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Subject: JSOC Task Force
GOP    6/8/2006 11:28:30 AM
Yeah, you probably figured this was coming with all of the talk today about TF 145 playing a role in the killing of Zarqawi...but here is my question: How are the Task Force's set up, and what units are in them? I know that CAG, Devgru, and CIA SAD play a role in the TF, but how is each small unit setup? I have no idea how large a JSOC TF is (I would around 50 operators or less...platoon size), but is each small unit (squad size) made up of operators from one particular unit (ie: Squad 1 is CAG, Squad 2 is Devgru, Squad 3 is SAD, Squad 4 is Special Tactics...etc), or are they mixed (Squad 1 is CAG, DEVGRU, SAD, and Special Tactics...etc)? I also heard that the SAS was in one JSOC Taskforce (I believe 145). These Task Forces seem to be successful in Iraq (with the Capture of Saddam and killing of Zarqawi), but you hear no mention of any airstrikes/searches for Osama in Afghanistan.
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Horsesoldier    RE:JSOC Task Force   6/8/2006 9:58:43 PM
Small unit organization with those guys gets in towards OPSEC issues. Not being in their loop and strictly speculating, I would guess that at the unit size you are talking about the preference is to run pure units of CAG, DEVGRU, the SAS, whatever, rather than mixing them up. While there's a lot of similarity at the big picture level, all three of those organizations have different TTPs, different equipment (to an extent), use different acronyms and other jargon, etc. An assault is very much not the place to be mixing and mingling all that if you don't have to. (An exception would be guys cross-assigned from one organization to another long enough that they learn to do things the CAG/DEVGRU/SAS way and such.) As for the Special Tactics guys, they're more of a direct support asset, not assaulters. They've got the training and the shooting skills to not be a liability, but they're far more valuable doing their commo/ATC/FAC or medical jobs than jumping in a stack to go through a door. >>These Task Forces seem to be successful in Iraq (with the Capture of Saddam and killing of Zarqawi), but you hear no mention of any airstrikes/searches for Osama in Afghanistan. << Part of it, I think, is the difference between a rural fight and an urban one. Whatever cave or compound bin Laden is holed up in in Afghanistan or (more probably) Pakistan is out in the sticks with what probably amounts to excellent access control. As long as he does not do something stupid involving OPSEC he's relatively secure and very stealthy. This doesn't mean we are not looking for him (though it might mean we can't look in the right places for political reasons), but there's a whole lot of caves in that part of the world, etc. Zarqawi was pretty much fighting an urban guerilla sort of fight. It's very hard to be stealthy in urban areas for insurgents or counter-insurgency forces due to the population density -- so the trick is not to out ninja every donkey cart driver in the greater Baghdad metroplex but rather to get them to either like you or fear you enough that they don't tell the other side what you're up to (and, ideally, tell you what the other guy is up to). If I'm not mistaken, Saddam, Uday, Qusay and the Zarkman all got zapped because, ultimately, someone (someone Arab, Muslim, and probably local) dropped a dime on them. My guess is bin Laden is doing a better job of controlling who knows where he is, so it's tougher going tracking him down. A great day for Team America, in any case. It sucks Zarqawi could only die once, and it seems like the overpressure probably got him so fast he never knew what hit him, but the world can't be perfect. A pretty good day's work when it's all said and done.
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