Very quietly, very behind the scenes, President Trump has let slip the dogs of war against the Taliban, al-Qaeda and ISIS in Afghanistan.
And by dogs of war, I mean CIA hunter-killer teams heavily augmented by military Special Operations personnel.
So what will these CIA “paramilitary and contractors” along with a handful of quite lethal Leathernecks and GIs be up to? Long story short, lightning quick assaults on jihadist leadership as well as bombmakers.
As reported by The Daily Caller;
CIA paramilitary forces are expanding partner operations in Afghanistan to hunt and kill high level Taliban operatives, The New York Times reports.
These CIA missions will reportedly include both paramilitary personnel of the CIA along with U.S. special operations forces detailed to the agency for specific missions. The use of special operations forces allows hunter killer teams to call in air support, if necessary, as they hunt Taliban bomb-makers across the country.
The loosening of restrictions on CIA ground operations in Afghanistan is part of a broader push by President Donald Trump’s administration to accelerate pressure on Taliban militants. Trump previously loosened CIA drone strike rules in Afghanistan that will now allow for some civilian casualties relative to the importance of the target.
Also reported by the Washington Examiner, more specifics on how President Trump, Secretary Mattis, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joe Dunford, USMC, plan to crush the jihadists;
Mattis and Dunford looked at the performance of the Afghan military and determined that special forces units and other troops with embedded U.S. advisers usually won, while conventional Afghan troops often lost. So a key aspect of the plan is to put U.S. or NATO advisers with all the Afghan forces on the front lines. That means sending another 3,000 or so U.S. troops, and several thousand more from other NATO countries. Those troops will accompany the Afghan forces into the field, and — this is a critical change — they will be authorized to call in U.S. and coalition airstrikes to support the ground operations. “Make no mistake, this is combat duty, but the Afghan forces remain in the lead to do the fighting,” Mattis said.
How is it different? Under President Barack Obama, the U.S. was operating under the pretense that combat operations with the Taliban ended in 2014, and U.S. offensive strikes were limited to cases of self-defense, or when the Taliban were close enough to present a direct threat. Afghan forces were left on their own, with no air cover to battle the Taliban, often taking heavy casualties. Now Mattis has taken the gloves off. There are no restrictions on airpower, and no requirement for “proximity” to provide close air support. “We did not give the young Afghan boys the sense that they had the high ground when they were fighting against this enemy, that the NATO air support could have given them,” Mattis said. “Today, I can bring that air support to them.”
The other big change: There is no timetable for victory, no announced withdrawal date, so the Taliban cannot just wait out the U.S. “There was always a sense that the United States was going to pull out in 12 months,” Dunford told the Senate panel. “And the Taliban, frankly, fed that message to their fighters, and that’s how they motivated their people year after year, was, ‘One more year in a fight, and then we’re going to defeat the coalition. They are going to leave Afghanistan.’”
Interestingly enough, word is on the streets that small (less that 100 Marines per detachment) and highly mobile Marine artillery units will be peppered across the country to respond at a moment’s notice for “thunder from the sky”.
Even more interesting, Marines from the 6th ANGLICO (Air and Naval Gunfire Liaison Company) have spent the last seven months in Germany training the 31st Georgian Light Infantry Battalion on the intricacies of calling-in pin-point airstrikes and artillery fire missions.
Also reported is that when the Georgians deploy to Afghanistan, a number of Marines from 6th ANGLICO will deploy with the 31st;
The role of the 6th ANGLICO SALT (Supporting Arms Liaison Team) was to serve as the battalion’s fire support coordination center and to plan, coordinate, and execute surface to surface fires, air to surface fires, and assault support in support of the battalion’s mission. These Marines will also deploy to Afghanistan with the 31st Georgian Light Infantry Battalion in October, 2017.
Surprisingly reported by the reliably hard-Leftist New York Times, the CIA’s new director Mike Pompeo was quoted expressing an opinion that Generals Kelly and Mattis would be proud of;
“We can’t perform our mission if we’re not aggressive,” Mr. Pompeo said at a security conference this month at the University of Texas. “This is unforgiving, relentless. You pick the word. Every minute, we have to be focused on crushing our enemies.”