Special Operations: Afghan Special Operations Troops


September 19, 2007: Three years ago, the Afghan Army formed its first commando battalion. The unit was trained by U.S. Marines. Since then, a hundred carefully selected Afghan infantry NCOs were sent to Jordan for six months of commando training. These sergeants then served as trainers during the formation of additional commando battalions.

U.S. Army Special Forces have also been involved in forming the five commando battalions that will supply each of the five army corps with one of these special operations units. The Afghan commandos are more similar to U.S. Army Rangers, although they also serve as a reserve unit. The Afghan commandos are used for operations where additional skill and reliability are required. The Afghan commandos also carry out raids, and some have been given additional training, so they can operate closely with foreign commando units.

The Afghans take well to commando training, and respect commandos in general. The Russian Spetsnaz commandos were feared and respected during the 1980s war, and U.S. Special Forces, and various contingents of foreign commandos, have also impressed the Afghans. While a warrior culture, the Afghans never developed the systematic training that makes soldiers much more effective. Most Afghans realize that it's this training that creates the formidable foreign commando warriors. So, when given an opportunity to get this kind of training, there are plenty of enthusiastic volunteers.


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