October 9, 2009 |
SEOUL -- North Korea has massively increased its special operations forces, schooled them in the use of Iraqi-style roadside bombs and equipped them to sneak past the heavily fortified border that divides the two Koreas. By expanding what was already the world's largest special operations force, the North appears to be adding commando teeth to what, in essence, is a defensive military strategy. The cash-strapped government of Kim Jong Il, which struggles to maintain and buy fuel for its aging tanks and armor, has concluded it...
March 24, 2011 |
MOSUL, Iraq — Several nights a week, Iraqi and U.S. special forces operatives head out in Humvees or Black Hawk helicopters to arrest extremists in the most volatile region of Iraq. After years of training with their U.S. counterparts, the black-clad Iraqi forces are taking the lead, busting in doors and arresting suspects while their American advisers monitor the mission. The United States has its own counterterrorism force on the ground here, and its work has remained a priority even as the number of...
February 24, 2013 |
KABUL — Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday ordered all U.S. Special Forces to leave a strategically important province in two weeks, alleging that they have been involved in the torture and murder of "innocent people. " A presidential office statement that followed a meeting of Afghanistan's National Security Council also said Special Forces operations had to stop immediately in Wardak province west of Kabul, a hub counterinsurgency operations. The action comes after...
February 25, 2013 |
KABUL — Afghan officials said Monday they demanded the pullout of U.S. Special Operations forces from an insurgency-wracked province because the U.S.-backed NATO command here for months has ignored residents' allegations of severe abuses committed by the elite American troops and armed Afghan irregulars working with them. But NATO said its past inquiries found no evidence to support allegations of misconduct by U.S. Special Operations forces in Wardak province,...
January 23, 2013 |
Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta announced Thursday a lifting of the ban on female service members in combat roles, a watershed policy change that was informed by women's valor in Iraq and Afghanistan and that removes the remaining barrier to a fully inclusive military, defense officials said. Panetta made the decision "upon the recommendation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff," a senior defense official said Wednesday, an assertion that stunned female veteran activists who said they assumed that the brass was...
April 11, 2013 |
What does it mean when the U.S. Special Operations Command continues to grow in the new Defense Department fiscal 2014 budget while the individual services face additional reductions? SOCOM growth isn't just in dollars. The Tampa-based command is gaining new authority and acquiring additional roles both abroad and here at home. The SOCOM commander, Adm. William H. McRaven, told the Senate Armed Services emerging threats subcommittee Tuesday, "On any day of the year you will find special operations forces [in]