60 Minutes: Out Of The Shadows

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60 Minutes: Out Of The Shadows - Ex-CIA operative Henry Crumpton describes using local might to oust al Qaeda and their Taliban hosts in 2001, a strategy he says is needed in Pakistan, where terrorist are hiding.

Ex-CIA Operative Comes Out of the Shadows - CBS News.

You don't hear from people like Henry Crumpton very often. That's because "Hank," as he's known, spent most of his adult life as a spy for the CIA. Now he has stepped out of the shadows to tell how just after 9/11, at age 44, he masterminded the downfall of the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

He did it with just a handful of CIA officers, military special operations teams and an army of Afghan tribal warriors. Crumpton probably knows more about the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban than almost anyone else.

And now that he is out of the CIA, he makes no secret anymore about what he did to defeat them in 2001...

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Seems like both parts of these threads are focused on whoring in war. :))]

But back to the start. Lara Logan should have revealed that Crumpton's magical appearance on the media scene was directly connected to a Petraeus backed media campaign and his need to justify his recent financial relationship with CENTCOM via Drop Test International. M4 has brought back the old Tora Bora ASOT crowd...but as $3000 - $1200 a day billed contractors. As far as I know only Killcullen is only working ten days a month for CENTCOM for that coin but its already pissing people off. Expect some scrutiny and backlash.

The new influx of overpaid contractors would be news not hyping the Agencie's skewed version of "winning" the war from the Bagram and Pansjir. After all even then it was only an hour into downtown Kabul where the journos were:) I will sign off by reminding folks that the war was won in the Dar i Suf with Afghan blood and American bombs.

Okay, right. Let's please get back on track here with substantive comments and back away from the trend this thread has taken - thanks Dave D.

Or let someone else face the threat - preferably not your staunchest ally.

If I get everyone's drift, it's a good idea to wear your helmet into combat?

Lara has has been hit by more operators than a shoot house in Bragg.

Crumpton Group, LLC. Creating opportunity in an uncertain world - hmm, opportunity for whom?


Crisp, relevant point. Counterinsurgency vs insurgency. US SF/CIA doctrine can easily destabilize regimes. It is NOT proven that we can stabilize regimes using COIN. Concept of "One man in theater yelling fire vs state locking down every theater in country to prevent potential of someone yelling fire."

Shinwaris are just many subtribes scattered from Quetta to Kabul. The ISI and the CIA know the border tribes better than their own employees but the tired old "tribe for hire" is not the solution to defeating the taliban. Mostly because the ISI pays more or the tribes double/triple dip. Bring justice, financial benefit, social and government empowerment all with the implied threat of complete annihilation and you will get long lines to your compound. Afghans understand the power curve. Get on the bus or get run over by it.

Allowing social units to provide their own defense with cute little touches to prevent them from blood feuding is really the short cut. Blowing out Karzai's goons and adding enough votes to push budgets to the elected regional politicians is the other. Stop spending money on overpaid contractors and "look busy" projects and the Afghans might actually think we know what we are doing.

The tribal paradigm has long been dead. It was a fraud in Soviet times to pump up payrolls and its a fraud in U.S. era to gain influence. Try doing a family tree in the south and it will have more holes than an Afghan dental chart.

The best way to make money in Afghanistan is to pop off rounds at soldiers and then hire your "tribe" out to provide "stability". Even I am a member of a nasty Afghan tribe and have land. Where is my "Awakening" paycheck money beeyotch?? :))

Yeah...and... Lara Logan and the military (and apparently crazy journos and contractors). Take a number, shower to the left...:)))

In any case my point was not ONCE did the media mention that Crumpton is a big money contractor tucked up under M4's skirts.

My problem with Mr. Crumpman's position is that he argues the US should use the same methods against the guerrillas that we used to topple the Taliban regime. His description of those methods is that they were simple "carrot and stick" incentives, heavy on the stick. He tells us we simply bombed leaders who did not join.
To raise an army to seize territory, this may work. Either the next village sends recruits or it does not. In guerrilla fighting, the locals just lie to you. How does Crumpman expect to monitor the actual loyalty of every local and punish or reward it accurately?
Moreover, some portion of combatant motivation is often driven by dedication to some cause, even if it is only revenge. The Taliban's rule had weakened principled loyalty. Now that willingness to sacrifice is recovering.
The most encouraging part of the 60 Minutes piece was the apparently spirited dedication of the Afghan intelligence chief. How often do we hear that kind of talk from opponents of the Taliban? How do we make those voices stronger?

Schmedlap: So I'm learning (based off of a cursory Google search). But... she looks interested in what people are saying, and she repeats back what they say in slightly different words... that must count for something, right?


Can we expect more of the same? With the recent "hiring" of the Shinwaris,old school CIA hacks from the 80's, I think we can expect so.

The Shinwaris may be one of the few "tribes" which has strong enough leadership for a local initiative to actually work. If it fails, it will be the canary in the mine for the rest of the country, in my opinion.

Petraeus' media machine is reinventing what actually happened as have two previous books by Shroen and Bernsten. The Agency wants us to believe that their assets, the Panjshiris were the reason why the taliban surrendered.

While the boys were shoveling money to Fahim and not moving an inch, the real fighting was going on to the west.

By the time the Panjshiris' had stashed millions of our dollars and strolled into Kabul the taliban had fled because the Uzbeks and Hazara's had bottled them up in Kunduz.

Hanging out with Baba Jan and the media in the control tower was not where the war was. The taliban and the Panjshiris had the same fixed position for years.

Clearly Crumpton did not succeed in his primary mission, nor was he even in charge of tracking Bin Laden (the Manson Gang under Scheuer had that job)but we are to believe that he is "back" and in the game based on that mythical success.

Well that part is true. He is back. The travesty is that both Crumpton and Kilcullen (appears briefly) are contractors under cut out Drop Tech International making $3k a day working for McChrystal shoveling their "empower the tribes" BS. That's milspeak for hire thugs to gather intel for hits.

That didn't work so well back in 2001 and it won't work so well in 2010. The Eastern Alliance was the CIA invented tribe that led to the escape of Bin Laden. The thugs they hired soon started calling in air strikes on each other and their enemies. Can we expect more of the same? With the recent "hiring" of the Shinwaris,old school CIA hacks from the 80's, I think we can expect so.

The taliban and their Pakistani sponsors respond well to one thing. Annihilation. Nothing like the prospect of molecular redistribution to challenge your faith in the stone age.

Crumpton is correct in that the afghans and tribes in the middle will get behind the power curve but why is a DoD contractor talking about snuffing out tribal leaders and replacing them with paid hacks? The whole gang is back including geezers like Dewey Clarridge and the Iran contra crowd.

Why are we rewarding failure with big contractor dollars? Or worse pretending that we are doing anything other than engaging in yet another targeted assassination program that has yet to deliver any results in a decade? Well I take that back, we have made a lot of those paid "tribal" hacks very wealthy based on the real estate they own in Kabul.

The war was won by using overwhelming air power. Period. Targeted assassination just means you just promote a lot of people who were crazier than the last guy.

Pretending that Crumpton or even the agency won the war is silly. The Air force did with the help of Army SF teams supported by G-Chiefs.

Bin Laden and most of his crew escaped, the taliban are back and hiring his terp to be head of the NDS and talk tough is not going to really win the war either

The war in Afghanistan will be won when we unleash the exact same forces that defeated the taliban in the first place.

While I am on a roll...Lara Logan was far too gushy and light in the loafers for this interview. I don't even know if she knows the history of war in Afghanistan.

Selah has been well prepared.

Other "money" quotes from Saleh:

"...The American Public is underestimating the Islamic fundamentalist groups and terrorism and extremists..." ; "...Glory comes from winning wars not retreating..."

And the real teller was Ms, Logan's facial expressions when he dropped the Glory comments regarding the cost to America. She didn't appear to approve of an Afghan telling her the US needs to continue its efforts.

I like that security chief...he has got moxy!

I see some truth in part of what Jefe wrote: "...you have alot of 'high speed guys' whining that they can't be expected to cross the street without the Space Shuttle flying direct support rather than living off the land with no support aside from local."

My observation was that most of the requirements for CONOPs were imposed by higher. Most teams were willing to do any high risk mission with or without a Spectre or a Mech Inf Co standing by as QRF. However, the amount of support for a team in theater - coming from a conventional background - struck me as absolutely insane. I remember when an ODA went "black" on Red Bull. I've seen an Infantry Bn XO get less upset about a Company running low on frags. Some of it seems to be demanded, or at least expected, by the teams. However, it began with the chain of command providing the stuff in the first place and creating bad expectations. Also heard lots of griping about not enough DA missions. I think there are organizational culture issues that need to be addressed.

From the video, as quoted by Dave Maxwell: "Crumpton also believes the U.S. cannot win without capturing or killing the enemy's leaders, especially Osama bin Laden."
Anyone have any idea why capturing bin Laden is so important? It would be neat from a PR or revenge perspective. Other than that, what's the real impact upon AQ operations?

@IntelTrooper - that is ground that many, many have tread before; you don't want any of that.

@Jefe: Perhaps you haven't heard growing reports of female soldiers being harassed and, less often but still troublesome, being assaulted by their comrades.

Getting back to the idea for Pakistan: it only means something if the military and civilian government can actively back the locals. In the previous campaigns the military went off for to campaign for a few weeks at the most and then left with a pathetic excuse for a treaty that allowed the insurgents to continue exactly what they were doing and to tighten their grip on the region.

Jefe: That was quite a litany of invectiveness!

However, what caught my eye was your last paragraph. I was always under the impression it was the careerists we wanted to divest ourselves of and promote the professionals?


And I spent 15 years overseas to include Astan.

The utter incompetence, stifling bureaucracy which was supposed to read as cutting edge hero stuff in that book absolutely disgusted me.

Our systems are broken, slaves to petty bcrats and I have dealt with all kinds of high speed operators and mostly found them to be very good at image building and in the last 10yrs of my service, not good at operating.

Decisions will be stalled thru several layers of COC, second guessed by people who are not in the fight, budget procurements, with the decision point being "how will this affect my career? Can I get a false medal out of it?

By then opportunity has long been over, and you have alot of "high speed guys" whining that they can't be expected to cross the street without the Space Shuttle flying direct support rather than living off the land with no support aside from local.

From what I have seen on OGAs, I am thoroghly unimpressed and while I doubt their competence in military matters, we uniformed guys are or equally to blame for selling out for politics and political correctness to competence and decisiveness.

Co-ed basic training? No swearing? A pile of mandatory classes on Sexual Harassmnet, EO etc? How about going back to combat units don't play any political stuff and focus on combat?

COIN units and Manuever units. Swear all you want, drink when you are off, strippers back at the O/NCO clubs for the combat units,

O's NCOs at the lowest levels as the power on the tactical decisions and separate pogues from combat units and put them in their rightouus subordinate position, rather than in domination.

Career soldiers rule, professional soldiers for the most part reside at middle rank and not much farther above.

At the very least, he's a hero for getting to talk to Lara Logan. She makes me twitterpated.

I believe oblong is completely correct: "Hank C", laison/super back in VA at HQ, Schroen, team leader on the ground in-country.

Sounds right, and fits with all the facts. Not quite squared-away with the 60-minutes portrayal, but that's hardly surprising.

Looking back through the book, he actually calls his supervisor "Hank C," so it probably was him.

I suspect that Crumpton may be the man Schoen called "Hank" in his book.

NOTE: "Old news", at least in the sense that Schroen's book has been widely available since at least 2005. Gary acknowledged "Rick", "Chris", "Stan", "Doc", "Murray", "Pappy", and "Brad" as JAWBREAKER team members. Maybe Crumpton was one of the seven, maybe not. But the acknowledged team lead was Schroen, Islamabad Chief of Station from 1996 to 1999, not "mastermind" Crumpton.
No doubt he deserves praise and respect, but it would be better to have stayed an unsung hero than to sing his own praises too loudly, and publicly overstate his role.

Old news, and reconstructed to puff up a minor player.

Who was really "First In" ?

This segment begs the question: with all the complexities and cumbersomeness of the COIN fight in Afghanistan, might an entirely covert war be more effective?

These are probably the "money quotes" from this piece:

"Asked what he thinks would happen in Afghanistan if the U.S. decided to withdraw, Saleh told Logan, "I am very clear on what will happen. First, a massacre campaign will start. The human cost in this country will easily be up to two million people killed, at least. It will not be a big news for Afghanistan. We are used to tragedies, throughout our history. But the cost for you will be bigger."

"Since Saleh is the man responsible for Afghanistan's security, he has a more immediate concern: what's happening across the border in Pakistan."

"Al Qaeda and Taliban are now headquartered in Pakistan. The bulk of people we kill, neutralize or capture in Afghanistan are the expendable part of the terror network. The leadership is there, and they are not feeling the heat, apart from these occasional drone attacks," Saleh explained.

"In Pakistan and elsewhere where you see enemy's safe haven, where they are the power, where they are the status quo, we must be the insurgents. We must work and recruit with locals, and we must collect intelligence. We must engage in subversion and sabotage, and be very precise," Crumpton added.

"Certainly. And I think, ultimately, that's how you win this type of war. You have to empower the locals so they have the victory," he replied.

"Crumpton also believes the U.S. cannot win without capturing or killing the enemy's leaders, especially Osama bin Laden."