Forty-years separates the tragedy of 1980’s Operation Eagle Claw with this week’s announcement by Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller that unifies Special Ops under his direct command.
That single, clear line of decision making is the ultimate fail-safe to guarantee that America’s most urgent defense missions will be planned correctly and executed to completion, without added complexities or interference.
The debacle of rescuing 52 U.S. embassy staff kidnapped in Iran under President Jimmy Carter resulted in a scuttled mission.
Operation Eagle Claw was doomed by too many moving parts, too many chiefs, too little oversight, command and control failures, wrongly trained pilots, uncooperative mother nature and a nail-biting and fuel-burning two-and-a-half hours waiting for a final decision from the top to proceed or abort.doc8
The retreat was even riskier. It cost eight American lives, five from the Air Force and three from the Marines.
The follow-up mission under President Reagan was Operation Urgent Fury, in Grenada, 1983, almost as bad, but we won because of the hard-working soldiers who outmaneuvered disaster.
In 1987, a mandate was approved to create USSOCOM, defining the special operator teams across the military, which led directly to their first seamless cross-division operation, the invasion of Panama, in 1989, and the ethos has supported every operation since.
- United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC)
- 75th Ranger Regiment
- Army Special Operations Aviation Command (ARSOAC)
- 4th Psychological Operations Group
- 95th Civil Affairs Brigade
- Sustainment Brigade (Special Operations) (Airborne)
- John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center
- United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC)
- United States Naval Special Warfare Command (NSW)
- Navy SEALs
- SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams
- Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC)
- United States Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC)
- Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC)
- Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC)
- United States Naval Special Warfare Command (NSW)
Below is their full organizational chart.On its 20th anniversary, in 2007, a special edition of Tip of the Spear was published, reviewing some of the greatest victories of the Special Forces and its most memorable figures. One of those men was USAF football player and “Coach” Col. John Carney who crafted the first procedures and techniques that became the foundation for Special Forces training.tipspear
Who are these “special operators,” Secretary of Defense Miller, for one, as he told military invitees at Ft. Bragg, the home of the Army’s Special Forces:
I know firsthand the caliber and character of these brave service members, having served as an Army Special Forces company commander under then-Colonel John Mulholland during Operation Enduring Freedom — and with Mark, of course.
[In the audience, Mark Mitchell, the former acting assistant secretary of defense for special operations low-intensity conflict]
I also served two tours in Iraq, including during the 2003 invasion, and later, in 2006 as a Special Forces battalion commander, 2nd Battalion, the Special Forces group — absolutely the best Special Forces battalions in the history of the world — no offense.
I spent the remainder of my career just as committed to defeating terrorists and those that would help harbor them.
The announcement coincided with a decree from President Donald J. Trump to bring home 2,500 soldiers from both Iraq and Afghanistan by January 15, 2021.
The takeaway is that while America’s armed forces are prepared for wars against nation states — aka “great power competition” — it’s the special ops teams who can deploy quickly and lethally to strike irregular or guerrilla forces better resemble the country’s actual enemies today.
When the targets are terrorists, it is special ops, not a full battalion that’s required. That a special ops veteran who led the counter terrorism department, Christopher Miller, is at the top of the Pentagon, as Secretary of Defense, because they no longer need the skills of the business-like approach we had under Mark Esper, a West Pointer, but also a former Raytheon exec. They need the wartime consigliere with all the reins of power in his hands.
For in the same moment that Sec. Def. Miller is congratulating US forces for defeating terrorism in the Middle East, realize that we are bringing home 5,000 battle-hardened soldiers — who are they going to fight against?
The terrorists that most threaten the country today are the violent mobs of ANTIFA whose online communities are, of course, totally infiltrated and their identities are mapped out to make their sand castle crumble at the perfect moment.
This new directive bodes ominously for those irregular forces behind the blue state mayhem.
Our best terrorist fighters are here and ready for the call.
Who’s on the line is former Army Special Forces commander, counter terror expert, the Secretary of Defense, loyal to the President.
“This reform will immediately improve agility to the department and the command, and will enable us to streamline information flow, enhance decision-making and more adaptively and adeptly support our commanders and their superb soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines,” Sec. Def. Miller said.
Who was also at Ft. Bragg was the cypher known as Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn’s secret weapon.
The famously invisible, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, finally photographed and caught on video.
Along with First Son-in-Law Jared Kushner, he’s the smart, wiry Jew who’s been doing lots of the leg work behind the scenes, including dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s for this move by special ops, as Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operation and Low-Intensity Conflict.
In May, he was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary for Counter Narcotics and Global Threats, coinciding with Attorney General Barr’s task force to shut down Caribbean drug dealers — the only boats on the sea in the pandemic
He was promoted last week to Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security.
“ECW” came to the National Security Council as Senior Director for Intelligence under then National Security Advisor, Gen. Michael Flynn, on January 20, 2017, after working for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) where he served in Miami, Haiti, Virginia and Afghanistan.
His public file is slim; after being accepted into the training program for the Defense Clandestine Service, he underwent training at Camp Peary by the Central Intelligence Agency to be able to operate in the field. He was assigned to Afghanistan, with a GS-13 rank, and was later temporarily assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency Headquarters.
His leg up was transferring from U.S. Navy ROTC to the Office of Naval Intelligence and from there adopted by Gen. Flynn. What’s known from his early life is that he was a classmate of the daughter of Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney, who may have given him an early recommendation, and was also a member of collegiate Republican groups at the University of Pennsylvania.
Among the top aides to Sec. Def. Miller, he is joined by Kash Patel, who was just named as Chief of Staff for the Secretary of Defense.
The two were the “moles” who gave information to California Congressman Devin Nunes, who stood up to refute the Russia hoax in the very beginning of the administration and many are now glad for his return at the end of the term.
And the first person he brought up was JFK.
Today, the Department of Defense has started the process of formalizing what we have long known – the fundamental role of U.S. Special Operations in defense and foreign policy by elevating Special Operations forces to a level on par with military departments as authorized and directed by Congress.
As we enact these reforms, we follow the vision of President John F. Kennedy, who predicted the rise of Special Operations nearly 60 years ago. He foresaw, quote, “another type of war, new in its intensity, ancient in its origin, that would require a whole new kind of strategy, a wholly different kind of force, forces which are too unconventional to be called conventional forces, which are growing in number and importance and significance.”
President Kennedy gave these remarks at the opening of the nuclear age, when the Pentagon was primarily organized to plan and direct large conventional operations against superpowers, not special operations short of overt declared conflict. The global demand for Special Operations forces then and now has confirmed President Kennedy’s foresight. And now, under the leadership of President Trump, we are fully realizing President Kennedy’s prescient view of Special Operations forces.
It is fitting that we are again entering an era of great power competition as we gather to affirm the importance of the Special Operations community. Then, as now, I know Special Operations forces will play a vital role, and by the historic reforms we have enacted today, we will ensure Special Operations forces has a civilian advocate commensurate to the secretaries of the other military departments. I am honored to serve as your service secretary. Thank you very much.
The takeaway of streamlining their operations is one thing, but the other part, a “civilian advocate” at the top eludes, to two other important issues.
Of course, being an advocate, meaning that Special Operations will soon have its own seat at the top table for decision making, which will be in the best interests of all soldiers and leaders involved.
But the other part of Special Ops that makes everyone nervous — including Dr. Steve Pieczenik, the famed hostage negotiator who served in four presidential administrations and was the co-founder of Delta Force — is that when the dark forces in government use Special Ops for their dark purposes, everyone is worse off.
Those lies end up ruining our soldiers — “they were all compromised by a stupid narrative that couldn’t be corrected” — and the payback eventually comes back in our own bodybags.
Here’s the full speech of Sec. Def. Miller, he hits all the right notes, mentions all the brass and everyone leaves knowing who they can trust to get this job done right.
Got my big book; going to speak for a couple hours.
Good morning, everyone. Wow, what a week. That old cliché, if you want a friend in Washington, D.C., get a dog may be true for many. But for me, I know I can come to Fort Bragg and be with my brothers and sisters in Special Operations forces, who will always have my back.
It is an honor to be here on this hallowed plaza, where we are reminded of the enormous sacrifices and burdens shouldered by our nation’s special operators. These brave heroes were first to the enemy’s doorstep, Mark, in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks in 2001. Only weeks after that dark day in our nation’s history, they plunged into danger to bring justice to the terrorists who took thousands of innocent American lives, and they will be the ones who continue to deny safe haven to violent extremists and maintain unrelenting pressure on the road to stability and lasting peace in Afghanistan and Iraq.
I know firsthand the caliber and character of these brave service members, being served — having served as an Army Special Forces company commander under then-Colonel John Mulholland during Operation Enduring Freedom — and with Mark, of course. I also served two tours in Iraq, including during the 2003 invasion, and later, in 2006 as a Special Forces battalion commander, 2nd Battalion, the Special Forces group — absolutely the best Special Forces battalions in the history of the world — no offense. I spent the remainder of my career just as committed to defeating terrorists and those that would help harbor them.
Today, we are gathered before a monument that symbolizes the tremendous cost of these conflicts and our relentless vigilance. In light of the countless sacrifices made by hundreds of thousands of American service members and our enormous progress over nor — over nearly two decades, we are now bringing these conflicts to their successful and responsible conclusion under the bold leadership of President Trump.
Yesterday, the president ordered the downsizing of our force presence in Afghanistan and Iraq: 2,500 troops in each country by 15 January 2021 in a manner that protects our fighting men and women and our hard-earned gains. At the same time — you all know this — should any malign actors underestimate our resolve or attempt to undermine our efforts, we will not hesitate to restore deterrence and defeat any and all threats.
As we implement the president’s orders, we also recognize that transitions and campaigns are fraught with risk and unexpected challenges and opportunities. That is why I am here today to announce this — this is an omen — uh oh.
I’m here today to announce that I directed the Special Operations civilian leadership to report directly to me instead of through the current bureaucratic channels. This historic step finalizes what Congress has authorized and directed, and will put Special Operations Command on par with the military services for the first time.
This reform will immediately improve agility to the department and the command, and will enable us to streamline information flow, enhance decision-making and more adaptively and adeptly support our commanders and their superb soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. Change is often tectonic in the Department of Defense. This is by — this is by design, and as our history shows, has served the nation very well.
Today’s reforms is directly aligned with all three of my priorities, as outlined in my message to the force on Monday. First, bring the current war to an end in a responsible manner that guarantees the security of our citizens; two, continue implementing the National Defense Strategy with an emphasis on transforming the department for great power competition; and three, accelerate the department’s activities to contribute to our whole-of-government effort to combat transnational threats.
I also want to highlight that this particular change has been analyzed, debated and refined over the course of the past 30 years, since the creation of Special Operations Command and the assistant — and the creation of the assistant secretary of defense for special operations, low intensity conflict by the Nunn-Cohen Amendment to the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1987. I have closely studied and been intimately involved in these efforts. I personally think SOLIC deserves to be an undersecretary of defense, but unfortunately, that’s beyond my authority and purview at this time, but I know future generations will take that one on.
Today, as we chart a clear path forward for our special operators, we proudly stand on the shoulders of the giants who came before us: Colonel Aaron Bank, founder of the U.S. Army Special Forces; Major Richard “Dick” Meadows of the U.S. Army Special Forces, who is immortalized in the statue nearby; Major General Johnny Alison, founder, U.S. Air Force Special Operations; Captain Phil Bucklew, whose name adorns the Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado, California; Brigadier General Evans Carlson. Where are the Devil Dogs? What an incredible commander, an influential commander of the earliest Marine Raiders; Major General Jack Singlaub, a trailblazer amongst Special Operations forces; former acting — sorry — former Army Secretary John Marsh, a vocal advocate for SOF improvements in the wake of Operation EAGLE CLAW; and more recently, Colonel retired Dave Maxwell, United States Army Special Forces; Lieutenant Generals John Mulholland and Charles Cleveland. Is that — Charles Cleveland. He’s always Charlie Cleveland. That’s good to see it formalized there. They’re now retired senior leaders in the Special Operations community.
We also acknowledge the leaders in Congress who were a driving force behind the Nunn-Cohen reorganization. I’m reminded of the late Congressman Dan Daniel from Virginia, early and influential proponent of Special Operations reform; and Jim Locher, who was instrumental in garnering bipartisan support for the reorganization, and later became the assistant secretary of defense for Special Operations Low-Intensity Conflict. We have to remember though, behind these titans stood an enormous group of dedicated patriots, many that have served in this building, who did the heavy lifting to create what ultimately became U.S. Special Operations Command, a national treasure, unparalleled in the world. These patriots give us strength, and remain our guiding lights.
Today, with the strong support of President Trump, we are forging the next chapter in the history of the United States Special Operations Forces in formalizing a watershed reform. Right now we start the transition to provide greater civilian oversight of — and critical advocacy for our special operators.
This couldn’t come at a more critical moment in time as we bring our nation’s longest conflict to a responsible end and prepare our Special Operations forces for this new era of great power competition. I can think of no better place than here, at the original home of our Special Operations forces, to enshrine stronger support for the next generation of special operators, hardened by combat and unrelenting deployments, who understand the fundamental nature of war, who remain committed to defeating every threat, and who are undeterred by the high-price of victory.
De oppresso liber.
“To liberate the oppressed, the motto of the United States Army Special Forces.
God, bless our great nation. Thank you so much.
In a week dominated by news of the leaders of CISA being told to fall on their swords for giving succor to the enemy, a final marker for what had been expected to come before the final, big push, the happenings at Ft. Briggs were purposefully left out of most headlines.
It’s also worth noting that the new acting CISA director is Brandon Wales, a 15-year Department of Homeland Security veteran.
Also, named last week as the new chief information officer of the Intelligence Community was Matthew Kozma, a 25-year U.S. Air Force veteran. He most recently served as the delegated Department of Defense executive agent for Unified Platform and Joint Cyber Command and Control, under the deputy chief of staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Cyber Effects Operations.
Kozma will now advise Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on information management, technology and assurance, including IT infrastructure and investment priorities across the Community’s 17 agencies.
Watch the empire stand at attention as the cases of election fraud work up the Supreme court.
The intelligent design at hand is at its most brilliant when you remember that the three young lawyers who pushed Bush over Gore in that defining Supreme Court election decision, were just named by President Trump to the Supreme Court.
Patriots are in control, as you can see. The new leaders are ready for go time.
This is an active duty situation. Pray for our soldiers.