Special Operations: March 2, 2005

Archives

The Mexican media is reporting that a group of former anti-narcotics commandos have gone over to the dark side, and are working as hit men for drug cartels along the American border. The U.S. and Mexican governments both say that the story is mostly hype, but it does raise the question of how often do commando trained troops go bad, and apply their specialized military skills to criminal activities. Reports of this happening are nothing new. Its alleged that the guy who worked out the techniques for successful bank robbery (careful reconnaissance, planning and precise execution) was a German officer who had served in World War I, and was familiar with the work of the first large scale commando operations; the German Stosstruppen. After World War II, a few veterans of British and German commando units were reported using their skills in criminal activities. After the Soviet Union disintegrated, veterans of Russian Spetsnaz commando units were in big demand for work with criminal gangs. The pay was high, and the threat from the police low. Gang bosses openly boasted of how many of how many former Spetsnaz they had in their employ. Unlike the Spetsnaz, which uses many conscripts (who can volunteer for Spetsnaz duty once they are in uniform), most modern commandoes get into these elite units only after extensive screening and extensive training. The high failure rate in training is meant to weed out any trainees who might lack the highest physical, mental and moral qualities. If any of these guys have gone seriously rogue, its a well kept secret. The Mexican anti-narcotics commandos were more like a glorified SWAT team. And corruption in the Mexican military is a major problem. There are rogue commandoes out there, but most of them exist only in video games.

 


Article Archive

Special Operations: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 


X

ad
$0
$2000

Help Keep StrategyPage Off The Rocky Shoals!

January, February and March are notoriously low ad revenue months online. And StrategyPage has not been spared. We need to raise $2000 in combined subscriptions and contributions to keep us cruising into next month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close