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MikeF
10-13-2009, 06:24 AM
Where did all the "Wild Bill" Donovans go?

Why do we have a lack of creativity in this GWOT or Long War?

My answer is simple- insitutional bureacracy coupled with risk adversion in the FBI, CIA, SOCOM, JSOC, and Special Forces. Today, Donovan would be fired as an infantry/recon LT.

Alas, maybe I'm just an armor officer asking silly questions.

Maybe not.

I'm curious to see others' opinions and thoughts...

v/r

Mike

Bill Moore
10-13-2009, 07:17 AM
The Wild Bill's are still there, they come and go (very few in the military anymore, as they are quickly weeded out for being non-conformers). Our bureaucracy and risk adverse culture is crushing, so those who have the brains, creativity and balls to take the fight to the enemy the way Wild Bill's gang did are quickly disillusioned today. Instead they open businesses or engage in other activities where they can apply their talents. Remember a lot of Wild Bill's men were successful lawyers, bankers, etc.

I recall a somewhat humorous news interview (maybe a little over a year ago), where a well known national news host was interviewing a former CIA agent who wrote a book about the war on the terror (typical ex-CIA book, everyone is screwed up but me tale), and she asked him why the CIA didnt do such and such in Afghanistan prior to 9/11, and he looked at her like she was from mars, then answered her with, "it was too dangerous". She kept pressing him with, isn't that what the CIA is supposed to do? To give credit where it's due, I believe some in the CIA did some great work, but this interview definitely reflected the risk adverse culture in the U.S. government.

By now we're all too aware of what one of our four star generals told Clinton about the risk of sending Special Operations Forces into Afghanistan to get OBL when the President inquired back in the 1990's, so instead we have now endured 9/11 and the consequences since then. Exactly how is risk calculated?

I can't imagine "it's too dangerous" being the response from Bill Casey, Bill Donovon, or Bull Simmons. If it was easy, he would have asked the Air Force to do it.

The good news is there would have been no shortage of volunteers from the ranks to take those risks, so don't give up hope.

Timbers
10-13-2009, 07:56 AM
The number of starving, dead-broke independent intelligence & counterterrorism analysts is a testament to the bureaucratization of the Intelligence Community.

100,000 people in complete agreement with one another, projecting the illusion of complete national security.

The stage is set for even grander Congressional committee hearings after The Next Big One to determine how on earth this could ever have happened. Provided, of course, Congress is still around after The Next Big One.

MikeF
10-13-2009, 08:03 AM
This is a serious topic, one that I've discussed privately with Ken White and others...

I would be the first to volunteer for a venture in a "new" organization to jumping into the FATA to actually conduct strategic patrols to achieve our stated national policy goals. Trust me, I would have no problem for volunteers.

I think sometimes we let politics slide into national security. I.E. risk adversion creeping into institutions.

Mike

Tom Odom
10-13-2009, 08:33 AM
Mike

Stan and I lived with this constantly in Zaire/Congo when taskings came in and we sought ways to meet them. On the other hand, the same risk adverse people would think up truly hair-brained schemes for us to do, when the real issue was budgets our ability to achieve hairbrained schemes supposedly affected the organization's budget. They were shocked when I told them to pound sand.

I didn't find things much different in Rwanda except I had Ambassadors who were common sense and allowed us to use our judgement. My organization didn't change but my immediate in-country leadership improved dramatically.
The old saying about "yes, you can go swimming, but don't go near the water" definitely applied when it came to HQs.

To answer your original question: anyone with "Wild" in his nickname is trouble.

Best
Tom

Abu Suleyman
10-13-2009, 03:12 PM
The number of starving, dead-broke independent intelligence & counterterrorism analysts is a testament to the bureaucratization of the Intelligence Community.

100,000 people in complete agreement with one another, projecting the illusion of complete national security.

The stage is set for even grander Congressional committee hearings after The Next Big One to determine how on earth this could ever have happened. Provided, of course, Congress is still around after The Next Big One.

100% Agreed. However, I take hope in the fact that there are actually many people outside of the establishment, that when the time comes, do have the appropriate skills. This wouldn't be the first time that the military turned to people who were not up to snuff in the "bureacratic" military, but who were just what was needed in war. (I am thinking specifically of U.S. Grant.)

Ken White
10-13-2009, 05:13 PM
100% Agreed. However, I take hope in the fact that there are actually many people outside of the establishment, that when the time comes, do have the appropriate skills. This wouldn't be the first time that the military turned to people who were not up to snuff in the "bureacratic" military, but who were just what was needed in war. (I am thinking specifically of U.S. Grant.)I think you're right. I sure hope you are. However, I doubt those kinds of people will be available in the comparative numbers they were during WW II. We have had two more generations of added 'government' and 'safety and security.'

People that put bike helmets on kids aged four on tricycles, that have to buckle their seat belts under penalty of a fine if they get caught without one, that have a FEMA passing out checks to idiots who decide to live on a flood plain or a beach, that contend many benefits provided by big government are 'entitlements' simply aren't into risk taking. :(

Cavguy
10-13-2009, 06:03 PM
My former boss @ COIN has been going crazy with the blog (http://usacac.army.mil/blog/blogs/coin/archive/2009/09/10/where-are-the-afghan-inglorious-bastards.aspx)since I left - he posted this about a month ago:


WHERE ARE THE AFGHAN INGLORIOUS BASTARDS?

I was struck by a comment from an Army officer fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. He said, “fighting these guys (the Taliban) is like fighting the Marines.” I want to know who is training those guys, and where can we get them because without air support, artillery, armoured vehicles or large training centers, they seem to be getting pretty impressive results on the cheap.

There are a few facts and questions that we need to address honestly in an “understanding the environment” way before we can go on. We need to be honest with ourselves before we move forward because platitudes and slogans won’t win the COIN fight.

Here are some hard questions we need to ask:

We learn from Afghan/Pashtun culture that one of the basic tenants of “Pashtun Wali” (way of the Pashtun) is “Badal” (revenge). Logic dictates that if we kill one Afghan, we make 10 enemies. Where are the slighted Afghans that have been grieved by the Taliban who are thirsting for revenge or does this only work against us?

We know that the Taliban are not one monolithic group, but several small groups each with their own goals and area of operations. That is a weakness that begs to be exploited. We know that they have village auxiliaries who support hard corps fighters who travel around in groups from 10 – 50. History also shows that from the 1940’s the Afghans were quite adept at infiltrating insurgents into the Pakistan’s FATA in order to instigate trouble. We know that part of COIN theory speaks of denying sanctuary to the insurgents. Afghan forces are more welcome and can operate more freely than Western troops. So, where are those Afghan Inglorious Bastards? Where are the small bands of Government of Afghanistan fighters operating on foot in Taliban safe havens, mixing with the people, getting intelligence, denying the Taliban that safe haven, ambushing Taliban groups, (with coalition backup) giving them no respite, taking away their feeling of invulnerability and exacerbating mistrust between Taliban groups? Where is the Afghan version of the “Les Commandos Tigres Noir,” (The Black Tigers), a group of former Viet-minh who under the leadership of Sergeant-Major Roger Vanenberghe in 1952 Indo China dressed in black uniforms and brought the fight to the insurgents and captured one of their command-posts?

We also know that the Taliban are very good at setting up roadblocks to collect taxes and control the population. Roadblocks, were used effectively to prevent voting materials getting distributed in the 20 Aug elections and also to prevent Afghans from voting. They are also quite effective at preventing IOs, NGOs and Afghan civil servants from getting out and working with the people. Where are the undercover Afghan Inglorious Bastards, who roll down the road in an old truck either armed to the teeth or armed with radios that talk to a trailing UAV or Attack Helicopter or follow-on truck full of undercover hard men? If a few of these check points were hit, the Taliban or local criminals might be less inclined to use them. This tactic was used quite effectively by Canadian troops in Somalia. Why aren’t we seeing it in Afghanistan?

These are not hi-tech, complicated solutions, but they could be effective. If we can’t find the Afghan Inglorious Bastards and figure out why criminals without money, air support, artillery, armoured vehicles or large training centers can be compared to the Marines, we will never win this fight. We need to ask tough questions and stop making up the answers that please us.

LCol JJ Malevich, Canadian Exchange Officer, COIN Branch Chief US Army/ USMC Counter Insurgency Center.

jmm99
10-13-2009, 06:16 PM
I missed Mr Donovan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Joseph_Donovan) by a decade, but his lawfirm, Donovan, Leisure, Newton & Irvine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donovan,_Leisure,_Newton_%26_Irvine), was a "friendly" lawfirm to the firm where I worked. We think of him for his WWI and OSS activities, but Bill Donovan was a product of large firm litigation practice. In that context, he was a conformist.

What do I mean by that ? Here are a few points (not an ideal, because they are realized in practice by successful firms).

1. Correction by subordinates. As a young associate, you are expected to know your case and to correct errors made by those above you in the pecking order. Obviously, that includes substantive legal and factual errors, but also such things as grammar. Of course, if you expect to stay around, you had best be right most of the time. You are also expected to discuss (intelligently) the many judgment calls that have to be made. All good things have to come to an end. So, if you are a regular "counterformist", you will not last long.

2. Lines of Communication. You are expected to use horizontal lines of communication - with those roughly on your level; and to share knowledge. Selfish folks also did not last long. Vertical communications also had to be open - usually initiated from higher levels. Say, you have a four-person case team. The top dog wants input from all lower levels. So, it wouldn't be unusual for the bottom dog to be asked to give the top dog a complete brief (one on one) on the case. In that atmosphere, "yes men" also do not last long.

3. Consideration. The rule was simply "don't kiss ass upstairs; don't kick ass downstairs" - thank yous to the secretarial pool go a long way. And although vertical communications were open, never go behind someone's back. Positive input goes upstairs; negative input goes through the "chain of command". All of that is simply a matter of judgment and discretion.

In short, the normal world that Bill Donovan lived in for 50 years - after graduating Columbia Law in 1908 - was one where independent thinking, shared communications, exhaustive (but not exhausting) argument, judgment and discretion, were the norm. So, in that sense, Bill Donovan was a conformist. In WWII, half of the partners of the lawfirm where I later worked were "in uniform" (some in Donovan's organization).

Rex Brynen
10-13-2009, 06:17 PM
100,000 people in complete agreement with one another, projecting the illusion of complete national security.

I must go to different CT and intel meetings, because I've yet to ever attend a working US IC meeting that looked anything like this. :D

Ken White
10-13-2009, 07:29 PM
but I'll posit an answer anyway...
My former boss @ COIN has been going crazy with the blog (http://usacac.army.mil/blog/blogs/coin/archive/2009/09/10/where-are-the-afghan-inglorious-bastards.aspx)since I left - he posted this about a month ago:I suggest:

The average Afghan is more afraid of the Talibs.They are not afraid of us because they know we're constrained by mores they think are dumb. Thus they'll pick on us as infidels and nice guys (who deserve to be fleeced in their view). As for revenge on the Talibs, they're willing to bide their time to get at them. What's a century or two...

We are not going to play a Viet Nam repeat because the rules have changed and 24 hour news cycles mitigate against such operations unless they are very low key; thus small and generally not terribly effective in the strategic sense.

There will be no -- or very, very few -- Afghan government inglorious basterds because the Afghan government does not necessarily want what the west thinks they ought to want. Far from it, I believe.

Consider also that if an Afghan soldier or police officer decides to beat a detained person to get information or just for the heck of it, he'll say something to the effect: "Please forgive me but I must beat you. It's my job, you understand." The beatee is likely to respond: "Please, go ahead. I understand. If God wills, I shall bear it manfully. I will bear no malice for this." Point there is that Pashtunwali is far more nuanced and complex than most westerners think. Also note that it is 'Pashtun...' Blood is thicker and so forth...

He states:
We need to ask tough questions and stop making up the answers that please us. Those are fair questions. I'm not sure whether the answers are pleasing or not but they really boil down to three rather immutable factors.

We may be nice guys but we are still outsiders and flatlanders in hill country. Hill people are rather comfortable fighting each other but they will unite to fight outsiders. No one not from a bunch of Hill folks is likely to understand that fully.

We are trying to fight a war nicely for western domestic political reasons and our opponents do not have that quite significant constraint.

While I know some US Sergeants Major who could and would lead some Tigres Noir, I know many more who could not and would not (the ratio used to be about 20:80, I suspect it is even more skewed today) and I strongly doubt the US Army for one would allow that to happen -- again more due to US domestic politics than to the fact that there are only a few commanders who countenance such operations -- fewer still would entrust it to an NCO. So the second factor is our bureaucracy and dictated conformity. The US Army is still, unfortunately, mentally geared to fighting a peer competitor on the north German plain.

Short version: Outsiders who try to be nice and are doctrinaire are very unlikely to win against tough, unconstrained, xenophobic hillmen. They can get a marginally acceptable conclusion...

slapout9
10-13-2009, 08:14 PM
My former boss @ COIN has been going crazy with the blog (http://usacac.army.mil/blog/blogs/coin/archive/2009/09/10/where-are-the-afghan-inglorious-bastards.aspx)since I left - he posted this about a month ago:

Kinda of like the statistic that 8 out 10 Police Officers that are killed by firearms are used by people that have never had any formal training in firearms:eek: and they usually DON'T use the sights!!!

If you had a mobilized A'stan population it should not take anymore than a week to train a guerrilla force that could win. Why is that Karzid guy living in a palace? why does he live in luxury while HIS people and ours die? Why isn't he wearing a Fidel Castro Uniform like his Army dudes do? Why isn't he LEADING the IED and VILLAGE clearing operations? Crimes and Wars are caused by CERTAIN PEOPLE! When you start bringing smoke on the right peoples butts things will start changing until then it want. My old Platoon Sergeant could straighten out them thugs with a .45 and a pair of spit shined jump boots. As Governor Wallace used to say about politicians too much "Pussyfootin going on".

omarali50
10-13-2009, 09:04 PM
but I'll posit an answer anyway...I suggest:

The average Afghan is more afraid of the Talibs.They are not afraid of us because they know we're constrained by mores they think are dumb. .....
Short version: Outsiders who try to be nice and are doctrinaire are very unlikely to win against tough, unconstrained, xenophobic hillmen. They can get a marginally acceptable conclusion...

Somehow I doubt that they consider the US army as being too nice or too constrained. They ARE less afraid of you than they are of the taliban because in the last year or two they have begun to think that the talibs are likely to win. Its true that they dont like infidels and outsiders in general. But, they are people and they see which side their bread is buttered. If the infidels had set up a better regime AND appeared determined to win, they would go along with that (especially if said "better regime" interferes little with their life and still provides security...less corruption, less extortion, more justice?). Also, lets not generalize TOO much. There is an urban population and slightly more developed population (in Kabul, Mazar, Herat) that would support a US supported regime over the taliban, but needs fig leaves of legitimacy, Islamic cover, less corruption, more service.
Having said all that, I think if the US actually decides to stick around, the nutcases who are increasingly dominant on the Pakistani side of the border (the arabs and uzbeks and punjabi taliban) will prove to be their own worst enemies. They will kill mercilessly and almost randomly, provide no real service, butt into everyone's private life and generally make Karzai look slightly better by comparison....but only slightly better.

Ken White
10-13-2009, 09:22 PM
Somehow I doubt that they consider the US army as being too nice or too constrained. They ARE less afraid of you than they are of the taliban...'Too nice' is shorthand for not as brutal (or as dedicated) as the opposition, no more.
...because in the last year or two they have begun to think that the talibs are likely to win.Or that we are more likely to leave sooner rather than later which is the same thing said a different way...
Its true that they dont like infidels and outsiders in general. But, they are people and they see which side their bread is buttered.They are pragmatic, no question. They are also xenophobic so they are conflicted -- that makes them prone to go with the flow -- and the meanest, most likely to affect them long term. :wry:
If the infidels had set up a better regime AND appeared determined to win, they would go along with that.Agreed. Problem is that said infidels want to to do western things that aren't always in tune with what's needed and are influenced by those who have personal ideas, not necessarily 'good of Afghans' ideas.
Also, lets not generalize TOO much.The population of primary concern is covered by those generalizations -- the others are more easily assuaged as you point out.
Having said all that, I think if the US actually decides to stick around, the nutcases who are increasingly dominant on the Pakistani side of the border (the arabs and uzbeks and punjabi taliban) will prove to be their own worst enemies. They will kill mercilessly and almost randomly, provide no real service, butt into everyone's private life and generally make Karzai look slightly better by comparison....but only slightly better.Agreed -- and that's the problem; the sticking around bit. To be determined, as they say... :(

Bob's World
10-13-2009, 09:52 PM
'Too nice' is shorthand for not as brutal (or as dedicated) as the opposition, no more.Or that we are more likely to leave sooner rather than later which is the same thing said a different way...They are pragmatic, no question. They are also xenophobic so they are conflicted -- that makes them prone to go with the flow -- and the meanest, most likely to affect them long term. :wry:Agreed. Problem is that said infidels want to to do western things that aren't always in tune with what's needed and are influenced by those who have personal ideas, not necessarily 'good of Afghans' ideas.The population of primary concern is covered by those generalizations -- the others are more easily assuaged as you point out.Agreed -- and that's the problem; the sticking around bit. To be determined, as they say... :(
Just picturing trying to keep a straight face introducing myself as "Wild Bob." I recommend that everyone add the prefix "Wild" to their SWJ names for next couple of weeks, should have the Taliban begging for mercy in no time!

Though, I did send my boss a two pager Friday on why AFG is neither a war, nor CT, nor COIN; but that it is simply campaign in a larger effort to counter the regional Unconventional Warfare campaign being waged by AQ.

Actually, what I find to be wild are the following widely held beliefs:

1. That AQ is conducting a Global Insurgency

2. That the US declared a war first on a tactic, and then "fixed" it by changing it to a war on a club.

3. That most think we are conducting COIN in Iraq and Afghanistan

4. That most think we are in separate "wars" in those two countries

5. That we run around slapping "AQ" labels on people faster than WWII GIs putting up "Kilroy was here."

6. That 20 years after the end of the Cold War we still have not updated U.S Foreign Policy to reflect that fact.

7. The widely held belief that greater enforcement of the "Rule of Law" will cure an insurgency (As I recall, King George believed the same thing...)

8. The widely held belief that ineffective government causes insurgency, and that efforts by an outsider to fix that ineffectiveness will cure insurgency.

9. The belief that adding an organization to some master "terrorist list" will somehow help us to better address that organization or the reasons why they are employing terrorist tactics in the first place.

10. (and no list should go past 10, so I'll stop here)The widely held belief by Americans that because we are the "Good Guys" everyone will love us no matter how outrageous our behavior might be (this goes for tourists, GIs on leave, as well as foreign policy).


Seriously though, that "Rule of Law" thing really hit me this weekend. I suspect that the excessive enforcement of rule of law has caused more insurgencies than virtually any other governmental outrage in the history of governance.

regards,

"Wild Bob"

davidbfpo
10-13-2009, 10:31 PM
Looking back at the British Empire experience in WW2, the introduction of the Commandos needed Winston Churchill's support IIRC to overcome the resistance of the conventional military and others. Other unconventional "arms" like LRDG, SOE, SAS, Chindits etc took brave men's advocacy, sometimes in a rather direct manner (IIRC to Wavell for the SAS by David Stirling).

It is curious that a lot of the training in new skills came from such non-miltary sources as the International Brigade who'd fought Franco in Spain and the Shanghai Municipal Police. The personnel often, but not always came from the independently minded Dominions (ANZAC & Rhodesians - hat tip Jon Custis) and businessmen across the Empire (often China).

Given that WW2 was a 'Total War' it still took at least two years to get such bodies into operation and Afghanistan is not in that category.

The "Wild Geese"of Africa in the mercenary era have long since retired; those who fought in the "liberation" wars in Southern Africa have been burnt out, or have gone to PMCs. Hardly encouragement in a recruiting campaign.

The techniques maybe well known now, there is little hands on experience outside the SF branch and life in the far flung corners is more comfortable. Are the people of such character out there? Yes, outside the USA I'd suggest hard to locate, motivate and get into place.

Perhaps we should look outside our own box. Are there countries that have the personalities sought, who can acquire the skill set and volunteer - quite possibly for money? From a suburban "armchair" I'd start with the French Foriegn Legion.

davidbfpo

slapout9
10-13-2009, 11:21 PM
Just picturing trying to keep a straight face introducing myself as "Wild Bob." I recommend that everyone add the prefix "Wild" to their SWJ names for next couple of weeks, should have the Taliban begging for mercy in no time!

"Wild Bob"

My Platoon Sergeant gave me the name "Wild Ass Buck Sergeant" don't know why he would think that but he did.:D:D Did I tell you about the time I talked my Company Commander into making a Jump into......Disney World:eek: true story.

William F. Owen
10-14-2009, 07:04 AM
These are not hi-tech, complicated solutions, but they could be effective. If we canít find the Afghan Inglorious Bastards and figure out why criminals without money, air support, artillery, armoured vehicles or large training centers can be compared to the Marines, we will never win this fight. We need to ask tough questions and stop making up the answers that please us.

That say's it all! Could not have put it better myself. Maybe worth another thread!

slapout9
10-14-2009, 01:45 PM
That say's it all! Could not have put it better myself. Maybe worth another thread!

I know it is expensive but if you get a copy of the SOE Syllybus they pretty much will be following it. Wilf, if you can get a copy read the section on small unit tactics and formations, I would like your opinion on this. Everytime time you use the expression War should be Iron Bar Simple I think of this section.

William F. Owen
10-14-2009, 02:03 PM
I know it is expensive but if you get a copy of the SOE Syllybus they pretty much will be following it. Wilf, if you can get a copy read the section on small unit tactics and formations, I would like your opinion on this. Everytime time you use the expression War should be Iron Bar Simple I think of this section.

OK, off to look for it now. I'm pretty sure it'll follow the 1941 Infantry Instructor's manual, but I'll not prejudge it, and as my Grandfather was the SOE K-Pol (now called POLAD - TOM ODOM take note! ) I am emotionally pre-disposed to it!

Bill Moore
10-15-2009, 06:41 AM
Posted by Wild Bob,


Though, I did send my boss a two pager Friday on why AFG is neither a war, nor CT, nor COIN; but that it is simply campaign in a larger effort to counter the regional Unconventional Warfare campaign being waged by AQ.

You can't be a true wild man if you only slip white papers to your boss. You need to rock the system like Washington, MLK, Ghandi, Cory Aquino, etc. I recall we all had a chance to respond to a JFCOM request a few weeks ago about the potential need to redefine IW and possibly develop a new doctrine for it. Apparently I was the lone voice out there (according to their website) that called for a new doctrine, everyone else was apparently content with relying on our current COIN, FID, UW, SO, and CT doctrine. I wondered where my SF brothers were, not those in the halls of doctrine, as they have taken a momentary leave of their senses, but the voices from the field?

I non-concurred for the reasons you listed, cause most common folks simply want to put the problem set in a familiar box, and presto we have an instant doctrinal solution, no further study required. So we start off with defining the problem incorrectly and then consequently apply the wrong the strategy. When it doesn't work, we think we have to apply more of the same strategy. We don't question if our original premise was wrong to begin with.

When I think of Wild Bill Donovan (from reading his biography) I think of a no nonsense guy who defied the rules and got the job done. He was smart, open minded, and carried a large set of gonads. What was the name of that movie where Clint Eastwood was a Marine Gunny when they invaded Grenada? I loved it when the well portrayed conventional officer said you're the type of Marine that should be locked away with a sign that says break glass only in time of war (something along those lines). Well we're at war, let's break the glass.

Tom Odom
10-15-2009, 07:06 AM
OK, off to look for it now. I'm pretty sure it'll follow the 1941 Infantry Instructor's manual, but I'll not prejudge it, and as my Grandfather was the SOE K-Pol (now called POLAD - TOM ODOM take note! ) I am emotionally pre-disposed to it!

Bloody hell!

Wilf has come out of the closet...:wry:

davidbfpo
10-15-2009, 07:58 AM
Bill,


What was the name of that movie where Clint Eastwood was a Marine Gunny when they invaded Grenada? I loved it when the well portrayed conventional officer said you're the type of Marine that should be locked away with a sign that says break glass only in time of war (something along those lines).

It was Heartbreak Ridge, from 1986: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091187/

davidbfpo

Red Rat
10-25-2009, 06:38 PM
Where did all the "Wild Bill" Donovans go?


My answer is simple- insitutional bureacracy coupled with risk adversion in the FBI, CIA, SOCOM, JSOC, and Special Forces. Today, Donovan would be fired as an infantry/recon LT.




My 2 star CG on OIF (the break-in) described SF as over bureaucratised and risk averse - and he had a long SF pedigree!!

As I think we are never going to fight the Afghan as well as they fight each other I harken back to the SAS of the Imperial Indian Army - notably the Frontier Scouts (The South Waziristan Scouts, The Tochi Scouts, The Gilgit Scouts and the Chitral Scouts). It takes a poacher to make a really effective gamekeeper :D

The Frontier Scouts by Charles Chenevix Trench is out of print but highly recommended. Personally I think there is quite an appetite in the army for officers and SNCOs to do extended tours in AFG or other places with such formations. At the close of empire Loan Service with the various ex-colonial armies was always sought after by the more adventurous and less career minded individual, especially where it involved shooting at people, tigers or both :rolleyes: