Head of U.S. special forces says alliances needed to fight extremism

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OTTAWA - The head of American special forces says the U.S. cannot address all of the emerging challenges by itself and is relying on allies, such as Canada, to help deal with flashpoints around the world.

Admiral Bill McRaven says Washington does not have the fiscal capacity, the manpower or the resources to fight extremism alone — and no other country does, either.

McRaven's pitch for closer co-operation among nations with special operations units is likely to receive a cool reception in Ottawa.

The Harper government has taken pains recently to make clear it will not commit combat troops — commandos or otherwise — to the world's trouble spots, such as Mali.

McRaven says his speech today to the Conference of Defence Associations annual meeting was not aimed at Canada, or intended to be political.

Geographic location: U.S., OTTAWA, Canada Washington Mali

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