Skip to main content

tv   After Words  CSPAN  November 8, 2015 12:00pm-1:07pm EST

12:00 pm
next. >> welcome, sean. >> guest: great to be here. >> host: this is an amazing book. history of the secret organization and it's so thick. i wanted to start with this. if you're a normal reader that because it was so thick it was easy to get information and yet you say, i want to just quote you here because it's pretty susinct. it was going to be a challenged and so it proved. several people who figured in the events described in the book declined requests to be interviewed.
12:01 pm
so how hard was it to do this book, how long did it take? >> guest: it took three years of full-time research and writing, obviously that's not counting my two decades plus as a reporter on military and national security issues prior to that, you know, gaining a lot of that information of previous articles, previous books and it's also not counting the time spent in the editing process after those three years were up. it was very difficult but, you know, obviously not impossible to find the people and, you know, in some cases the other publish works or unpublished works that could power the story of this organization from its roots in 1980 all the way to the
12:02 pm
fight of islamic state. joint special operations command is the command united states military secret special operations missions. it was formed in 1980 as a result of the failure of operation eagle claw which was the at the same time to rescue the american hostages in iran. the pentagon put together a blue chip board of half a dozen retired military officers and one to recommend the study the failure and make recommendations and one of the recommendations was the creation of a permanent counterterrorism joint task force with a permanent staff
12:03 pm
and with units assigned to that task force permanently because the rescue attempt had been conducted by sort of an ad hoc pickup team of a staff and units that weren't used to working together. >> it's called joint because it has units from each of the services. can you talk about those units? >> guest: certainly. it has the special mission units, so called, of the services underneath it. the better known of those, the army force, special forces operational detachment delta and the navy's seal team six. the air force has an equivalent organization that for most of the recent history 24 special tactics but went through series of name changes before that. there's a unit that i referred to a lot in the book as task
12:04 pm
force orange because that was the nick neighboring in -- nickname in special operations command and it joined quite later in the sort of 2004 time frame, but it existed for a couple of decades before that. in addition to those units, the 75th united states army, airborne unit that has been to 9/11, taken on a lot of the characteristics of special units and the army 160th operations aviation regimen, helicopter unit plus a variety of smaller organizations. >> host: it also has the designation as the national admission force. what is the importance of that?
12:05 pm
what's is its chain of command? >> guest: normally depending on what part of the world it's operating in. for example, if it's in iraq, it would report or afghanistan, it would report to the u.s. central command commander who is the sort of the combatant commander for that part of the world who runs that part of the world as you obviously know because you wrote a book about those guys. and then it's obviously from him and it goes up to the pentagon and to the white house in very short order. but it really works, it really works for the secretary of the defense and for the present. >> and the difference what jsoc does or military division does,
12:06 pm
what's the real difference? >> guest: there's certainly an overlap between two those two organizations now and you'll often find members of each organization on the same battlefield as they were in the same -- in the same embassy doing some of the same work. the obvious difference is joint operations command is a lot bigger and a lot more fire power, the special activities division you would expect to be working in battlefields in which the united states is not at war with perhaps slightly shady characters in the military and different authorities, different legal authorities than the military, but does not -- but increasingly specially in the last few years, joint special
12:07 pm
operations command special mission units have expanded their human intelligence gathering apparatus? >> host: you know it's important the difference between what is covert, which is what the cia does versus calndestant, which is what they do, how important is that or was that since you sort of said they merge or overlap? >> guest: the difference as i understand it is clandestant operations is something that the united states doesn't anyone to find out about ever. if you for instance, sent an operative into a country who recruits spy for the united states and then pull that operative back out that would be
12:08 pm
an operation, you wouldn't want anyone to know that occurred. if on the other hand, you as an example historically gave the missiles to shoot planes, soviet planes from the sky, helicopters, clearly that the helicopters are being shot out of the sky isn't a secret once it happened. you you are trying to do is hide the u.s. fingerprints from the operation. i do think that in the information age is getting harder and harder to keep those two things very separate. >> host: specially as you described jsoc has pushed the
12:09 pm
limit. >> guest: yes, i think that's true. jsoc, cia's facility where operating training course and -- and it has in each of it special mission units. as i said, expanded the number of people that operate undercover and it's also getting into much more heavily the signals intelligence side of thing, the cyber warfare side of things. increasingly it's become starting to approach of what we traditionally would have thought with arena in which the civilian intelligence. >> host: the cia is a known
12:10 pm
organization, acknowledged organization and testify occasionally to congress. their status is still unacknowledged through -- if you looked on an official jsoc, there's really not a website, somewhere it says they do training and equipping. you've written a book about the organization that the united states actually says doesn't exist and wants to keep secret but you decided that it should not be secret. why did you -- talk about that a little bit. why do you think it's important to know about this group? >> guest: i think it's important for a couple of reasons. the main one is that in wake of 9/11 joint special operations command has become the main effort the united states' war on
12:11 pm
terrorism. once conceived an organization that had missions counterterrorism missions and expanded those certainly through the 80's and 90's but was always viewed as an organization that would be if not on the sidelines but on the frenges of a major war. the country has been in war for almost 14 years. i think the public is owed far more information that they paid for to expand and is fighting wars with their money, with their sons and daughters in their name than, you know, some small secret organization that's
12:12 pm
chasing loose nukes around in the form of a union. >> host: fighting in a particular way. the manhunting. can you talk about the development of that? before 9/1 # -- 9/11 it didn't have the capability. >> i actually think that while general took over, took command of joint special operations command in late 2003, certainly revolutionized in scope and speed the jsoc manhunting capabilities. and we can talk about that. there are those who would argue that the ground work had already been laid in the pre9/11 era.
12:13 pm
in december 1989, jsoc not only spear headed invasion of panamá, when noriega went to ground, it was jsoc forces that were chasing him through, hunting him around panamá until he took refuge and eventually surrendered. before to that, first conducting pablo escobar, colombian drug lord which ended in his death and mohamed id'ed, ended with
12:14 pm
the october 1993 that became memorialized in the book and the movie. >> host: i remember in bosnia they wanted jsoc to do the war criminal hunt. and they did some but i think it was joint -- the chairman of the joint that said at the time we don't do -- we don't do manhunts >> guest: may have said but did a lot of manhunting and, in fact, the bulk, they call it, personses indicted of war crime. between the cia and special
12:15 pm
mission unit personnel from delta seal team. >> host: talk about the difference between the seals and delta and the types of things that they do. and their division on the battlefield. >> guest: yeah, i would sort of argue that that division has slowly been eroded now. delta was the first of those organizations that come into being. it was created in late 1970's under the -- under the command of legendary special forces charlie and it was stood up, largely modeled on the british special air services as a counterterrorist unit. and it was the force that -- that was at the center of eagle
12:16 pm
claw, attempt to rescue the hostages in iran. seal team six was created by under the command of an officer called marsinco and it -- its initial concept i think in the eyes of those who created it, maybe not marsinco's mind was to conduct the sort of missions that delta would typically conduct except in a merit time environment. for instance, if a plane got hijacked, maybe the first choice to -- to rescue the passengers off of it at some airport in the third world would be delta force. if a cruise liner got hijacked then the first team would be seals team.
12:17 pm
although marsinco said if my cantines got water on it merits wartime. post 9/11 era in particular, those distinctions have started to blow up particularly when it comes to seal teams. they have operate -- operated almost since october in 2001 in afghanistan, mccristal divided the various in which the forces were operating up and put a different unit in charge of them and in particular seal team six, delta was focused on iraq and
12:18 pm
the sort of larger part of the middle there. a little later mccristal put seal teams in charge of somalia and yemen and put the rangers in charge in afghanistan. now, there were units from all of those organizations in the other so there wasn't exclusive one to the other but that's largely how it break down. >> and you talk in the middle of the book about a chapter on steroids and it talks about they're maturing in iraq and using the mohawks that were iraqis and in one passage you wrote that in essence getting close to a person of interest was possible, it would send the noniraq -- it was too risky, the
12:19 pm
mohawks used delta camera cars which were local vehicles which units had hidden cameras in such a way that an automanufacturer might have des -- disguiseed cameras. >> i'm giving a hypothetical here. if delta force had information that a particular building was used as a safe house by al-qaeda and iraq and they wted to case that joint, if you like, prior to an assault but they didn't want to take a risk of putting an american or even an american in disguise and put an iraqi, drive it past in the stream of traffic with everybody else not raising any eyebrows at all and
12:20 pm
come back and they've got film of the exact objective that they want to assault that night. >> host: what's the track record of working with iraqis, you know, the mohawks were controversial because they things that might not have been approved with jsoc, that sort of thing? >> guest: people speak very highly of them. they were taking major risks, of course, as iraqis doing this and several of them got captured and killed. jsoc also has worked very closely with the iraqi kurds and their intelligence organizations to develop targets both in iraq and in iran to the best of my
12:21 pm
knowledge. i think that that's considered inside jsoc as a fairly successful set of relationships. >> host: and you talk about iran in your book and mention that at some point they begin what you call a new campaign against an old enemy and you say that the u.s. invasion and subsequent occupation of iraq gave more opportunities to penetrate iran and that they were keen to get their own people in iran. so at this time when we don't have relationships with iran, how were they getting their own people in irand and what were they doing there? >> guest: there's obviously two ways to do that. >> host: no so obvious. [laughter] >> guest: one is to pay nonamericans to do it, you know spies basically. you know, pay an iraqi who might have a legitimate reason to go
12:22 pm
into iran where there's a lot what's going on and do it that way, the other is to send americans and your own people undercover and it took them a while to figure out how to do that and, you know, it could be that they -- that they overestimated how difficult it was going to be. at one point they were amazed to find out if you showed up with an american passport you could get the veto stamp and ride in. they planned it for about a year and the mission sort of changed at first they wanted to practice with al-qaeda folks who had been sent, taken refuge in iran and iranians had various forms of arrest and at a certain point
12:23 pm
they changed that to, seeing if it's possible to monitor activities by taking soil samples or that sort of thing and sending them in. they sent as what the military would call a proof of concept, they sent in a couple of folks and they -- they drove around, came back out, they had a very plausible cover reason for being in iran and so that -- that gave them the proof. obviously the fact that the united states also was for all purposes occupying power in afghanistan, at the same time a border with iran as well, gave them two routes to do this. so --
12:24 pm
>> host: what did they learn? >> guest: i couldn't tell you in great detail. >> host: okay. >> guest: certainly, you know, they learned how to get around there. but, you know, people were -- i'm not sure how much of a focus that's been for jsoc because they had hotter places that they had to invest time and money, syria being a classic example, but -- but they certainly figured out ways to penetrate -- penetrate iran both through with own people and allies and the kurds. >> host: the whole book is built with anecdotes probably the most important and one of your scoops
12:25 pm
in the book is the x box. can you talk about that. >> guest: yes, the x box is essentially reversed engineer explosive device ied basically a booby trap, a bomb, that was developed by delta force and seal team six personnel who were basically taking apart ied's that had been found on the battlefield to see how they were manufactured. at a certain point in time sort of a light went on in a few brains that hey, we now know enough about these that we could fill one ourselves and we could build one out of lobingically procured or obtained material so that there would be no way for anyone who found it to trace it
12:26 pm
back to the united states. and were used against politically sensitive. politically sensitive with the iraqi government. it was only too happy to have jsoc come back to a withering campaign and al-qaeda and iraq, but was far less enthus -- enthusiastics. this was the work around in at least a few cases to help those guys without -- without people knowing that it was the americans that did it. it's important to say that these
12:27 pm
were not ied's that killed lots of other people. the whole -- the restrictions placed on the use meant that a usually delta force operator would have to have eyes on the target, it had to be detonated as a time that killed the targeted individual but not a whole bunch of civilians. >> host: and you say in the book that the political restrictions, those imposed actually hobbled the task force's operation and that's one the reasons to take this on but worked around it and they also worked around the fbi. this was something designed also so that if the fbi went and investigated it couldn't figure out who did it too which sounds borderline legal. >> guest: this is my understanding of that.
12:28 pm
aye gone -- i've gone back and i wanted to see exactly how i worted it. i-- worded it. maybe it wasn't clear enough u. my understanding of what i was told it was a bar that they wanted to reach. the fbi had personnel in jsoc task forces. that would be very hard to keep it from them. hey, if this got ever handed to the fbi's center that -- that does the sort of the forensic on these things, they wouldn't be able to tell that it came from
12:29 pm
americans. they would think that it was a locally procured -- that it was used by some local -- designed by local militants. that was just the bar that they set for themselves. >> host: nevertheless has the u.s. government said so many times, criticized use of ied's, set a task force to figure out how to mitigate them and they end up using the same technique although more carefully to what you say. was there debate that this was ethical or correct? >> guest: i certainly know that there were debates about it because you know, one of the source being in seal team six told me that although they had been involved -- that unit had been involved in the genesis of
12:30 pm
the x box, they decided not to use it because -- as you implied, a feeling that that just put them on the same levels as the folks that they were fighting. i suppose the counterargument for that is if you're using an explosive who kilter ris leader or militant leader and not killing anybody else, what -- how is that any different with killing him with an air strike or putting a bullet in his head. booby traps have been part of ware -- warfare for as long as air strikes were on air. certainly if you want to keep
12:31 pm
the american fingerprints on the death invisible, you can't struck the guy with a predator because that's obviously an american -- an american method. >> host: targeted killing way, what's the magnitude of what they did? >> i mean, at the height of the iraq war, let's say august 2006 they were launching more than 300 missions in a 24-hour period in iraq alone. i've never seen or been told one exists a complete of how many folks -- it's important to note that in a lot of the raids whether it's iran or afghanistan
12:32 pm
, there were no bullets fired at all. people would surrendered or wouldn't be there in the first place. that's a success rate of capturing or killing, what they would call the jackpot rate. you think the target is in the house and you descend in the house and you either capture him or kill him, that's a jackpot. i think a conservative analysis would have to put it at several thousands specially when you add in the -- the amount of targets that were struck from the air or by -- specially by gun ship, very lethal. >> host: what do you think the
12:33 pm
mix of close combat versus other things? >> guest: i think it changed. in iraq particularly around the 2005 time frame there were a series of episodes in which jsoc operators were killed but what became known as house-born ied's, these were entired houses rigged to explode who knew they were going to die. but they wanted to lure jsoc operators to the house in a raid and blow the house up. once that had happened on a number of occasions jsoc became more reluctant obviously to conduct those sorts of raids and resorted to just blowing up the house using air strikes.
12:34 pm
the downside of that is you don't get anybody to interrogate , much harder to exploit as well. >> host: most of the raids are happening at nighttime. but at a certain point as i recall, general puts a hold on night operations because some mistakes that were made or something. is that part of -- >> guest: i think that might be more in afghanistan. when he was there. certainly in iraq during -- during tenure there was a shift to more day operations particularly operations against moving vehicles simply because
12:35 pm
had worked out that -- jsoc preferred to work, to operate at night so they shifted today-time movements, but i don't recall during his tenure as commander trying to put -- >> host: it was afterwards. jsoc complained about it. >> the whole -- they -- you know, as they like to say, they own the night. they would certainly have preferred continue doing that. there were pushbacks against that, you know, reactions to that from forces as well in afghanistan realizing how useful they use cell phone communication to jsoc, forced
12:36 pm
the cell phone companies to shut down at night in southern afghanistan so that they -- nobody could get a beat on their cell phone. >> host: and some of the cell phone tracking technology is some of the most sophisticated stuff. things that really cracked open. >> guest: yes, yes. mccristal had -- as he sort of reformed joint special operations command, he made a real effort to tie his headquarters much more closely with the intelligence agencies and that included the national security agency, ju soc has practical signals capabilities as well and they used that to -- it was absolutely key in the
12:37 pm
operations in al-qaeda and iraq, the ability to use cell phone phone-tracking technology. sometimes that would involve flying planes around, unmarked planes with sensors on them. sometimes that involved actually getting folks into the iraqi cell phone companies and the towers and so forth, but it was a key weapon in that state of the war. >> host: so outside of iraq and afghanistan, some of the other countries that jsoc has operated in and give us a couple of highlights. >> guest: i supposed the highlights, somalia and yemen are the two most obvious ones that had personnel based in or close to and highlights would
12:38 pm
include in somalia the rescue of captain phillips, later became a tom hanks movie by seal team six which was one of the missions that sort of put team seal six on the map in the post 9/11 era. you had perhaps the even more extraordinary mission to rescue jessica beucanon, danish hostage in january 2012 from somali pirates they were called, but this was on land. sealed team six conducted
12:39 pm
high-altitude -- >> host: can you explain what that is? >> guest: jumping from the plane into free-fall parachute jump and opening parachutes at high altitudes, sailing on the air on the wind with gps devices so you know where you are, on that case there was so much fog on the ground, close -- between them and the ground that they had to in mid-air switch from their primary drop down where they planned to land to a different drop zone, which they were able to do perfectly, sneak up on the pirates camp where the two hostages were being held, shoot all nine pirates and rescue the hostages unharmed without taking any casualties themselves and getting them out of the country on special operations aircraft.
12:40 pm
that became what i was told -- that became the gold standard of hostage rescues in jsoc. so they've been at work on and off in somalia for most of the post 9/11 period. yemen the same way. >> host: a couple of -- a couple to pakistan. there's a rivalry between the cia and jsoc of who will do what? >> guest: i believe so. jsoc in the end conducted a series of cross-border missions into pakistan. they had others that they wanted to do but wanted to pull off missions that got called off at the very last moment, but they conducted a number of, you know,
12:41 pm
direct-action missions to kill or capture personnel and some air strikes that they ran. i talk about one air strike by f-15 jets that was aimed at what was expected to be an al-qaeda safe house, some dispute about people killed in the operation were. and then, of course, as everybody knows may 2011 mission against osama ben laden compound one of the things i reveal in the book, seal team six prepared to do a free-fall mission into the areas to kill bin laden,
12:42 pm
even though he turned far from the tribal areas, there were some seal teams who would have preferred to do a free-fall jump rather than use the helicopters that were eventually employed. >> host: lebanon. that's an interesting story. >> guest: yes. >> host: their relationship with the israelis too. >> guest: i talk about op -- operative who was army special operations task unit that joined sso dow j su and this operative had been
12:43 pm
transited and actual mission wasn't in lebanon and gets jumped by some guys. the assessment i was told later was that they were probably street criminals of some kind rather than, for instance, hezbollah. i don't know whether that's been definitively confirmed. he mights them off. in the process is shot and he ends up going to hotel and sowing himself up and then trying to cover his tracks as he's been trained to do in lebanon and flying out of the country all with a gunshot wound that has received no other medical attention. and i believe he flew back to the united kingdom before he went back into the bubble to receive medical care.
12:44 pm
>> host: so they developed into highly efficient killing force? >> guest: yes. >> host: they make progress doing the targeted killings but all around them things -- things go better but then they now they get worse. at some point are people reflecting on the political or the lack of political advances while they're making all these lethal tactical advances that the strategic mission is not going so well and do they get involved in the discussions about this? >> guest: i'm sure at the military and the defense department level ju -- jsoc has input, certainly has opportunity to give its views.
12:45 pm
probably the most powerful in the united states military, i would think. >> host: even the question of the missions that he had done and how effective they were overall to the fight. >> guest: yes. i think it's an obvious question that needs to be asked and -- you know, it might take that jso cru is -- it is not a substitute for a strategy. it needs to be employed to get sort of the most bank for their buck in the united states.
12:46 pm
i don't think that, you know, it works necessarily to be given a difficult strategic problem and for policymakers to throw their hands up in there, just throw jsoc at it. but, you know, the challenges with al-qaeda and islamic state, and even the -- what is sometimes called the iranian threat network that the united states faces, are challenges that jsoc may play a very important role to solving or bringing to resolution, but it can't be the only tool you use. >> host: you do talk about them coming to washington. it's a task force, it's a task force in the national capital
12:47 pm
region. and it's a maturing point in the revolution, correct? >> guest: yeah. >> host: some people in washington didn't like it very much. explain why they come here and what a big of a presence when they come here. >> guest: they wanted to be much closer to the intelligent agencies and the other arms of government that that are stakeholders in these challenges, and they felt that -- you know, it was more advantageous to locate a center here staffed with, you know, the same sorts of folks that they staff at other headquarters, task force headquarters with tracking, you know, they had the ability supposedly to track individuals around the globe and, you know, and put target
12:48 pm
together and also to get one of the things after admiral who took command of jsoc were keen on leveraging and other capabilities to go after targets that maybe jsoc had a hard time going on its own. >> host: they can't take their budgets or personnel. they have to convince them? >> guest: yes, it became dependent on human relations. you know, in 2004 once he-once he realized that a couple of things hadn't gone the way he expected them to because he didn't know enough about what was going on in this headquarter or that headquarters, he invited a lot of organizations to put
12:49 pm
liaisons in his headquarters and at the same time he pushed a lot of people out. i know at one point they had 175 jow soc personnel functioning as liaison to represent jow soc there and to keep him on what was going on. >> host: they were the best, most well-rounded? >> guest: he would keep them there for four months at a time and they didn't become divorced from the realities of the battlefield. >> host: i would like to read this passage about a manhunting
12:50 pm
mission. and so he's -- he's saying what he was told was mohamed so and so gets on a plane and you get all his travel documents immediately up there on the screen. now they give you the manifest of every flight he took over the last six months. you get the complete manifest of all five flights and you find out five other guys were on the same five flights and then you cross-reference them and somehow you find out that the three of the five are from the same village in yemen and two or more are in prison together. multiple agencies feeding information and i was fascinated that jsoc was able to be in the lead because 80% of what was put up there was domestic stuff, so that is so interesting because the military is supposed to be
12:51 pm
hourly focused. under what authorities can the domestic agencies give this military organization that sort of information? >> guest: i'm hesitant to say how legal. my sense is simply sharing the information is different than acting in the united states on that information. i think if they felt, hey, that guy is back in the united states and we need to sweep him up before he does some damage, then you give that to the fbi or similar domestic law enforcement organizations. i don't think it's going to be seal team at logan airport, but if that guy goes back to morocco, let's say, you work possibly with maybe you do sort
12:52 pm
of a special operations mission there, perhaps with or perhaps not with the local government's knowledge or more likely if it's an ally country of any type or a country that's friendly to the united states, you inform their security forces and their security forces take him down. >> host: did you pick up any hints that jsoc did have plans to operate under certain circumstances within the united states? >> guest: i think jsoc has always had as part 0400 mission focused on weapons of mass destruction. it's always had certain responsibilities in the washington area of what they call the national capital region
12:53 pm
, in particular if there was literally sort of a ticking time bomb, some kind of nuclear weapon. they have because of their expertise in that area they have some responsibilities. i'm unaware of any sort of other authorities that they have to duct any -- conduct any direct action missions. they are highly trained law enforcement organizations that have the responsibility to do that, as i understand it. >> host: right near the end of the book and the growth of that, sort of leaves you -- let's talk about that. >> guest: black squadrant that
12:54 pm
drew out of a smaller element, was largely modeled on operational support troop and then that as well got turned into a squadrant. it's bigger than a troop. it's one of those organizations that puts people undercover and conducts low-visibility missions in denied areas or countries the united states is not at war. they have been operating in somalia, yemen, and it has become as i understand it, the largest. it's a larger squadrant.
12:55 pm
red, blue, gold and silver squadrant. >> host: its mission to collect intelligence, correct? how is that difference from what the cia is doing? plus you described some of the black squadrant participants are under deep cover which not all cia operatives are. can you describe both things? >> guest: the way that the pentagon post 9/11 era has gotten around what might people think the legal restrictions on military personnel is to call that operational preparation of the battlefield, okay.
12:56 pm
another praise -- phrase that you hear is military activities. we need to conduct in case we do that and that's what these guys are doing. >> host: not against another military necessary but against small numbers of people. >> guest: exactly. we may have to some day conduct counterterrorism mission in the city and so we are going to set up and the networks require we maybe renting facilities where we can store vehicles, you know, we may be doing all sorts of things, but they somehow group these in military activities. of course, sometimes it will be -- part of the code that governs
12:57 pm
the military. title 50 is the one that covers espionage and intelligence duties. sometimes they would be title 50 missions. one of the things the jsoc or pentagon learned post 9/11 is they had much greater room to maneuver than maybe previous administrations had decided. so, you know, they took a look at the laws. this gets very complicated and i couldn't pretend to be an expert on this. inside of this authority, we can actually do this, we can put people undercover. we don't need to ask the cia's permission to do this, maybe we just need to inform the cia that we are doing this. >> host: congress went along with it. they wouldn't have to do it
12:58 pm
otherwise. do you expect the black squadrant to be able to be -- not to be known to go into other places, but to go to other places in an increasing number in the future? >> guest: i think that -- well, yes, i don't know about an increasing number. they are doing it now. that can be anything from, say, living in a safe house in northern somalia to putting an individual under a commercial cover so pretending to be a businessman or scientists or something in yemen. >> host: fight against isis. you assume that there are jsoc components? >> guest: i know that there are. task force operating out of iraqi, mission largely targeting
12:59 pm
islamic state leaders. it uses, i presume, all sources to do that, interviewing people that come out of the islamic state territory, signals intelligence, and then it has its own fleet of drones as well to which not only conduct survey -- targets but when you hear that islamic senior is killed in drone strike, there's a strong possibility that that was a jsoc mission. >> host: what about syria? >> guest: i think that's certainly going into -- that's happening in syria. they're in iraqi but missions into syria. i talk in the book about some of
1:00 pm
the most dramatic missions that -- that small jsoc elements, single individuals ran were undercover missions into syria on the fighter flow into iraq ceasing up al-qaeda operations. >> host: any reason they are operating -- >> guest: it's beyond the scope of the book. i think that it would be difficult to mention that at least in the embassies jsoc didn't have some people working with the intelligence folks
1:01 pm
there and with counterpart in european security forces. >> host: you see jsoc flowing its growth or do you think this is the force that we will continue to use as much as we have to do the street-targeted operations? >> guest: i think -- i don't see jsoc being cut down in size any time soon partly because in the u.s. government it's much easier to grow organizations than to make them smaller, but also because success of administrations have relied on joint operations special command for things that are too difficult or too sensitive for other organizations to do. ..
1:02 pm
clearly, if u.s. forces have now pulled t of iraq not counting sort of the two or three thousand that are training the iraqi military and the jsoc principles in iraqi kurdistan, then you've got -- and you've got a shrinking presence in afghanistan although the question's still open as to whether that's going to
1:03 pm
completely disappear, you're not going to have the size of task forces that were in those countries at height of the wars there and the height of the american presence there. but that will probably lead to, a, jsoc being able to get a little rest, but you might see just a more diffuse presence around the world as well. >> host: so one final question, and what did you learn other than, other than the stories of its effectiveness and its evolution? did you learn any political lessons from what you discovered? >> guest: i think the -- >> host: small p. >> guest: yeah. i think i didn't really approach the book looking for political lessons. >> host: i know. >> guest: i think, you know, there are certainly lessons to be learned organizationally in
1:04 pm
how jsoc, a, reorganized itself largely under stan mcchrystal and then continued by bill mcraven from an -- i mean, a large parking lot of the book really is -- a large part of the book is telling the story of how it went from an organization that was fairly small and designed for episodic operations and then, you know, became an organization, had to turn itself into an organization that was capable of yearlong in a multi-yearlong campaign 24/7 in multiple parts of the world simultaneously. so there are certainly organizational lessons there. how it, how it engaged with the u.s. government are another set of sort of lessons learned. but i think going back to what i said earlier from the policymakers' point of view, the lesson is, you know, it's very
1:05 pm
important for a country like the united states that has the interest united states has to have an organization like jsoc that can do what it can do, and we should be very grateful that we have that. however, it's probably a mistake to rely on that organization to do everything for you absent a more coherent strategy to solve your problems. >> host: okay. thank you, sean naylor, congratulations again. >> guest: thank you. >> that was "after words," booktv's signature program in which authors of the latest nonfiction books are interviewed. watch past "after words" programs online at >> well, now on booktv we want
1:06 pm
to introduce you to university of wisconsin professor john diamond. professor die monday, what do you do up here at the university? >> guest: i'm a professor in educational leadership at the school of education. >> host: and what exactly do you teach? >> guest: well, i teach courses on race and inequality, i teach courses on research methods, how people can study schools more effectively, and i also train leaders who are going to go out and work in wisconsin and elsewhere sort of how to lead schools, how to think about organizations, how to change them, those kinds of things. >> host: how did you get interested in education in the first place? >> guest: actually, my mother is an education professor. she started out as a first grade teacher and later became a professor, and i really just became interested in trying to understand sort of inequalities in education, because i was a sociologist by training. my dock tarl work -- doctoral work i studied sociology and wanted to explore inequalities


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on