Attrition: Arab Commando Casualties in Afghanistan

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April 7,2008: One of the best kept secrets in the war on terror is the number of casualties among Arab commando units serving in Afghanistan. Several Arab nations have quietly contributed intelligence and commando units to the counter-terror effort there. This has been kept quiet, but is an open secret in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan. These commandos are usually pretty busy back home, keeping local Islamic radicals in check. But some of their home-grown radicals have shown up in Afghanistan and Pakistan (usually after things got too hot for them back home), and it followed that these Arab governments allowed some of their counter-terror troops to continue the pursuit in the pro-Taliban areas of Afghanistan. Arrangements with the Pakistani government has allowed some of these operatives to work both sides of the border. These Arab counter-terrorists often get a crack at any Arab terrorists caught in Afghanistan, or Pakistan. The combination of interrogation skills, and cultural affinity, sometimes gets results where Western interrogators have failed.

There have been some casualties among the Arab commandos, who take part in combat operations. Those wounded or killed are referred to, if at all, as "international troops." The Arab operatives are eager to serve in Afghanistan, which is seen as the Big Leagues within the commando community. But there's also the self-interest angle. Many Arab counter-terrorist specialists are on al Qaedas hit list, and some of these men even have prices on their heads. So it's sometimes a question of getting the other guy, before he gets you.

 


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