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US Considers Sending Special Ops to Afghanistan - Peter Spiegel, Los Angeles Times
In a sign that the US military is scaling back its goals in Afghanistan, senior Pentagon officials are weighing controversial proposals to send additional teams of highly trained special operations forces to narrowly target the most violent insurgent bands in the country.
The proposals are part of an acknowledgment among senior brass that a large-scale influx of conventional forces is unlikely in the near future because of troop commitments in Iraq. It also reflects the urgency to take some action to reverse recent setbacks in Afghanistan.
The idea of sending more special forces has intensified the debate over the best way to fight the war in Afghanistan. As security worsens in the country, many military leaders are increasingly arguing that an Iraq-style troop "surge" and counterinsurgency plan would not work because of the country's rugged geography and a history of resistance to rule from Kabul.
Unlike Iraq, where large portions of the population are urbanized in the wide, flat plains of the Tigris and Euphrates river valleys, much of Afghanistan is mountainous and dotted with remote villages that are hard to reach with large bodies of conventional forces, several Pentagon officials involved in the Afghanistan strategy review said.
More at The Los Angeles Times.