Do we really want to do this?

By Nathan Barton

Get Rid of Special Operations Units and Troops?

Sheldon Richman, in his blog Free Association, calls for the abolition of Special Operations forces (Spec-Ops) stating, “if we didn’t have these units, we wouldn’t need them.” He points out, correctly, that SEAL Team 6 and other units have a hideous track record of needless killing and blurring the “traditional lines between soldier and spy.” He concludes saying, “The existence of secretive military units conducting private [sic] lethal operations should bother anyone who aspires to live in a free society.”  He talks about the obvious, but little-admitted impact of US intervention in the Muslim world, and ends with, “For our own safety, we must disband these squads of killers.”

I understand Sheldon’s concerns, and agree with them.  I do not agree with his proposed solution.  Sadly, I thought that he knew his history better than this, for anyone who knows and understands history will see (a) the disbanding (outlawing) of these types of units will NOT get rid of them, and (b) these types of units are neutral in their concept, and can be used for both good and evil.

The simple explanation of my first point has two parts.  First, humans (and especially governments) are incapable of truly banning ANYthing, particularly weapons of war.  You name it: guns, swords, cross-bows, gas, battleships, nukes.  Humans have tried to ban them over and over again, and they are still used or at least available to be used.  Second, the present use of Spec-ops units for evil purposes is a SYMPTOM of the problem and NOT a cause. These are NOT “private operations,” but instead ordered and condoned by the powers that be in DC.  They (the powers-that-be) are the real problem.

Spec-ops units are a weapon or tool of war.  Part of a larger category of “unconventional warfare” techniques, they have been used by many sides for many moral and immoral purposes over the years.  They are no more to be condemned merely for existing than a gun is.

My original comment to Sheldon’s column said:

“A ban like this is impossible to enforce, and will just drive the operations even deeper into the darkness. It is control and accountability that is needed, and a withdrawal from imperialism: without that intense desire to meddle around the world without any control and accountability, the spec-ops will continue to abuse and be abused. By restoring military forces to their only legitimate function – the defense of liberty against aggression – the need for spec-ops WILL be reduced, and control of budgets and operations will be possible. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Even in defense (examples: colonial forces during the American War for Independence, Texian forces during the Texas War for Independence, southern forces during the War of Northern Aggression, occupied countries under the Third Reich during WW2) there is still a need for spec-ops forces.”

Let me elaborate on that for my own commentary now.

Spec-ops forces, including SEAL teams, Army Special Forces, Delta Team, Rangers, and others, are being misused and abused for these various operations by the supposed representatives of the people of the Fifty States; the man supposedly holding the office of President and the 535 members of Congress (or at least a very large majority of those 535).  They are being allowed to do so through inaction on the part of the judicial branch (the Supreme Court and their lower courts) and the Fifty States themselves.  Spec-ops forces are a tool which can be used for good or evil, misused or abused or used correctly, for the defense of liberty or for the taking of life, liberty, and property.  The people in these organizations are highly trained, very highly motivated, and very much indoctrinated. That indoctrination, motivation AND training can be for good uses or evil uses.  They can be, and ARE being lied to.  Even those who serve in these forces (as in the regular or conventional forces) who recognize some of the lies for what they are can either be convinced that, overall, their service in the cause of good outweighs their misuse and abuse, OR they are corrupted and become like the Congress and the Regime that they report to.

But the second point that is important is that, even if it were possible to disband, outlaw, ban, and eradicate Spec-Ops forces (which is not an option, in my opinion), we should not do so because their use in the cause of liberty, throughout history, has been very important, and indeed decisive time after time.  I could add many more examples to the ones I provided in my comments.  I think it safe to say that the original Thirteen States would NOT have won their fight for independence and liberty without unconventional “Special Operations” forces, even though they were not called such in that era.  The Swamp Fox (Francis Marion) and Richard Rogers (Rogers’ Rangers) are just two examples.  During the War Between the States, Mosby’s Partisan Rangers were one of many examples (although the Yankees tried vigorously to destroy his reputation and stain his honor).

Today, we are in the Fourth Generation of warfare (4GW), in which more and more warfare is irregular in nature.  When the people of the Western States finally DO rebel against the FedGov or whatever replaces it, their major method of combat is likely to be Spec-Ops in nature against the overwhelming masses of troops that DC (or its successor) will be able to draft or hire to attempt regaining control, imposing their tyranny.

Liberty is too precious to voluntarily give up such a weapon against tyranny.

About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (a christian), Pahasapan (resident of the Black Hills), Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer, Evangelist. Successor to Lady Susan (Mama Liberty) at TPOL.
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4 Responses to Do we really want to do this?

  1. Matt says:

    I disagree with your conclusion. Not banning SpecOps because the govt will just illegally hide them is poor logic. Sounds like people saying not to fight if you can’t win. They are used to do to many things that are immoral and often illegal. Banning and disbanding them would be a great step to standing the U.S. Down from trying to conquer the world. In the case of 4GW warfare conducted on U.S. Soil, they will be the first organizations employed against dissenters. They will also be used To train local police forces,that,remain loyal to the government. Disbanding them would be a good first step away from a standing Army.


    • MamaLiberty says:

      Just one problem, Matt. How would you go about “banning” them to start with, and how could you then prevent the US from engaging in the immoral and self defeating war on the rest of the world? It seems rather unrealistic to think that any sort of “ban” would stop the government from doing what it does. No more than any “ban” on guns stops other criminals from obtaining and using them.

      I think what Nathan is saying is that it is impossible to “ban” such things from the US Government, and any such ban would be hypocritical in a revolution or resistance to that government.


      • Matt says:

        I understand in the practical sense nothing would truly be banned. It would be like the federal laws that ban torture and assination, the government would simply ignore it. I also know that such a ban would never actually be passed, the government has been using SpecOps to enforce their will overseas for so long that they would never pass the ban. I do believe a ban such as this, even if only on paper and only in the public eye would be a good start to truly disbanding the standing army that is a plague upon the world. One has to start somewhere and sometimes the steps are very small.


  2. Darkwing says:

    If the US of A would stop invading countries based on lies and BS, we would not need a military the size that it is and the US of A would not need these murders that you call Special Operation Units


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