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Special Operations: March 4, 2005
Without much, if any, publicity, several Gulf States (Oman, Emirates, Bahrain, etc.) have sent some of their SOF (Special Operations Forces; commandoes) to Afghanistan to work with coalition forces. For several years, between 100-200 of these troops have been on duty there, quietly rotating contingents in and out. Al Qaeda and the Taliban know about it, as does the Afghan government. The Islamic radicals have not publicized this involvement, perhaps feeling that it would hurt them more, to publicize that Arab soldiers are fighting them, than to make a fuss about Arab soldiers fighting alongside infidels (non-Moslems.) Many of these Arab operators were trained by American and British commandoes and are considered very good. In their home countries, they are used to hunt down local terrorists, which is one reason you dont find many Islamic terrorists in the Gulf States. The Arab commandoes know how to work the tribal and family angles to get information without violence. American Special Forces specialize in teaching this approach, which is considered a traditional method of dealing with violent radicals in Arab countries. The Arab commandoes are probably also used to interrogate Arab Islamic radicals captured in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Every month, a few more of these guys are picked up, and someone from their home country could get something out of them more quickly.