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Thread: Before Abbottabad: hunting AQ leaders (merged thread)

  1. #61
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Bingo

    Quote Originally Posted by goesh View Post
    Personally I think he died of sepsis 5-6 months after Tora Bora and was cremated but the tally of their dead, and its been in the thousands since 9/11, gives us more than a pound of flesh and we are still killing them. His message is not reaching the mass of neutral muslims, not as long as we stand our ground in Afghan and Iraq. I'm not saying don't keep trying to kill him but once the insurgency surpassed expectations in Iraq, it became more strategically viable to not pin his ears on the door of the White House.
    Wheels inside of wheels...

  2. #62
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    Default 1998 Missile Strikes on Bin Laden May Have Backfired

    GWU's National Security Archive, 20 Aug 08: 1998 Missile Strikes on Bin Laden May Have Backfired
    On the tenth anniversary of U.S. cruise missile strikes against al-Qaeda in response to deadly terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, newly-declassified government documents posted today by the National Security Archive suggest the strikes not only failed to hurt Osama bin Laden but ultimately may have brought al-Qaeda and the Taliban closer politically and ideologically.

    A 400-page Sandia National Laboratories report on bin Ladin, compiled in 1999, includes a warning about political damage for the U.S. from bombing two impoverished states without regard for international agreement, since such action "mirror imaged aspects of al-Qaeda's own attacks". A State Department cable argues that although the August missile strikes were designed to provide the Taliban with overwhelming reason to surrender bin Laden, the military action may have sharpened Afghan animosity towards Washington and even strengthened the Taliban-al-Qaeda alliance.....

  3. #63
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Ted,

    Great find. I just wonder how much money it cost for that secret Sandia report. Aside from using OBL's name and pic, I could have written the conclusions in 1989-1990 when I was on terrorism watch.

    Best

    Tom
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  4. #64
    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    Ted,

    Great find. I just wonder how much money it cost for that secret Sandia report. Aside from using OBL's name and pic, I could have written the conclusions in 1989-1990 when I was on terrorism watch.

    Best

    Tom
    My thoughts almost exactly (except I think I could have written the conclusion as part of the research paper I had to submit to get out of MI Officer Basic Course)--I did the Homer Simpson headslap when I read the title of the post. Particularly instructive was the declassified report from the Embassy in Pakistan. But then since when has anyone in the Washington power elite deigned to trust the insights of those on the ground close to the action?
    Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit
    The greatest educational dogma is also its greatest fallacy: the belief that what must be learned can necessarily be taught. — Sydney J. Harris

  5. #65
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default What Tom and wm said.

    I also wonder how much said Sandia Report cost...

    Lessee. Ineffective swat a Yellow Jacket makes him angry and draws allies. Novel discovery, that.

  6. #66
    Council Member Danny's Avatar
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    Default Additionally ...

    I agree with Tom's conclusions. But additionally, once again it goes to show that the high value individual / high value target program can only have a finite and limited success, and I would argue that too much emphasis has been placed on sending SF operators after specific individuals. A very costly, very expensive, very consuming strategy that has yielded only marginal benefits.

    There are no buttons to push, no magic incantations to utter. COIN takes a commitment of resources, including troops to build the security necessary to win the population and weed out the insurgents.

    Almost every MSM report I see now on "Taliban commander killed in [such-and-such] province ...," I ignore and close within tenths of a second without so much as reading it. These reports don't matter.

  7. #67
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    Default Errors in Man-hunting: The Long Road to Finding Bin Laden

    Errors in Man-hunting: The Long Road to Finding Bin Laden

    Entry Excerpt:

    Errors in Man-hunting: The Long Road to Finding Bin Laden
    by Will Chalmers

    I wrote this short article with the intention to spark debate on the topic of why the conventional opinion on Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts over the last decade turned out to be incorrect. Discussing and analysing the factors that led to this discrepancy between western observers and bin Laden’s own assessment of his security needs is to me a worthwhile debate. This paper it not intended to be a criticism of any one individual’s past comments but rather a vehicle for potentially improving future analysis.

    Will Chalmers is a research assistant at the Centre for Security, Armed Forces and Society (CSAFS) located at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC). He is a graduate of the War Studies MA program at RMCC.



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  8. #68
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    Default The Death of Osama Bin Laden: Almost a decade too late?

    The Death of Osama Bin Laden: Almost a decade too late?

    Entry Excerpt:

    The Death of Osama Bin Laden: Almost a decade too late?
    by Matthew Ince

    On Monday 2 May 2011 US President Obama announced the death of Osama Bin Laden following the success of a US operation conducted by an elite group of US Navy Seals in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where the Al-Qa’ida figurehead had been taking refuge. Despite the common belief that key members of Al-Qa’ida’s central leadership had been in hiding within the federally administered tribal areas of Pakistan, the suburban compound where Bin Laden was discovered was in fact just 1 km away from Pakistan’s Military Academy, close to the country’s capital Islamabad. While this raises many questions about US trust for the intelligence arm of Pakistan’s military, Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari was however quick to point out Pakistan’s early assistance in identifying the Al-Qa’ida courier that had ultimately led to up to the elimination of Bin Laden. Irrespectively, Bin Laden’s death has come as good news for many, particularly in the US, where countless groups of individuals will no doubt believe that justice has finally been served for the attacks of 9/11. It also comes against the backdrop of wider transition within the Middle East and a movement towards greater freedom and democracy; a process that has already begun to render Al-Qa’ida’s rhetoric and doctrine increasingly irrelevant within many parts of the Muslim world.

    Matthew Ince currently works as a Project Manager at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies. He has an MA in Geopolitics and Grand Strategy and a BA (Hons) in International Relations from the University of Sussex.



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  9. #69
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    Default (NPR) Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda

    In Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America's Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda, Shanker and his colleague Eric Schmitt detail how the Defense Department and U.S. spy agencies adapted several Cold War-era techniques, including many aimed at deterring attacks before they happen. The government also created new innovative strategies, including hacking into Jihadist websites and disrupting financial networks, for their battle against al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden.

    On Tuesday's Fresh Air, both Shanker and Schmitt join Dave Davies for a discussion about the tactics used by the U.S. over the past decade to disrupt al-Qaida both in real life and online. Some of those tactics, says Shanker, included focusing on the middlemen instead of the leadership within the al-Qaida network.
    In December 2006, U.S. military members out on patrol serendipitously captured a briefcase full of thumb drives and files outlining al-Qaida's battle strategy to counter the surge that had just been ordered by the United States.

    "It showed the safe houses, it showed where all of the weapons were stored, and it showed that al-Qaida really understood the Iraqi people more than the Americans did," says Shanker. "Because among the chief targets al-Qaida was going to attack during the surge were the bakeries, and they were going to target the garbagemen, because they wanted the garbage to pile up to show that the U.S. was failing. ... [The U.S.] was able to reshape the entire force footprint and [one general described the seizure] as 'almost like the ability of the Allies to break the Enigma codes of the Nazis during World War II.' "
    http://www.npr.org/2011/08/16/139649...ainst-al-qaida
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    Default

    I just picked this book at the local library. I'll give a review once I finish, but unless I hear verification from a source I trust, I am very skeptical.
    Reed
    Quote Originally Posted by sapperfitz82 View Post
    This truly is the bike helmet generation.

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