SOF News Weekly Update – 20160821

Map of Somalia (CIA map)

SOF News Update: US SOF raid in Somalia, interesting facts on the WWII British SOE, IPB in the “Gray Zone”, and SOF in the ground war against ISIS in northern Iraq.

U.S. SOF in Raid in Somalia. United States special operations forces, along side Somali troops, conducted a raid against Shabab militants last week. The raid took place on Wednesday, August 10, 2016. Read more in “Somali Forces, Backed by U.S., Kill Shabab Militants in Raid”The New York Times, August 16, 2016.

Ten Interesting Facts about WWII SOE. “World War II saw the creation of many spy organizations to battle the menace of the Axis powers. In addition to MI5 and MI6, another group created during this time was the Special Operations Executive.” The British SOE wa the model for the United States WWII spy organization – the Office of Strategic Services or OSS. The OSS was the forerunner of the CIA and the U.S. Army Special Forces. Learn more in “Ten Interesting Facts and Figures about the World War II Special Operations Executive”The Anglotopia Magazine, August 15, 2016.

SOE Operative Who Refused to Give Up. He was a British war hero who escaped the Nazis and evaded the Japanese in WWII. But he couldn’t avoid his final defeat. Read “Dad, the guerrilla who refused to give up.“, The Guardian, August 20, 2016.

IPB and the Gray Zone. The special operations community defines conflict that takes place between the space of peace and war as the “Gray Zone”. In this conflict zone, where it is often problematic to interpret the meaning of a non-lethal act by friend or adversary, military intelligence teams struggle to define these actions. Read more in “The Gray Zone and Intelligence Preparation of the Battle Space”Small Wars Journal, August 17, 2016.

Fed Charges against Navy SEAL Dropped. Matt Bissonnette wrote a ‘tell all’ book about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden that got him into trouble with the feds. The charges have been dropped but he will pay a very large sum of money. Read more in “Pentagon Drops Claim Against Navy SEAL That He Spilled Bin Laden Secrets”The Daily Beast, August 19, 2016.

SOF and the Ground War on ISIS. Mike Giglio, a BuzzFeed News Middle East Correspondent, provides us an inside look of how the U.S. special operations forces are working alongside the Kurds in northern Iraq (Aug 16, 2016).

Air Force Pararescuemen. Read about the men that keep the flyers and others safe from injury and capture in this special article by National Geographic,  August 18, 2016 – Injured Behind Enemy Lines, This Guy Is Your Best Friend.

Callsign JAG 28 Retired. Senior Airman Mark Forester, a member of the 21st Special Tactics Squadron out of Pope Field, North Carolina, died on September 29, 2010 in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan. Read about his heroic actions with the Special Forces team that earned him the Silver Star in “The Airman Who Died Leading His Team in an Intense Ambush”Task & Purpose, August 18, 2016.

A Tribute to Green Berets. A Special Forces Soldier remembers three very hard Green Berets that were “harder than woodpecker’s lips.” Read a story by Michael Gibson entitled “The Green Berets”Pulse, August 14, 2016.

U.S. SOF at risk of Syrian Air Attack? A recent airstrike of Syrian fighters near U.S. SOF positions in Syria have some worried. Read more in this news report by The Washington Post, August 19, 2016. Read a DoD press release on this topic (Aug 19, 2016).

Want to work for the CIA? You will need to pass a security investigation. Read “How to Pass a C.I.A. Background Check”, The New York Times Magazine, Auguat 19, 2016.

Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan. Learn about the SOF organizations leading the fight against the Taliban and ISIS  – NSOCC-A and SOJTF-A in an article posted on SOFREP, Special Operations Forces – Afghanistan, July 6, 2016.

Korean General Receives USSOCOM Award. A retired South Korean general and former special warfare commander has been recognized by the United States Special Operations Command. Read “Retired general sets example for commanders”Korea Times, August 17, 2016.

SAS – Are you tough enough? “The SAS selection course is one of the most physically and psychologically demanding special forces test in the world”. “Are you tough enough to join the SAS?”BBC.

SOCEUR Assists in Diver Recovery. Two Georgian military divers have gone missing during a recent dive training exercise. Special Operations Command Europe is assisting in recovery efforts. Read more in “US involved in deep sea search for two missing Georgian soldiers”Agenda.ge, August 17, 2016.

Canadian Special Forces in Kurdistan. Canadian SF troops have been advising the Kurds in northern Iraq for some time. The Canadian government recently tripled the number of Canadian SOF in Iraq. Read “Canadian-trained forces clearing the way to retake Mosul from ISIS”CTV News (CA), August 16, 2016.

D.C.’s Use of Private Contractors in War. Sean McFate, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, writes on the use of private military contractors to fight its wars and how it is a strategic vulnerability. Read “The Hidden Costs of America’s Addition to Mercenaries”The Atlantic, August 12, 2016.

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