February 12, 2013

Exclusive: SOF Trains Spec Ops in Mali

I have some pictures for you guys today from a buddy of mine who trained Malian “Special Operations” soldiers.  His impression of them was that they were horribly unorganized with a severe lack of leadership.  Family status determined who got to be an Officer rather than who was qualified.

Much like I saw in Iraq, corrupt Officers would hoard quality supplies for their own enrichment.  This is echoed in a diplomatic cable that came out via wikileaks regarding previous training given to the Malian military by US Special Forces.  Below you can also see some pictures of the Tactical Combat Casualty Care training that they were given.


or Log In


About the Author

is an eight year Army Special Operations veteran who served as a Sniper and Team Leader in 3rd Ranger Battalion and as a Senior Weapons Sergeant on a Military Free Fall team in 5th Special Forces Group. Having left the military in 2010, he is now working towards a degree in Political Science at Columbia University. Murphy is the author of Reflexive Fire, Target Deck, the PROMIS series, and numerous non-fiction articles about Weapons, Tactics, Special Operations, Terrorism, and Counter-Terrorism. He has appeared in documentaries, national television, and syndicated radio.

To comment on this article please join/login. Here's a sample of the comments on this post.

  • Txazz

    @TimUFR  @RVN SF VET yes, it was a must read.  awesome information.

  • Vallagon

    Hey Guys, really good stuff and picks there...   From what I know many of the guys you trained either deserted or fled to Aqmi along with their vehicles. I operated a while with French SpecOps and can recall the lost energy we put out there training and "building armies" in Africa the ones which crumble with the first shots or sideline with each would be presidentail contenders. In every countries I operated, I was inevitably asked by local populations: "when will our independances come to an end"....(no comments).   Wish EU and UN guys good really luck...    Keep good job.   Sincerely.

  • usapatriotonthemove

    Nice, gotta love those photo's.  A picture speaks a thousand words, but if you can't translate them, it means nothing. Thanks for the right up Jack.

  • alimhaider

    @dmalert  @blkreggren  @wannabearmyteen    It's part of the equation, I'd guess, especially for the fodder — not the abject poverty of the countryside, but the economic paralysis of the partially-educated who have expectations that outstrip accomplishments and means.   For such young men, the immediate crisis is the inability to get married. And it really is pretty awful for them — guys having to wait till they're in their early thirties, and not a lot of other socially-acceptable outlets. It's just getting worse, too.   For the ideologues, I've always thought Sayyid Qutb sounds more like Lenin than Muhammad.   I suspect we're dealing with a combination of things: a pervasive sense of unjust failure, some sincere religious fervor ... but all mixed up with remnant ideologies of the Cold War — socialist utopianism, Soviet anti-American propaganda, third-worldism. There are also leftovers from WWII, I think. It's easy to forget just how much the Nazis spent trying to win the hearts and minds of the Arabs.   Blood and soil, jihad, Great Satan, Little Satan, believers of the world unite — it's all pretty incoherent.

  • dmalert

    @alimhaider  @blkreggren  @wannabearmyteen How much of this is driven by poverty?  Because if one were in Istanbul I don't think one would get the impression that Islam is violent.