity in El Salvador -  I think its a good idea what they are planning, however.  We need to play hardball.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6802629/site/newsweek/

The Salvador Option’
The Pentagon may put Special-Forces-led assassination or kidnapping teams in Iraq

WEB EXCLUSIVE
By Michael Hirsh and John Barry
Newsweek
Updated: 5:33 p.m. ET Jan. 8, 2005


Jan. 8 - What to do about the deepening quagmire of Iraq? The Pentagon’s latest approach is being called "the Salvador option"—and the fact that it is being discussed at all is a measure of just how worried Donald Rumsfeld really is. "What everyone agrees is that we can’t just go on as we are," one senior military officer told NEWSWEEK. "We have to find a way to take the offensive against the insurgents. Right now, we are playing defense. And we are losing." Last November’s operation in Fallujah, most analysts agree, succeeded less in breaking "the back" of the insurgency—as Marine Gen. John Sattler optimistically declared at the time—than in spreading it out.

Now, NEWSWEEK has learned, the Pentagon is intensively debating an option that dates back to a still-secret strategy in the Reagan administration’s battle against the leftist guerrilla insurgency in El Salvador in the early 1980s. Then, faced with a losing war against Salvadoran rebels, the U.S. government funded or supported "nationalist" forces that allegedly included so-called death squads directed to hunt down and kill rebel leaders and sympathizers. Eventually the insurgency was quelled, and many U.S. conservatives consider the policy to have been a success—despite the deaths of innocent civilians and the subsequent Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages scandal. (Among the current administration officials who dealt with Central America back then is John Negroponte, who is today the U.S. ambassador to Iraq. Under Reagan, he was ambassador to Honduras.)

Following that model, one Pentagon proposal would send Special Forces teams to advise, support and possibly train Iraqi squads, most likely hand-picked Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Shiite militiamen, to target Sunni insurgents and their sympathizers, even across the border into Syria, according to military insiders familiar with the discussions. It remains unclear, however, whether this would be a policy of assassination or so-called "snatch" operations, in which the targets are sent to secret facilities for interrogation. The current thinking is that while U.S. Special Forces would lead operations in, say, Syria, activities inside Iraq itself would be carried out by Iraqi paramilitaries, officials tell NEWSWEEK.

Also being debated is which agency within the U.S. government—the Defense department or CIA—would take responsibility for such an operation. Rumsfeld’s Pentagon has aggressively sought to build up its own intelligence-gathering and clandestine capability with an operation run by Defense Undersecretary Stephen Cambone. But since the Abu Ghraib interrogations scandal, some military officials are ultra-wary of any operations that could run afoul of the ethics codified in the Uniform Code of Military Justice. That, they argue, is the reason why such covert operations have always been run by the CIA and authorized by a special presidential finding. (In "covert" activity, U.S. personnel operate under cover and the U.S. government will not confirm that it instigated or ordered them into action if they are captured or killed.)

Meanwhile, intensive discussions are taking place inside the Senate Intelligence Committee over the Defense department’s efforts to expand the involvement of U.S. Special Forces personnel in intelligence-gathering missions. Historically, Special Forces’ intelligence gathering has been limited to objectives directly related to upcoming military operations—"preparation of the battlefield," in military lingo. But, according to intelligence and defense officials, some Pentagon civilians for years have sought to expand the use of Special Forces for other intelligence missions.

Pentagon civilians and some Special Forces personnel believe CIA civilian managers have traditionally been too conservative in planning and executing the kind of undercover missions that Special Forces soldiers believe they can effectively conduct. CIA traditionalists are believed to be adamantly opposed to ceding any authority to the Pentagon. Until now, Pentagon proposals for a capability to send soldiers out on intelligence missions without direct CIA approval or participation have been shot down. But counter-terrorist strike squads, even operating covertly, could be deemed to fall within the Defense department’s orbit.

The interim government of Prime Minister Ayad Allawi is said to be among the most forthright proponents of the Salvador option. Maj. Gen.Muhammad Abdallah al-Shahwani, director of Iraq’s National Intelligence Service, may have been laying the groundwork for the idea with a series of interviews during the past ten days. Shahwani told the London-based Arabic daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat that the insurgent leadership—he named three former senior figures in the Saddam regime, including Saddam Hussein’s half-brother—were essentially safe across the border in a Syrian sanctuary. "We are certain that they are in Syria and move easily between Syrian and Iraqi territories," he said, adding that efforts to extradite them "have not borne fruit so far."

Shahwani also said that the U.S. occupation has failed to crack the problem of broad support for the insurgency. The insurgents, he said, "are mostly in the Sunni areas where the population there, almost 200,000, is sympathetic to them." He said most Iraqi people do not actively support the insurgents or provide them with material or logistical help, but at the same time they won’t turn them in. One military source involved in the Pentagon debate agrees that this is the crux of the problem, and he suggests that new offensive operations are needed that would create a fear of aiding the insurgency. "The Sunni population is paying no price for the support it is giving to the terrorists," he said. "From their point of view, it is cost-free. We have to change that equation."

Pentagon sources emphasize there has been decision yet to launch the Salvador option. Last week, Rumsfeld decided to send a retired four-star general, Gary Luck, to Iraq on an open-ended mission to review the entire military strategy there. But with the U.S. Army strained to the breaking point, military strategists note that a dramatic new approach might be needed—perhaps one as potentially explosive as the Salvador option.

With Mark Hosenball

Link Posted: 1/8/2005 8:42:14 PM EDT
Right on...Go get sum..
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 8:43:23 PM EDT
Excellent idea.............send out the squads and wreak havoc amongst the insurgents!
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 8:45:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jkstexas2001:
What to do about the deepening quagmire of Iraq?



The press are such tools.  
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 8:45:49 PM EDT
This is exactly what we need to do! Insurgency's are not defeated by F-18's dropping smart bombs, M1 Abrams or Bradley fighting vehicles. They cause more problems than they solve. Why has it taken this long for the U.S. military to realize this fact?  
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 8:46:30 PM EDT
Wonderful start for a covert operation, wouldn't you say?  
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 8:49:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RikWriter:

Originally Posted By jkstexas2001:
What to do about the deepening quagmire of Iraq?



The press are such tools.  



The Neutral Observer concurs.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 8:52:20 PM EDT
Economy of force.
Minimal collateral damage.
What's not to like?

Ops
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 8:54:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Neutral_Observer:

Originally Posted By RikWriter:

Originally Posted By jkstexas2001:
What to do about the deepening quagmire of Iraq?



The press are such tools.  



The Neutral Observer concurs.



Please note that I disagree with the article's slant, and that I absolutely agree with the new type of teams being considered.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 8:59:21 PM EDT
I love me some death squads.

I was thinking about how we do things in Iraq, patrols in uniform presenting themselves as targets for IEDs.  Both Iraqi NG and US forces. Why are we doing this?  

Shouldn't we have small teams in civilian garb, blending in with the locals, with real sophisticated surveillance and communication systems to coordinate and track the insurgents?  Basically small hunter-killer teams with all the resources of the US military and intelligence behind them?
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 9:01:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2005 9:02:04 PM EDT by Lon_Moer]

" Right now, we are playing defense. And we are losing."


Why are we always told this? What is the actual kill ratio?
I'm all for an offensive, the IDF seems to know how to do it.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 9:03:19 PM EDT
One phrase says it all:  Phoenix Program
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 9:04:58 PM EDT
What I don't get is why we don't have all the Predator drones we have orbiting trouble spots with a pair of Hellfires under the wings.

That would be the end of mortar men and terrs emplacing roadside IEDs.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 9:11:46 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 9:13:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2005 9:13:50 PM EDT by Winston_Wolf]

Originally Posted By StormSurge:
What I don't get is why we don't have all the Predator drones we have orbiting trouble spots with a pair of Hellfires under the wings.

That would be the end of mortar men and terrs emplacing roadside IEDs.



... You don't seem to comprehend the size of the country and actually how few UAVs we have in service
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 9:16:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By raven:
I love me some death squads.

I was thinking about how we do things in Iraq, patrols in uniform presenting themselves as targets for IEDs.  Both Iraqi NG and US forces. Why are we doing this?  

Shouldn't we have small teams in civilian garb, blending in with the locals, with real sophisticated surveillance and communication systems to coordinate and track the insurgents?  Basically small hunter-killer teams with all the resources of the US military and intelligence behind them?



Rhodesian Selous did this in their war.  They didn't have the high tech equipment the US does though.  It was for the most part boots and rifles, with a few helicopter gunships, for them.

They had trouble fielding all black teams until later in the war, and obviously the white folk couldn't very well infiltrate a black guerilla movement.

The same principle applies.  Not enough native speakers to do it on a large scale, and you aren't going to get a 6 foot tall, blond haired and blue eyed guy into an Islamic terrorist cell.

There are some ways to work around that, but there are limitations to each of those ways and some problems that just can't be resolved at all.  On a limited basis, the hunter-killer teams are feasible and a good idea, but intelligence is always going to be the limiting factor with those.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 9:17:31 PM EDT
So make more of them and less F-22s.

Let's see...For the cost of one F-22 we could have what? About 5,000 Predators?

The Predator has been very effective at plinking terrs.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 9:18:22 PM EDT
Don't panic, by the way.  The Neutral Observer doubts any senior official stated that "we are losing."

The fact of the matter is that the US is not losing, all efforts by the media to the contrary.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 9:21:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By StormSurge:
So make more of them and less F-22s.

Let's see...For the cost of one F-22 we could have what? About 5,000 Predators?

The Predator has been very effective at plinking terrs.



The F-22 is for a conflict that is coming in our future, it just isn't on the radar scopes of most people.  The F-22 is going to be a key spear in the conflict with China.  I give us about 8 or 10 years before we come to blows with the PRC.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 9:22:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By StormSurge:
So make more of them ...



... We're working on it dude, but I got the weekend off!

Link Posted: 1/8/2005 9:27:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Va_Dinger:
This is exactly what we need to do! Insurgency's are not defeated by F-18's dropping smart bombs, M1 Abrams or Bradley fighting vehicles. They cause more problems than they solve. Why has it taken this long for the U.S. military to realize this fact?  



Cold War mentality in some officers...???? *shrug*
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 9:32:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Lon_Moer:

" Right now, we are playing defense. And we are losing."


Why are we always told this? What is the actual kill ratio?
I'm all for an offensive, the IDF seems to know how to do it.



Good question.

I don't know if the math of "we killed X of them for Y of us" is a good indicator of winning the War. (What is the definition of Victory in only/just/don't include-anything-else Iraq?)

In Vietnam it was 1 to 40 and we still lost (for what ever reason you favor)
50,000 U.S. dead to 2,000,000 Them dead.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 10:00:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2005 10:01:19 PM EDT by -Absolut-]
I like hearing talk of taking the battle into Syria....this should have been done long ago imo.


Originally Posted By Va_Dinger:
Why has it taken this long for the U.S. military to realize this fact?  


b/c your friends in the left wing media and congress would make a big deal and whine about it like the bunch of little girls they are.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 10:59:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/9/2005 4:41:08 AM EDT by Va_Dinger]

Originally Posted By -Absolut-:
I like hearing talk of taking the battle into Syria....this should have been done long ago imo.


Originally Posted By Va_Dinger:
Why has it taken this long for the U.S. military to realize this fact?  


b/c your friends in the left wing media and congress would make a big deal and whine about it like the bunch of little girls they are.



Listen up mindless post whore; I do not have left wing friends. Actually, I consider them just slightly worse than wana-be neo-con sheep such as you. Maybe you should wait to troll my posts until your old enough to buy your own cigarettes.
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 11:10:33 PM EDT
Its about time..!!!
Link Posted: 1/8/2005 11:17:04 PM EDT

Link Posted: 1/8/2005 11:23:27 PM EDT
Ok so after 2.5 years now we get smart
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 12:05:44 AM EDT
"Considering" my ass..................................

Link Posted: 1/9/2005 5:33:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DScott:
www.ourworldshopping.com/Auctions/10_28_03/clear_present.jpg



If you'll recall, that book ended with the operation blown and the President forced to resign.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 6:37:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/9/2005 6:37:54 AM EDT by DScott]

Originally Posted By RikWriter:

Originally Posted By DScott:
www.ourworldshopping.com/Auctions/10_28_03/clear_present.jpg



If you'll recall, that book ended with the operation blown and the President forced to resign.



I only saw the movie, and there the operation was abandoned, the team was left out to dry, and the President's fate was alot less certain.  "Lack of will", or some such message...
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 6:50:32 AM EDT
Hmm, Pheonix Project? And for what it's worth. I think they should have deployed units like this from the beginning.
Link Posted: 1/9/2005 6:53:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Hmm, Pheonix Project? And for what it's worth. I think they should have deployed units like this from the beginning.



How do you know they haven't?
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