US Commandos Participate in Thousands of Afghan Ground Operations

Over 2,000 Operations in the Past Six Months

The announced escalation of the US war in Afghanistan, now over 16 years in, looks to be heavily centered on special forces so far, with the most recent report to Congress revealing a massive number of special forces operations participated in.

Over the last six months, US commanders were in over 2,000 ground operations across Afghanistan. Nominally this is presented as “advise and assist,” but special forces embedded with Afghan troops are generally speaking frontline combat forces.

1,644 of the operations were against the Taliban, with 420 against ISIS, 34 against the “Haqqani network,” and the other 43 against unspecified “enemy” forces inside Afghanistan. It’s not clear who those other people are.

The report suggest Afghan security forces conducted 2,628 operations total, meaning over 80% of their operations involved them being escorted by US special forces.With more and more US troops being sent to Afghanistan, that trend will likely continue going forward.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for 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.