Biometrics in Afghanistan
COIN: Dr. Kilcullen on SWJ

Non-Mastermind of Col Nick Rowe's killing scarfed up

Nickrowe I always hate when they call criminals or terrorists masterminds; it is a grotesquely inflated title for someone who would more properly be called a treacherous bastard. If you want to see some master minding, turn a couple of our Spec Ops types loose with the same rules the terrorists play by and $50 seed money. You would watch selected parts of the Middle East spontaneously discombobulate all the while receiving hourly updates from poolside at an undisclosed, 5 star location. It is criminally easy to be a criminal.

So they caught the murderous thug responsible for ordering the assassination of Col. Nick Rowe (pic from Vietnam), and others as Wretchard notes. Col Rowe is an icon in the Special Forces community, first for his actions detailed in Five Years to Freedom, likely the most compelling of many stories of horrifying torture and finally escape from North Vietnamese prisons, then later as a very successful liaison to the Filipino government. So much so that the New People's Army, a communist terror group, had him killed on his way to work.

I was in the PI the day he was killed April 21, 1989.

Nick Rowe was a tremendous example of a Spec Ops warrior and I met him about two weeks before he was killed as we began our work with the Filipino Army on my first SF deployment. Here is what happened:

We had a lot of coordination to do prior to heading for the sticks to train the Filipino Army. He showed up to make sure all went smooth and we had several chances to enjoy BBQ style festivities with him. Later during that trip, the New People's Army (NPA) assassinated Col. Nick Rowe, the US Army Special Ops liaison to the Philippines.

His death set every one off at our camp. There was no way we were going to let them get away with that shite. Shortly after the incident a Filipino Special Forces officer, that members of my team had a long and good relationship with, came by and told us they had located an element of the NPA and were leaving that evening to go get them. We were invited because they knew we wanted to go even though it violated the Filipino Constitution and every letter of our orders to have us involved in combat operations. Neither they nor we really cared much about that restriction at that point. We said we definitely wanted to go and began getting our gear together. We packed and loaded up in a deuce and a half and were heading out of our compound when SGM P came barreling toward us and stopped the vehicle. He screamed, "Where in the expletive deleted do you idiots think you're going?" Since it was kind of hard to say we were going bowling with all our guns and ammo we were stone busted. He confiscated everything but our side arms and sent us back to our hooch. The Filipino SF faced no such restriction and we eventually saw the photos from that mission where 21 NPA terrorists were killed. Man I love dead tangos.

Blue Skies to Col. Nick Rowe and all victims of terror around the world.