Get a look inside the secretive world of U.S. Special Ops

October 28, 2015
Participants: Jason Fields, Matthew Gault, Sean Naylor

Enemy gun fire killed Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler during a hostage rescue operation in Iraq earlier this month. Wheeler was part of U.S. Special Operations team intended to back up Kurdish fighters as they rescued 70 people from Islamic State.

When the mission appeared in jeopardy, “He ran to the sound of the guns and he stood up,” U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said. “All the indications are it was his actions and that of one of his teammates that protected those that were involved in breaching the compound and made the mission a success.”

He was a career Army man and a Delta Force soldier. 

The Pentagon’s semantic gymnastics about whether there are “boots on the ground” in Iraq and Syria notwithstanding, it appears U.S. forces have been fighting Islamic State and other groups in the Middle East for some time.

These forces fight in their boots, on the ground and in secret, and they report to the Joint Special Operations Command. JSOC has become instrumental in the fight against radical Islam. But few in America know their story or how they operate.

Sean Naylor wants to change that. His new book, Relentless Strike: The Secret History of Joint Special Operations Command, gives readers a window into the secret world of Wheeler and his fellow soldiers.

Today on War College, Naylor walks us through the history of U.S. Special Operations Forces and explains to us why America’s elite warriors can no longer remain an open secret.


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One comment

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I think that Nick Turse’s piece “Success, Failure, and the “Finest Warriors Who Ever Went Into Combat” is a more sober look at how “special” this interventionist tool has become: omgram%3A_nick_turse%2C_success%2C_failu re%2C_and_the_%22finest_warriors_who_eve r_went_into_combat%22/

We don’t need military hagiography. There has been entirely too much of that, enabling endless wars.

Posted by upstater | Report as abusive