United States terrorist–hunters stretched thin

Polar Bear

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http://www.examiner.com/a-640956~United_States_terrorist_hunters_stretched_thin.html

United States terrorist–hunters stretched thin

WASHINGTON - The demands of two regional wars and other global requirements are stretching the military’s chief terrorist-hunting unit thin.


Much has been said about the Army and Marine Corps being pressed to their breaking points by having to rotate troops in and out of Afghanistan and Iraq for the past four years. President Bush has authorized them both to sign up more recruits to meet future deployments.
But there is another unit under pressure: Joint Special Operations Command, an elite force of Army Delta Force and Navy SEALs who hunt high-value terrorist targets.
The JSOC’s core element at Fort Bragg, N.C., consists of more than 1,000 operators and support personnel, counting a specialized intelligence unit that the Pentagon folded into the command last year.
With a limited number of premier special operators, it has to maintain a constant presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, and be ready to handle major emergencies, such as a crisis in a nuclear-armed country.
A military officer assigned to the U.S. special operations community said Afghanistan pays the price. The JSOC once maintained robust presents of more than 100 “shooters,” plus large contingent of Army Rangers. Rangers are the JSOC’s so-called “Tier 2” element periodically assigned to the group. Today, the officer said, there are typically just 30 SEALs, backed by 100 Rangers assigned to the JSOC in Afghanistan.
There are two main reasons for the reduced numbers.
First, many of the top targets in the Afghanistan theater, such as Osama bin Laden and his No. 2, Ayman Zawahiri, are across the border in Pakistan’s tribal regions. The JSOC can’t operate there routinely. The CIA and its paramilitary force do most of the terrorist-hunting there.
“The JSOC footprint in Afghanistan is tiny,” the military officer said. “Almost everything goes to Iraq.”
The war in Iraq is putting the most strains on JSOC forces. The country has a long list of high-value targets to chase down who belong to al-Qaida in Iraq and various Iraqi insurgent groups. The JSOC’s most famous kill came last June when it located al-Qaida’s leader in Iraq, Abu Musab Zarqawi, near Baquba. An Air Force F-16 strike killed him.
The JSOC’s Iraq contingent includes 120 Delta Force soldiers and 120 Navy SEALs, augmented by 800 Rangers, according to the military officer, who asked to remain anonymous in this story. Plus, the counterterrorism unit’s Iraq headquarters has more than 100 operators from a secret spy organization known as Task Force Orange.
Spokesmen for U.S. Special Operations Command, which oversees the JSOC, do not discuss the unit’s numbers or budgets.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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WTF? OPSEC bitches, OPSEC. What type of assclown even writes a story like this?:mad:

I shouldn't be surprised, I know.
 
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