« Jocko Podcast

The Unravelling 4: War Party

2020-07-27 | 🔗

After the fall of Saddam’s regime, US forces struggle to provide security as an insurgency takes shape. Jocko’s first tour is action-packed, but ends as Iraq spirals out of control.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This is the Jacko unravelling podcast episode for with Darrell Cooper and me Jocker willing, and we are about to pick up the thread of Jacko going to war. I want to read something from Tom Export Fiasco in the early part from the earliest part of the invasion and want to give people an idea of the fire you were jumping into in September October, two thousand three to the war started in March and the conventional forces. The Iraqis in the resistance in the cities is, is
precisely the match for the: U S, military, that you think it is and we burn through them and the the Third Infantry Division gets up into Baghdad, quick, they take the airport, they make their funder runs through the city and the regime collapses very rapidly. As in March and early, brought in this passage is into a period now April and may quote, Baghdad was falling apart in front of the eyes of the: U S: military, with buildings being looted and parents afraid to let their children outside, but no one had orders to do anything about it. Looking back several years later, current colonel Alan King, the head of state affairs for three Idee spoke of April. Two thousand three with a slow, chilled tone of horror and his voice, I got to Baghdad, was told you ve got twenty four hours to come up with a phase for plan.
On the night of April eight colonel John Sterling Chief of staff of three ideas. To me and said I just got off the phone with the core chief of staff, and I asked him for the reconsider can plan, and he said there isn't one. So you got twenty four hours to come up with one king was stunned. He added Asking for months for just such a plan and had been told that when the time came, he would be given it lacking clear orders about what to do once in Baghdad. Third infantry vision, more or less state in place in the capital You didn't find many dismounted, the trolls with 3Id recalled J, garner a retired army general and not one to lightly criticizes old peers. They kind of stayed with their platforms, that is, their tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles. On April sixth, Lieutenant Douglas Hoyt, a platoon leader with de saw looters for the first time I remembered looking through the sites on my tank it people in trying to determine if they were hostile or not. He recalled later he didn't stop them.
It was not our mission at the time. The divisions, official actor Action Review states that it had no orders to do anything else quote thirty, entry division transition in the face for Sassou, that's security, stability, ops with no plan from higher h q, it reported there was no. Guidance for restoring order in Baghdad, creating an interim government hiring government and essential services, employees and ensuring that the judicial system was operational. The result was power and authority vacuum created by our failure to immediately replace key government institutions, President announced that our national goal was regime change. This is still reading from the third idea report. There are national goal. Was regime change? Yet there was timely plan prepared for the obvious consequences of regime change, as Matter of law, in fact, the United aids is an occupying power in Iraq, even if we character as ourselves as liberators because
the refusal to acknowledge our occupier status commanders did not initially take measures available to occupying powers such as imposing, her fuse D think civilians to return to work and controlling local government and populous. The Failure to act after we displaced the regime creating the power vacuum, which others immediately tried to fill now. I know that war is very confusing thing and nobody has plan after the first punch gets thrown a fight that there were some decisions made in the earliest days of this war that I find pretty inexplicable specifically because they went against the advice of the military and the intelligence establishment they were made, seemingly for ideological and political
reasons L Paul Bremmer. He was the civilian who was sent over to head the coalition Provisional Authority, the sepia, the civilian authorities structure, interact you, let's just talk about what you just read before even Turkey and the rest of us, so This is so clearly massively short sighted. And there's a couple reasons why I think that that can unfold. The way it did I'm guessing when you get When you execute this thing that you think could take, a long time. And all of a sudden you, you gonna, give you your you're got to the top of the mountain right. You achieve your goal. And yet it you did it so quickly that you don't know what to do next in and that is absent
We mean that when you read that is There is no excuse for like theirs excuse to think even even if you fought even if you fought Like- Let'S- let's say your phone is going into this thing: hey, you know what they're the people have been waiting for. This will get Saddam out there, and the people will be right he jumped for joy. Even if that's your assessment, you you have to understand human nature. Well enough to read in that what that looks like if you dont control, it will not be a pretty thing that that's you, to not be able to recognise. That is a massive show before- and it is very short sighted, so and again when you, when you look it up, you know a device
commander or a brigade, commander, division community, other think about it, but bleed their thinking about like how we're gonna get up there. Now, what's gonna happen, my troops and what am I doing with my dead and wounded net, that they got some pretty heavy thoughts the there, has to be a commander of the next. The next echelon, a command is, should be saying, ok, cool, got these guys out there on the front lines that when this thing for me here we're going to do next. I used to tell the way to break down rules, responsibilities for us the opportunity to look the the enlisted leadership is handling the technical problem that we got going on right now. The officer looking to figure out what the next move is. Gonna, be. So what we have in this. You know you expand that out. Several levels of the chain of command you get as you got, you don't and commanders break commanders battalion commanders that are pushing up that. Are there in this tackle situation to win
next echelon up the chain of command should be going. Ok it's our next move, gonna be and then, what that's the way things are supposed to work. Clearly this is a this. Is a disaster and you can see it start to unfold Lee. The civilians in leadership structure, the dvd and in the administrate. They didn't really expect there to be a reconstruction problem. They did expect the Iraqis. Throw flowers at our feet and thanks four liberating them, and then we can look around and say. Ok, now, that's at arms out of power in a who are summit. Good guys it we ve got to hear you. You can run this ministry now right and so they didn't push anybody to create a face for plan for what to do after. We defeated the iraqi regime right in the military.
At least at the time you how they want to go in there and kick them ass. They dare not. They don't want to have to deal with the phase for plan. If they don't have to do in the civilians are not pushing a moment there have. They were happy. Unfortunately, too too whom the civilians were taken. Care of them, that they were going to send you a guy like Bremmer, and he was working with China being the other people, the provisional government to be had in place in it that they are plan for that year and, let me say something else here when you're, when you're in that moment right have you tat? If you take this, if you take early on in my combat career, going to Iraq, what we are worried about out of the gate was how we gonna do an assault worried about hey, look after the assault, we do so then called sensitive site exploitation where we search- and we see We search everything. We look for everything we didn't rehearse that because you, what once we get the target year? It doesn't really map Evans me fine, like we'll figure it out. We
you wanna, wants to look around. You also look for computers. You want us to look for any intel there. We might find cool, we'll figure it out. What we worried about is taken down the target. That's all worried about this, the exact same story right. What the no commanders, what that guy the ground, a word about look. We get this organ secure and one they figure. Once we get the targets, care cool. Well, some time will be able to breathe. Will the elder it looks like we will get a crazy. Ok, let's. What's, let's go grip on this thing would settle this thing down and we get this sorted out so even to say. From I'm to make another excuse or for me to make an excuse. My Use would be hey, look, we were focused on getting a target secure and that's ok like I get it
and yeah. My operational on should be MIKE. Ok, you know what I want you to talk to your don't worry. We get up, we got another group over here were to come in these important things are worth following this structural set up and here's our gonna keep. Civilians were doing bad things and here's what we're to get civilians do good things and here's the money we're in a part of the economy and hence our transition. You know, businesses that we set up into businesses that their civilian sectors leading me. This is all stuff that you could crying map out. But then you get to a point where you ve got target secure and it's not the way you want it to be. It's not really secure until then. What you have to do? Is you have to take action right? So so a good lesson learned and look it's easy sit here, hindsight, twenty twenty. I would have done this. I would done at now I'm not going to sit here and say that what I am saying is as a leader as a leader. Listening to this, you should be thinking. Ok,. I accomplished my mission. The mission I was focused on I accomplished
immediately you I have to say what is my next mission, whereas this going? What Is changed since I got done because of you The battlefield doesn't change in this goes for business. This goes for life. This goes for everything. If you think that things aren't gonna change, you're wrong, and part of the whole odor loop right. The Oder loop is, you know you you observe Orient, decide enact. Do you, to do that you. This, isn't just a cool thing to say, like you have to do it and when you look around and you see things starting to deteriorate rapidly rapidly to then you you have, decide to do something else and the need to act. I will also say this and you you the way you say this the way. You say these things. You know you make it very clear, very rapidly. You just said that you too said rapid deteriorating, and you ask me in between railway. Before recorded, you act did you know was going on and, like you, I knew it
did not appear the trajectory the day, were trajectory, wasn't as clear, as it is right now as where reading through it I'm telling you I may get it really the yard, the explosion of looting when it happened. I mean it it that happened at risk at a wide scale in Baghdad almost immediately after we took that city so that peace, we're Terran pipes out of the walls of the ministry, isn't it have so rapidly that it would have been unreasonable to expect our forces to know how to deal with that. I mean Bremmer, Paul Bremer, the civilian who is in charge by that time in May he told the military to start, shooting the looters and the Miller Mary told him what I shooting looters when he talking about somebody led to the press, and you know that caused the effect that you you would think,
but the military wasn't we weren't equipped to deal with that, and I think we had to light brigades in Baghdad at the time when the looting started. So, you guys are in a city of five or six million people to two brigades. Basically, at the time- and we don't know, what's going to be happening at the you know it moment that their there's another thing that comes into play here and it's Sometimes I talk about pay, fewer and fewer leader and. You can and you can patrol you, no five kilometers and our whither pondered rucksack on it, you then set up your your plan so that Dunes gonna do five kilometers. Now, where the Hunter Brown Rucksack you get on the field, they can't do it. So it's a little bit of a blind spot for you to think that other people can can do you're gonna do there's a similar bore. A similar blindsided just was talking to a client the other day where.
The blind spot. Is Europe get something from a benevolent position where you think all my my leader, they're, not gonna, worry about. You know their pay check they're gonna, take care of their people. That's all! its bought Could cuz you're, not worried about your paycheck and you've got a good amount of money saved and you're going to do. Okay doesn't mean some of your frontline leaders are going to be like wait a second. I would rather fire every single one of my people and still get a paycheck. So comes a blind spot because you don't have the same values that Your leaders do You don't have the same. The first examples- hey I don't have the same. Physical ability that all my team doesn't have the same physical capabilities and more as I do so, that's a little blind spot. The second was I subordinates dont have the same value structure, so they might make these decisions different good. I wouldn't, if I dont know that, then I just but there I think, we're guess what we have here. Here's the culture, these Americans are going
hey once we ve liberated them there excited to start their entrepreneurial venture that they ve been thinking about, and they are disappoint. The blind spot is when you, when you, rid of the government, the People are going to take action or the people are looking to. Steel, rob. You know murder, rape to you, it exude their power over the situation and the the friendly benevolent person that would have been excited opened, a shop isn't gonna even make how to make a half a step in that direction. I didn't lock their doors and say I'm not going outside. It's ma'am the military agreed to go in with fewer troops and they wanted to go in with at the beginning, cause.
They were under the impression that they were gonna, be reinforced by First Cavalry, relatively rapidly in April. Ah wanna see April. Twenty first said the last moment. It's a week or two before first calves supposed to deploy Rumsfeld makes a call decides that do not heated, and so they don't go and rather than having first him first armor device. Come in and overlap with the Third Infantry division for a while as primary Baghdad for a decide that once he gets there or one hundred and eighty gets there three hundred and eighty just going home, and so at the mountain, enforcement at all, and then the military believed that we were going to have access to. A portion of the way in which, by the way, just just found out that right, like you know, the dish, prince between the the the bad general. A good general is
the good general knows how and to employ his reinforcements any holds it till. The last minute, lady doesn't commit those reinforces when you I dont need reinforcements did, did not good in end. To give that's, I think first cab, seventeen eighteen thousand men, I mean that's a serious forced pulled especially when the military at this point is deployed in Iraq, with the expectation that it's going to be showing up on their also deployed with the expectation that they're going have access to some of the iraqi security forces and police. That there already actively get together. Major general matters at the time is working with a bunch of generals. He's got the famous quote to the iraqi generals at if any you messed with me I'll kill. You You know we have a bunch of military guys civilian staff. It sent com who are working with these iraqi generals who were like yeah look. I got a bunch of people. Loyal to me who do what I say: they're good,
why? Is there not crazy? Let's, let's get this thing together. We provide security in the areas that were used to and I'm her, does a few things again: Bremmer the Civilian Authority that sent over by the Bush administration that Defence Department, the Bush administration at this point, are not getting along well with military. The military feels like a nobbing, listen to at the high levels. Relationships of the most important thing in know, relationships is in part, more important in the chain of command and when you have to Organizations at need, work that need to work together and you don't have relationships. This is a disaster and it gets worse. So they are having trouble. That's the guy who's in charge of civilian authority at first retire. General J, Gorner and he's got a pretty decent rapport with generals, but they feel like he isn't pursuing debats vacation,
and some other things some of the administrations priorities that he's not pursuing aggressively enough. So after a month, they call him tell him he's coming home. This new guide, grammars coming in, a kid. You not sounds like something out of a ever out of an onion article. Paul Bremmer had to get a two week crash course: a middle eastern politics before they sent him over to be the head civilian in charge of the a key occupation. Okay, so he shows up with a list of things and he's gonna do on day. One tells everybody that he is going to institute a radical debats suffocation process right. Anybody who was rank of Colonel one above and the military or any equivalent of that in the severely secular. In a country like Iraq, where a lot of the industries are state owned, a lot of the The corporations are state owned. Anybody who was in the top you're for layers of management of any of those industries, any other government ministries, the Miller,
All this there not only fired their pensions are caught and they're, not our work in public life and in the public sector ever again. Ok, don't. Let me jump in Here's. What is awful about this? The way this is unfolding. It happens all the time in the military, happens. Is civilian sector too that someone with not a lot of experience in a certain arena. For whatever reason gets put in charge of that arena this is. This is a this happens, it is it is an ideal case thought. An ideal case happens all the time you know the. U S military is up in such a way that an officer who got commissioned after three ten weeks of offshore candidate school gonna show up on a ship and be you know it.
Haldeman or Ethiopia, platoon commander in the Marine Corps, the army, any he is going to be in charge of people that have vastly more experience than does it happens in the civilian sector as well. Kid goes to school, for civil engineering and then report to a job cited a big construction project and he's he's quote, in charge of these construction, guys these form in that have been working for twenty seven years. It's ok these things work as long as the leader that stepping in his humble enough to say. I dont know everything. Let me sit back, please educate me. Please Give me your advice on what you think we should do, please let's formulate a plan to gather that makes sense to everyone in this room I'm here, to support what you guys need,
somebody that comes into a situation and I don't care if something as been bigger than a platoon but eat something as big as this? situation, I'm tellin you right now. If you put good leader in that situation, with an out with no experience, and we no two week course, if you put the right person in there they would. They would squared this away. I'm telling you that right Now- and I know this to be- I know this to be true, like the times arouse tone you on another park aspect. If I tell you, some things are hundreds of telling you you put a good leader with humble leader into very challenging situations. It'll be ok, I don't waste any question that good leadership could have changed the whole at this point. Change the whole trajectory of the war, so you get, guy rolling in their who is not humble is what actually happened by the way he comes in with this debats vacation order. Radical.
Jake honour the retired army general, who had been, who he's replacing says? Oh you, you can't do this is this is gonna put thirty to fifty thousand, highly influential people, the people who know how to run the industries, the mint, the ministries, all the managers doctors professors you're gonna with them all out on the street and tell him they can never work in public life, and and Bremmer says I'm not here to get your advice on. This is what I'm doing he says: ok! Well, I need backup, he goes and gets the CIA station chief. He says come talk to the sky with me. They go into your. You. Definitely can't do this, he said, I'm not having a discussion about it. This is what I'm doing. Ok, that's what happened a week later. He decides that is going to disband the entire iraqi military. The entire Terrier Ministry, which is the entire police force to internal security forces. You're talking about, No three hundred eighty five thousand armed men
from the regulatory urged, fighting man, military age, fighting males who were now to work who our military guys maddest talks, this summer. The other generals talk about this. We were working with them. We had, we had a lie. The names of iraqi soldiers hundred twenty five thousand names of people who are ready to fall back in the ranks and assist in reconstruction. Assist in security operations in different parts of the country, and we didn't have enough soldiers to do that on our own right, so send Mademoiselle little things like we dont speak the language we don't know a country, we don't know the culture, like all those thinks he put half a million men influential people all Sunni by the way for the most part, because that's it who played out that's what the previous regime was on the street and made them pariahs in society. Overnight a lot of these are armed fighting age. Men he's ignoring everybody's advice when he does he sings and he's doing it. For you know the people who are pushing to do this Douglas fight back in
back in Washington, Paul, Wolf, Woods, guys whose they lost ancestors in the holocaust. And they're. Looking at this, as said Hussein is Hitler. This is denied, Vacation you're, not gonna. Let nazis continue to work in the government of history. They would find out that we tried that in Germany, by one thousand nine hundred and forty one thousand nine hundred and fifty we're, like you, know we're going to have to moderate this Olympics. These are the only people that have worked in government for the last ten years, twelve years, and so I got to a point where and then we're like, I remember the Nazi party. Where were you just a junior member you're, a teacher, ok, fine! You can have your teaching job Even then we had a moderate, but they were coming out this from an ideological per SE They had an idea in mind of how they were gonna, run, the saying they were taking advice from nobody and overnight. You know we ve got hundreds of thousands of young fighting age men who
in an honor culture II, in a culture where a man's ability to take care of his family and be the man, the provider is important everywhere. It's a whole different ballgame over there and the sunni population now feels that we're coming in there to attack an assault them and we're losing all this while we're losing control of the country while we're starting to see killings and robberies- and prizes rules, including on a wide scale and in those of the conditions under which, against all advice, he's making these decisions. And I mean a lot of Iraqis and a lot of american soldiers paid for the for that arrogance died. I believe that
and again this is a guy of all people than if he should have been listening to the advice of the people on the ground. It should be a guy. You Eddie get a two week crash course on Middle EAST. He came out of the now he was he was. He was an ambassador varies, a diplomat for a while, and he was a private sector consultant guy I worked interests he was just a business consultant once again. This is why, of all trade steadily needs have humility is the most important one. Oh over and over again- and this is the situation you can sit sickens me to revisit this and you think yeah, you, you you think all it takes is a little bit of humility in this. This problem would not have happened in there's another court from patent where he says the general on the ground is always right. May I look when you're in the rear of the general on the front is always right, whatever the quotas it yeah,
when I show up somewhere- and I just think no better nobody else, general francs who's, the commander of all our forces. The time he by a lot of reports can hardly be in the same room as this guy during his neck, so that you got the commanding general of our forces over there and the Civilian authority over there, who can hardly be in the same room and then another thing that is a kind of inexplicable happens over the course of about him. The half, the commanding general general francs, he retires and by I don't want to. I don't want to say this. I know it there are several other officers and civilians who were there at the time who say that he checked out can earn early mentally and
General Mckinnon, he was the ground forces commander in charges, if, like at the time he gets bounced in June. So after just a couple months, several other officers, the head of the army, the chief of staff of the army, at the time he leaves and to give you an idea of the there really his relationship to the civilians, the chief of staff of the army retires in June or July, and neither Rumsfeld the Secretary Defence nor his deputy wolf, which, go up to his retirement ceremony. Can we're in the middle of the start of a war and that's the relationship they had had. Run chauvinism and lace him he passes over all the three four star generals in the army- and he calls up a guy who had retired three years earlier and puts him in charge, which is why he's it he's a good man by all accounts did a fine job, but it gives you an idea of the relationship. Zero billions have to the military. This point, one thing that really is a problem
with this is when you have a guy now so now so now, when these new mill. Commanders role. In Now the guy that quote has the experience on the ground is bremmer. Since the new guys common in you hope, but they have these kind of humble, hey what are we doing tell me what we need to get done. How can I support the mission here and now, what does exacerbate the problem? The go problem because you humble people that want to help, but you ego per ego driven person, that is driving this agenda, and now doing it with more authority because they have, the air quotes, They have the experience on the ground. There is a story I remember from this period is from May June, in that period, there was an army intelligence officer who had died,
jobs sources and he was working on trying to figure out what the with the amounts were saying: the MOSS on Fridays. You want to know what what what were they tell the people in the mosques. And they look at it. They just do not interested. They say. That's tactical bring into the army and slices of case we brings into the army and brings it to occur. Look at it, they just are not interested, they say, that's tactical bring to the army and slices okay sweet drinks at the army, and he brings it to a journalism intelligence officer, for I guess it would be three idea at the time and her rather one hundred and eighty at the time, and he looks at it. Just you know in the whole stack of Intel reports. He finds a couple of the of the preachers who were cut of making anti american statements, and he says we have rest these people. And the guys like. Well look all of the all the have to talk like that. We need to tell the difference between the ones who were serious ones who aren't right, and it got to the point where he couldn't get anywhere with military and he couldn't get you on the civilian side. So here
stop bringing these reports in because he figured use putting his own sources in danger and he wasn't getting anywhere with people who were, he was bringing them to it. So we just stopped, Annie all resources just cut loose. Just forget. You knew me and I want to get you in trouble or anything like that fish. Just no community, no good communication. Yeah and again, if you take a step back when somebody brings you Intel like that in your first reaction, is you got to attack him when your actual? first reaction is: how can we build a relationship of these people who have influence over the civilian populous that that's what you ask yourself summer of two thousand three: we ve got hundreds of thousands of fighting AIDS man on the street. They were cops, they were they were they were, iraqi servicemen they're out of work, a lot of morality. Armed
Meanwhile, there is a budding insurgency that starting to crop up when we really know it yet, but by the summer, two thousand and three they're already paying five hundred dollars and operation with a bonus for providing video of killing american soldiers and he's a people who don't have They don't have income anymore and I'm alive and pre angry about it and they don't need you know some. They don't need a strong islamist reason to want to go set. Ninety somewhere at this point a lot of start doing it and down. They start to pick up over the course of the summer, and I are not there yet Yad an end really at this point they were doing a lot of mortar attacks on a lot of pot, a lot of our rpg attacks, the id thing. Wasn't it quite gettings. It was getting started you, but it was very. You're young, in its in its technological advancements, it there
making. It didn't seem to be any coordination to it seemed to be individuals who were kind of and I will say that at at now look back we see this downward spiral wishing to begin No, you know you see really, I wanted to say we see the downward spiral. Looking back, that's that's that that's giving ourselves working, you're too much credit what you see is ok, you know when you see here when you look at what he called a whirlpool, you're insane. You see like a little bit of movement on the surface and maybe you notice that it's all moving in the same direction. Maybe you notice is a little vague, vector point in the middle of that whirlpool as little depth just a little. But you can't see like the downward spiral. You'll see the vortex yen
I would say somebody that was really really paying attention. My we ve been able to see a little tiny dip. I think to everyone out to me to my guys it was These things we weren't connecting them, yet we could barely tell that there was a move that there was it that everyone moving in the same direction that there was a movement in the same direction. So is still not clear. Its very clear, looking back amazed, clearly. You know when you look back like oh- and I remember I remember when they are when they they did the dissolution of the of the iraqi Army of iraqi police. It was was come like us, a little bit of a surprise more than it was. What did you? Are you kidding me? You? Don't you think you know naive. We think ok, I guess you know make sense right makes sense. Come literally got informed by a written note,
so again from my position commander looking out going that seems weird, but you're thinking, ok well, can outside your prayers. It is not only outside my purview but. You know I was not the ground yet right I was, I definitely wasn't o o the station chief up there. That's monitoring all this stuff, you're lookin out a gaunt. Ok! at what I want I dont want to do- is sit here and across like alike would you so now would be alive. For me, it was like. Oh they disbanded the. Iraqi Army, your bet you're in my mind, I'm thinkin located
the project to rebuild it from the ground. Up, ok got it whatever did you start to get an idea? In August the things were changing so August. Second, or rather, I believe, is the seventh Al Qaeda in Iraq announces itself by hit the jordanian embassy blows out of its seventeen dead, forty wounded August nineteen. Just two weeks later they hit the? U N building, I think they're in a hotel in they hit that that side of the hotel killed twenty two wounded over a hundred and the? U S. Special envoy for Iraq was apparently this very well love than I know a lot about him, but a very well loved, a brazilian guy very well respected and he got trapped in the rubble and died. While people listen to scream and you end bug out, they had like eight hundred people in Iraq before that they were down to fifteen within a month. They were out of there and then
of August. The twenty ninth Al Qaeda in Iraq starts it and she s shrines in the south the hit one in. I think there was a celebration. She a celebration gone on measures. Often they hit the Ali shrine down there and killed ninety five people wounded over five hundred people, so there at a point now we're there not hidden. U S targets there, just hitting their causing cater starting to cause some chaos. And we do know who was doing this. Yet as far as I know, I don't think US intelligence with putting this all together now. You know we didn't have this dark alley letter. Yet we didn't have any of the videos we didn't quite know what was going on, but we are starting to get an idea that something was changing in August. If you were getting ready to get on that plane, I mean. Were you starting to realize you were going over there to get new real fight? We knew that things were add nationals about. We knew that it was unstable.
Were you there was unstable. We need our guys. The seals that were there were out eating targets there were was fairly consistent, As I remember, I could be wrong, but from what I remember you know they were like targets and it was pretty consistent. The whole time and eat there gettin bad guys and so You mean, oh, here's appears a something and I talk about a decent amount which is our impression my impression and America. The impression was we're hitting targets. We catching bad guys, there's a finite number the bad guys and once we catch them dead Anders the up one, We want we catch him. Ok! Well, then, we'll be done. I hope it Catch em all before I get there, so I can get some these biogas mean you remember they had the Deca cards, here's the guys. We need to get. And okay. So, from my perspective,
it seemed to be getting it see. To be. There was that I would say that clear, the clear separation was you had the american flags, the kids with american flags welcome. And seemingly very quickly. That was over and we were. I don't know if I want to use the word. The enemy. But we were no longer, we did not appear. To be any longer welcome, but. The few, the feeling that I had what I, which I think most people would agree with, was that People that were waving the american flags were there.
And they were ready to waive those flags. We saw them way, flags, they ve hidden those flags, some bad actors that have moved in we need get rid of them and then then be. Ok again right it was, it seemed like a finite problem that you know we had a glimpse of like where the iraqi people's attitude could be clearly some some was going on and We still have work to do because there's there's people that are attacking groups within Iraq and we gotta go help the people that were waving those american flags. It almost seems there was an entire get this from a lot of civilian leadership. To that some,
what you're saying this is a finite number bad guys in there we have to eliminate them, and then things will be all right. It's it's almost like saying that were thinking of of of eliminating bad guys, rather than overarching mission of providing security. It's like saying once we get rid of all the gangsters in this town, we can disband the police. Yes, and your one one thing I was gonna say as you opened up with, or whenever you rewritten, that peace, the I think the immediate thing you do security for the populace. That's like the UN. That's the that the overarching or or one of the overarching goals of of in counter insurgency priority is we ve got to. Gets get security for the populace and so the minute the you see the security for the populist going away. You like, okay, this is bad. This is bad, but But to answer your question or to take that Fred a little bit further, yet it seemed like there was a finite number of of now now of bad
actors it. Didn't seem logical that people, and this is again as we get a cultural difference, the Cultural differences in America you tell me, you know You got my back we wait that carry some weight. That means you're gonna, stick with me. In Iraq, especially for people the you know that, what's the expression they're looking for the winning horse right there, bet on the way there they're they're gonna, look when they see the horse, it's gonna win, that's worth going to put their put their bets. The american government and what was that Isn't that, like an new song Bin Laden quote, if you heard that quote, tell me something along the lines of bein a week. We will bet on the winning horse
when we see a horse. That's winning that's the one we're gonna get behind me. Nay, they live in a country where they know the consequences are betting on the wrong horse. Exactly I dont think we knew that and so, if you think yourself well, there was people that work, Pro America Slash Pro freedom, let's just call it pro. Democracy mean people that, from our section were on board. We I mean, We saw them pull down the stairway. What do it? When did the statue come down, may
we see them. Poland down the statue, Saddam hating it with their shoe, which you hey, we know about their culture. We know that hitting them with the sole of your shoe is the worst in, so you can give their thereon board there on our team is alive and open with that thing, though, is the Iraqis are trying to pull that thing down and they couldn't do it themselves. We had to go. Help amounts very foretelling, and you know I don't think that those people who were waving the american flags and then put him away necessarily just change their mother alot of people. There were angry that we did come in their knock off the state without a plan to provide security afterwards and they blamed us when things what happened to them and in that in that's fine, but those people can be won back. What the Campi one back from is when,
flying american flag is gonna, get you skinned alive in your home and next day, and we are not doing anything about it and so general everything that goes back to that goes back to something we already talked about, which is, if you have, pick aside, if you have to pay, If you have, if you have, the devil has to pick aside side. One is I'm gonna help you build a shop Side too, is, if you do Do I want you to murder your entire families? You helped build that child whose side, Beckett I'll help build a shop. If you can protect me yeah? Well, that's that's an if you don't see that protection and that's what took us another three years to establish, which I'm sure we'll get too. But the choice that we gave them was like hey work. We can help. You were here to help you will. What we're here to try and protect you in and also what we have to remember is an always the american flag, but they were all of a sudden. You put a main gun round through
had discriminate very well yet and that's a problem. And where I thought you were to go with that is when you wave the american flag, but they were all of a sudden. You put a main gun round through. Might you know, through my Moscow, my view that the grocery store on the corner. You run through run over my house. I'm not happy. So you add vat into the mix along with all the military age, males that now or out of a job are worried that debt can now be the minority in this country me there's bed where Bruin up some bad bad stuff, but to answer your question going in the way it looks to me at the time was: look. We had people Wavin american flags now there's now there seems to be some people that are stepping up to try and stop that week. We to go and end. Get rid of those people and help the people they merit. How
the people with the american flax at the country together. So as the violence pick up over the course of the summer, one of the things that we realise we don't have and that we need as information inside I got to imagine when you start to shows a big push for getting US actionable intelligence right. There was general abacha, these big big word, and write again. What does it actually mean? What that means is a very short sighted business plan, which is that this, Is that what what that their there tells you is General Abizaid. Is he the same thing I was seeing, which is theirs bad guys? We need to go, get em. What does actionable intelligence me gotta. Catch normal indulgence mean there's a back. Are you go? Get him yeah? person that says: hey What we need to do is protect the civilian populous that totally different mindset its toll. Different mindset and, actionable intelligence means
then completely different. Do you think there was also a bias in? We did not have the resources to predict to protect civilians crossing. Country. We did have the resources available to go, take out some bad guys, maybe we just got tunnel vision on the thing that you that we did have the ass? He to actually do. It is also a sure it's a battle of short term gratification versus longterm ratification and when I go out and get a bad guy, I you're good, I feel like I did a good job I have, I've Michael Platoon mates and we say: let's go- do today, and so you show up in September October somewhere in there and what what are you told when you get there what's your mission, they are missions to go capture, kill digress, so somebody's gonna. Deliver you a piece of intelligence says I hear the up, we're gonna die what the intelligence we don't get intelligence we're gonna marry
Yup intelligence, we're gonna collaborate, intelligence, we're gonna, get intelligence, a clue, myriad of different sources, including some of the people, that your capturing as you go up, including some of the people that were capturing, including sources, including go the whole nine yards, SIG, inhuman, the whole nine yards we had. We had at epic at the time. Just it was everything I could have hoped for. Here's a target like you, it's like almost what you picture in the movies right, here's a target package. You guys come up with a plan. We literally get a piece of overhead imagery theirs red x on the building go get go take down this building, bring us back. The brings back Emily age males in you, ve got a lot of autonomy to plan the south total unmitigated autonomy. What's your optimal going in all the time the most we ever did was. I think we did for opt in twenty four hours. Sleep in during the day,
and ended up in. I know not sleeping just gone from targets target by comeback interrogate for Europe and Ex Guy go get em really really, and this is mostly round dead. Ninety five percent Baghdad. We did do some operations in other areas of ports, a beggar. You talked about my gun everywhere, bag so has have we gotten to the point yet where I know when Sprint by spring two thousand and four Haifa Street starts to be a pretty ugly places. So for everybody out there Hyper street is, I don't know a couple miles, three slash four mile long boulevard that runs along the Tigris River in Baghdad and on the other side of the river Solder City, which is a Shi Ite area and on the other side, each year there. It's also why go like a ghetto yeah and on the other side of Haifa Street is also heavily Shi, Ite area, but I for street itself is primarily a sunni area. I think it so a kind of became like a fault line,
had that become. I mean I've seen I've seen a video from spring two thousand for where people are driving down under cover reporters driving down that road and there's just Al Qaeda flags off the trees in the median yeah. This is one thing that was One thing that was not good about this deployment. For me, life is good and not good with the way it was the way it was the way it was for me was we're going to hit targets, My next deployment in Romania never left remedy remedies a little tiny city. It's three miles across in Baghdad would rarely goaded. I pray you, I pray went to it. I went different places all the time. So we were even now we would go in we'd we be in and out of a target of twenty minutes half an hour, maybe forty five minutes when most people think it sealed up away exists. Why I'm saying it was like so was: I was ass, it always awesome and
We would. We knew like where we knew sought or city was bad. We knew we knew certain areas we knew about Haifa, stupid. I hadn't become Haifa Street. We didn't think of it that way. Also because we were staying at the Baghdad International Airport where's For us it was a transit to getting bag and we weren't listener. The greens on was massive to the greens on was a massive area and we go to the green zone and doing the greens on its pretty you, your tat right. It's not like being outline a week with someone we gotta do an up somewhere in Baghdad Poland is some army. You know little point- and there is guys hanging out their lot Islam, special for skies lot. It s F Green Brays hanging out their little tiny. You know they did bein a house somewhere with a perimeter around the deed, Qana haphazard. We set up your honor haphazard, actually, but they did put together so
those guys, if you ask them, maybe like all this street, that street kind of like I'll talk about Rahmati like oh here this tree here, is this neighborhood hears? What was bad over here, he was with this building was like. We knew it to that level and as an opportunity, even more detail, and then you down the balloon. You know you had one petunia one part of the city in the open air that they they knew everything so far. Me like no high for street either, treat probably heard about it. You know, but And become a thing, yet you don't know me territory. That's like yours like it sounds like you're gettin here is some theirs. I value target out there somewhere and locate all the seal send them over. There is not a lot of structure to you know you do in this mission and that builds on goes to this mission. Next in next him Maxwell. That's always the ideal. Is that hey? We grab one guy. We forgot where his friend is. We got his friend in that did happen, but a lot of times out, there's also when you look at the network, the network
is not organised. It's a network it's almost like a randomize networking. You got one guy, that's got for me people on a sound, maybe he's part of one other guys who who's running another cell, so it's not like a chain of command with you know. Five hundred inside Since on the bottom and then one of the top, no it's just splattered bag, Lou groups, little cells of five, six, seven bad guys, anal like you said earlier, its hey, I just got fired, I lost my job You know I was able to sergeant. I still am contact with my machine, Gunnar, my our Fiji, Gunnar and Maya and my point man, I'm gonna call You know I've met in bomb it in and whatever and weren't put together loss pit- and I know I can get paid and I'll give them a little bit of money, work now listen or business so there's a lot of that goal and it is early point you ve got form iraqi military, we're just
a nationalist insurgency got people who were just doing it for the money you haven't got to that point too big to an o five, where Al Qaeda in Iraq kind of forces everybody onto the same onto the same pay right, so you got all sorts of different groups and people with varying levels of commitment. I imagine you're doing this all fall through the winter. The of the spring. Just dumb me, you just you're, so Jockers a warm you're you're, probably how you feel yeah mean we we are. We are just I mean I This is interesting in this. Can kindly give you some insight into you know You're you're reading this, as if this was so obvious to see right, on their I'm in it and in my mind, I'm thinking I'm happy. I'm here. Happy I'm getting to do this right now. This
Will probably be over, be the only combat deployment I ever get and thank God, it's this date this good in the Optempo this time, we're doing this many operations and we're doing our park right. I felt very good about it. That was my feeling right through. The beginning of April was was a It seemed finite. Even even to the actual point that, We had a giant target, bored and an eye. I told me commanding officer, have you seen the movie, the beautiful my beautiful mind. So you know he had this crazy. Looking target thing, I said: hey, Sir, in order to cause, I had our time and when you look back, you can realise we had had a hard time. Putting this picture together in my head of what all these groups like wait. A second is this: guy can
did to someone else. Are we grab the sky with? Where does this lead to you're? The only one that exact? So I say I gotta put this: up up we put up this physical board to be able to visualize everyone we're going after and it took up a it was probably a public twenty, maybe even a twenty five for all in a JP tent and then you know whatever seven feet tall and it was covered with pictures and was covered with strings and was covered with you know we put this bill. For my big gave us we could. Actually, I wanted to be able to see the progress that we were making. And so we did and we put a green. You know that ghostbuster symbol like the thing with a slash, do it. If we caught him, we put a green with its lasting kill cuban we put up with a red and we'd get Intel from other units. Another units were captured, and so we started picking away at this board and.
It seemed like. Was a finite thing? It seemed like hey we're here: you're. Making progress. We're here were make work. You know came the last week we rolled up seven bad guys. And I know we're not the only unit, it's doing us, so we got units all over this country and are all Romano bad guys this, last week. I am glad to say that, because part of the impression it's gotten back to a lot of us who followed the war it like New York Times, Wall Street Journal level, is that the military knew that things were not going well and then we were not getting anywhere and that the Seville, Leadership back home didn't want to hear it, and so the just, although the military was on, who is on the ground, they knew the reality situation. There was just that wasn't getting fed back because here, but it sounds like things were not that clear. Well, we'll get to it in this worry you're gonna see everything that I just told you yeah
I am going to have a moment of clarity. When I get to remedy That is very obvious at its directly related to what I just said. So So I will tell you this: no, that is not accurate and people on the ground, myself included all the way up through April. We were thinking. This is finite problem. There are still Iraqis out there and by the way, the rat I that were waving the american flags did. They did this peer and we would get the wheel, the smile and we would get the the high five offer and we would get the like, we did it. We did want up in downtown Baghdad in the middle of the day it was ass. I mean it gets because Baghdad was kind alike it's a very western looking city and at this time
who was commerce? There were things going on right to their ears activity its we went into a crowded, their cars everywhere, music. It was a good sittings ex ante egg and people lose their get that these are just cities so because at night there was a curfew. So we did a lot of our operations and ninety five percent of our operations at night and there's a curfew, so What that curfew meant was that People had to get there. Did everything done during the day, so when we rolled out in Baghdad in the daytime. For this one daytime hit, we didn't downtown Baghdad, it was a zoo, was a zoo. There was com. Everywhere there is pedestrians everywhere there was people everywhere and and we were driving by the way and unarmoured upon these window. You know no doors, we had taken the doors off, we turn our seats. Outboard we be facing outboard. We could adopt threats if they came up and We'd pre staged in in the green zone and we confirmed our intel that
the bad guy we were looking for was in where we thought would be, which was like in an office building above a shop so we we roll down there, and this is like you know it's dead going into a crowded city- and here we come to the end and we looked different We were, we were seals. We had in Europe are hung these were we had big like we ve built like gum. Can like they look like mad max vehicles when we rolled out. It was obvious that we were a little bit different and then since we are all over it's freezing outboard and we had guys in the back carried guys in the back open, open back vehicles. They look like take up trucks, big, basically, those. And we had a articulating arms with weapons on them and so the our vehicles. Look like porcupines, with guns sticking everywhere variable.
Coordinated? We drove, even though you know, I told you that we had not much experience in driving with soon as we ve since we got hold of it. Like I also told you seals, sappenfield figure stuff out and out when we want to do it really? Well, so we did that my platoon chief, he was a. Off road guy and so he was the one kind of spearheading making things in a mad max vehicles and putting like bumper plates ottoman. So we could push people out of the way and When we rolled into Baghdad for that for this, one of these daytime hits that we did, we did, we did more than one daytime hit, but this just some and you know you to see the civilians are getting out of our way and we come in. We scream in euro scream into the though right in front of them. Building that we're going into every when dismount and a matter of seconds storming in Armenia was very dynamic, and then you know. We will wait? We do our mission and
that's what we were doing, and so It seemed like a finite thing. It seems with us wherever else that was doing this, we were gonna, be to get ahead of this, and my point on telling that about the daytime was. People were looking at us like in eight hours they weren't. Looking at us like, we were doing some wrong you they were. Fired up. Man like they were kind of, they were kind of. You know wasn't you don't get the negative feeling right and our For the first time I saw like a legitimate just read up jihadist, The time that I was face to face with jihadist was influenza. Did a hit in downtown Felicia we pulled bunch guys off target because it was like a hotel situation and we didn't
know how to figure out which guy was the bad guy, we're looking for sales, I take everyone, so we took like thirteen. In military age, males off target. When is it? This is like probably December November December, hold three and we get the guys we get back to the de we get back to rob these guys off and it was actually whose army risk assessment covers an army unit and the suits, are now we're turning these guys over to Thee through the tactical. Holding facility the tiff and When were you where we have more bagged up we're bags over their heads and we got him Ebbtide, and so now we're going off like taking pictures of more annual. I'm like Guy looks like a kind of a normal guy, whatever describes a kind of a normal guy whatever and then like pull back off of one guys had in this guy's. Looking at me, like, oh, this Motherfucker
wants to kill me. That's what's happened, right now and values this guy's straight up jihadist- and you know they ran to, of course- and it was like right, you know so even though I say hey, you know it. To tell whose back and whose good and we you run into. There was a lot of times red book to be like that person wants me to die and but the time it was that person you know Smiling or an enemy, did you look? It was. It was a belcour right. Some people still but you were there. Some people filled with hatred, a bunch what kind of in the middle, not one to take one side of the other cuz they want to bet on the winning horse. That's what we were dealing with, but cause. You see those people out in the middle of the day at an anomaly that, like you, said daytime, guess what to do like we're, driving down the highway. There's cars on highway, here's a cars people, there's gas there, there's there's people doing things, their markets are opened so you're
thinking that this is this is desperado right, you're thinking, like ok cool we get. People. We gotta clean up. Those were the things that indicated to me. We have fine, I like that we can win. We can we work as this will be over. This will be over other commerce, going away Paul that yet but at the time, commerce people you don't little set up- and I am not talking about like one or two shots- I'm talking if, like a foraging farmers markets like a farmer's market like that, what's happening so almost Their thinking all this going to fall apart, something Coal will get rid of these bad guys. And then these. These normal people that are happy to see us will be able to will be able to continue to grow in everything we find and there's probably zero chance that I'm going to come, be coming back around employment because this will be over and we'll
It was just a few months after you went in on that flues operation, that for black water, guys got lynched in that city, mutilated, tortured, killed, burned and hung up as crowd of people cheered on cheered for it. And after that, we can in that city with less six thousand Marines. So when that happened, It was like. We will again wit when I wouldn't Fujian. I think I told you I mean I did I'm coming up. Didn't Fallujah, but wasn't lot Might it s about twenty miles? West Bank transported around is another twenty or thirty is remedy the. When we went in there, we knew was bad. Like pollution was bad. Bizarre solution that we would there was no. Food was going. Influenza was was higher risk in our minds than going into Baghdad Baghdad.
Emu is very neighbourhood. Centric, like oh yeah, when you're going over there be careful colic what you said with high history like hey, we knew we didn t we all yeah this areas bad. There was this many attacks. We had like the boar with the amount of tax or coming from the enemy. So when we knew where your future it was. It was not good and you can feel to cause. You can feel it because you roll in there and there's its there's, not people out on the streets, it's quiet, not quite in like a peaceful way, but quite in the Uruguay round and when you do see someone, there look you may be now. With the full born I want to kill you, but not friendly, and you can feel that. Then you know that you're so going in there. You definitely could could could feel that there was made
going to take a little longer there or whatever, but Hey even we rolled up those thirteen guys influenza. Like me, the guys that I looked in their eyes. I was God you know he'll be out tomorrow. How understand we just got a bad guy out of his. You know, out of this area, cool Thea, lynching influenza, which has couple days before you are involved in a pretty important up. I was thirty first, a march, I think, an iranian processions April third she's getting near to the end of your deplore. Ah Bremmer orders Saunders House surrounded while, but you want to tell the story Well is this couple things are first of all on the foolish thing. Would win the black water guys I was doing when my task to commander pay, we go and he said I, you know I know, and he ran up to our headquarters to his boss, like hey
job was gradually they we can go. We can go, get those guys down and they told us know, they'll, retrieve them, you don't like me will go, and you know this is this is hard to understand. I don't know you understand, but You know to plan a military operation, you know people I was raised when we produce where I was raised on a ninety six, our planning cycle, for how long it takes to plan prepare for an operation MA boss at some point during my deployment said. Hey Jack O. If we have like a time sensitive target, how much time do you need to prepare and launch. And my response after I set it- was fifteen minutes. So so that's why- that, when you're on an optimal like that like- and that was a no shit- you If we got. If you wanted us role, fifteen minutes
We'd be in vehicles, we be wrong and we did that on multiple occasions where it was hey, we got the call. I have We did one where I had guys that were lounging around and they were in. They were in turrets of of our farmers and like civilian clothes with their kid on, and you know like just We did operations where we were in civilian clothes intentionally at different. It This particular case that guy's had gone to the change or someone put on cities in office on the call came and boy. It's like a load up so too to think of fifteen minutes were role and we did it or multiple occasions. So why not? happen with those guys and pollution, they know I'm like you know we're seeing it on the news we are hearing about it. And I'm saying hey boss to my boss. Get us it s permission to go, let's go, and he did it. Asked and they were like no and the Marines ended going to take care of it situation, but kids. Now things are starting Ito that that was
with all the other things that you mentioned, with the: U N being attacked with the embassies being attacked. Earlier that March earlier in the march before then, I think there was a couple she has celebrations in Baghdad in Karbala that got blown to hell out of the ity. And each one of those were they weren't. They didn't hit me like the hit, I got it when that, when that, when it happened, when that happens, the guy's got killed in Fallujah, it was ok. The they were to kill Us- and you know you felt that before, but wanna kill us and they ambushed us, and you know they shot our produce. It ass. You know, but That was that was it on another level: there was another level that was a hate that was a hatred that was not the others.
The difference between whatever the guy that murders his you know his his neighbour in a fight and in deal stabs, him Ngos are God, I'm sorry, you, those fish and the guy that no cuts off his wife's head and in a new light your body, that's the difference that to me. That was a wake up call of ok that this is is this- is gonna get ugly couple days out of an app. No, you got information. Yeah. So you mentioned solder, Tal Solder, very influential, can I use word it's not the right word, influential you know you when you think of Influential America, you think somebody, that's you know. What's useful like sane and had has the Euro Smart and has a wheels wields. You know
a lot of sway with people in a positive way, so this guy was influential but ignored in a very negative way, and she ain't muslim, sheer Muslim, and he. He would you he was a real problem and was causing problems and He was a good leader charismatic. You know. When you see pictures of me, I can see where we, when you I talk about what as people into a cold like situation and a lot of it has to do with being that leader this That kind of leader you know a fiery guy, a charismatic guy looks he looks kind of crazy. You know, and he looks like he could instil fear in people. And so he was housing problems and those guys whose eyes come through in pictures there so he was one of those people and we, had been targeting him and when I say we yes, MA am opportune, but everybody, targeting him, meaning tracking him
What's he doing these, Guy Can we go get him? Should we go get him? Will you go get him in and now the big thing about the big difference with him was: he was a guy that was a national presence and really an international pose. An active motor warned automatic this time. I believe yeah. So he is, but but he's a recognisable true political, political leader, And have a real presence, whereas all these other little cell guys that I've talked about these guys we're not these guys were nickel and dime you know: criminals, dogs, sure they were run in a cell, afford six guys. Whatever made we got some guys at one more thing. I don't even remember. But this guy was a totally different story, this guy's a totally different story. Would be like if you wanted this would be likely. You know a Democrat, Tromp. Is president right now this role? be like the democratic challenger or or me.
Of two or three democratic challenges that are running to be. You don't get the knot, from the DMZ he's. One of those guys is at this point as this point some of the intelligence estimates that I've seen had his militia to ten thousand People he's a powerful guy and the question was: can we go get this guy and what will happen if we do? and this idea was getting bad it around the whole time that I was there You know in those times we spun up that talk. Packaging of we will. I know we never loaded up to go. Do it, but definitely had. You know, hey. What's, let's do some planning on an old it might pop or we might get approval and now you're stock and start talk about an almost every operation that I did was approved at can over the the you know, oh five, maybe o six level. So guy was now getting approve. This was like a much much higher. Approval is a political decision to political decision, so
we're going back and forth the whole time, and I never even thought twice about it Ok, we'll go get him, not whatever you tell me. What to do. Man argued Alba. Do you don't like we sat on earlier episode? Man did you put a tart? you put in a red red x on a thousand Denmark, find me up on s couch. We did this, What we get is they the powers be decide, we dont worry you wanna get solder out of the gate. We don't know. What's gonna happen, he's got ten thousand militia, got all this influence. This could cause a ring. He'll freaking problem, a real problem, When we ve already got a problem lawyer in collusion gas, only, we only got Sunni problems it, in my view, no assessment, Had I been in charge of everything would be like I will do we want to rip You have always read the bandit off That could be one way to look at it could
so be measure given what happened here. So what we finally end up doing as we get the we get the go ahead to go when hit, do a hit. A capture one of his senior. Lieutenants Einstein, Asia. That's down in Asia which, as you know, the reason she We city shock us out a bag. You can't it's it's the spot and we get the we get the order that way. We could clear to do this operation and it needs a pretty soon. Forward operation. It's kind of we ve been doing a whole time. We ve been there it's a little further way. We'd we done some operations, as I say, add outside it I and we driven you another, we drove for five hours to get to do hit somewhere occasionally, but My job was kind of like that was a long transit to get down there, but pretty standard hit
You know we rolled in did feel that way like if you have an idea that this is a little bit count. This is a little bit different, yeah I mean we knew it. I knew this was. This was probably the first target there was a true each v t for us. So people throw a treaty on any anybody, your high value target. We have a lot of targets. You know some of the more important than others in and out I'm thinking back week we had some pretty big targets, a pretty. We get some guy. The ransom, pretty big cells, in fact, that daytime hit we didn't downtown Baghdad? That was that I was running a pre decent amount of of bad guys, so we did some good I'm good, ops, solder himself after this opt goes down, but you know how I value this yeah, so we go in middle of the night, very quiet we set up and
I ride. You knew you. I always remember this. Is that were very quiet. We would always you don't put off Stop our vehicles some distance away from the actual target in the and we would foot patrols. You know very quietly, some no one was gonna know we were coming and any new plus we'd get there to reveal to block the morning whatever blacked out and whenever you do this correctly and you had a little bit of luck on your side cause. Bad luck. Is dogs barking? Bad luck, as you know, some drunk guide on a rooftop yelling at you, there's like there's. Like things happen, this wasn't one of US nights very lucky silence disquiet and it's quiet. How many are you there's probably are not. The total number is, but you know we're running on assault package that is probably twenty assaulters go on in the house and then there's and then there
you know bunch, you guys drive the vehicles manning the vehicles. Extra security, producing size package So it's all just dead silent until that breach goes and then the breach goes. You know everyone, wakes up, but it was again we're in and out of there in a matter of minutes we were, we were good at this point. We were good so where it and now there in a matter of minutes and you back on the road back on the road in this matter? Facts you know this is the first time we did this. Assuming we got on the road we we linked up with Kaliko They came and landed took him. So that's that's when no you that's how I knew as you're planning on my go there, they there really concerned about this guy, if they're going to land helicopters and get this guy into environment because they want him with us. They want him, they want it. So that's how I knew it was going to be a year
That's that's one of the ways I knew how importance was at a course look. We knew we know we knew. This was one of Saunders guys. We now that he was one of his top guys. We. Maybe not as much of a top guy. Maybe it was a great test case because solder went nuts hand, the whole country would not, and he took his mighty army from saunter city, went installed himself in a job and Shi Ites Joe. Blew up yeah and it was very bad planning with regards to putting everyone else in the country in a posture to be ready for that, because as the army the Marine Corps invasion, she asked yes, mostly the army around Sawder City, they hadn't been
even at least they didn't appear to have been given a heads up any If they were given a heads up, they were quite didn't quite know what process are they needed to get into cuz of the she? Is they they they start to get a free hardcore fee. A we had most of our forces around focusing on Bagdad Missoula, outwest round revolution. Jackets lose ones coming up right now and we had a lot of our allies. No, the poles the bulgarian some of our other allies down in light of the southern Shi Ite cities, and they just start getting hammered right. Yeah yeah. The M well there's a couple things that happen this. P in in shop started, to get over run right,
and, as that started to happen, so we wish we did the hit and then drove back in its like a five hour drive, and yet something like a five hour drive so we come back and by the time we come back, almost Norman the dates you on drive, but almost as quickly as we got back? It was hey like the sea, the job is getting overrun. It's already invade GINO We are sending you down, there's cure, of which to me rough five hours this you are asking what they knew? How accomplish what they said? We, you know, hey you. We want you to drive down there and I'm like large, that ten hours a drive, like Roger that you know like you. If you want you. Do something I'm gonna do it yeah. I must, This makes no sense whatsoever. So I did. I did pushed back a little like wait. A second you mean of all the units that are between Baghdad. And the job there's not yours, you're the on the best option, you with no armor
the answer was I get, and I said Roger that And I remember this my task unit my task unit senior unlisted adviser, who is it I mentioned earlier, who a good friend of mine who, at this point on the planet, was like you know, we joke about it and we joke about it. The fact that, His wife would call me his. Reason he says: we're soulmate sprites we're like total brows and for whatever reason he was not going with us like they didn't send the task. Commander or the council when we did the hit the task. And working with us- and you know piecemeal Kitty grounds, commander, obviously, assault force commander, well for this one, for whatever reason probably cause he could. Those guys could provide us better support if they were with us if they were kind of like monitoring what was happening. If we did it
states or I'm leaving. Get ready to get like load up my home. The end in my sba, mice, listen adviser whose my pro like hogs me and I was- I go and the reason is because disappears getting overrun, we're going down there too. Dude Alamo and, like my dad Action to the guy's was good all the ammo that we have everyone, get a machine gun, were heavy machine guns monies, we have the right, It's the whole nine yards like work, this what's happening. And that's what we did. We loaded up and I gave my gave messier list adviser a hug loaded, vehicles. We rolled down there by tat we got down, there was over Yo Tourist five hours to get down there, you got down there, we hung out for the night, nothing zero happened. And then we drove back end. That was
right around it would have been probably about the day you were driven back as one first kaluza started, probably April. Fourth,. No, I didn't know the like. The the articles. I've seen had your operation on April. Second, but maybe that's not right that we know. I don't think Fallujah one went down right, then it was just a few days after Thirty first from the black water guys got taken earlier in the week. Ok you're just near does refer to that that initial kind of portion to pollution damage when they got called off after three day goddess. Ok, yes, yes! So that was happening as we're doing what we were doing and so now now, Mommy me I'm within a few days of I, when I home, but I'm within like we're, we're starting to know that we're going home, I mean, and sent a couple guys home at this point, like guys we're
two to head back home and I remember we got there start. We started get attacked on our base fairly regularly gets a mortar attacks. We got some rocket attacks. We had the maid like the gates right by us, get a it. You know where myself in that. Senor less adviser, like we drove out there with our guns and theirs. Tracer fire coming over the road, Morocco, okay, so it's on, and there is a burning vehicle that been stop. There was a vehicle born, I d suspected vehicle born idea and then So this is worse than it that all happened this this thing, where the gate got attacked, proud of that myself and my senior unless advisor, we were in a tower and we're just looking out- and There was There was some like you could see. One of the major routes your highways out there and there was like five- six smoking weed
this was that they were probably five miles away. But, like you could see distinctly. There was multiple vehicles that been attacked and then gates gettin attacked hand. You got the Shia blown up in the south. You ve got the Sunnis, certain really get wild influenza s arm and it's time for you to go home and are you I mean there? Are you locked in the like your missions enough that you're blinders runner, you kind of aware that, like your life, at a time when this country start in full part well- and this is the first time when I start thinking to myself- I may be back here You know, if you asked me on. In March. If you ask me March, if I'm going to come back to the one month, pry the. If you ask me March first, if I becoming back to Iraq would be like now, the single be over this thing be over. If you ask me April
whenever April, fifth April, seventh, if outcome! Mcadoo. I probably good jetsam come back here, cause you, kids. He thinks I mean literally see things. Before my very eyes that indicated this was gonna. Get this we're gonna get western real, quick came back in MID April sometime around then with his aunt. Maybe indication is where were you when I would gravely at the news you have to tell me what happens if the games or twenty eight the end of the month. Area above grave was a bad area. They took a lot of casualties up there, and so, when I first heard the news I heard about our grave, I thought what I think that we were home and by the way our group was one of the areas of the bad bad area was middle. So when I remember when I first heard about Abu Ghraib, I felt a little bit about the prison because we used to send our prisoners there sometimes but
bad area. Abu Ghraib was a bad area. They took a lot of casualties up there and so when I first heard the news I heard about Abu Ghraib, I thought What you what's going on up there in terms of like has there been a taxes, and so the one thing that spun out from that we'll talk about the next himself is where I would say what you had was what you had between Felicia, you, cool which was sought tenant between those two things that the attack on the contractors and you be what you had with those two things Was a massive spark like a big massive spark, That actually was a little bit more than a spark that was like a like. It was a spark in its its kindling was on fire. It was burning pretty bright, but it was still you could step on it. You could step on it me
might have been able to put it out? Maybe maybe not, but what I do Grebe ended up think being was a massive amount of fuel on the fire, and I suppose we can talk about that. One the topic next time, if you when a check out or other park ass, I have a ass called go podcast I've upon Casper, kids called the war, get back out and have a podcast called grounded, which is about knowledge about Jiu, Jitsu in life and then Darrell has upon cast which is called martyr made, and you can also support this part cast by give some gear from Jacques.
Store dot com or getting gear from a little place called the origin main dot com that few help those companies you'll be helping us. So we can keep you in this and all of our other podcast with that. Thanks for listening as things unravel this is Jocko and Daryl out.
Transcript generated on 2020-07-27.