The war in Afghanistan has been bogged down by military rules and regulations, with bureaucrats hamstringing the elite special operations forces, former Navy SEAL Brandon Webb charged in an exclusive Newsmax.TV interview.
“It’s a mess,” Webb said about the war that has been raging for more than 10 years.
“We should have gone in and completely disrupted those networks and hit them hard with Special Operations and then looked at getting out of there.”
Webb was sent to Afghanistan immediately after 9/11 – even missing his son’s Nov. 30, 2001, birth. Now he has written “The Red Circle,”
a book about being a SEAL sniper and training the marksmen who followed him.
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“The rules of engagement when I was in Afghanistan were very flexible. When you’re at war, you’re at war.
“Now we’re in this situation where guys are being second-guessed on these operations,” Webb said.
“Friends of mine come back from two or three raids in a day sometimes. Shots are fired and they’re doing their jobs and some JAG can’t wait to get their hands on him and put him in a booth and start interrogating him,” he said referring to the military prosecutors, known as Judge Advocate Generals.
They are asking questions such as “Did that guy need to get shot?” said Webb. “You just can’t. That’s bad for morale. It is just not a good way to conduct a Special Operations mission.”
Webb said he believes Adm. William McRaven, the commander of SoCom, the U.S. Special Operations Command, is generally doing a good job.
“But he’s got some challenges and hopefully the administration gives him a long enough leash that he can give his guys the autonomy to get the mission done.
“You have this massive decision tree in some situations, but Special Operations doesn’t work that way,” he added. “You have to give these guys autonomy – point them in the right direction, give them boundaries, but you have to give them the autonomy to make these decisions because you are fighting an enemy that can make a decision just like that.”
Webb, who subtitled his book, “My Life in the Navy Seal Sniper Corps and How I Trained America’s Deadliest Marksmen,” said it is important to realize that America should not be using a bureaucracy to fight “an enemy that has no borders and no rules.”
Webb was responsible for changing the way snipers are trained, from what he called a “Cold War methodology” to being some of the most lethal fighting forces in the world. One of the men he taught was Chris Kyle who has had more than 250 confirmed kills and is SoCom’s most decorated sniper.
“The way we fight wars today is very different,” he said. “You are not throwing conventional units and artillery and tanks at these problems, you need highly specialized operators that have very special skill sets.”
Webb would not go into his personal views on President Barack Obama’s use of JSOC, the Joint Special Operations Command, to expand operations.
However he said, “To Obama’s credit, when it’s a one-on-one conversation, Obama is having no problem killing bad guys.”
As a child, Webb said he wanted to be an astronaut, but growing up in California he learned to scuba dive at an early age and got to know SEALs while working on a dive boat.
As soon as he saw the second plane go into the World Trade Center on 9/11 he knew his life was about to change. “I was in a SEAL platoon that was scheduled to go out the door, so I knew we were getting sent right away.”
While his son was being born, he was “crawling around the caves of Afghanistan,” he said. But he added, “I was happy to be in Afghanistan, doing these real world operations and taking the fight to the terrorists that attacked us. I am proud to be a SEAL and serve in the military.”
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