US Special Forces to take lead in Afghanistan strategy shift

Special Operations forces will become the primary United States military tool to continue the hunt for insurgent leaders and to train local troops to assist in those and other missions as the U.S. winds down its combat role in Afghanistan, reports the New York Times.

Under an emerging plan, thousands of U.S. Special Operations forces would stay in Afghanistan as U.S. conventional forces withdraw, and would remain in the country well beyond the end of the NATO mission, which is scheduled to conclude in late 2014, according to Defense Department officials and military officers. For the most part, Army Special Forces, the Green Berets, would handle the training, while Special Forces commando units would pursue insurgent targets.

The plan is noticeably different from the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq where both conventional and Special Forces were withdrawn at the same time. 

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