Top special ops nominee defends night raids in Afghan war

Soldiers from Company H, 3rd Squadron, 2nd Striker Cavalry Regiment, prepare to raid a series of compounds in the Maywand District of Afghanistan, on Nov. 22, 2010.


By Published: June 29, 2011

In spite of the criticism against U.S. and NATO forces' use of night raids in Afghanistan, the man tapped to be the next head of Special Operations Command defended the practice during testimony before Congress, the National Journal reports.

Vice Adm. William McRaven, the man who commanded the operation that kill Osama bin Laden in May, told lawmakers that the missions, typically carried out by special forces, often are misconstrued as violent, the journal reports. President Obama has nominated McRaven for the top special operations spot.

The use of night raids has been controversial and has drawn the ire of Afghan president Hamid Karzai, who repeatedly has called for U.S. and NATO forces to stop conducting such missions.

In 2010, then-Gen. Stanley McChrystal put NATO and U.S. troops in Afghanistan under new orders to refrain from night raids whenever it’s not absolutely merited. Gen. David Petraeus reinstated more use of night raids when he took over as commander.

McRaven said ending night raids in the Afghan war, written about in the National Journal, would be detrimental to missions.