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Thread: National Geographic Documentary on SF

  1. #1
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Okinawa, Japan

    Default National Geographic Documentary on SF

    I thought this was an interesting example of counterinsurgency theory in practice and a rare look into how the war in Afghanistan is being waged. I was surprised by how constrained the SF soldiers are simply because of their lack of numbers, and also by how sophisticated the Taliban have become (i.e. the near-constant surveillance of the team when they were away from their base). Perhaps some of the professionals who have fought in Afghanistan could comment on how their experiences are similar to or differ from those portrayed in the documentary?

    In a remote outpost in south-central Afghanistan known as Firebase Cobra, a group of Americans stand in the breach between the rule of law and the rule of terror. They are Green Berets, part of an elite division of the U.S. Army Special Forces, charged with protecting local civilians from the wrath of the Taliban. These elite soldiers navigate an unforgiving landscape, never certain from one minute to the next if they will make it back to the base alive.

    The program provides a rare, up-close look at the sacrifices, challenges and deadly risks that American soldiers face on the front lines every day. The film is narrated by producer and director Steven Hoggard, who offers an intimate firsthand account of life on the base and under attack, including his own injuries from the deadly blast. The film also documents daily life for these soldiers, including the mundane passing of time inside the base; the danger-filled missions to surrounding villages; and even a historic gathering of tribal leaders seeking assistance against the Taliban who invaded their homes.
    The documentary was shot in June 2006.

    Part 1

    Part 2

    Part 3

    Part 4

    Part 5

    Part 6

  2. #2
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default National Geographic on SF

    I can't speak to the program since I didn't watch it but local sentry and early warning is something the Taliban has always excelled at in the rural and urban areas. Because of our artificial dependence on FOBs we stick out for everyone in the area to see, and it doesn't take a tactical genius to figure out when six to ten tactical vehicles leave a base camp that someone should sit there with a tactical radio or cell phone to warn his Taliban buddies that the coalition forces are rolling down the road. I think the first thing we could do to reverse strategy in Afghanistan is close down these FOBs and put soldiers out amongst the population but who with stars on their collar will be the one to stand before Congress, SECDEF, and CJCS to sound off with that advice?

  3. #3
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007


    I served as the Political Advisor to the PRT in that province in 2005 and in 2006 and I have visited that particular FOB. We would always get SF guys on rotation back at the PRT, resting and recuperating from the firefights, full of stories of the tremendous battles they'd been involved in. That district is certainly the worst in the province and, I would argue, close to the top for the whole country. It's claimed many lives including a friend of mine.


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