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.