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Spec-Ops School: The Time Has Come for a Manhunting Agency

I wrote today about the problems inherent with ad-hoc relationships between civilians and military officers during wartime, but I confess I didn’t think about another, more problematic ad-hoc arrangement — the dangers of treating global manhunts like a deadly game of pick-up basketball. I swear to God I’m serious.

Noah Shachtman at Danger Room has come across a proposal emerging from the Joint Special Operations University that has to be seen to be believed. Noah:

CIA director Leon Panetta got into hot water with Congress, after he revealed an agency program to hunt down and kill terrorists. A recent report from the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations University argues that the CIA didn’t go far enough. Instead, the American government should set up something like a “National Manhunting Agency” to go after jihadists, drug dealers, pirates, and other enemies of the state.

America’s military, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies already devote thousands of people and billions of dollars to tracking down top terrorists and insurgents. But even the most successful of these efforts — like going after Iraqi militant leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — have been “ad hoc” efforts, with units cobbled together from different corners of the government. Report author and retired Lt. Col. George Crawford instead would like to see a permanent group with clear authority, training, doctrine and technology to go after these dangerous individuals. These “manhunting teams would be standing formations, trained to pursue their designated quarry relentlessly for as long as required to accomplish the mission,” he writes.

The director of this agency, of course, has to be Gary Busey.

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