Hey Team Room, this week we have a bunch of great topics lined up for you. Let’s take a look:
Interview with Oz, the SF Medic from Rhino Wars
by Ross Elder
The Animal Planet television network recently broadcast a different kind of reality show. Rhino Wars, a short series about the plight of the dwindling African rhino population, sought to bring attention to the cause by sending seasoned Special Operations veterans into the African bush in pursuit of poachers.
Rhinos are being slaughtered by the hundreds every year in order to acquire their prized horn. In many Asian countries, rhino horn is believed to have magical and medicinal properties that have created a black market in its illegal acquisition and trade. A single horn can fetch as much as $300,000. Poachers from all over Africa and beyond travel to South Africa in order to satisfy the demand.
One of these seasoned operators is a man known only as Oz. An 18D Special Forces Medic, Oz’s career has taken him to various hotspots around the world on behalf of the Department of Defense and other U.S. Government Agencies. He also has completed numerous combat tours in Afghanistan. Born in the midst of a civil war in Iran, the story of Oz’s journey to the United States is a powerful one in and of itself. Fleeing Iran, his mother carried him across deserts and mountains until she was able to reunite with his father. They eventually settled in southern California.
Spies in America: A National Security Debacle (Part 3)
by Kerry Patton
He was a large 6’ 2” man weighing well over 230 pounds, sporting a white mustache. It was my first meeting with this seasoned operator who had worked his entire life on the California border. It was around lunch time and he was hungry for some good grub.
“You eat Chinese food?” he asked.
“Chinese food?” I questioned.
We were just yards away from Mexicali, Mexico. I wasn’t expecting my new mentor’s taste-buds to favor anything other than American or Mexican.
“You don’t realize it, but outside China, Mexicali has the best Chinese food on the planet.” He said, knowing how puzzled I had become.
The Next War
by Jack Murphy
Our last two administrations have either gotten us into wars… or almost done so. Lacking a sense of history, they sometimes have seemed like a drunken redneck with a new pistol looking for a road sign.
As I was writing this, I learned that Susan Rice (of Benghazi infamy) had been appointed National Security Advisor to the President. One begins to “feel like a Christian Scientist with appendicitis…”
Benghazi – Cross Border Authority
by Chris Hagerman
Once the alarm is sent—in this case, from the consulate in Benghazi—dozens of HQs are notified and put into the planning loop in real-time, including AFRICOM and EURCOM, both located in Germany. Without waiting for specific orders from Washington, they begin planning and executing rescue operations, including moving personnel, ships and aircraft toward the location of the crisis. However, there is one thing that they cannot do without explicit orders from the president: cross an international border on a hostile mission.
That is the clear “red line” in this type of crisis situation. No administration wants to stumble into a war because a jet jockey in hot pursuit (or a mixed-up SEAL squad in a rubber boat) strays into hostile territory. Because of this, only the President can give the order for our military to cross a nation’s border without that nation’s permission. For the Osama bin Laden mission, President Obama granted CBA for our forces to enter Pakistani airspace.
Kerry’s ‘Spies’ series is outstanding, and this third (and final?) installment brings it close to home with a deep study of China in Mexico. Isn’t foreign intrigue so much more interesting when it’s far way? Well, don’t lose site of things just over the border.
Chris’ Benghazi post will make your brain hurt and your heart sad. It’s insightful, thoughtful and provocative. And this is one of the best pieces of journalism we’ve done to date on SOFREP. I’m just so thrilled that we’ll be bringing this to you guys.
Today, a Team Room member wrote in to us and said “Thanks for all that you and the TEAM DO, you really are changing the MEDIA for the BETTER!” Well, we have more coming this week than what I’ve listed above, but there’s one other piece we’re publishing and I can promise you that it will blow you away. We don’t fuck around here at SOFREP, as you’ve seen with our coverage of Aurora, CO; Sandy Hook; Rangers standards; the murder of Chris Kyle… And then there’s Benghazi. This topic has a special place in our hearts, and not just because of the death of Glen Doherty. Brandon is on a mission, and this week we’re gonna step it up a notch.