The stuff for military novels

A revolution in counter-insurgency affairs?

Bob Woodward claims that the United States used a new “secret technique” in its counter-insurgency operations in Iraq.

But beyond all of that, Woodward reports, for the first time, that there is a secret behind the success of the surge: a sophisticated and lethal special operations program.

“This is very sensitive and very top secret, but there are secret operational capabilities that have been developed by the military to locate, target, and kill leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq, insurgent leaders, renegade militia leaders. That is one of the true breakthroughs,” Woodward told Pelley.

“But what are we talking about here? It’s some kind of surveillance? Some kind of targeted way of taking out just the people that you’re looking for? The leadership of the enemy?” Pelley asked.

“I’d love to go through the details, but I’m not going to,” Woodward replied.

“Do you mean to say that this special capability is such an advance in military technique and technology that it reminds you of the advent of the tank and the airplane?” Pelley asked.

“Yeah,” Woodward said. “If you were an al Qaeda leader or part of the insurgency in Iraq, or one of these renegade militias, and you knew about what they were able to do, you’d get your ass outta town.” [CBS News]

Mr Woodward doesn’t offer more details—not even in his new book—but adds to the suspense by saying that “it is the stuff of which military novels are written.”

Meanwhile, Dawn‘s correspondent thinks that the same technique is being used by US forces against Taliban militants in Pakistan’s FATA. Whatever the technique is, to the extent that it increases collateral damage, it is bound to have different effects in the Pashtun geography.

16 thoughts on “The stuff for military novels”

  1. Well, if this is true, it would probably be a program similar to the Phoenix program that the US used in Vietnam, where specially trained operatives were taught to look, act and even smell like the “natives” and then mingle with them, find out who the targets were and then take them out.

  2. This is probably better compared to Operation Phoenix in the initial years of Viet Nam. The idea was to decapitate the enemy’s politial and ideological leadership.

  3. Secret killing programs are particularly handy in the respect that you’re not accountable for possible innocent victims… You get to play the judge, jury and executioner and even get your mistakes swept under the rug. Great job for psychos.

  4. Its kind of funny all these reporters sit there and say “from a source that does’nt want to be revieled or Don’t use my name because I’m not suppose to talk about it”. Show me some proof Which you won’t find. Is it happing sure is that is why its called counter -terrorism and theres a reason why its top secret so retards like this guy does’nt blow their cover and get them killed. Doing this dates all the way back to WW2 and farther.

  5. Thank God there are people that are able to do this. The ones they are going after are not heads of state but leaders of groups of people that want to harm us and our allies. This is great. I hope it keeps up.
    Wish I could have been part of that group!!!!!!! I’m all for it.
    Oh, don’t you all think that is what those that flew those planes into our building 7 years ago did? Think about it. They acted like one of us and killed from within. They would love to do it again so why not get them before they kill more of us.

  6. Funny, this is the exact same thing that Saddam was doing: murdering and disappearing people based on suspicion, without trial. He got hanged for it, yet when the US does the same things, the people doing it are heroes.

    Ah, gotta love revisionist history.

  7. Wooo Nitin…it has been a while since my last visit – although I read most posts on reader…big change

    Woodward may mean this .
    “The capabilities for high-end special joint operations that exist now only existed in Hollywood in 2001,” said David Kilcullen, a terrorism expert and adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.”

    I think Aussie anti-terror specialist Kilcullen would know what he is talking about…

  8. I know what is it………… it is phoonkh………..black magic

    Americans must have seen RGV’s phoonkh.

  9. Chandra,

    Welcome back. We all await to know what exactly Woodward meant. The equivalent of a “tank” and “aircraft” and the Manhattan project…that’s pretty significant!

  10. Oh, it just my guess, but the little link I had to WaPo article by Robin Wright et al. It talks about small coordinated teams that are pull from everywhere to react extremely fast to information on terrorists. While it may not sound like much, it may be more difficult than the Manhattan project to pull it off consistently – but, I am not sure why it should be such a secret.

    I have read about Israelies using such team to kill Palestinian terrorists, but I think Americans took it extremely new level. But it can’t be done without the local support. It has been very effective. I really don’t think it’s a thing…

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