Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site

Americans build elite Afghan commando force

The commando battalions, just a year old, are being trained and deployed nationally as a mobile, quick-reaction force.

Distinction: The special forces train at Camp Morehead near Kabul, Afghanistan. The camp is funded by the US Army, and US Special Forces do the training.


About these ads

Pvt. Said Reza says he's ready to be a soldier in his country's fight against extremists, and as he stands in uniform in the middle of a training camp here with his semiautomatic rifle, kneepads, and American-style dark glasses, he looks the part.

Private Reza has already graduated from basic soldier training. He volunteered to become a member of an elite unit of the Army that is being groomed to become a model force of Afghan warriors.

"The only thing I know is that these [extremists] are a bunch of people who sell their country for a very small amount of money," says Reza of the extremists he expects to fight. When asked if he's ready to take them on, his answer is simple: "Bali ho" – of course.

Trained to be "the best of the best," who fight in riskier, more complex political and military environments – say, taking on a popular tribal leader aligned with the Taliban – the Commandos are distinct from the regular Army but are expected to help define the image and capabilities of Afghan security forces as a whole. The goal is an elite, quick-reaction force that can act independently. It's a crucial addition for an uneven US-NATO mission that many military and civilian leaders agree has evolved in a way that has let the Taliban resurface.


Page 1 of 6

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.