Afghanistan: July 5, 2005


Two more members of the four man SEAL team missing in southern Afghanistan, were found dead. One has been rescued and one is still missing. These recon missions are one of the more common chores for American commandoes. The U.S. Army Special Forces pioneered the development of tactics and equipment for this sort of thing. Thousands of such missions were run during the Vietnam war, and casualties were high. The Vietnamese era SOG (Special Operations Group) commandoes lost over 300 dead during seven years of operations in Laos and Cambodia. Such has not been the case in Afghanistan, where better trained and equipped American commandoes have run these recon missions with far fewer casualties. But there are casualties, and because they are so few, they get more publicity. In nearly four years of operations in Afghanistan, American commandoes have lost fewer than twenty troops in the dangerous recon missions, which employ small groups of men (usually four) to sneak around hostile territory, looking for, or keeping an eye on, enemy troops. 


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