Iraq withdrawal raises concerns for elite forces

WASHINGTON (AP) - Military officials are expressing concerns
about the level of support that elite, anti-terror units like the
Green Berets will have in Iraq once other U.S. combat troops leave.

Special operations forces are scattered across Iraq.

They generally carry out the more secretive missions, pursuing al-Qaida and other terrorist suspects.

They rely on the larger, conventional military units to fuel
helicopters, fix their trucks and get them from place to place.

There are currently 140,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, including up to
5,000 special ops troops.

Among them are the Army Green Berets and Rangers, Navy SEALS and Marine and Air Force units.

In announcing withdrawal plans, President Barack Obama said as
many as 50,000 troops could stay in Iraq until the end of 2011.

Pentagon officials say support for special ops units will be part
of the equation as they work out the structure of the remaining
force.


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