XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX SAT NOV 03, 2001 09:51:24 ET XXXXX
MAG: 12 U.S. DELTA MEMBERS WOUNDED ON RAID OF OMAR'S COMPLEX, THREE SERIOUSLY; PENTAGON RETHINKS 'SPECIAL FORCES OPERATIONS'
Seymour Hersh has filed yet another controversial report for coming editons of the NEW YORKER, publishing sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT.
In ESCAPE AND EVASION, Hersh claims: In the wake of a near-disaster during the assault on Mullah Omar's complex during the early morning of October 20th, the Pentagon has been rethinking future Special Forces operations inside Afghanistan.
Delta Force, which prides itself on stealth, had been counterattacked by the Taliban, and some of the Americans had had to fight their way to safety. Hersh has filed his report for the November 12, 2001 issue of the NEW YORKER, on sale Monday.
Twelve Delta members were wounded, three of them seriously.
The intensity and ferocity of the Taliban response "scared the crap out of everyone," a senior military officer tells Hersh.
The Delta team stormed Mullah Omar's complex, but found little of value, Hersh reports, and then, "as they came out of the house, the shit hit the fan," one senior officer says. "It was like an ambush. The Taliban were fighting with light arms and either [rocket-propelled grenades] or mortars." The team immediately began taking casualties and evacuated.
"The Delta team was forced to abandon one of its objectives: the insertion of an undercover team into the area and the stay-behind soldiers fled to a previously determined rendezvous point, using a contingency plan known as an E. & E., for escape and evasion," Hersh writes.
One Delta Force soldier told a colleague that military planners "think we can perform fucking magic. We can't. Don't put us in an environment we weren't prepared for. Next time, we're going to lose a company."
One military man reports that Delta Force officers were "still outraged" last week as after-action arguments over how best to wage a ground war continued.
The Pentagon could not give details of what really happened near Kandahar "because it doesn't want to appear that it doesn't know what it's doing." Another senior officer says, "I don't know where the adult supervision for these operations is. Franks -- the general in charge of the U.S. Central Command -- is clueless."
Speaking of Delta Force the officer adds, "These guys have had a case of the ass since Mogadishu. They want to do it right and they train hard. Don't put them on something stupid. We'll get there, but it's going to get ugly."
Officers also criticized the Army Rangers' sameday parachute jump into a Taliban-controlled airbase because "it was a television show. The Rangers were not the first in -- an Army Pathfinder team had already confirmed that the area was clear of Taliban forces."
One senior official Hersh spoke to acknowledged that there were serious problems in the war effort thus far, but said, "It's like reading a six-hundred-page murder mystery. It's solved on the last few pages, but you have to read five hundred and ninety-eight pages to get there."
Filed By Matt Drudge
Reports are moved when circumstances warrant
http://www.drudgereport.com for updates
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