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Why was SEAL Team Six called upon to assault the Bin Laden house, and not another SEAL team, or the Rangers or Green Berets?

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WELL, if there’s some quarter in which SEAL Team Six isn’t perceived as the “it” special ops team, it’s not for lack of trying on their part. I draw your attention to a 2011 Washington Post piece in which an anonymous member of ST6 describes his cadre as follows:

“We’re the dark matter. We’re the force that orders the universe but can’t been seen.”

Whatever aura currently surrounds the SEALs, I’d suggest, can be traced to the kind of identity cultivation on display here, this macho-mystique thing that American audiences seem to love reading about and reporters seem to love perpetuating and for a group of closed-mouthed toughs, ST6 members can display an impressive capacity for self-promotion.

One former SEAL who wrote a book about the bin Laden raid, for instance, wound up having to forfeit $6.8 million in royalties and appearance fees because he forgot to ask his supervisors for approval.

The story the Post was reporting, meanwhile, is the bigger deal here: how special-operations forces like the SEALs are increasingly relied on to fight America’s wars. In places like Iraq and Afghanistan, what we’re up against aren’t traditional armies but extremist ideologies, represented by decentralized bands of non-state actors who aren’t exactly wild about the Geneva Agreements.

Members of US Navy SEALs team SIx after training

US Navy SEALs at undisclosed location and at unknown mission (Photo: Unknown author)

Though Team Six may get the marquee coverage, there are in fact, as you suggest, a bunch of special ops forces in the field today, from all branches of the military—the Army’s Special Forces regiment, aka the Green Berets, helped Afghans topple the Taliban, for instance.

Special operations forces gained a foothold in the U.S. military in the mid-20th century, as leaders realized that increasingly unconventional wars—think Korea and Vietnam—would require unconventional techniques. The Green Berets were organized in 1952; the SEALs—named and trained for effectiveness on sea, air, and land—were established in 1962.

Special operations assignments fall into two main categories: direct action, including behind-the-lines combat, manhunts, hostage rescues, etc.; and indirect action, which covers (e.g.) coaching foreign forces on fighting their own wars. Through the ‘70s, the various units constituted a loosely organized mosaic, each accountable to its own chain of command.

Two events help explain what’s changed. First was the failed attempt to rescue the U.S. embassy hostages in Tehran, during the Carter administration—for the military, an unthinkable black eye. Its response was to gather all special forces under one operational umbrella, the U.S. Special Operations Command, or SOCOM.

Under that umbrella, you’ll find the Joint Special Operations Command, or JSOC, which includes elite groups like SEAL Team Six, its Army counterpart Delta Force, and the Air Force’s 24th Special Tactics Squadron.

The second event was, perhaps, needless to say, 9/11. The budget for special-ops forces has quintupled since 2001, and the troop count at JSOC’s disposal has ballooned from around 1,800 to more than 25,000. As we got into Afghanistan, Donald Rumsfeld basically gave JSOC carte blanche, pre-approving them for a laundry list of operations in 15 countries.

Barack Obama relied heavily on special forces; like drone assassinations, they jibed with his preference for keeping military action small and containable. (And free from meaningful oversight, not to mention legally questionable and morally troublesome—however one may miss the guy, his record here is no snap to defend).

We note, however, that the intellectual seeds of this shift were planted back in the Clinton administration. At some point following the U.S. embassy bombings of 1998 the president was heard to speculate, “You know, it would scare the shit out of al-Qaeda if suddenly a bunch of black ninjas rappelled out of helicopters into the middle of their camp.”

Cue the SEALs. Created after the 1980 hostage debacle, Team Six wasn’t, in fact, the sixth SEAL outfit to suit up, just the third; the nickname was chosen to psych the Soviets into thinking we had more specialized forces than we really did.

The team was conceived as an agile, fast-moving counterterrorism unit—athletes who rappelled out of helicopters, basically, and with the war on terror their moment had clearly arrived. That moment hasn’t been without some complication; various news accounts have raised alarm over alleged extrajudicial killings, unaccountability, abuse of authority, etc. But the omelette-egg ratio, apparently, is one the U.S. government can live with.

I'm the active duty law enforcement officer serving in SWAT unit. My hobby's are firearms, skiing, martial arts.

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Op-Edge

Concealed Firearm Carriers are Dangerous?

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I have had over a decade of talks with numerous people from all walks of life. In these talks I have listened to people on all sides of the gun control fence. Left side, right side, upside and underside! One thing that has always struck me as odd is the demonstration that concealed carriers are dangerous and a murdering flock of morons in some circles on social media. I truly was curious if this was true. I mean there are over 14 million concealed carriers, so I was very much interested in finding out the real deal relating to concealed carriers being a menace to society. So I took to the different state government sites to look into their statistics!

First off was Texas. Why not, everything is bigger in Texas. So why wouldn’t dangerous concealed carriers be more prevalent in Texas? Texas has over 1.1 million permitted concealed handgun license holders. So naturally you would imagine they would have some major convictions of these concealed carriers. I mean they are carrying loaded guns, literally 1.1 million people with guns!

But after looking over the numbers I found that 99.98% of these 1.1 million concealed carriers are law abiding. Only 0.02% of the permitted concealed handgun license holders are convicted each year of crimes. Like literally out of 1.1 million concealed carriers only 2 were convicted of murder in 2016. Only 1 convicted of robbery, 2 convicted of kidnapping and 3 convicted of burglary. What they hell is going on here, this is 1.1 million people with guns, where are the overwhelming amount of dangerous idiots wielding their guns?

“Like literally out of 1.1 million concealed carriers only 2 were convicted of murder in 2016.”

So I figured it was probably just the fact that is was one state. Maybe Texas was an fluke, it was the unicorn compared to all the other states. So I went on and looked into Kansas. They have over 83,000 concealed carry handgun license holders. Again I was surprised!

They had no concealed carry handgun license holders convicted in 2016 of murder, robbery, kidnapping or burglary! They had one person convicted of manslaughter. One out of 83,000+! Kansas had 432 traffic deaths in 2016. So Kansas has 432x more car deaths than deaths attributed to concealed carriers. Put that in perspective!

“So Kansas has 432x more car deaths than deaths attributed to concealed carriers.”

So I moved onto other states. Ohio, Michigan and Florida. Again I found these states to be in line with the first two I researched. The average of all these five states is 99.84% of all their concealed carriers are law abiding. Not convicted of crimes each year. Over 4.2 Million concealed carriers. There are over 14 million permitted concealed carriers in the USA. The states used in this article consist of 1/3 of the total concealed carriers in the USA. That is a reputable sample size which shows that concealed carriers, while not perfect, are certainly by and large law abiding. They are statistically 100% law abiding.

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