Veil is Finally Lifted on first SF Post 9/11 Missions
Just weeks after the Twin Towers fell in New York City, US Army Special Forces A-teams were deployed to Afghanistan to make contact with the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance military forces and capture a series of strategic towns in the northern area of the country.
One of those A-teams, (ODA 595) commanded by CPT Mark Nutsch with Northern Alliance troops captured the key town of Mazur-e-Sharif while conducting the first horse-mounted attack in the US military in over 100 years.
The other A-team, (ODA-574) commanded by CPT Jason Amerine deployed on November 3. Infiltrating key points in the south, they made contact with future Afghan President Hamid Karzai and moved toward Kandahar.
Now their story is finally being told, brought to the big screen by filmmaker Greg Barker who has put together the documentary “Legion of Brothers” in concert with CNN Films.
Immediately after the September 11 attacks, the United States government initiated a secret war in Afghanistan. Fewer than a hundred Special Forces soldiers, building a coalition with the rebels of the Northern Alliance, faced off against the Taliban and succeeded in driving them out of power by the end of the year—with minimal coalition casualties and without conventional, large-scale military operations. Despite this victory, the U.S. and its allies soon became mired in a seemingly never-ending war.
Acclaimed filmmaker Greg Barker (Manhunt, 2013 Sundance Film Festival) expertly reveals this unexplored story, drawing on unprecedented access to several of the Green Berets who played pivotal roles in these covert missions. Driven by a sense of justice, these soldiers left family members in the dark as they set off to serve as Afghanistan’s liberators, only to confront the tragic realities of war. Reflecting on their experiences—and on the brothers-in-arms they lost—these elite soldiers offer at once a riveting celebration of valor and a sobering, cautionary tale.
The film shows how the lessons learned from decades of Special Forces missions and training were put to good use and how the US military with no massive conventional force was able to topple the government of the Taliban.
Featured photo: US Special Operations Command