Going Rogue: America’s Unconventional Warfare in the Mideast.
July 5, 2012
The intent of U.S. [Unconventional Warfare] UW efforts is
to exploit a hostile power’s political, military, economic, and
psychological vulnerabilities by developing and sustaining resistance
forces to accomplish U.S. strategic objectives…For the foreseeable
future, U.S. forces will predominantly engage in irregular warfare (IW)
So begins the 2010 Unconventional Warfare (UW) Manual of the US Military’s Special Forces.
The manual attached here (TC 18-01) is an interim publication,
developed to address the definition of Unconventional Warfare and some
other inconsistencies in UW Doctrine. The new UW document (ATP 3-05.1)
is in the initial draft and not yet available, though sources tell me it
is unlikely to differ much from TC 18-01.
But most of us have not had the pleasure of leafing through this
truly revelatory blueprint that shows how America wages its dirty wars.
These are the secret wars that have neither been approved by Congress,
nor by the inhabitants of nations whose lives – if not bodies – are
mauled by the directives on these pages.
A quote from President John F. Kennedy in 1962 opens the document.
These few lines illustrate a core Washington belief that US forces have
the right to destabilize, infiltrate, assassinate, subvert – all in
service of questionable foreign policy objectives, with no evident
consideration of a sovereign state’s preparedness or desire for change:
There is another type of warfare—new in its
intensity, ancient in its origin—war by guerrillas, subversives,
insurgents, assassins; war by ambush instead of by combat, by
infiltration instead of aggression, seeking victory by eroding and
exhausting the enemy instead of engaging him. It preys on unrest.
Target: Middle East
The Bush Doctrine paved the way for the mainstreaming of
unconventional warfare by establishing the principle of pre-emptive
actions against a state that may one day pose a threat to
American interests. It didn’t offer any specific criteria to gauge those
threats, nor did it attempt to explain why anyone outside the United
States should be held accountable for US “interests” – be they
commercial, security or political.
The doctrine went largely unchallenged, and has been played out with
disastrous results throughout the Middle East in the past decade. The
prime targets of UW have traditionally been nations and groups that
oppose US primacy in the region – mainly the Resistance Axis consisting
of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas – but UW has been carried out to
some degree in virtually any nation where this Axis carries some
The most nefarious aspect of UW – aside from the obvious violations
of international law pertaining to sovereignty, territorial integrity
and loss of human life/property, etc – is the proactive and aggressive
effort to psychologically sway a population against its government. It
is at this entry point where UW fails every American test of “values.”
The Arab Intifadas of 2011 provided a unique opportunity – amidst
regional and sometimes domestic chaos – to ramp up UW activities in
“hostile” states, whether or not populations sought regime change. Prime
examples are Iran, Syria and Libya – all of which have been UW targets
in the past year, at different levels of infiltration and with markedly
Here is a chart from the Special Forces UW manual that demonstrates the scope of activity at the early stages:
was supposed to be the kick-off in Iran, but the Islamic Republic was
already on guard, having gained experience with UW subversion in the
aftermath of the 2009 Iranian presidential elections.
The use of social media to coordinate protests and widely disseminate
anti-regime narratives in Iran’s post-election period marked a new era
in the internet revolution globally. The Pentagon lost no time in
claiming cyberspace as an “operational domain” and in the past year has
substantially increased its budgetary allocation to subversion
activities on the web.
Continue reading this article here at english.al-akhbar.com.