Marines: February 24, 2003



Although the Navy SEAL commandos are trained mainly for amphibious operations, they proved in Afghanistan that they are very effective in mountains or when landed via helicopters. Because of the post-Vietnam prejudice against Special Forces (including all commandos, meaning SEALs as well), SEALs were not used much during the 1991 Gulf War. Much has changed since then. The old distaste among the brass for commandos has dissipated. This was actually a dislike for commandos that went back to World War II, when most military leaders, especially American ones, simply didn't understand what commandos could do or how to use them. This has changed in the last decade, as the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has made a major effort to educate all the generals and admirals about what commandos are capable of. The success of commandos in Afghanistan was a test the special operations troops passed. Now, over a hundred SEALs are preparing for operations in the Persian Gulf. In addition, the SEALs are being used to crack down on Iraqs increasing efforts to smuggle oil out and forbidden goods in. While Iraq doesn't have much of a coastline, there are plenty of military targets close to the Persian Gulf in southern Iraq and the SEALs appear to be training to go after them. This would free up the Army Special Forces and Delta Force for operations in the rest of Iraq.