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) operations.
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 influence.
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 different results.
Here is a chart from the Special Forces UW manual that demonstrates the scope of activity at the early stages:
February 14 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.