During my time in service in Iraq and Afghanistan (pre-2007) we never had to work with any local forces, whether the Iraqi or the Afghan Army folks. We were always autonomous. Things have obviously changed much since that time as all U.S. forces, whether conventional or special operations, must always bring a contingent of the host nation’s military forces when conducting operations.
I, like most of you, have relied on the media to tell me how poorly trained the Afghan National Army and Police Force is. I also, like you, have seen the countless stories of Afghan Army or Police attacks against U.S. and other coalition forces, also known as “green on blue.” In my mind I thought that these guys were all the same and would often say to myself “Why the hell are we working with these radical, corrupt, and ungrateful people.” In the case of Afghan SOF, who number roughly 10,000, there has been only one green on blue incident.
Over time, I would hear about specific units in Afghanistan such as the Narcotics Interdiction Unit, the ANA Commandos, and the ANA Special Forces. And they were always good things from friends on the ground – private contractors in advising roles, or Rangers who work with them on operations. But I still had my doubts. You can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still just a pig.
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I was on ebay last night (doing research) and discovered the CJSOTF-A (Combined Joint Special Ops Task Force - Afghanistan) action figure -- who knew?
@mdupreez wow, very awesome. Please tell your friend that I thought she did a very fine job. I truly enjoyed the realism of it. I really felt bad for the ANA General, throughout, as he seemed like a soldier's soldier, and wanted to really help his country. And that's cool how you helped her out! I thank you for part in helping people view what the mainstream media doesn't necessarily cover in depth.
@AIMSP Funny you mention this movie. It was made by a very good friend of mine. We helped her out in Afghanistan over the time she spent there. I was fortunate to have helped her with the film premier at the South by Southwest film festival a couple years ago. A good watch indeed. Thinks have changed a bit since this was filmed (05/06/07) but you get the idea.
Great article, Thanks for posting. A very, very good movie I would recommend to people, especially in regards with American forces helping build ANA, is a movie called 'Camp Victory, Afghanistan'. It is available on Netflix Streaming. It is very relevant to this article. It's a good brisk watch, and features National Guard dealing with the ANA. The ineptitude of the ANA at times in the movie is comical, if not out-right depressing. Anyway, Happy New Year's All!!