US special forces chiefs seek balanced Afghan drawdown

September 23, 2011 02:10

WASHINGTON - Military chiefs planning the US troop draw down in Afghanistan must be careful not to undercut special operations forces by removing too many of the regular units that support them, leaders of the elite service said on Thursday.

Admiral William McRaven, head of US Special Operations Command, told a House of Representatives panel his force was heavily dependent on other military services to provide logistics, intelligence, reconnaissance and other support.

"Consequently, as we look at the draw down in Afghanistan, ... we need to make sure the appropriate infrastructure and enablers remain in place to make SOF (Special Operations Forces) as effective as possible on that battlefield," McRaven told a House Armed Services subcommittee.

Special operators, like those involved in the raid into Pakistan that killed alQaida leader Osama bin Laden, are involved in targeted attacks on the Taliban's leadership and are likely to be among the last to leave Afghanistan.

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