What the American Special Operations and Intelligence community needs is a program which establishes these networks long before a crisis emerges. Positive steps have been made in this direction, but all fall short of maintaining long-term, consistent, and reliable intelligence gathering on a tactical level. This paper proposes a program which recruits willing Special Forces veterans and re-locates them to countries all over the world. They would not be going there on a mission, but rather they would be going there to live and work for the US government, perhaps for the rest of their lives.
These Americans would become part of what we will call the Jedburghs for 21st Century program or Jed-21. Jed-21 would recruit primarily from retired members of US Special Forces. Special Forces soldiers are the most qualified for this type of job due to their training in unconventional warfare, language proficiency, and experience in working by, with, and through indigenous peoples in austere environments. Jed-21 would have to be incentivized with an additional stipend. Pensions would have to continue to be paid and seed money would have to be provided so that the members could start business endeavors in their target countries. Once integrated into the local economy and culture, they would begin to build their networks.
Selection and training for Jed-21 operatives would be a fairly straight forward affair, as the individuals have already been selected and trained throughout their twenty or more years in Special Forces. Recruitment would be done through word of mouth in the Special Forces retiree community and retiring Special Forces members would be encouraged to look into Jed-21 as a retirement option.
Jed-21 would not be for every Special Forces soldier, of course. After years deployed abroad, many would be looking forward to a comfortable retirement and to spending more time with their families. However, single retirees would be more willing to move abroad and many would want to keep their hand in the Special Forces community and the type of work that they do, continuing to serve their country if in another capacity.
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Murph Dogg strikes again.. good shit bro!
Jack - This program blueprint is extremely intriguing. However, I'm a little confused. Isn't this the CIA's bread and butter? Using MICE to recruit foreign nationals to spy for America, and developing human sources in foreign countries to give us intelligence? The program you're outlining sounds an awful lot like what the CIA was doing in Afghanistan pre-9/11. Officers from the Clandestine Service were meeting with Ahmed Shah Massoud months before 9/11 even occurred. . By the time the towers fell, the Agency had over 100 human sources among every province and every tribe in Afghanistan, and these sources contributed to the CIA telling POTUS in his PDB on 8/6/01 that UBL was determined to strike on U.S. soil. This recent development http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/pentagon-creates-new-espionage-unit/2012/04/23/gIQA9R7DcT_story.html sounds a little like what you're proposing though, especially since there won't be any issues since DIA is a part of the pentagon.
Jack, you were right, i wasnt expecting this. The project you describe fits in the category of long term commitment/ future benefit plans not particularly liked by US administrations. But its a very good idea, even though as others also pointed out, it may need some ironing-out. While USSF seems an elligible pool for talent, there could be others too, ( prior service Intel officers, expatriates, prior LE/FBI etc). One hurdle in semi-permissive, non permissive countries/environs would be the overt feature. Not so sure that in such countries an american citizen with SF background would have a nice time living/prospering without suffering in various ways from the local powerholders.
I like this concept and forward thinking. It also has a fiction novel in the making.
. ...While I like the concept... I smell real problems selling this to paper-pushers in air conditioned offices. Some would want full control... beyond what is intended. . ...I have noticed that some high brass in some organizations... while praising veterans of that organization... are often just giving lip service. Heard about a battalion commander who brought in a vet of RVN... machine gunner... to talk to his machine gunners about techniques that he picked up and used... . ...Not there to tell "war stories..." but practical advice. The battalion commander suffered no damage from the exercise... but rather heard from various levels that *they* couldn't be bothered with such a project... . ...Of course, Leftist and terrorist organizations likely to go off the deep end... smearing project in every way possible... "Interfering with the internal affairs of a friendly nation... " being one of the milder accusations. "Outing" becoming a full time project for some. Though not under cover... not widely advertised either. These members of the project might have a need to keep their weapons skills sharp... . -YP-