September 9, 2008al-qaedaarmycounter-insurgencyForeign AffairsinformationinsurgencyIraqjihadismilitaryPakistanSecurityspecial operationsTalibanterrorismUnited States

The stuff for military novels

A revolution in counter-insurgency affairs?

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

Bob Woodward claims that the United States used a new secret technique” in its counter-insurgency operations in Iraq.

But beyond all of that, Woodward reports, for the first time, that there is a secret behind the success of the surge: a sophisticated and lethal special operations program.

This is very sensitive and very top secret, but there are secret operational capabilities that have been developed by the military to locate, target, and kill leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq, insurgent leaders, renegade militia leaders. That is one of the true breakthroughs,” Woodward told Pelley.

But what are we talking about here? It’s some kind of surveillance? Some kind of targeted way of taking out just the people that you’re looking for? The leadership of the enemy?” Pelley asked.

I’d love to go through the details, but I’m not going to,” Woodward replied.

Do you mean to say that this special capability is such an advance in military technique and technology that it reminds you of the advent of the tank and the airplane?” Pelley asked.

Yeah,” Woodward said. If you were an al Qaeda leader or part of the insurgency in Iraq, or one of these renegade militias, and you knew about what they were able to do, you’d get your ass outta town.” [CBS News]Mr Woodward doesn’t offer more details—not even in his new book—but adds to the suspense by saying that it is the stuff of which military novels are written.”

Meanwhile, Dawns correspondent thinks that the same technique is being used by US forces against Taliban militants in Pakistan’s FATA. Whatever the technique is, to the extent that it increases collateral damage, it is bound to have different effects in the Pashtun geography.

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