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Special Forces

May 22, 2008 | Julian E. Barnes, Times Staff Writer
Outlining a more detailed version of America's endgame in Iraq, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Wednesday that as conventional forces slowly withdraw, U.S. special operations units will continue to "hunt and kill" militants and help train Iraqis. The special operations forces play a central role in Iraq and Afghanistan and are the "connective tissue" between the different military missions, Gates said.
January 20, 2002 | From Associated Press
Philippine troops have set up a jungle camp for U.S. Special Forces who will train local soldiers in missions designed to wipe out a Muslim extremist group linked to Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda terrorist network, a military spokesman said Saturday. The "forward base" is on the southern island of Basilan, where the Abu Sayyaf guerrillas are holding an American couple hostage, said Capt. Noel Detoyato of the Philippine military.
June 26, 2003
Re "Secret Soldiers," Opinion, June 22: Secrecy and accountability are one thing, but the mission is another. The U.S. Special Forces have accomplished their tasks well, but other units could have done as well (albeit with more troops). The fallout from assigning Special Forces, instead of regular units, as a "lighter, faster" force is twofold. First, the Special Forces failed in some of their primary missions, most notably to quickly find and make ineffective the enemy's leadership.
May 30, 2004 | From Associated Press
Four members of the American special operations forces were killed in action in a southern Afghan province at the heart of a stubborn Taliban-led insurgency, the U.S. military said today. The troops died Saturday in Zabol province, about 240 miles southwest of the capital, Kabul, military spokeswoman Master Sgt. Cindy Beam said in an e-mail statement. She gave no details of how they were killed. "Four U.S.
January 17, 2004 | Greg Miller, Times Staff Writer
The increasing collaboration between U.S. special forces units and CIA paramilitary teams is "fraught with danger" because of fundamental differences in the two groups' missions and legal authorities, according to a report published by the U.S. Army War College. The study points to potential problems with America's growing reliance on CIA and military teams operating together in covert settings.
A Kuwait army brigade overrun three months ago by Iraqi invaders is being trained by U.S. Special Forces advisers in preparation for a second chance against their Arab neighbor. Officers of the unit, which fled Kuwait after nine hours of combat, said they are being tutored in identifying Iraqi armor, using hand-held anti-tank missiles, interrogating prisoners and calling in air strikes. "They teach us how to kill tanks," said one Kuwaiti commander, who identified himself only as Capt. Ali.
September 24, 2006 | Kevin Sack and Craig Pyes, Special to The Times
GARDEZ, Afghanistan -- After completing their deployment to this remote firebase, the Green Berets of ODA 2021 left for home covered in glory. The 10-member Special Forces team, part of the Alabama National Guard, returned to their families in the spring of 2003 with tales to tell of frenzied firefights and narrow escapes. Its commander had nominated each of his men -- as well as himself -- for medals for valor.
September 25, 2006 | Craig Pyes and Kevin Sack, Special to The Times
WAZI, Afghanistan -- The Green Berets of ODA 2021 were on high alert as their convoy rumbled down the winding, rutted road that day in March 2003. The team had been tipped that armed men loyal to the notoriously volatile warlord Pacha Khan Zadran lay in wait around the bend. As they approached this mountain village in eastern Afghanistan, the Americans spied the warlord's fighters high on a ridge to their right. They scrambled for cover behind their trucks and Humvees.
Although retired Army Col. Aaron Bank never completed his most important mission--a top-secret 1945 assignment to kidnap Adolf Hitler in Austria--today the 94-year-old founder of the Green Berets is still a hero among members of the Army Special Forces Command. "Col. Bank is the father of the Special Forces," said Carol Jones, a representative for the command at Fort Bragg, N.C. "He is the cornerstone of our Special Forces heritage."
January 26, 2007 | Kevin Sack and Craig Pyes, Special to The Times
Army criminal investigators have concluded there is probable cause to believe that two soldiers committed assault in the handling of detainees at a Special Forces firebase in Afghanistan in March 2003. The case stems from reports of torture and the death of a detainee that had been concealed from military authorities until disclosed by The Times in 2004.
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