NATO: Afghanistan raids by U.S. commandos nearly triple since '09
U.S. forces in Afghanistan have almost tripled the frequency of commando raids launched against Taliban or insurgent groups since 2009, according to NATO figures cited in a report by Bloomberg.
From Jan. 1 through this week, the U.S. -- with Afghanistan and NATO assistance -- has launched 1,879 missions, with 916 “targets” killed or captured, Bloomberg reported, citing the alliance.
That compares with 1,780 missions for all of last year, with 825 targets killed or captured, and 675 missions in 2009, when 306 adversaries were killed or captured, U.S. Army Maj. Jason Waggoner, a NATO spokesman, was quoted as saying by Bloomberg.
About 7,000 of the 61,000 personnel under the U.S. Special Operations Command are in Afghanistan today, Bloomberg noted.
Interest in U.S. special operations forces in Afghanistan has escalated since a U.S. CH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down Aug. 6, killing the 30 U.S. personnel aboard -- 17 Navy SEALs, five sailors assigned to SEAL units, five Army pilots and three Air Force special tactics commandos, Bloomberg reported. The crash also killed an interpreter and seven Afghan troops.
The increased missions are also the product of better coordination between the intelligence and commando communities, highlighted by the May 1 raid that killed Osama bin Laden.