Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Growing Role Of U.S. Special Forces In The Middle East

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to commanders and coalition representatives during a visit to U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, U.S., February 6, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Fritz Lodge, Cipher Brief: U.S. Special Operations Forces’ Changing Mission in the Middle East

Despite former President Barack Obama’s efforts to cut U.S. military commitments in the Middle East, events quickly drew his Administration back into the region. Civil war in Syria, Libya, Yemen, and, particularly, ISIS’s 2014 expansion into Iraq combined to keep Washington militarily involved the region.

The nature of this involvement has changed significantly, though. Rather than commit regular troops, the U.S. has increasingly relied on elite special operations forces (SOF) to accomplish its goals. In Syria alone, SOF deployments have grown steadily from roughly 300 in early 2016 to over 700 today, and reports suggest further increases as the Trump Administration ramps up its anti-ISIS strategy.

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WNU Editor: I expect this role to expand under the Trump administration.

Hat tip Fred from Good Shit for this link.

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