Horse Soldiers – First Americans into Afghanistan After 9-11

 In History, Military

Islamic Terrorists had just destroyed the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, and part of the Pentagon in DC. A group of Special Forces operatives called Operational Detachment-Alpha 595 were inserted into Afghanistan as part of “Task Force Dagger.” It was a secret mission: to secure northern Afghanistan from the Taliban by advising tribal factions from the Northern Alliance. And they fought side by side with them on horseback. A new movie, 12 Strong, is set to be released on January 19 which will tell their now declassified story. The book that was used for the movie is “Horse Soldiers” by Doug Stanton.

CIA reviewer J. R. Seeger noted,

Early on the SF operators learned that they were going to have to move on horseback if they wanted to keep up with their local allies. This made for the most ironic aspect of the story: modern fighters with satellite communication, night vision devices, and complex weaponry traveling on small Afghan ponies. The pace was controlled by their Afghan allies whose strategy was to defeat a committed enemy while maintaining a low casualty rate and influencing others to support the resistance.

Officials have stated that the movie/book is an “accurate reflection ” of the work of Special Forces Soldiers in the early days of the war.

“In addition to overcoming mutual distrust and a vast cultural divide, the Americans – accustomed to state-of-the-art warfare – must adopt the rudimentary tactics of the Afghan horse soldiers. But despite their uneasy bond, the new allies face overwhelming odds; outnumbered and outgunned by a ruthless enemy that does not take prisoners.” Warner Brothers synopsis

US Special Operations Command said,

“The service members portrayed in the movie are the embodiment of Army Special Operations forces, trained to an elite level, providing a strategic value to the nation through an indigenous approach, precision targeting operations, developing understanding and wielding influence, and crisis response – all of which are represented in the film.” USASOC spokesman

 

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