Elite US Forces Take Bigger Role in Afghanistan

Navy Seals, Army's Delta Force make gains against top militants
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2009 12:54 PM CST
Marines take part in a mission in the Garmsir district of Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2009.   (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)

(Newser) – Elite US military units are taking on a larger role in the hunt for the most dangerous Taliban militants in Afghanistan. Navy Seals and the Army's Delta Force have had enough success over the past few months that their operations will be expanded next year, reports the New York Times. US commanders say the special ops forces carry out some of the risky and crucial missions in the country.

Specifically, the commandos have made gains against the network of Sirajuddin Haqqani, described by Eric Schmitt of the Times as the most powerful Taliban in eastern Afghanistan. The units' missions are vital in buying time for the buildup of conventional forces and the training of Afghan troops. “They are extremely effective in the areas where we are focused,” said one US official.
(Read more Afghanistan war stories.)

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