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Subject: MARSOC, ordered out of Afghanistan...
mough    3/24/2007 8:45:57 AM
Marine unit ordered out of Afghanistan ROBERT BURNS Associated Press WASHINGTON - Marines accused of shooting and killing civilians after a suicide bombing in Afghanistan are under U.S. investigation, and their entire unit has been ordered to leave the country, officials said Friday. Army Maj. Gen. Francis H. Kearney III, head of Special Operations Command Central, ordered the unit of about 120 Marines out of Afghanistan and initiated an investigation into the March 4 incident, said Lt. Col. Lou Leto, spokesman at Kearney's command headquarters in Tampa, Fla. It is highly unusual for any combat unit, either special operations or conventional, to have its mission cut short. A spokesman for the Marine unit, Maj. Cliff Gilmore, said it is in the process of leaving Afghanistan, but he declined to provide details on the timing and new location, citing a need for security. In the March 4 incident in Nangahar province, an explosives-rigged minivan crashed into a convoy of Marines that U.S. officials said also came under fire from gunmen. As many as 10 Afghans were killed and 34 wounded as the convoy made an escape. Injured Afghans said the Americans fired on civilian cars and pedestrians as they sped away. U.S. military officials said militant gunmen shot at Marines and may have caused some of the civilian casualties. President Hamid Karzai condemned the incident, which was one among several involving U.S. forces in which civilians were killed and injured. Leto, the spokesman at Special Operations Command Central headquarters, said the Marines, after being ambushed, responded in a way that created "perceptions (that) have really damaged the relationship between the local population and this unit." Therefore, he said, "the general felt it was best to move them out of that area." Gilmore said the Marine company would complete its overseas deployment with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which is the larger unit it sailed with from Camp Lejeune, N.C., in January, but it will no longer operate in Afghanistan. Of the four Marine Special Operations Command companies that have been established since the command was created in February 2006, the one ordered out of Afghanistan was the first to deploy abroad, Gilmore said. By September 2008 there are to be nine companies operating as part of two special operations battalions, he said. For years the Marines resisted creating special operations units, arguing that would run counter to their philosophy of viewing all Marines as elite fighters and not singling out elements as special. But former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld pressed them to establish a separate command - the Marine Special Operations Command - to train and equip forces for the multi-service Special Operations Command. There are about 25,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, mostly conventional combat forces and support units whoops
 
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Horsesoldier       3/24/2007 9:49:45 AM
ROEs in Afghanistan have been getting increasingly restrictive recently -- probably precisely trying to avoid an incident like this.  Hard to say from the account if the marines were in the right or wrong . . . but unfortunately that opening sentence "accused of shooting and killing civilians" is probably the only point most people will take away from this news.
 
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GOP       3/24/2007 10:41:04 AM
God, it is tough to fight the urge to say: "SCCO, I thought MARSOC was the greatest thing since Jesus Christ", but I won't say it. Not sure who was right or wrong, as I wasn't there.
 
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Yimmy       3/24/2007 10:53:06 AM
What I want to know, is did anyone yell,
 
"Lets do the village... lets do the whole f****** village!"
 
Or,
 
"Get some... die... have some... get some... get some!"
 
...I'll get my coat.
 
 
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BadNews    Perspective Please   3/26/2007 12:42:13 PM
While I was never one to support SCCOMarines over zealous INHO statements about MARSOC, let's put this into perspective please.
 
In the March 4 incident in Nangahar province, an explosives-rigged minivan crashed into a convoy of Marines that U.S. officials said also came under fire from gunmen. As many as 10 Afghans were killed and 34 wounded as the convoy made an escape. Injured Afghans said the Americans fired on civilian cars and pedestrians as they sped away.

U.S. military officials said militant gunmen shot at Marines and may have caused some of the civilian casualties.

President Hamid Karzai condemned the incident, which was one among several involving U.S. forces in which civilians were killed and injured.
 
We do not know what actually happened there, strange that if this unit was totally wrong that they would be alllowed to continue with the MEU deployment. Also strange that the entire company was relieved if there truly was an issue of wrong doing. I have to seriously question the current ROE's something isn't adding up. It is clearly looking like there are some overbearing polical motives at bay, I am not speaking of democrats v republicans, I am speaking of average Afgani v The Hunt for AQ and the Taliban
 
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Horsesoldier       3/26/2007 3:49:28 PM

We do not know what actually happened there, strange that if this unit was totally wrong that they would be alllowed to continue with the MEU deployment. Also strange that the entire company was relieved if there truly was an issue of wrong doing. I have to seriously question the current ROE's something isn't adding up. It is clearly looking like there are some overbearing polical motives at bay, I am not speaking of democrats v republicans, I am speaking of average Afgani v The Hunt for AQ and the Taliban

On the army side of things, I've heard some pretty significant recent complaints about the ROEs in Afghanistan, I think this is generally related.
 
I agree with you that tossing the whole company out of the country sounds to me like a knee-jerk kind of reaction in the political sphere done as immediate damage control by the powers that be there on the ground or back in Florida or DC or whatever.  If someone is actually guilty of some sort of negligence or criminal conduct charges would be limited to that/those individual(s).  With the article not even mentioning anyone being a subject of interest for such an investigation, my suspicion is that no one is getting charged, it was just politically expedient to pull the unit after the incident.
 
Hopefully higher headquarters won't go all zero-defect mentality on things and start damaging careers of good troops, etc., unless someone was really at fault for doing something wrong.

 
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RockyMTNClimber    The Lesson is....   3/26/2007 3:59:28 PM




We do not know what actually happened there, strange that if this unit was totally wrong that they would be alllowed to continue with the MEU deployment. Also strange that the entire company was relieved if there truly was an issue of wrong doing. I have to seriously question the current ROE's something isn't adding up. It is clearly looking like there are some overbearing polical motives at bay, I am not speaking of democrats v republicans, I am speaking of average Afgani v The Hunt for AQ and the Taliban



On the army side of things, I've heard some pretty significant recent complaints about the ROEs in Afghanistan, I think this is generally related.

 

I agree with you that tossing the whole company out of the country sounds to me like a knee-jerk kind of reaction in the political sphere done as immediate damage control by the powers that be there on the ground or back in Florida or DC or whatever.  If someone is actually guilty of some sort of negligence or criminal conduct charges would be limited to that/those individual(s).  With the article not even mentioning anyone being a subject of interest for such an investigation, my suspicion is that no one is getting charged, it was just politically expedient to pull the unit after the incident.

 

Hopefully higher headquarters won't go all zero-defect mentality on things and start damaging careers of good troops, etc., unless someone was really at fault for doing something wrong.



If you can get the coalition shoot back in a area with civilians you can leverage the MSM, US Command Structure, and local polititicians to get them thrown out of the country. Great for operational effectiveness.
Check Six
 
Rocky
 
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BadNews       3/26/2007 4:07:28 PM
Article 15/16 investigations have begun, but still, something not adding up. I have read 10 or 12 accounts all pretty much the same except one from Seattle Post
n the March 4 ambush, the Marines were traveling in a convoy on a highway in Nangarhar province when they were hit with a car bomb followed by small-arms fire, and fired back in self-defense, according to U.S. military accounts. Afghan witnesses said the Marines fired recklessly at passing vehicles and pedestrians along the crowded road flanked by shops.
The U.S. military initially said 16 civilians were killed but later changed that estimate to eight. An official at a local hospital said 14 people had died. The military said 35 people were wounded, among them a coalition service member.
 
And then this tidbit
 
The investigation and abrupt removal of the unit, known as MSOC-F, is doubly significant because the company was composed of some of the most experienced, highly trained Marines ? including many experts in reconnaissance and marksmanship. Their focus, however, is on killing and capturing targets, in contrast to that of other elite troops who specialize in working with indigenous forces.
 
None of this seems to be adding up




We do not know what actually happened there, strange that if this unit was totally wrong that they would be alllowed to continue with the MEU deployment. Also strange that the entire company was relieved if there truly was an issue of wrong doing. I have to seriously question the current ROE's something isn't adding up. It is clearly looking like there are some overbearing polical motives at bay, I am not speaking of democrats v republicans, I am speaking of average Afgani v The Hunt for AQ and the Taliban



On the army side of things, I've heard some pretty significant recent complaints about the ROEs in Afghanistan, I think this is generally related.

 

I agree with you that tossing the whole company out of the country sounds to me like a knee-jerk kind of reaction in the political sphere done as immediate damage control by the powers that be there on the ground or back in Florida or DC or whatever.  If someone is actually guilty of some sort of negligence or criminal conduct charges would be limited to that/those individual(s).  With the article not even mentioning anyone being a subject of interest for such an investigation, my suspicion is that no one is getting charged, it was just politically expedient to pull the unit after the incident.

 

Hopefully higher headquarters won't go all zero-defect mentality on things and start damaging careers of good troops, etc., unless someone was really at fault for doing something wrong.




 
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GOP       3/26/2007 9:11:36 PM
The highest trained, most experienced Marines typically don't get sent out of an entire theatre of operations. It takes an extreme amount of discipline not to ride out of an ambush/IED/attack and not shoot the entire population. If the original report is true, then the MARSOC Marines Effed up very, very badly and honestly looked like a bunch of college school guys, not highly trained professionals. I'm not saying the original report is true, but the fact is that almost all top rate SOF units do not get sent out of theatre. I understand the whole "He who hesitates is lost" thing, but shooting at civilian cars and pedestrians is not cool. I'm not saying the MARSOC operators did anything wrong, but something doesn't seem quite right here.
 
Also, what is this whole "MARSOC is one of the only units who focuses on killing the enemy and not working with indigenous troops"? I don't think that CAG, ST6, the Teams, the SAS, or the KSK is much into working with indigs. Also, SF is doing an excellent job killing the enemy as well. It's all about what unit can get the best intel, they all have the skills to get the job done (I have heard that the Teams are getting alot of DA and Recce missions in A'stan though).
 
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BadNews       3/26/2007 9:41:32 PM

The highest trained, most experienced Marines typically don't get sent out of an entire theatre of operations. It takes an extreme amount of discipline not to ride out of an ambush/IED/attack and not shoot the entire population. If the original report is true, then the MARSOC Marines Effed up very, very badly and honestly looked like a bunch of college school guys, not highly trained professionals. I'm not saying the original report is true, but the fact is that almost all top rate SOF units do not get sent out of theatre. I understand the whole "He who hesitates is lost" thing, but shooting at civilian cars and pedestrians is not cool. I'm not saying the MARSOC operators did anything wrong, but something doesn't seem quite right here.

 

Also, what is this whole "MARSOC is one of the only units who focuses on killing the enemy and not working with indigenous troops"? I don't think that CAG, ST6, the Teams, the SAS, or the KSK is much into working with indigs. Also, SF is doing an excellent job killing the enemy as well. It's all about what unit can get the best intel, they all have the skills to get the job done (I have heard that the Teams are getting alot of DA and Recce missions in A'stan though).


Let's put all the SCCOMarine Banter aside.
1. MARSOC or Marine Special Operations Command consist of 4 BN's - 2 MSOB BN's 1 FMTU BN and 1 MSOFSS
 
FMTU = Foriegn Military Training Unit, similar in scope to the SF tyoe commands
MSOSS = Marine Special Operations School
MSOB= Marine Special Operations Bn (Formerly Force Recon, STA + And Intell Unit)
 
The MSOBs have a total of 9 MSOCs (The company in question was MSOC F )  These units replced the MArine Special Purpose TAsk Forces attached to MEU's
 
THEY ARE PRIMARILY THE OLD FORCE RECON UNITS RENAMED. 
 
There is something very lacking from these reports. Something isn't fitting well, Companies never get removed, Commanders get relieved, troops get releived and charged etc. This really smacks of something political.
 
The mission of the MSOC is to carry out raids and to destroy high value targets and/or conduct deep recon. That said I have been reading diferent accounts.
 
Column was assualted by Civilian vehicle which drove into the column and detonated IED, this was followed by small Arms Fire from moving vehicles directed at the column. Marines returned overwhelming fire.
 
1) Force Recon and STA are not school boys, and many of these guys are on 2nd and 3rd tours,
2) Overwhelming Fire is the proper response to small arms fire
3) This does not sound like a massacre, more like an exchange of fire.
 
 
I am not an Apologist GOP you know that, something is clearly missing from this, something doesn't add up We are not talking boot marines here. The Commander of MSOC-F is a very experienced officer, not a rookie.
 
If there was a major fubar as suggested, it is highly doubtful that the company would have been returned to the MEU for duty which is exactly what happened.
 
I have spoken with some active duty folks and they tell me that the no one in the company was relieved, if some improper act had been committed, someone would already be on theoir way home and would not be returned to the MEU for DUTY.. We are not hearing the entire stoiry by a longshot. BTW, I goit the nickname BADNEWS in the Corps because I followed the rules no matter what. There is something scary about the ROE if everything is as it is being reported.
 

 
 
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BadNews       3/26/2007 9:49:55 PM
BTW, Nangarhar province is Indian Territory, not sunny Kabul
 
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