Tuesday, May 02, 2006
A selection from the Army Times article, describing Task Force 145:
The job of hunting Zarqawi and rolling up his al-Qaida in
After Saddam Hussein’s fall, the first order of business for the JSOC forces was capturing or killing the 55 individuals on the “deck of cards” that depicted the regime’s senior officials. Delta’s C Squadron was at the heart of the task force that captured Saddam in December 2003.
The emergence of Zarqawi and his al-Qaida in
TF 145 is divided into four subordinate task forces in
• Task Force West, organized around a SEAL Team 6 squadron with Rangers in support.
• Task Force Central, organized around a Delta squadron with Rangers in support.
• Task Force North, organized around a Ranger battalion combined with a small Delta element.
• Task Force Black, organized around a British Special Air Service “saber squadron,” with British paratroopers from the Special Forces Support Group in support.
Although Army Lt. Gen. Stan McChrystal, JSOC commander, spends much of his time in
That’s more detail, newsworthy, remarkable on-background information than has appeared in a year’s worth of New York Times reporting. Do you doubt me? Here’s what the NY Times saw fit to print, following a headline “U.S. Says Guerrillas Were Killed In Raids:”
BAGHDAD, Iraq, April 30 — The United States military said Sunday that more than 20 guerrillas it identified as foreign fighters had been killed in recent raids south of Baghdad that were aimed at cutting down on insurgent attacks in the capital.
Insurgents have used the region in and around Yusifiya, a town 10 miles south of
The nationalities of the insurgents have often been difficult to determine, officials said, although they added that most of the dead appeared to be from outside
Lush farmland and palm trees allow insurgents to disappear easily in the region, known as the Triangle of Death. Taming the area is central to security in
Ugh, that’s enough. Note as Greyhawk does the need to caveat the report by making it clear this information is alleged by the US Military. Note too the desire to add some jungle-evoking environmentals. (As to points of fact, I seriously doubt anyone but the NY Times in full-Vietnam Quagmire mode would refer to any rural area in
If you sullied your attention to actually read the rest of the NY Times piece, by all means, cleanse the mental pallet with a visit to Newsweek, also linked by Greyhawk. (Yes, that same Newsweek. Go figure.) The Newsweek piece is headlined, “Osama Needs More Mud Huts.”
Imagine if a few months after September 11 someone had said to you, "Five years from now, in the space of a single week, Osama bin Laden will issue a new call for worldwide jihad, the head of Al Qaeda in Iraq will threaten a brutal, endless war, and there will be two terror attacks in Egypt." Chances are you would have been quite unnerved. Yet the most striking aspect of last week's news was the reaction to it—very little.
Radical Islamic terror made big, violent and scary moves and—whether you judge it by media coverage, stock-market movements or international responses—the world yawned.
Al Qaeda Central, by which I mean the dwindling band of brothers on the Afghan-Pakistani border, appears to have turned into a communications company. It's capable of producing the occasional jihadist cassette, but not actual jihad. I know it's risky to say this, as Qaeda leaders may be quietly planning some brilliant, large-scale attack. But the fact that they have not been able to do one of their trademark blasts for five years is significant in itself.
Looks like Terror Central’s facing tough times. Forget goods news versus bad news, how about what it all means? Plenty of material available for that.
UPDATE: Note much of the same information about the great success of TF 145 is this piece at Strategy Page. Did it's author draw heavily on the Army Times piece? I didn't see any attribution, but it looks like the same reporting. (Via Instapundit)
Other commentary and details over at Gateway Pundit.
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