Military Operations in the 2000s

Operations in Afghanistan


January - June

Materials arranged chronologically.

Lamb, Christopher J., and Martin Cinnamond. "Unified Effort: Key to Special Operations and Irregular Warfare in Afghanistan." Joint Forces Quarterly 56 (1st Quarter 2010): 40-53.

The Obama administration "has taken important steps to improve unified effort among the diverse actors working to promote stability and defeat the Taliban insurgency. Even so, more needs to be done.... [T]he record to date demonstrates that special operations serve conflicting objectives in Afghanistan. We offer an explanation for this incongruity to underscore just how difficult unity of effort is to achieve, and to establish some baseline requirements for remedial action. We then make recommendations designed to improve unity of effort in military operations, civil-military cooperation, and among international and Afghan partners."

Warrick, Joby, and Pamela Constable. "CIA Base Attacked in Afghanistan Supported Airstrikes against al-Qaeda, Taliban." Washington Post, 1 Jan. 2010, A1. []

"The CIA base attacked by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan this week was at the heart of a covert program overseeing strikes by the agency's remote-controlled aircraft along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, officials familiar with the installation said" on 31 December 2009. Drone strikes are continuing, however.

Stolberg, Sheryl Gay, and Mark Mazzetti. "Suicide Bombing Puts a Rare Face on C.I.A.'s Work." New York Times, 7 Jan. 2010. []

Following the suicide bombing at a CIA base in the remote mountains of Afghanistan, "details of the lives of the victims -- five men and two women, including two C.I.A. contractors... -- have begun to trickle out, despite the secretive nature of their work.... Their deaths were a significant blow to the agency, crippling a team responsible for collecting information about militant networks in Afghanistan and Pakistan and plotting missions to kill the networks' top leaders."

Shane, Scott, and Eric Schmitt. "C.I.A. Deaths Prompt Surge in U.S. Drone Strikes." New York Times, 23 Jan. 2010.[]

"Beginning the day after the [30 December 2009] attack on a C.I.A. base in Khost, Afghanistan, the agency has carried out 11 strikes that have killed about 90 people suspected of being militants, according to Pakistani news reports."

DeYoung, Karen. "Afghan Taliban's Second in Command Captured in Karachi." Washington Post, 16 Feb. 2010. []

"The Afghan Taliban's second in command, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, was captured last week in Karachi during a joint operation by Pakistan's intelligence service and the CIA, according to U.S. and Pakistani sources." See also, Mark Mazzetti and Dexter Filkins, "Secret Joint Raid Captures Taliban's Top Commander," New York Times, 16 Feb. 2010.

Filkins, Dexter, and Mark Mazzetti. "Contractors Tied to Effort to Track and Kill Militants." New York Times, 14 Mar. 2010. []

This article quotes "military officials and businessmen in Afghanistan and the United States" for the allegation that Defense Department employee Michael D. Furlong "set up a network of private contractors in Afghanistan and Pakistan to help track and kill suspected militants." The contractors were hired "from private security companies that employed former C.I.A. and Special Forces operatives....

"[S]ome American officials say they became troubled that Mr. Furlong seemed to be running an off-the-books spy operation. The officials say they are not sure who condoned and supervised his work" and that his "secret network might have been improperly financed by diverting money from a program designed to merely gather information about the region.... Officials say Mr. Furlong's operation seems to have been shut down, and he is now is the subject of a criminal investigation by the Defense Department for a number of possible offenses, including contract fraud."

Oppel, Richard A., Jr., and Rod Nordland. "U.S. Is Reining In Special Forces in Afghanistan." New York Times, 15 Mar. 2010. []

U.S. Commander in Afghanistan Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal "has brought most American Special Operations forces under his direct control for the first time, out of concern over continued civilian casualties and disorganization among units in the field.... Previously, Special Operations forces in Afghanistan often had separate chains of command to their own headquarters elsewhere."

DeYoung, Karen. "Pentagon to Investigate Intelligence Unit that Allegedly Used Contractors." Washington Post, 16 Mar. 2010, A4:

On 15 March 2010, "Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman declined to confirm or deny whether a criminal investigation had been opened into activities by Michael D. Furlong, a former Special Operations officer who now works as a senior civilian officer for the Joint Information Operations Warfare Center at Lackland Air Force Base, Tex.... The U.S. Strategic Command, the parent organization of the information operations center, confirmed that Furlong is a full-time civilian employee but did not respond to requests to clarify the nature of his job."

Karen DeYoung, "Defense Official Says Afghan Program Was Authorized," Washington Post, 19 Mar. 2010, A12, adds: In an interview with the San Antonio Express News on 18 March 2010, Furlong said "his now-suspended program ... was requested by Army Gen. David D. McKiernan, the former top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, and approved by the U.S. Central Command." He also "denied misusing any U.S. contract funds."

Whitlock, Craig. "Defense Secretary Orders Review of Military Information Programs." Washington Post, 24 Mar. 2010, A4. []

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said on 23 March 2010 that "Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has ordered a review of the military's information operations programs in response to allegations that private contractors ran an unauthorized spy ring in Afghanistan.... The Defense Department's inspector general and other Pentagon officials have already launched investigations into [Michael D.] Furlong's activities. But Gates wanted a broader review, Morrell said." See also Walter Pincus, "Defense Investigates Information-Operations Contractors," Washington Post, 29 Mar. 2010, A17.

Mazzetti, Mark. "U.S. Is Still Using Private Spy Ring, Despite Doubts." New York Times, 15 May 2010. []

According to American officials and businessmen, "military officials have continued to rely on a secret network of private spies ... inside Afghanistan and Pakistan,... despite concerns among some in the military about the legality of the operation." A review of the program by the New York Times found that the operatives in the contractor network originally set up by Michael D. Furlong "were still providing information using the same intelligence gathering methods as before. The contractors were still being paid under a $22 million contract,... managed by Lockheed Martin and supervised by the Pentagon office in charge of special operations policy."

Return to MI Operations 2010s Table of Contents

Return to MI Operations Table of Contents