Photos: Special Forces Join Forces

  • Two members of the Afghan army's first-ever special operations team in southern Afghanistan. The team was deployed in the field just weeks ago and has been joined by teams of U.S. Army Special Forces in a collaborative security effort outside of Kandahar city.
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    Two members of the Afghan army's first-ever special operations team in southern Afghanistan. The team was deployed in the field just weeks ago and has been joined by teams of U.S. Army Special Forces in a collaborative security effort outside of Kandahar city.
    Photos by David Gilkey/NPR
  • Capt. Dan of the Green Berets (the U.S. Army Special Forces can only give journalists their first names) on patrol in the village of Ezabad. Together, the American and Afghan special forces are conducting what they call "village stability operations."
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    Capt. Dan of the Green Berets (the U.S. Army Special Forces can only give journalists their first names) on patrol in the village of Ezabad. Together, the American and Afghan special forces are conducting what they call "village stability operations."
    Photos by David Gilkey/NPR
  • Afghan army special forces Capt. Dost is working with the Green Berets and, in most cases, taking the lead. The joint mission aims to provide security, plan development projects and encourage Afghan villagers to resist the Taliban with armed community watch groups.
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    Afghan army special forces Capt. Dost is working with the Green Berets and, in most cases, taking the lead. The joint mission aims to provide security, plan development projects and encourage Afghan villagers to resist the Taliban with armed community watch groups.
    Photos by David Gilkey/NPR
  • Capt. Dost (left) talks with a local resident in Ezabad in Afghanistan's Kandahar province. While American efforts may fall on deaf ears, Afghan villagers have been inclined to facilitate the efforts of the Afghan special forces.
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    Capt. Dost (left) talks with a local resident in Ezabad in Afghanistan's Kandahar province. While American efforts may fall on deaf ears, Afghan villagers have been inclined to facilitate the efforts of the Afghan special forces.
    Photos by David Gilkey/NPR
  • A U.S. armored vehicle makes its way through the desert outside Ezabad. While the U.S. Army Special Forces mentor their Afghan counterparts in counterinsurgency tactics, they also benefit from the Afghans' knowledge of local culture and customs.
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    A U.S. armored vehicle makes its way through the desert outside Ezabad. While the U.S. Army Special Forces mentor their Afghan counterparts in counterinsurgency tactics, they also benefit from the Afghans' knowledge of local culture and customs.
    Photos by David Gilkey/NPR
  • An Afghan family rides past a joint U.S.-Afghan patrol in Ezabad. Special forces aim to train communities to protect themselves. But they must first gain the trust of local Afghans, and overcome the mistrust caused by local police corruption.
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    An Afghan family rides past a joint U.S.-Afghan patrol in Ezabad. Special forces aim to train communities to protect themselves. But they must first gain the trust of local Afghans, and overcome the mistrust caused by local police corruption.
    Photos by David Gilkey/NPR
  • American and Afghan forces stop to talk with villagers on the road outside Ezabad.
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    American and Afghan forces stop to talk with villagers on the road outside Ezabad.
    Photos by David Gilkey/NPR
  • An American Special Forces officer talks with a local farmer in Ezabad, encouraging him to join a village defense force against the Taliban.
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    An American Special Forces officer talks with a local farmer in Ezabad, encouraging him to join a village defense force against the Taliban.
    Photos by David Gilkey/NPR
  • A young boy in Ezabad watches as Green Berets and Afghan soldiers interview his older brother.
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    A young boy in Ezabad watches as Green Berets and Afghan soldiers interview his older brother.
    Photos by David Gilkey/NPR
  • A U.S. Special Forces explosives-detection dog cools off in an irrigation ditch in Ezabad during a joint U.S.-Afghan patrol.
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    A U.S. Special Forces explosives-detection dog cools off in an irrigation ditch in Ezabad during a joint U.S.-Afghan patrol.
    Photos by David Gilkey/NPR
  • American and Afghan soldiers fire side by side during a shooting exercise in the desert near Ezabad. When not on regular patrols, the Afghan and U.S. special forces are training for the next mission.
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    American and Afghan soldiers fire side by side during a shooting exercise in the desert near Ezabad. When not on regular patrols, the Afghan and U.S. special forces are training for the next mission.
    Photos by David Gilkey/NPR
  • A child approaches Green Berets on patrol in Ezabad. Special Forces use ATVs (or all-terrain vehicles) for better mobility across rough terrain and narrow village roads.
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    A child approaches Green Berets on patrol in Ezabad. Special Forces use ATVs (or all-terrain vehicles) for better mobility across rough terrain and narrow village roads.
    Photos by David Gilkey/NPR
  • An Afghan commando sits on a mud wall while securing a road during a patrol in the village of Ezabad. Perhaps an auspicious beginning for cooperation between Americans and Afghans, the road ahead looks long and arduous.
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    An Afghan commando sits on a mud wall while securing a road during a patrol in the village of Ezabad. Perhaps an auspicious beginning for cooperation between Americans and Afghans, the road ahead looks long and arduous.
    Photos by David Gilkey/NPR

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