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The private intelligence network in Afghanistain and Pakistan is still working……..

The New York Times has been heavy on the case of a US Government program that seems to have been set up by some ex-US government good guys, and a few questionable ones…..

If you read military action novels you are very familiar with the scenario where a President…feed up with the bureaucracy involved with the CIA, Military and other agencies…..turns to a few individuals to get the job done…To find out what’s going on without regard to career building, cover your butt, or what the chief executive wants to hear…..That apperas to have  turned into contract for Lockheed….

They in turn  put together a group of former CIA operators, who hired former US special operators (SEAL’s, Deltas and other CIA special operators and natives of the two countries)

This works since the US wants to say it doesn’t have ground troops operating in Pakistan …..

The operation in Afghanistan and Pakistan seems to have morphed into that same thing…..

The names mentioned in the piece are old CIA operators and high up US Military  who left the service to retire when new improved people were brought on board….

These old hands are now running a private service that is paid by the government in a contract to the Lockheed Corporation…..

And let me mention one thing very clearly ……

THE US MILITARY IS VERY HAPPY WITH THE SET-UP!

The New York Times seems a bit indignant  …

But the Generals that run the war are NOT…

The private contractor provides valuable intel…and the while the word has gone out that the operation will not be renewed…

The US military it appears…

DOES NOT WANT IT STOPPED……THEY WANT IT TO CONTINUE….

The whole op is not under investigation by the government but

, Michael D. Furlong ,  is…….And  if my  mind set  is  right….this was the guy who set up Vice President’s  Cheney’s separate intelligence network…….

The New York Times found that Mr. Furlong’s operatives were still providing information using the same intelligence gathering methods as before and because they are using ex-US military operators…..then natural evolution of the program has occurred and those operator ……who are supervised by military people who just a few years ago ran the Iraq war and still have friends in high places and are trusted…carry out ‘wet’ work if it comes their way….

The whole thing is…..

9/11 has changed things…..

This whole story by the New York Times misses a very basic point….

Remember when  General McChrsytal was faced with a choice of what strategy to use in the war last year?

President Obama, the Commander-in-Chief, went with door ‘B’…..the middle troop choice…The US will reach that strength level in Afghanistan by July….But few remember Vice President Biden’s  choice…..I do…..

‘Hunter…Killer Teams”….

That’s what the Lockheed group is doing….

So…..The Vice President got his choice also….Signed off on in 2009 by General Patreaus….

And the Commander – in Chief….

The Operation isn’t going away anytime soon….

No matter how much sunlight the New York Times* shines on it…..

Earlier this year, government officials admitted that the military had sent a group of former Central Intelligence Agency officers and retired Special Operations troops into the region to collect information — some of which was used to track and kill people suspected of being militants. Many portrayed it as a rogue operation that had been hastily shut down once an investigation began.

But interviews with more than a dozen current and former government officials and businessmen, and an examination of government documents, tell a different a story. Not only are the networks still operating, their detailed reports on subjects like the workings of the Taliban leadership in Pakistan and the movements of enemy fighters in southern Afghanistan are also submitted almost daily to top commanders and have become an important source of intelligence.

The American military is largely prohibited from operating inside Pakistan. And under Pentagon rules, the army is not allowed to hire contractors for spying.

Military officials said that when Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top commander in the region, signed off on the operation in January 2009, there were prohibitions against intelligence gathering, including hiring agents to provide information about enemy positions in Pakistan. The contractors were supposed to provide only broad information about the political and tribal dynamics in the region, and information that could be used for “force protection,” they said.

Some Pentagon officials said that over time the operation appeared to morph into traditional spying activities. And they pointed out that the supervisor who set up the contractor network, Michael D. Furlongwas now under investigation.

But a review of the program by The New York Times found that Mr. Furlong’s operatives were still providing information using the same intelligence gathering methods as before. The contractors were still being paid under a $22 million contract, the review shows, managed by Lockheed Martin and supervised by the Pentagon office in charge of special operations policy.

Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, said that the program “remains under investigation by multiple offices within the Defense Department,” so it would be inappropriate to answer specific questions about who approved the operation or why it continues.

“I assure you we are committed to determining if any laws were broken or policies violated,” he said. Spokesmen for General Petraeus and Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top American commander in Afghanistan, declined to comment. Mr. Furlong remains at his job, working as a senior civilian Air Force official.

A senior defense official said that the Pentagon decided just recently not to renew the contract, which expires at the end of May. While the Pentagon declined to discuss the program, it appears that commanders in the field are in no rush to shut it down because some of the information has been highly valuable, particularly in protecting troops against enemy attacks.

With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the expanded role of contractors on the battlefield — from interrogating prisoners to hunting terrorism suspects — has raised questions about whether the United States has outsourced some of its most secretive and important operations to a private army many fear is largely unaccountable. The C.I.A. has relied extensively on contractors in recent years to carry out missions in war zones…….

………………………………

The exposure of the spying network also reveals tensions between the Pentagon and the C.I.A., which itself is running a covert war across the border in Pakistan. In December, a cable from the C.I.A.’s station chief in Kabul, Afghanistan, to the Pentagon argued that the military’s hiring of its own spies could have disastrous consequences, with various networks possibly colliding with one another.

The memo also said that Mr. Furlong had a history of delving into outlandish intelligence schemes, including an episode in 2008, when American officials expelled him from Prague for trying to clandestinely set up computer servers for propaganda operations. Some officials say they believe that the C.I.A. is trying to scuttle the operation to protect its own turf, and that the spy agency has been embarrassed because the contractors are outperforming C.I.A. operatives.……….

More…….

Note …….One could get the idea that this piece was written by someone who set out to ‘out the operation’  from a ‘turf’ war point of view……

The author has held back sensitive information he says about the operation…..

May 16, 2010 Posted by | Aircraft, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Men, Military, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, September 11, Updates | , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

How the president came to ordering up the 'surge'…….

This is a process piece, which I love, because you get the feel for how and why people do things…..Something you will never get watch things on TV….

I love process pieces…. which is what this piece is from Peter Baker at the New York Times…

We all remember Barack Obama a little more than a year ago, going into Iowa…. He had to figure out a way to get the liberals to come on board with him…not Hillary Clinton…what could he do?

He turned to the Iraq war…Hillary had voted for the consent given Bush from the congress going into Iraq…

Later on in the campaign. …Bush, finally addressing Rumsfeld’s lack of enough boots on the ground decision, would sent an additional amount of troops in a ‘surge’…. again Obama would complain…”the surge hasn’t worked”…. locking in the democratic left…

Well, now the shoe is on the other foot…Barack Obama is the President…the Commander-in-Chief….

This piece, and others in the Washington Post, and the Politico website detail how Obama dealt with the fact that Afghanistan is now his war. And despite the democratic left…he does not want to be the guy who lost Afghanistan….

The real story to me is about the struggle Obama had in trying to resist the direction his commander on the ground in Afghanistan wanted to take…

From the beginning the piece points out that General Stanley Chrystal looked at the campaign as something he could sink his teeth in and wrestle with( He replaced a commander that was too complacent for Sec of Defense Gates)…. a Special Operations Commander before taking over the Afghanistan campaign …all of the top players forgot that Chrystal is expert at fighting unconventional warfare…and he has proved adaptive at dealing with his Commander-in-Chief…

Chrystal upon taking over his command, went on record that things were worst than everyone thought…. the Taliban and al-Qaeda were taking over more territory…and the administration would see an election in the country, where its leader would steal votes in broad day light, and the CIA would advise the Washington DC principals that the country’s government was corrupt, disorganized and ineffective…

The details are here but it came down to this…once the president understood Mc Chrystal wanted more troops, and that the place was spinning out of control… there was no going back…. liberals be damned, there would have to be a troop increase…McChrystal, and the situation in the country, along with his political common sense left him no choice…again, there would more troops…

Argue as much as he did …Vice President Joe Biden was left alone…. While Defense Secretary Gates, and National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones had warned Chrystal early on that it was politically impossible to have more troops sent to Afghanistan…. Chrystal ignored their counsel

After issuing their warnings …both men would step back when it became obvious that Chrystal was pushing ahead…

Obama understood  that by the middle of the summer that there was going to be more troops…. Everyone else (except Biden, again) then jumped on board.

It became known the Gen. Jones was okay with more troops, as was Gates…Chrystal has flushed out the troops position with the CIC….

The plan for either, A) 80,000, B) 40,000 or 15,000 was presented to Joint Chief Staff Chair Mullen and Chrystal’s immediate boss Gen. Petraeus…who pasted the plan on to Sectary Gates…

The next thing everyone knew the basic’s of the plan was leaked….

Gates had no choice but to publicly chew Gen. Chrystal out, which caused a lot of Army bosses to get very upset…they wanted to get the troops so they would not be in the same situation that had happened in Iraq after the first fight there was done…. not having enough troops to be able to hold ground…

It turned out though that President Obama was going at the problem from a different angle…he was questioning the whole Afghan policy…since the war had been handed to him by Bush…he wanted to know …WHY was the country doing what it was doing?

At this time Obama had to let everyone know (actually, just Biden…. since everyone else had picked up the scent that their was going to be a lot of troops going there)…

On October 9…Obama formally got Chrystal’s request…. everyone knew 80,000 was too many troops and 15,000 was too few…. the call would be 40,000…. Chrystal was a good strategic thinker…everyone got the hint…. Obama would be worried about they cost factor (1 Trillion dollars if those troops stayed for ten years)….

At this point things moved to a different level…the bosses jumped back in Clinton brought the doubts of the US Ambassador to Afghanistan, Eikenberry to the table…when would the troops leave?……Gates began to work the system to plan who would deploy….And Gen. Jones of the NSC worked to make the process smooth…there was a lot of people in the process at this time….

Finally, Obama still worried by the numbers and the cost. Asked Gen. Petraeus….’what I’m looking for is surge”….

The stories are priceless…. this is how things get done…not like in movies…. doubts.…different points of view…politics…but common sense when the rubber meats the road…people warning subordinates…but strong willed subordinates (who are warriors) pushing ahead…old politicians standing back until the fight is over when the boss goes with the subordinate’s plan….and a Vice president who argues for less….to be told in the end….that would not be enough…

Everyone played their part…. But in the steel eyed General Stanley Chrystal called the ball and rode it thru….

The President bough in…and he is now beholding to a success in that campaign by Chrystal, who holds his own, and what could be the President’s, who is the Commander-in-Chief’ s, political future, and  well-being along with Afghanistan’s…. in his hands…

December 6, 2009 Posted by | Government, Media, Men, Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How the president came to ordering up the ‘surge’…….

This is a process piece, which I love, because you get the feel for how and why people do things…..Something you will never get watch things on TV….

I love process pieces…. which is what this piece is from Peter Baker at the New York Times…

We all remember Barack Obama a little more than a year ago, going into Iowa…. He had to figure out a way to get the liberals to come on board with him…not Hillary Clinton…what could he do?

He turned to the Iraq war…Hillary had voted for the consent given Bush from the congress going into Iraq…

Later on in the campaign. …Bush, finally addressing Rumsfeld’s lack of enough boots on the ground decision, would sent an additional amount of troops in a ‘surge’…. again Obama would complain…”the surge hasn’t worked”…. locking in the democratic left…

Well, now the shoe is on the other foot…Barack Obama is the President…the Commander-in-Chief….

This piece, and others in the Washington Post, and the Politico website detail how Obama dealt with the fact that Afghanistan is now his war. And despite the democratic left…he does not want to be the guy who lost Afghanistan….

The real story to me is about the struggle Obama had in trying to resist the direction his commander on the ground in Afghanistan wanted to take…

From the beginning the piece points out that General Stanley Chrystal looked at the campaign as something he could sink his teeth in and wrestle with( He replaced a commander that was too complacent for Sec of Defense Gates)…. a Special Operations Commander before taking over the Afghanistan campaign …all of the top players forgot that Chrystal is expert at fighting unconventional warfare…and he has proved adaptive at dealing with his Commander-in-Chief…

Chrystal upon taking over his command, went on record that things were worst than everyone thought…. the Taliban and al-Qaeda were taking over more territory…and the administration would see an election in the country, where its leader would steal votes in broad day light, and the CIA would advise the Washington DC principals that the country’s government was corrupt, disorganized and ineffective…

The details are here but it came down to this…once the president understood Mc Chrystal wanted more troops, and that the place was spinning out of control… there was no going back…. liberals be damned, there would have to be a troop increase…McChrystal, and the situation in the country, along with his political common sense left him no choice…again, there would more troops…

Argue as much as he did …Vice President Joe Biden was left alone…. While Defense Secretary Gates, and National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones had warned Chrystal early on that it was politically impossible to have more troops sent to Afghanistan…. Chrystal ignored their counsel

After issuing their warnings …both men would step back when it became obvious that Chrystal was pushing ahead…

Obama understood  that by the middle of the summer that there was going to be more troops…. Everyone else (except Biden, again) then jumped on board.

It became known the Gen. Jones was okay with more troops, as was Gates…Chrystal has flushed out the troops position with the CIC….

The plan for either, A) 80,000, B) 40,000 or 15,000 was presented to Joint Chief Staff Chair Mullen and Chrystal’s immediate boss Gen. Petraeus…who pasted the plan on to Sectary Gates…

The next thing everyone knew the basic’s of the plan was leaked….

Gates had no choice but to publicly chew Gen. Chrystal out, which caused a lot of Army bosses to get very upset…they wanted to get the troops so they would not be in the same situation that had happened in Iraq after the first fight there was done…. not having enough troops to be able to hold ground…

It turned out though that President Obama was going at the problem from a different angle…he was questioning the whole Afghan policy…since the war had been handed to him by Bush…he wanted to know …WHY was the country doing what it was doing?

At this time Obama had to let everyone know (actually, just Biden…. since everyone else had picked up the scent that their was going to be a lot of troops going there)…

On October 9…Obama formally got Chrystal’s request…. everyone knew 80,000 was too many troops and 15,000 was too few…. the call would be 40,000…. Chrystal was a good strategic thinker…everyone got the hint…. Obama would be worried about they cost factor (1 Trillion dollars if those troops stayed for ten years)….

At this point things moved to a different level…the bosses jumped back in Clinton brought the doubts of the US Ambassador to Afghanistan, Eikenberry to the table…when would the troops leave?……Gates began to work the system to plan who would deploy….And Gen. Jones of the NSC worked to make the process smooth…there was a lot of people in the process at this time….

Finally, Obama still worried by the numbers and the cost. Asked Gen. Petraeus….’what I’m looking for is surge”….

The stories are priceless…. this is how things get done…not like in movies…. doubts.…different points of view…politics…but common sense when the rubber meats the road…people warning subordinates…but strong willed subordinates (who are warriors) pushing ahead…old politicians standing back until the fight is over when the boss goes with the subordinate’s plan….and a Vice president who argues for less….to be told in the end….that would not be enough…

Everyone played their part…. But in the steel eyed General Stanley Chrystal called the ball and rode it thru….

The President bough in…and he is now beholding to a success in that campaign by Chrystal, who holds his own, and what could be the President’s, who is the Commander-in-Chief’ s, political future, and  well-being along with Afghanistan’s…. in his hands…

December 6, 2009 Posted by | Government, Media, Men, Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gen Patreaus…remember him?…..he’s geting an award….. why?

Gneeral David Petraeus, The US Army Central Command, Commander (Middle East),  is going to receive the American Enterprise Institute’s annual Irving Kristol Award……the award is given for….. “notable intellectual or practical contributions to improved public policy and social welfare” and named in honor of Irving Kristol“.

I really don’t understand why he’s getting it, except that there is a conservative  angle to it….that means political…right?…..he’s serving U.S. Army General …right?

November 21, 2009 Posted by | Media, Men, Military, Politics | , , , , | 3 Comments

Gen Patreaus…remember him?…..he's geting an award….. why?

Gneeral David Petraeus, The US Army Central Command, Commander (Middle East),  is going to receive the American Enterprise Institute’s annual Irving Kristol Award……the award is given for….. “notable intellectual or practical contributions to improved public policy and social welfare” and named in honor of Irving Kristol“.

I really don’t understand why he’s getting it, except that there is a conservative  angle to it….that means political…right?…..he’s serving U.S. Army General …right?

November 21, 2009 Posted by | Media, Men, Military, Politics | , , , , | 3 Comments

The battle at Wanat, Aftghanistan…and the need for more troops……..

The Washington Post has a good piece on the battle for the small village of Wanat, in Afghanistan……it is graphic and pointed in its nature…..while you might get one conclusion from it…I think I get THE conclusion from it……

We need more troops…. And we need to be better…The story points to a strategy initiated by General Patreaus and followed on General McChrystal to embed troops out in the boonies with the population……..But without adequate reinforcements, intel, or manpower  the strategy is getting people killed……..

I also read a piece about how the armored vehicles developed for Iraq, and delivered to Afghanistan that are useless…..Again…more troops and being better…….

Now I’m sure those two Generals are aware of the troubles, and issues the young soldiers have ‘in country’….which is why I think General McCrystal isn’t gonna let up on his request for more troops, equipment and nation building in Afghanistan……

Again…..do it right Mr President, or send the troops home…..the soldiers, who put their lives on the line, deserve your support, and the best this country has……

Update:….another overrunning of an outpost with heavy causalities……and the beginnings of a rollback of General Patreaus’s counterinsurgency doctrine of embedding the troops in with the population…..due to too few forces…

October 4, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

As expected….Gen. McChrystal asks for more troops….but that’s not the important part………

The Washington Post in a piece  today, has posted a copy of a 66 page assessment done by General Stanley  McChrystal today……the General is scheduled to go up to the Hill on September 24 ,to give a report on things in Afghanistan……. While he has been told by National Security Chief , Gen. James Jones, and others, to find another way…..McChrystal has pushed ahead with a request for more troops…..

Now politically, the President, the nations CIC, is getting pushed into a corner by his own party, just like in the Healthcare issue……but just like in the Healthcare issue Obama will have to push back, and take his own council…..

I posted earlier that Aftghlnisan has a major problem that will make the present push there fail ultimately, and General McChrystal knows this ……His military staff must be experiencing a sense of deja’ vue…in that they are at the same spot that Patreaus was in with Bush II,  a year and a half ago……..Knowing that the troop level was too low to sustain any improvement on the ground , Patreaus endeavored to get Bush to rectify Sec. of Defense Rummsfeld’s mistake, in not using enough troops in the first place in Iraq….McChrystal finds himself in the same situation….he MUST have more troops to hold, and take more ground..it’s that simple….but the important part comes next…..

McChrystal clearly states that there must be NATION BUILDING to win in that country…..anything short of that goal will render any military gains useless… he’s smart,  and he’s right…..without improving the nations infrastructure, without improving the nations reliance on opium, without dealing with the rampant corruption, and without rising the countries standard of living… things will not work……

…It is not just a military campaign that McChrystal wants,  but Nation Building again, to hold on to, and expand gains in order that country become ultimately self reliant…..

McChrystal has it right……And civilian deserves the additional troops, civilian support and one chance  up at bat….Obama can ill afford to be the guy who ‘lost’ Afghanistan…..

Update:…...a lot if people are miffed at the fact that the 66 pager got outed to the Washington Post……Theories abound…was it McChrystal’s staff?…Are they trying to pressure the Commander-in-Chief into a decision?……Are they try to do a Patreaus?…….

……Listen…the fact remains everyone knew he was going to ask for more troops…..the field commanders that are executing the war campaign I’m sure ARE anxious to get the White House off the dime , and starting to supply more troops, if the objective is to take ground, and have enough troops to hold it………I see Biden advocated the counterrorist strategy proposed before, that uses kill teams roaming the whole AFPAK region, which has a smaller footprint,t but doe snot address NATION BUILDING and still needs Afghan and Pakistani ground troops to hold ground…..which is something that does not exist right now……

Update #2…….The Cable/Foreign Policy blog reports that Obama may have asked McChrystal to ‘scrub’ any requests for more troops……something I doubt Gen. McChrystal or Patreaus would due after all the introspection the army hierarchy went thru with Rumsfelds bullying them into going into Iraq ‘light’ the second time……..

Update#3……..Gen. McChrystal flew from London, with his wife to have a meeting aboard Air Force One with the the Presdient. in the Danish capital….while his wife got the 25 minute tour  of the plane, the CIC and General McChrystal had a face to face in the confrence room on board the plane…I would assume that the NSC advisor Jones would be the only WH heavy weight in the room…..it’s about time the CIC, and McChrystal had a serious talk, face to face, without the WH staff  present……

September 21, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

As expected….Gen. McChrystal asks for more troops….but that's not the important part………

The Washington Post in a piece  today, has posted a copy of a 66 page assessment done by General Stanley  McChrystal today……the General is scheduled to go up to the Hill on September 24 ,to give a report on things in Afghanistan……. While he has been told by National Security Chief , Gen. James Jones, and others, to find another way…..McChrystal has pushed ahead with a request for more troops…..

Now politically, the President, the nations CIC, is getting pushed into a corner by his own party, just like in the Healthcare issue……but just like in the Healthcare issue Obama will have to push back, and take his own council…..

I posted earlier that Aftghlnisan has a major problem that will make the present push there fail ultimately, and General McChrystal knows this ……His military staff must be experiencing a sense of deja’ vue…in that they are at the same spot that Patreaus was in with Bush II,  a year and a half ago……..Knowing that the troop level was too low to sustain any improvement on the ground , Patreaus endeavored to get Bush to rectify Sec. of Defense Rummsfeld’s mistake, in not using enough troops in the first place in Iraq….McChrystal finds himself in the same situation….he MUST have more troops to hold, and take more ground..it’s that simple….but the important part comes next…..

McChrystal clearly states that there must be NATION BUILDING to win in that country…..anything short of that goal will render any military gains useless… he’s smart,  and he’s right…..without improving the nations infrastructure, without improving the nations reliance on opium, without dealing with the rampant corruption, and without rising the countries standard of living… things will not work……

…It is not just a military campaign that McChrystal wants,  but Nation Building again, to hold on to, and expand gains in order that country become ultimately self reliant…..

McChrystal has it right……And civilian deserves the additional troops, civilian support and one chance  up at bat….Obama can ill afford to be the guy who ‘lost’ Afghanistan…..

Update:…...a lot if people are miffed at the fact that the 66 pager got outed to the Washington Post……Theories abound…was it McChrystal’s staff?…Are they trying to pressure the Commander-in-Chief into a decision?……Are they try to do a Patreaus?…….

……Listen…the fact remains everyone knew he was going to ask for more troops…..the field commanders that are executing the war campaign I’m sure ARE anxious to get the White House off the dime , and starting to supply more troops, if the objective is to take ground, and have enough troops to hold it………I see Biden advocated the counterrorist strategy proposed before, that uses kill teams roaming the whole AFPAK region, which has a smaller footprint,t but doe snot address NATION BUILDING and still needs Afghan and Pakistani ground troops to hold ground…..which is something that does not exist right now……

Update #2…….The Cable/Foreign Policy blog reports that Obama may have asked McChrystal to ‘scrub’ any requests for more troops……something I doubt Gen. McChrystal or Patreaus would due after all the introspection the army hierarchy went thru with Rumsfelds bullying them into going into Iraq ‘light’ the second time……..

Update#3……..Gen. McChrystal flew from London, with his wife to have a meeting aboard Air Force One with the the Presdient. in the Danish capital….while his wife got the 25 minute tour  of the plane, the CIC and General McChrystal had a face to face in the confrence room on board the plane…I would assume that the NSC advisor Jones would be the only WH heavy weight in the room…..it’s about time the CIC, and McChrystal had a serious talk, face to face, without the WH staff  present……

September 21, 2009 Posted by | Military, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments