Seal Six

Author: Gary Hart

Seal Six

In the arena of global conflict, there is good news and bad news.  The good news is reflected in the sensational success of the Seals in Pakistan.  The bad news is that there will be a lot more actions like this and they will not always be so successful.

Warfare is changing.  The nature of conflict is reverting to pre-nation-state status.  That is, the “warriors” more resemble criminals; the enemy doesn’t wear uniforms.  There are no final peace treaty ceremonies and victory celebrations.  We made a huge mistake declaring “war on terrorism” because little of our Cold War forces can be used, we are not fighting regular military forces, and there will be no final “victory”, at least until the bin Ladens of the world disappear.  But don’t hold your breath for that.

The one product of advanced warfare that was important in Abbottabad was technology: stealth helicopters, satellite surveillance, night-vision goggles, etc.  But it all got down to kicking down doors and shooting people.  More police work than regular warfare.

All this means is that we have to restructure our forces into smaller, faster, quicker units, such as the Special Forces, equip them with advanced, practical technologies, and find the bad guys.  The bad guys are not warriors.  They are criminals.  They have to be dealt with as such.  They should not be glorified as warriors.  That’s what they want the world to think of them.  They are not.  They are cowards who kill innocent people.  They have to be hunted like criminals and eliminated.  They should have no sanctuary in any nation that calls itself our friend and that received money from American taxpayers.

If we have learned anything in the two Long Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq it is that our overwhelming Cold War military superiority does not guarantee “victory” or success in any traditional sense.  Our leaders claim we intend to establish stable democratic governments friendly to the U.S. in tribal, sectarian nations that have had internal conflicts for centuries.  Good luck with that.  Afghanistan will finally be “free” when Afghan men care enough about their wives and daughters to protect them from barbarian mullahs.  But not before then.

11 Responses to “Seal Six”

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  5. Curtis Mulkey Says:

    Congratulations Sir! Once again you hit the Nail directly on the head,( six or eight years late), but hey, you are the first,( Public/ Simi-public Official) to say it. In either, or any case we obviously don’t need one hundred and fifty Thousand Troops on the Ground in Afghanistan ,( not to mention “Private Contractors”), plus all of that Equipment, so bring them and it home and inform ALL of those Country’s that we will be watching them 24/7 and if they allow the “Bad Guys” to re-establish, NO NOT expect to be Warned, because we will take them out.

    All Branches of our Military needs to be re-Trained to fight the Enemies of today, as opposed to yesterday.

  6. Pat Boice Says:

    Great post, Gary Hart! The U.S. must not – cannot – continue on this budget-busting military leviathan.

  7. Jim Engelking Says:

    We need ro do this without further delay, Gary, but the M-I Complex has been allowed to become too strong, the Congress too partisan, and the press too corporate. So good luck to us, unless we the people demand better.

  8. Gary Hart Says:

    To Mr. Mulkey: don’t know about six or eight years late. I’ve been promoting smaller scale combat units and promoting the Special Forces for the better part of a decade [see: The Fourth Power; The Shield & The Cloak; and Under the Eagle’s Wing]. But thanks for the nice comment regardless.

  9. Eric Johnson Says:

    While I agree that these acts more correctly approximate police actions than warfare, I am surprised that a lawyer and former U.S. senator would posit the idea that the U.S. should turn to stealth assassins and extra-judical executions to solve our problems with religous terrorism. You seem not to understand the nature of these terrorists at all. These people do see themselves as “warriors” and “soldiers of God”. Yes, they are also are angry at the U.S. and Western society. Yes, they do criminal acts of terrible brutality. But they are far from criminals in the true sense of the word. We have to take steps to prevent their use of violence and we cannot sustain these intractable and draining wars, but you apparently would have us emulate the far right government of Israel and the rogue government of Russia, to take the law into our own hands and kill based on what our government sees as its own interest. Sir, the basis of western civilization is the rule of law. If we let our country become a rogue state, deciding who lives or dies, or is kidnapped and flown to “black sites” in foreign countries for the purpose of unethical interrogation, without judicial oversight and attention to international law and transparency, in no time at all we will become the enemy we so desire to defeat. The world is fast becoming a neighborhood of well armed gangsters, not nations intent on building international cooperation and a spirit of justice for all. There is a reason why the “Arab Street” stood up and cheered when the World Trade Center fell. They hate us for a reason, and we need to understand why and deal with that. I am surprised and discouraged by your article.

  10. Gary Hart Says:

    Sorry for the disappoinment, Mr. Johnson, but this case was an exception. As a veteran of the Church committee that investigated intelligence operations, including officially sponsored assassination attempts of foreign leaders, I do condone such assassinations. This man was a hunted criminal, personally responsible for well over 3000 deaths, and protected by no US law. I don’t condone any of the acts you attribute to me. To put this man on trial would have made every American living or traveling abroad a potential hostage. The President understood this. This action creates no precedent…that is until another bin Laden appears.

  11. George Harben Says:

    Senator Hart, as I recall from your days on the Armed Services Committee, you and Sen. Cohen called for a more nimble military before many others.

    This is a victory and he was a criminal. The title terrorist definitely fits. What else do you call someone that intentionally kills innocent civilians? I agree we will be doing more of these actions and not all will be successful. When a mission fails, I hope we do not let it get partisan and subsequent finger pointing.

    It does make one think about the capacity of our military to carry out these missions on more continuous basis. It appears to take a highly trained team, including the Navy Seals, logistics and communications support. Second, it reflects a far greater need for resources devoted to intelligence collection and analysis. We cannot kill what we cannot find.

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