Wednesday, February 9, 2011

US Commander Says:- Afghans has Frayed US Special Forces

After nearly 10 years of being at war in Afghanistan and Iraq, a US commander says that the elite troops of US special operations forces are showing signs of fraying.

Despite the increase in the number of special operations forces, they have been asked to do more.

"So we are, frankly, beginning to show some fraying around the edges that we are addressing,” Adm. Eric T. Olson said during a conference in Washington on Tuesday.

"Not on the same scale, but like the rest of the forces, we're seeing the indicators - pressure on duty, pressure off duty,'' he added.

Olson said that the number of operation forces has doubled, reaching 60,000 over the past nine years. However, the number of those deployed overseas has quadrupled, AP reported.

Nearly 3,500 special operations forces are in Iraq, while about 6,500 such forces are in Afghanistan. Altogether, about 12,000 special operations forces are deployed, and those not in Iraq and Afghanistan are scattered in other hotspots around the globe, such as Yemen.

Olson cited an increase in mid-grade forces who have decided to leave service since last year as an indicator of stress and strain.

Roughly 60 percent of the forces have joined after the September 11 attacks, “But what seems good for eight or 10 years, maybe doesn't seem as good looking ahead to 18 or 20 years," Olson said.

The Admiral said that his country's goal should be to secure high quality special operations forces over the next 20 to 30 years.

Olson stated that officials, who are working on creating more programs for wounded and ill service members, are attempting to make working conditions such as unexpected shifts and deployment more predictable. 

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