On this week’s podcast SOFREP senior editor and SOFREP Radio host Steve Balestrieri talks with Green Beret and Retired U.S. Army Colonel Mark Rosengard. Among other commanding roles, Colonel Rosengard served as the director of Task Force Dagger, the Special Forces unit and first American element in Afghanistan after 9/11. Colonel Rosengard was also the group deputy commander for 10th SFG and served in a number of countries. He finished his military career as chief of staff of SOCCENT.

Colonel Rosengard talks about the first days in Afghanistan post-9/11 and how, despite a multitude of challenges, Task Force Dagger succeeded in its mission.

He discusses the efforts to gain the trust of local warlords against the Taliban and how the American Special Forces had to negotiate and tread the differing and shifting allegiances of local and regional groups. All the while Task Force Dagger was hampered by a lack of intelligence and the technological limitations of the era, but received the support of a number of Afghans.

Finally, Colonel Rosengard explains the difference between federal security and local autonomy and how the U.S. failed in understanding the importance of the latter for the Afghans. A better understanding of local autonomy could possibly have led to a stabler and safer Afghanistan both for the locals and the U.S.

Tune in to another episode of SOFREP Radio and discover what America’s finest faced to protect our way of life immediately after 9/11.