April 19, 2008


Afghan Commandos Emerge: U.S.-Trained Force Plays Growing Role in Fighting Insurgents (Ann Scott Tyson, 4/19/08, Washington Post)

Night after night, commandos in U.S. Chinook helicopters descend into remote Afghan villages, wielding M-4 rifles as they swarm Taliban compounds. Such raids began in December in the Sabari District here, long considered too dangerous for U.S. patrols, and have already resulted in the death or capture of 30 insurgent leaders in eastern Afghanistan, according to U.S. commanders.

"The Americans are doing this," the Taliban fighters concluded, according to U.S. intelligence.

But though the commandos carry the best U.S. rifles, wear night-vision goggles and ride in armored Humvees, they are not Americans but Afghans -- trained and advised by U.S. Special Forces teams that are seeking to create a sustainable combat force that will ultimately replace them in Afghanistan.

"This is our ticket out of here," a Special Forces company commander said last month at a U.S. base in Khost, where his teams eat, sleep, train and fight alongside the commandos.

The creation of a 4,000-strong Afghan commando force marks a major evolution for U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 19, 2008 8:36 AM
Comments for this post are closed.