Revamped US strategy may see special operations troops step up action in Afghanistan

June 29th, 2010 - 3:19 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Washington, June 29 (ANI): With the appointment of Central Command chief General David Petraeus as the commander of the Afghan war, US special operations troops stationed in that country are likely to step up a campaign to kill or capture Taliban leaders to show progress in the nine year old ‘war on terror’.

Senior US officials claimed that over 186 insurgents leaders have either been killed or detained during operations conducted by special operations troops and an additional 925 lower level fighters have been nabbed in the last 100 days.

Considering the recent remarks of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief Leon Panetta that the war in Afghanistan has been “harder” and “slower” than expected, these stats mark a rare success for the allied troops in the war.

The operations have been most effective in and around the southern city of Kandahar and in eastern Afghanistan, according to American military officials, who requested anonymity, The Los Angeles Times reports.

The success of the special troops also supports Vice-President Joie Biden’s contention, who had called for more reliance on these specially trained army units.

Biden had argued for shrinking the U.S. effort and relying largely on special operations troops and airstrikes to disrupt the Taliban and Al Qaeda network in the war torn country.

Petraeus, however, argues that special operations troops are just one tool, though a highly effective one, in fighting an insurgency, the paper added.

Officials said that Petraeus would try to quickly reverse the perception that the Afghanistan war is going badly.

“When he appears before the Senate for a hearing on his nomination to lead the allied war effort in Afghanistan, he is likely to emphasize recent successes by special operations forces,” one of Petraeus’ close aide said.

“Trumpeting the successes of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) operations, Afghan operations, should be part of the strategy,” added Peter Mansoor, who served as Petraeus’ executive officer in Iraq.

The strategy is clearly to knock the Taliban back, but if you don’t show the world that is happening, what is the use?” Mansoor underlined. (ANI)

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