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a “manhunting” agency?

November 4, 2009

munich_01_02_2006Someone at the Pentagon thinks the operations in Steven Spielberg’s “Munich” were based in reality – and now proposes the creation of a US version of Eric Bana’s fictional team:

A recent report from the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations University argues that the CIA didn’t go far enough. Instead, it suggests 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.

Sometimes, that will mean operating “in uncooperative countries.” In those cases, the teams must be prepared “to act unilaterally, with no support or coordination with local authorities, in a manner similar to that employed by Israel’s Avner team in response to the Munich Olympics massacre.” (That was the controversial unit, fictionalized in Steven Spielberg’s movie, that allegedly roamed the world, assassinating Palestinian militants in response to the 1972 Olympic attack.)

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