Mcchrystal, Iraq, Analyst discussed on Covert



Facility next door to his command center enter were interviews of suspected al-Qaeda members would be conducted keeping all of the Intel gathered central to one location former interrogator in Iraq Iraq Matthew Alexander the Interrogation Unit you essentially composed of where we kept the prisoners in also our Turkish Asian rooms in our analysis room in our desks which we called the gator pit part of our facility was an old Saddam era aircraft hangar and then the rest of it was just kind of make shift built additions to a warehouse essentially where you would just take plywood in throw it would up in Crete compartments in rooms but it was really essentially like a very quickly built haphazard facility where sure where it was just kind of all thrown together last minute when it felt like well our task force had its own detention facility because of our pace which essentially Ashley was go out capture senior leaders of al Qaeda get information out of them through interrogation in quickly turn around and go back out in catch new leaders this and do that in a manner in which always going up the chain of command towards Kali using this massive amount of up-to-date intelligence McChrystal unleashed the most most dangerous weapon in J. socks Arsenal the coalition forces special mission units of elite frontline soldiers these units would work in an entirely tiredly new way historically they ran only one or two major operations per year now they would conduct multiple raids on a daily basis Fran Townsend former White House counterterrorism adviser we found over the years in the war was that you need there needs to be a continuous loop right right of information and so the operators need to understand from the intelligence community what the capability is and the intelligence community needs to understand what the operators are seen being on the ground and so they can task each other right and they can and you get better and more refined th you know. I can remember visiting Iraq and watching them. They didn't go out once on a night. They went out multiple times. oftentimes the intelligence operators would go with the special forces they would do they would get what's called pocket litter there were hard drives a piece of paper out of people's pockets they come back they bring it to analyst back on the base who from the CIA who would go through that information that that would lead to another targeting package and the operated the special forces would go out again. That's sort of continuous feed. Continuous loop is what made them incredibly effective well. It all starts by piling in the back of a Stryker vehicle in sitting in a very cramped space. That's very hot in very dark and then you're you're going through the streets you know and there's all types of hazards roadside bombs and snipers in by the time you get to the target usually already drenched in sweat in your adrenaline going and then the team conducts a raid of the location in go out they go in in the the capture your intended target and then they immediately call you say you're jumping out of the vehicle. You're running down. The street won't get when it gets really exciting is when you have more than one house. oftentimes the these terrorists they would run out of one house jump a wall and into another house and then you'd have to wait a second house in sometimes it would ended up with a third or fourth house and then there's only two interrogators so you could end up with as many as ten or fifteen captured personnel and the I need have ten or fifteen minutes between two interrogators to try and figure out who were the bad guys and back to the base. The critical factor is speed every time a militant militant is captured the members of Q. I around that individual will try to cover their tracks by reorganizing the entire network. It's a cat and mouse game. The terrorists wrists constantly changed their routines abandoned safehouses and recruit new men to replace those that have been lost or captured but if McChrystal's people can work worked faster than their enemy they will destroy a Q. I before it can regenerate what I saw general McChrystal do as A. I'm not a field opera but I'm a career analyst. That's what I saw him. Do was not just evolutionary was revolutionary. You think about the history of warfare you know tanks artillery aircraft you think about the history of intelligence strategic work that identifies the Soviet nuclear arsenal for example now. Let's fast forward to what we've been doing. The past decade plus you take technical technical information. Things like stuff you oughta captured cell phone or captured hard-drive. You take detainee. Operation Detainees are saying about the network. They just came from you. Take pieces of paper you might capturing raid last night and you put them in a big hopper and say our software or nationalist. Our people have to be good enough so so that when the with within the the the timeframe of ours they can put together a picture of what that network looks like for example foreign fighters across Iraq doc. What is all this information. Tell us about money about suicide bombers about leadership and not only put that picture together do it well enough so that an operator can conduct a raid raid within twenty four hours contrast were that where we were in terms of intelligence and military operations even fifteen years ago and where we are today all that coming together so that you're not only constructing a picture of a foreign fighter network. You're not only operating on that picture within twenty four hours. You're doing it for years on end with people from every Consi in town incredible in a way the most important Tortilla that general McChrystal Jason brought this whole oh fake was that if you hit an organization false enough accurately enough and repeatedly enough you you could actually cause them to collapse now in other conflicts around the world various counter-terrorist feels. It tried this but they never really found that. It worked the old idea. What if you killed somebody. We drank them screaming from that home. In the middle of the night he would simply create many more people who wanted revenge had held true and and this idea that you could actually take down a whole terrorist militant organization had never been material that never been made real actually made to work that. McChrystal's attitude was yes. I know if we go into someone's home in the middle of the night will create a business that we want to take down so fall elst that when that angry brother will son whatever it is tries to report to take part in the Jihad. There's no one to talk to because all of his father or brothers friends they have also been lifted in the same forty hour period now. This was a critical to what they wanted to do. It involved Mount Mount multiple raids every night. Sometimes a particular task force would do what they call bounce homes they go from one target they would find intelligence there they go on to another target and another another one and they could round up a whole group of people half dozen people say and petit commits and sell in one night and little by little that was going to have an effect. Jay sock had developed into a well oiled machine every single night for special task forces spread out through Iraq doc and performed up to a dozen raids at one time each group was assigned to take down targets in a different part of US occupied territories to the north is task force read formed from the army's seventy fifth Rangers Brigade to the West Task Force blue made up of US Navy seals the center of Iraq was the responsibility of task force green staffed by the US Army's most elite unit Delta Force and finally these soldiers were joined by the SAS ask operating under the codename feeling among many of the American intelligence operators that the SAS and the other British special forces also is the Special Boat Service and the Special Reconnaissance Regiment had skills that were quite unusual and quite different to the type of skills that Delta force or the seals at the American training and operational activity at all been based around if you like action man leaping out of helicopters boarding ships this kind of stuff assault rolls whereas the British special forces because of their long involvement not just in Northern Ireland but in places like the Balkans where they've been involved in the hunt for war criminals they had skills to do with the patient nurturing uh of targets and groups have targets now that involves surveillance involved creativity stealth about how for example could you get a remote surveillance camera hammer onto a balcony overlooking at target. You might be interested in they came up with all sorts of things they drove around in Baghdad taxis they disguise themselves and the American intelligence people saw some of these during the early years in in Baghdad and they liked it. They actually there's something we can learn from these people because because they could better that counseling themselves they also got Iraqi colleagues that they could use some of those cover tasks but right the way through the Americans did value the fact act that the British could add another very highly trained very professional special operations task force to their lay down because they were in Baghdad. They could go after ah the same very very high. Importance targets McChrystal and his team worked through their targets night after night. The supply lines of foreign fighters were being being intercepted. Bombmakers were taken out of action mountains of intelligence captured and analyzed despite two years of taking all Zerkalo as network apart the ultimate objective the man himself still eluded them were under tremendous amount of pressure to deliver results quickly every day we were reminded of how important it was to find an killer taps rebel muscles are Kylie because he was the key to winning the war and that pressure was reinforced from a variety of leaders continuously on US.

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