Afghanistan: “The Commando Olympics”?From Strategypage.com:
“Unleashing Special Forces In Afghanistan”
Most Americans tend to forget that the U.S. Army Special Forces are a unique organization in military, and intelligence, history. No other nation has anything like the Special Forces, and never had. The idea of training thousands of troops to very high standards, then having them study foreign languages and cultures, is unique to the Special Forces.
(Actually, this is not true – whilst many Americans believe that their Special Forces are totally unique, the truth is that they aren’t. That’s not to disrespect the US Army SF – far from it, and they’d be the first to confirm that many of their global counter-parts are also top-notch and often possess skills and/or experience that add to and compliment their own. The author of that story also has obviously forgot – or ignored – that the US Army Special Forces was founded upon the lessons and experiences of such WWII forces as the British SAS, SOE and No.10 Inter-Allied Commando, the European Resistance movement, the Jedburgh teams and the Office of Strategic Services. Part of what makes any nation’s forces worthy of being called “Special Forces” is the additional language, cultural and psychological skills that enable them to operate effectively for extended periods of time behind the lines and amongst the locals. Strike-Hold!)
The war on terror is the kind of war Special Forces are perfectly suited to dealing with. But because of decades of operating independently, the Special Forces troops tended to operate on their own, with infrequent collaboration with regular army (or marine) troops. Many in the Special Forces and regular forces have urged that there be more operations featuring closer cooperation and coordination between Special Forces and the more traditional combat troops. It’s expected that this will now be happening in Afghanistan.
In addition, Special Forces (and special operations troops in general) will get more resources. This is part of a trend, as commanders have found that efforts are more successful when Special Forces personnel are taking the point. This has led to some special operations troops getting special privileges, like wider authority to call in artillery fire and air strikes. Thus this “unleashing” of the Special Forces and other special ops units (SEALs and foreign commandos) will lead to some interesting situations.