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04 January 2012


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A good move just in the nick of time. My worst fears are coming true. See http://www.lobelog.com/things-are-getting-very-serious-vali-nasr/

I see today that the Egyptian prosecutor has called for teh death penalty for Mubarak. Terrible move. If the secular dictators and Mullahs know that death awaits their surrendering of power, it will be a very bloody decade.

steve g

Did not Ros-lehtinen(R-Fl) help insert language
in the latest Iran sanctions bill to prohibit
any dialogue whatsover with Iran no matter
the topic? That being the case our options are nil.



Why Berlin?

The Twisted Genius


10th Group had an element stationed in Berlin steeped in the clandestine arts. See http://faychap82d.org/SF%20det%20A.htm for a little background on this outfit.



In the bad/good old days when the USSR was in "flower." Berlin was seen as a center for stay behind operations after the GSFG passed through. pl


TTG and Col. Lang,

Thanks for your replies. Wasn't aware of the 10th Group's presence in Berlin, or was aware back in the day but had long since forgotten - take your pick. Also haven't heard the expression GSFG in a long, long time....they were the bad/good old days, weren't they?!


Dear TTL,

I read this article recently about how the Libyan fighters financed themselves by tapping into the informal money changers in Bengazi: http://bit.ly/wHjWlb

Just curious, do SF soldiers receive training relating to setting up funding networks?


The Twisted Genius


Our instructors made us aware that goods and services cost money in an insurgency. We were taught to be aware of local economic conditions, bargain prudently and not to simply pass out pallets of cash as Paul Bremer and his CPA did in Baghdad. I still have several wads of Republic of Pineland 50 don notes in my basement left over from our final field training exercise. Later, we were issued under 100 dollars (250 worth of Marks at the time) during the Flintlock training exercises in Germany to pay for any local support we may arrange. I don't know if current SF training includes anything more sophisticated than that, but knowing that goods and services cost money was always part of our mission planning and preparation.


a question. Does this work the other way round as well ? ie are clandestine officers taught UW ? for example in the Libya scenario, whom gets primacy in running UW operations ? the ODAs or other USG assets that have that skill-set ?

The Twisted Genius

I refer you to the Wikipedia page on CIA's Special Activities Division for a surprisingly extensive answer to your question http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Activities_Division. You may recall the efforts of CIA and SF with the Northern Alliance in the opening months of our Afghan war. Most of the CIA/SAD officers I knew came from SF. IMO the coordination/cooperation between CIA/SOG and JSOC is now near seamless, although the rivalry can also be intense. Philosophically CIA/SOG is closer to the JSOC special operations approach rather than the SF approach.


thanks for the response. to place all this in an historic context, WW2 SOE/OSS were the equivalent of the agency's SAD and JSOC was represented by Merrils marauders, commandos, LLRGs and other specialised small unit formations. why/where was there a departure post-WW2 away from this type of interagency synergy to the current classification of 'shooters' and case officers that MG Sacolick is now trying to address. i hope i'm being clear ? will SF-ODA run their own intel processes' ie from collection to analysis to acting on the information OUTSIDE of their immediate battlespace ? ie 10th SFG can plan missions in Germany without recourse to the station chief in Berlin if tasked by the JSOC commander ?



You did not ask my opinion but as a former SF officer I will give it to you anyway. TTG tried to tell you that SAD has no real personnel existence without recruitment from Army SF (Green Berets) as well as the direct action "black" SOF. They don't create these people, the military does that. There is an absolute difference between the "shooters" of JSOC direct action units and case officers. Case officers are seducers who recruit and run clandestine intelligence assets. Very few "shooters" are suited to that role. There are some. TTG is a good example. It appears to me that the SF general is talking about shallow cover clandestine assets specifically recruited to provide direct support to UW operations and not strategic targets. the question you raise about country team control of operations is an old one and the fact that you raise it makes me think you are probably a student somewhere with an active curiosity. pl

William R. Cumming

PL last comment causes me to ask exactly how are the SOF and SOC forces treated when times comes to field grade and flag rank promotions? Given that ARMY Flag ranks I believe are still considered Branch Immaterial exactly how many of these SOF and SOC types have made it to flag rank or is it like INTEL where if your good probably won't get a flag?



There are some branch material GOs; medical, legal, etc, but most are, as you say "general officers of the line." So far as I can see the SOF commeunity does well in GO promotion. Someone here may know better. In the intelligence field the creation of MI Branch long ago as an officer management field contained a fatal flaw. Several kinds of intelligence officers were put into the same branch. The SIGINTers of ASA had the numbers on their side in that they vastly outnumbered all the other kinds. In ASA officers did not do actual intelligence work. They managed the units of WOs and EM who did the work. Over decades the ASA tradition triumphed and MI decided that commissioned officers would be nmanagers and not real intellignce people who know how to do the actual work. The army generals today come from that paradigm. pl

The Twisted Genius


Some WWII historian here may correct me on this, but the WWII examples you gave were not subject to the kind of "interagency synergy" that you're thinking of. Planning and certainly execution was done on the theater level at most. Once deployed, these forces were much more on their own than similar operations are today. And as Pl explained, there is still a world of difference among CIA case officers, JSOC operators and the Green Berets. As to your final two questions, I doubt it very much.

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