Soldier of Fortune Founder Warns of Growing Terror Threat

Monday, 12 Aug 2013 01:28 PM

By Lisa Barron and John Bachman

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Ret. Army Lt. Col. Robert Brown, founder of Soldier of Fortune magazine, says the Obama administration isn't doing enough to fight the growing threat of terrorism, which he says is increasing throughout Africa and the Middle East.

"The first thing is that the bozo in the White House has to get his head out of a dark place and realize that we're still involved in a global war on terror, which has certainly not gone away and, quite to the contrary, appears to be spreading," the former Green Beret told Newmax TV. "We're just now realizing the fact that the challenges are even increasing throughout Africa and the Middle East, and Syria has turned into an incredible mess."

As for his take on the current situation in Afghanistan, Brown, who fought there alongside the Mujahedeen against the Soviets in the '80s, said, "I don't know what we're going to do about that.

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"I can't make any recommendations, although I can say without qualification that the administration certainly is not addressing it efficiently and effectively, and we've got a fight on our hands for a long, long time in our future," added Brown, who has a new book out titled "I am Soldier of Fortune: Dancing With Devils."

Brown said it seems that, "tragically," all the U.S. can do at this point is to declare "we won the war" and leave. But he said the pullout creates "a dreadful situation" for the Afghan army which has become so dependent on the U.S. military for logistics and air support.

"When we finally pull out there's no way that they're going to be prepared to handle the terrorist problem," he continued, adding that things are likely to get worse in that region because of "a problem we've not been able to solve."

"You have Pakistan serving as a conduit and a safe area for the terrorists," he said. "I don't know what's going to happen over there, but all I can say is it's not going to be good."

Brown, who has spent a lot of time in Africa, also addressed what can be done to stop the spread of radical militants there.

"We're just going to have to keep our focus on the situation over there and respond to the various terrorist threats as they occur," he said.

"Once again, I have no magical solution, but the point is the threat is there and we certainly aren't going to solve the problem or even deal with it by ignoring it, and that's what appears is happening on the part of the administration at the present time.

"But we have to make commitments with money and guns. We're not doing that very successfully," he added.

Brown called the use of drones against al-Qaida and other terrorists "an effective method for taking out targets that are considered to be threats."

But he said, "Unfortunately, there are civilian casualties," just as there were in World War with the targeting of specific targets aimed at taking out Hitler's war machine.

"You're doing the same thing with drone strikes," he said

"I'd hate to see civilians injured or even killed in conjunction with these drone strikes, but we've got to deal with these people and sometimes, unfortunately, there is collateral damage," he added.

Brown called his time as a Green Beret team leader in the Vietnam war the most challenging position he has ever held. During that time, he said he was "responsible for the lives of about 1,000 people, including 576 mercenary tribesmen, fighting the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong."

"I was the minister of defense and the minister of health, education and welfare, the minister of housing," he continued.

"And there was, as I said, an incredible adrenaline rush, as well as an incredible challenge, and [it was] very, very satisfying. Nothing has ever matched that, and I don't expect at this point in time it ever will."

At the beginning of his new book, Brown says that former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who was shot and killed earlier this year by someone he was mentoring, related how Soldier of Fortune magazine had inspired him to join the military. Asked why he feels that military service is so important for some young men, Brown responded by paraphrasing a quote from author Frederick Forsyth, who said "there are some men who are born to the priesthood while there are some men born to be warriors.

"That just cannot be explained any better than that, and gives me once again great pleasure that I've had influence, if you will, in some of these people joining the military," Brown added.

Asked if he thought the military and mercenary service advocated by Soldier of Fortune for the past 38 years was still alive and well, Brown answered, "Well, to a much lesser degree than it was in the '60s, '70s, and '80s. We did stuff back in the '80s that would never be allowed . . . by the American government at this point in time."

Brown went on to acknowledge that "there's certainly not much of an opportunity" for hired mercenaries any more, although he suggested that "one could make the observation that 'soldiers of fortune' have morphed into contractors like Blackwater, etc., in which people employ their military skills."

"Once again, it depends on how you want to describe soldier of fortune. Somebody that works for profit in a dangerous situation? Well, that certainly would apply to contractors. So it's not like it used to be, but on the same token, it'll do," he said.




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