November 17th, 2013
11:18 AM ET

Commander: U.S. to help train Libyan forces

By CNN's Barbara Starr and Joe Sterling

Libya and its fledgling security forces, overwhelmed by militia violence and unrest since the overthrow of dictator Moammar Gadhafi two years ago, are going to get some help from the U.S. military, a top American commander said.

Adm. William McRaven, head of the U.S. Special Operations Command, said Saturday the United States will train 5,000 to 7,000 conventional troops as well as counterterrorism forces.

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November 5th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

Iron Man suit, from the silver screen to the battlefield

By Larry Shaughnessy

A U.S. Special Operations soldier kicks in the door of a terrorist safe house.  The bad guys open fire with AK-47s, but the bullets just bounce off the soldier as he fires back.

It’s a scene that easily could have been included in any of the hugely successful “Iron Man” movies, but the man who runs U.S. Special Forces Command, Adm. William McRaven, wants to make it reality, and soon.

McRaven gave the green light to what the Pentagon officially calls a Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, but everyone refers to it colloquially as “The Iron Man suit.”

McRaven recently spoke about losing a special operator in Afghanistan. "I would like that last operator to be the last one we ever lose," he said.
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Navy Seals: A battle for the conscience
Active duty Navy SEALS at February premiere of "Act of Valor"
September 6th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Navy Seals: A battle for the conscience

By Barbara Starr

(CNN) - Deep inside the military's special operations forces there is a crisis of conscience unfolding. The publication of "No Easy Day," a former Navy SEAL's account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, is forcing many to rethink a fundamental point of military honor. How much should America's commandos talk about what they do?

It's a debate that goes beyond disclosure of classified information, which is a crime. The discussion now centers on honor, ethics and cultural values inside the ranks.

"This is a battle for the conscience of the SEALs," a recently retired senior SEAL told me.

He served for decades in operational positions in the force, and has never told me any of the details of his missions. For years he did what every SEAL has done: Go on raids, find targets and, if necessary, kill them. It's what the nation asks of them.

Buzz ramps up over SEAL's bin Laden book

The question now: Is the SEAL community taking that Tom Clancy superman image and turning it into celebrity? "Was No Easy Day" indeed that last straw?

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Pentagon: SEAL's book has classified info, didn't follow protocol
"No Easy Day" written by a former US Navy SEAL details the raid on the Osama bin Laden compound
September 4th, 2012
04:15 PM ET

Pentagon: SEAL's book has classified info, didn't follow protocol

By Barbara Starr

A Pentagon official said Tuesday that a former Navy SEAL who helped kill Osama bin Laden included classified material in his new book and did not follow protocol for pre-publication review.

On the same day the much-anticipated memoir hit book shelves, CNN obtained a copy of message written by the SEALs' commander to members of his unit.

In it, Rear Adm. Sean Pybus, head of the Naval Special Warfare Command, said he was "disappointed, embarrassed and concerned" that troops are now openly speaking and writing about their secret work.

Pre-orders put the book at No. 1 on Amazon's bestseller list for two weeks.

But the Pentagon was not as as eager to see the release of "No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden."

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July 26th, 2012
02:09 AM ET

McRaven on bin Laden raid: One of history's "great intelligence operations"

To watch more of Wolf Blitzer’s interview with Admiral William McRaven, tune to “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” on CNN Thursday 4-7pm ET and Saturday 6-7pm ET. 

By Jamie Crawford

While it was one of 11 missions carried out by U.S. special forces that night, the head of U.S. Special Operations command said the raid that killed Osama bin Laden will go down as one of the "great intelligence operations in history."

Admiral William McRaven spoke Wednesday before an audience at the Aspen Institute Security Conference on a panel discussion moderated by CNN's Wolf Blitzer. The talk was his first interview about the raid with a journalist.

McRaven also touched on some of the other pressing issues facing the U.S. military in the discussion that ranged from serious to light-hearted.

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