End of Surge Means Escalation of Special Forces Attacks in Afghanistan

Commando Raids Part of 'Long-Term' Strategy

Commando raids on Afghan towns carried out by US Special Forces and, in particular, the return of night raids in a big way, is the latest idea in the ongoing Afghan War, according to officials familiar with the plans for post-surge warfighting.

With the surge troops gone and the remaining ground troops trying to play a less public role in the conflict, in the name of selling a “transition” to Afghan control, the US is planning its attacks to be more covert, centering on special forces missions.

“Nothing is absolute, but we anticipate being here for the long haul,” insisted Lt. Col. Todd Harrell, the spokesman for the Special Operations Joint Task Forces Afghanistan mission. Afghan officials refused to comment on the idea that the special forces would remain beyond 2014.

Navy SEALs dismissed the idea of the attacks spawning more Taliban retaliation, saying “they talk a big game on the radio, but they probably won’t do anything.” The estimation of Taliban tactics is difficult to put much stock in after 11 years of failed strategies, however.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.