McChrystal Reins In Special Ops to Cut Casualties

Some units weren't making saving Afghan lives high priority
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser User
Posted Mar 16, 2010 7:08 AM CDT
Gen. Stanley McChrystal aims to reduce civilian casualties in Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Jim WATSON, Pool)

(Newser) – Worried about civilian casualties in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal has decided to bring Special Operations forces under his direct control. The top American commander is said to have been concerned that some units weren't following his orders to make cutting civilian casualties top priority. “These special forces were not accountable to anyone in the country," an Afghan spokesman tells the New York Times. "it was muddled and unclear who was in charge.”

Critics of the Afghan mission say special ops are behind a disproportionate number of civilian deaths. “You won’t believe how focused on these issues this command is," a NATO rep says. Previously, some special forces had separate chains of command. A small number of Special Operations forces, such as the Army’s Delta Force and the Navy’s Seals will be exempted from the plan.

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