In a previous post, one which dealt with General Abizaid’s visit to the Middle East in July, there was a briefing in Kabul. There, the General was informed about a request for a U.S. military police battalion. Soldier-like, the Genral responded: “Bulls—! The alliance needs to start acting like an alliance.” He wants the NATO team to “have more than an American and British face.”
Hmm…some big ears in Denmark must have been listening.
In what has been termed a “Commandogram from Denmark”, Danish special forces at home have requested to be sent to Afghanistan to support their fellow-soldiers currently serving as part of the NATO alliance which has taken over counter-terrorism efforts in that country.
Thus, at the behest of the men themselves, Denmark is sending a team of its Jægerkorpset (JGK) commandos to Afghanistan. Danish troops there as part of the NATO alliance already number about three hundred strong. Recently they have come under heavy fire from the local Taliban. The seventy or so commandos will take on the local terrorists to protect the Danes’ position.
The Taliban are fighting a war of attrition. They figure if they can kill enough NATO troops, that like the Russians, the NATO alliance will cave. While that’s not going to happen, counter-terrorism duty is tough. The Danish base has been attacked over fifty times this season (the Taliban hole up for the winter) and eight soldiers have been wounded. So the Jægerkorpset figures it will set things straight:
The Danish special forces have been in Afghanistan before, as have those from most nations in the world that have special operations troops. Apparently the Jægerkorpset convinced their superiors that a few Danish commandos, with some knowledge of operating in Afghanistan, could go in and clean out the local Taliban forces that are attacking the Danish troops.
The JGK is a tough group, as are all special forces teams. Here’s how they are chosen, a process that begins with self-selection:
The selection course to becoming a Jægersoldat (a member of Jægerkorpset) is extremely difficult. For a trooper to be accepted into the course, he must complete a shortened Patruljekursus (“Patrol Course”) of eight days in length, instead of the original eight weeks. He also has to be at least a Sergeant. The course focuses primarily on navigation and orientation skills. If this course is passed with a grade of “very satisfactory” (equal to 4 on a 1-5 scale), the applicant can then proceed to the Patrol Course. The Patrol Course lasts eight weeks; only if it is completed with the grade of “very satisfactory” can the applicant be part of the Aspirantkursus (“Aspirant Course”). If this is completed the applicant is considered “one of the family”, and placed on a “tryout” period of 11/2 years.
As a rule of thumb, only one or two out of each 100 applicants to the Patrol Course become members of the Corps.
As the Strategy Page noted —
The Jægerkorpset troops will have the benefit of American special forces in the area, who probably already have a good idea of which tribal groups are responsible for the attacks. The Jægerkorpset troops will have to go in and do some scouting, to identify exactly who is carrying out they attacks. At that point, the Jægerkorpset will probably ambush the Taliban and kill or capture them. Any who get away will most likely advise their friends that Danish troops be removed from the Taliban hit list.
The JGK has served in Afghanistan before, so they won’t need much help. Once they’re up to speed on the local situation, the Danish troops will be safer.
And the multi-faceted portrait of the NATO alliance which General Abizaid wants to see will bear strong Danish features.