The admiral tapped to be the new commander of U.S. special operations forces says a small commando force should remain in Iraq after the end of the year, when all American troops are scheduled to leave.

Vice Adm. William McRaven is telling a Senate committee Tuesday that while Iraqi leaders have not formally asked for some U.S. troops to remain, it would be "mutually beneficial" to keep some special operations forces there.

McRaven's nomination to head U.S. Special Operations Command is being considered by the Senate Armed Services Committee. He has spent his career in special operations, and was a key leader of the U.S. SEAL team operation that killed Osama bin Laden in May.

The roughly 46,000 U.S. troops in Iraq are set to leave by year's end.