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Thread: Spotlight on AFRICOM Plus a Rant from a Special Forces NCO Pal

1. This AFRICOM failure in Niger has not gotten enough publicity! This will make your blood boil.

<quote>
2. Over the past year there have been numerous leadership failures at the highest levels of the military in regards to the Oct 2017 ambush of a Special Forces unit in Tongo Tongo, Niger. The latest is the reinstatement of a reprimand for the team leader, Capt. Michael Perozeni.
3. Since the ambush, four-star general officers have done everything in their power to avoid taking any responsibility for their command’s failures.
3A. Instead they push blame down to the lowest possible levels, desperately searching for scapegoats to deflect blame from their careers & systemic failures within the services. The solution is not to fault soldiers under fire, but to fix the universal problems in higher commands
4. The Pentagon has reportedly “made improvements at all levels,” but officers involved in current operations have seen no changes to address these problems.
5. American men and women are still being sent to far-off lands, under-trained, under-equipped, and under-staffed, to fight in conflicts that have little congressional oversight and little payoff for our global strategy.
6. Retention levels in the military are abysmal. Special Operations officers, who are among the best and brightest, and have been specially selected and trained, have a retention rate of around 40 percent.
7. They are not staying in a profession where they are hung out to dry by senior officers who care more about their careers than about their soldiers and missions.

<unquote>

Read the rest here: thefederalist.com/2019/02/11/sha…
8. No accountability for failures stemming from lack of realistic training, bad personnel management, and poor leadership. These are the legacies of the Obama years and cashiering warriors in favor of promoting politically correct FOGOs!
9. Here’s the deal: this is just ONE example. These incidents happened repeatedly in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in the years preceding. What I’ve read about some of these incidents after the fact makes me ill.
10. From the overarching shitting ROE to FBI investigations of combat related defensive shootings to who gets the "blame" for the deaths of entire SQUADS of infantry following orders to establish checkpoints at crossroads ….
10A. …AT THE LOWEST POINT OF THE IMMEDIATE TERRAIN (no blame at all as the orders emanated from the JOC - Joint Operations Command HQ at Bagram, Afghanistan).
11. Fingers pointed in every direction except the worthless but high-ranking officers that establish ineffective (down-right detrimental) ROEs that do not allow proper offensive actions let alone effective self-defense. I’ve mentioned bad mission success criteria and ROEs before!
12. A personal friend comments on the article above and reports on the following incident. Take heed of his rant which starts now!
13. <quote>

This is the kind of crap that led to the death of my son-in-law, so yes, I take it personally. But I took it personally before that because the lives of all brothers in arms requires all NCOs to be responsible for bearing the load and overriding fixed SOP/ROE ….
13A. … if necessary and then stand up for their call.
14. In the case of my son-in-law, his command at the Special Forces Group level not only sent the entire team into an old-school Vietnam-like, live in the village type situation, but they never reached back to anyone that understood the concerns or security requirements ….
14A. … of such a situation so that the team (first to be deployed in such a manner since Vietnam) could be briefed on how to stay alive in a situation where fully 10% of your "friendly" local national troops are in reality minions of the enemy.
14B. Of course the Team Sergeant and Team Leader were relieved of command and their careers trashed.
15. Post incident, I got together several Vietnam vet SF friends & devised a training course to support and inform tms going into such situations. However, the SF command structure at NO level had any interest in even discussing the subject - even when offered at our own expense!
16. In another case, a SF friend lost his son in an ROE-related event while outside the wire. Then his son’s team decided to plan a "routine patrol" that was really supposed to be an ambush of the folks their Intel said had ambushed the team in the prior incident.
17. The team was ambushed with several more losses - the whole thing was a set-up based on willfully bad Intel.
18. These kids had NO idea, and the upper management (no leaders at higher levels these days) had no idea, and no one is willing to pound a desk or put their career or integrity on the line for the soldiers below them.
19. Such has always been a problem, but I believe that these days it is much worse as we now teach potential leaders to follow orders - period - and maintain a PC profile in all things.
20. Personal integrity and taking responsibility for one's troops is far, far down the responsibility continuum that it is seldom thought of.
21. Not just in officer training, but NCO training, too. The Sergeant Major's Academy is total bull shit - the primary learning there is about honing one's golf game and politicking with the higher staff levels.
22. And the good officers and NCOs? The good officers make it to maaaaybe major (O-4), and the good NCOs punch out around SSG (E-6). A lot of the good NCOs are civilians now. And they had mostly all enlisted from the beginning for a career.
23. Most only making it to SGT and a couple to SSG. Among them, they have an impressive number of medals awarded with "V" devices, and their experience lost to the Army because they’ve seen the B.S. firsthand.
24. Have a friend who went the officer route AND punched out to be in a National Guard unit. His unit (he was in command) was tasked to be one of the first advisor elements to train up the (post 2003) Iraqi Army.
25. But, having been an old school Special Forces NCO fully trained up to do such work, he understood the results of trying to build an Army without personnel trained to the task and without adequate support (garbage in - garbage out).
26. He fought with his command throughout his assignment (a triple tour), and upon return he wrote an unrequested paper on the issue – and then delivered to both the National Guard Bureau and the relevant staffs at the Pentagon.
27. They crucified HIM for coloring outside their lines. Effectively, his career never went one more step forward. It was so bad we had to assign an over-watch to keep in contact and keep him in company until he leveled out.
28. Eventually, someone he had shared the paper with to solicit feedback (not uncommon a practice) outed the paper, and it made a splash - for 5 minutes as the Pentagon types are good at quashing stuff.
29. They tried to jam him some more, but he and everyone involved could account for every copy of the paper. (It's an old school SF thing - pretty good at not getting caught.)
30. In this case, Mattis had ended the issue. If there were just ONE person, all the facts and with the balls to brief the Commander in Chief, I am sure that he would put an end to the resurgence of blame.
31. If one were to cull the staffing at the Pentagon by 20% and make retiring officers sign an agreement (before receiving the first retirement check - retired means - RETIRED) that they could not EVER take employment with a government contractor ….
31A. … or company providing services to a government contractor or start a company providing services/sub-services to the government, then the road to revamping would be revealed.
32. That and an internal affairs (CID, NCIS, etc.) element that chases down scapegoating instances and lays "blame" where it ought to be laid. But even then, and adding in specific training on integrity, it would be a loooong road to recovery.
33. BTW, no IG or special investigator assigned to a case does not consider what happens if they make the right call to jam a person of rank and THEN are returned to the fold after their tour on the special staff. It is human nature to not torpedo one's own career.
34. This post-tour vengeance effectively squashes more investigations than anything else. I have seen it in effect - in the agencies I know well this is the source of all those sealed files in black vault.
35. The investigation is "finished" and then frequently sealed because it turned out there were executive grade officials involved.
36. There is a tendency to never hold executive level folks responsible. If there is an investigation, the file gets sealed and the actual shit-head responsible gets away with it so that the higher rank does not have it impact their career and post career employment.
37. This about human nature in action - AND our current cultural affliction of no one will to stand up and say, "yeah, I f’ed up - won't happen again". This is the result of our culture of lack of accountability!
38. Our cultural inability to recognize that war (f$%k conflict and police action and reconstruction and nation building and Foreign Internal Defense Support! If you can get shot at or blown up, it's WAR!) is dangerous ….
38A. … AND that every person ought to have the right to defend themselves without a bunch of non-combatant Monday morning quarterbacks questioning the actions of those with their asses on the line.
39. Our only defense in the field was staying one step ahead of the enemy and NEVER REPORTING DEFENSIVE ACTIONS WHICH WE COULD GET AWAY WITH NEVER REPORTING.
40. I do believe though that if there were a desperate development in the future (e.g., open war against a peer or near-peer enemy), the powers-that-be would do what they did after 9/11 - let them that know what to do, do what they do.
41. Most do not understand that after 9/11 the first boots on the ground were Vietnam SF Vets that worked the Afghan versus Russian thing in the 80's ("Mr. Wilson's War" doesn't get that right).
42. They went in and set the stage for the guys they personally mentored in the post-Vietnam era (yeah - that'd include me). These guys knew the various village and tribal personalities, and in a few cases had been the folks dealing with the Northern Alliance all along.
43. The trouble now is that even after all the exposure and experience in Afghan-Iraq, the trng to be tricky devious masters of unconventional warfare able to shove it up the asses of the enemy AND our nat'l mgmt is no longer existent in our Spec Ops units. [End of his rant.]
44. My friend is incensed at the present state of affairs in Army SF (& also regular Army) units. He’s got the goods on them, folks: bad personnel policies, politically motivated B.S., poor training, PC nonsense, lack of training, no accountability throughout the chain of cmd.
45. Eighteen years and counting of endless war plus the eight years of the Obama regime wrought incredible damage to the US military, and we as a nation have let social justice warriors virtually destroy American culture, with the military hanging on by a thread.
46. We have a lot to do to rectify the situation, folks, and it’s not going to happen overnight. Fortunately, @POTUS will help turn the corner BIGLY by extracting US forces from the Middle East (unless the Uniparty undermines his efforts!). ///The end.
Addendum. My friend is a REAL patriot who’s been in harm’s way many times. I believe you will find his final words on this subject to be insightful:
A1. “Furious? You damn right I am! Have been for quite a while. The feeling of having lost family after all that one has done can be pretty rough.”
A2. “But it is not just family & known friends - I have some sort of connection to every person serving who is put in harm's way. An NCO thing? Or a duty thing? Don't know - just know that if it comes to ever bearing arms again - there will be hell to pay.” [Amen, brother, amen!]
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