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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 04:15 AM
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Iraq pullout raises concerns for elite forces
Iraq pullout raises concerns for elite forces
By Lolita C. Baldor - The Associated Press
Posted : Friday Mar 6, 2009 15:40:20 EST

WASHINGTON As the U.S. readies the pullout of its major combat units from Iraq, officials are concerned that the Pentagons Green Berets and other elite anti-terror warriors staying behind wont have the helicopters, equipment and other logistical support they need.

The uniquely trained special operations forces are scattered across Iraq, generally carrying out the more secretive missions, pursuing al-Qaida and other terrorist suspects. As they do that, they must rely on their brethren in larger, conventional military units to fuel their helicopters, fix their trucks, transport them from place to place and provide them with the support troops they need and even the food they eat.

Those support systems, however, will begin to drop off as combat brigades begin leaving Iraq later this year and are not replaced.

The guys on the ground are concerned, said Roger Carstens, a retired Army Special Forces officer now with the Center for a New American Security. Theyre not sure how this is going to play out. Everyone is worried and all theyre trying to do is raise their hand early in the game before it happens.

Military officials say theyre aware that the special operations troops will stay and expect their needs will be met. But there are no clear answers on how that will be done, or on whether the military can support spread-out special operations forces or would require that they be consolidated.

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