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Tonight starting this story.
The challenge of Afghanistan's for a new commander in chief such complex history from Alexander the Great.
Operation enduring freedom.
The restaurants around -- -- there's a huge threat here not stop our -- You are smaller fires got -- -- -- This is the battle for a new Afghanistan.
We're gonna get it done that's next.
-- -- Greater effort and focus on Afghanistan.
Where the threats in -- states is the most significant commanders in Afghanistan and asked for about 5000 more new troops that would bring total around 20000 personnel we don't have enough troops there.
-- in Afghanistan will be a big challenge for president elect Barack Obama America's next commander in chief who inherits wars and to influence.
We know there are brave Americans waking up in the dozens of Iran in the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us and we've really got to focus on Afghanistan.
Resources and applying them towards the situation he's in Afghanistan and we've got to have a commander in chief who understands where to take a bite it's.
The forgotten war but for the 30000 US troops and their coalition partners here it's anything but.
I'm Oliver North -- this is a special up sort of war stories.
Coming to you from Afghanistan.
For over 2000 years this rugged country has been the crossroads of empires.
And civilizations from Alexander the Great.
To the imperial expansion of old Europe.
The Soviet invasion of 1979.
Foreign armies have marched across this forbidding.
And and forgiving -- By 9/11 01 Afghanistan was ruled by Islamic Jihad -- ruthless Taliban.
This was -- From which al-Qaeda struck America today a coalition of nations led by the United States is fighting to give the Afghan people.
Hope of freedom and a secure future.
Join us for this special look.
That there heroic battle for a new Afghanistan.
19 October 2001.
Undercover of darkness US army Rangers parachute in the southern Afghanistan to secure airfield for operation enduring -- US and British bombs and missiles that already begun to soften up -- -- -- targets.
This clandestine special operators were inserted to advise support opponents of the brutal Taliban regime.
Very good to review the issue Dario welcome to tell him to await the only be described as -- Stephen Taylor is author of the book Afghanistan a military history from Alexander the Great to the fall of the Taliban.
Their sense of justice through different sort of searcher.
Chopping off hands and Mexican.
What are allowed to -- outside of -- comforting by him and.
After seizing power in 1986.
Men ruled Afghanistan with a iron fist.
And also befriended the international terrorist organization al-Qaeda it.
Under the leadership of Osama bin Laden Egyptian Ayman Al zawahiri.
Al-Qaeda set up operations in Afghanistan.
And I think -- off -- -- and was the brains behind.
Bob -- served 21 years in the Middle East as a CIA officer.
He chronicles the rise of radical Islam in his books blow the house down and the double we know why they say listen.
Terrorism agents not to do any good.
Terrorism you know -- well and so -- -- -- got together and focus on the African bombings.
-- August 1998.
US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya -- bombs simultaneously.
Killing hundreds of coal.
Seventeen sailors were killed when the destroyer was attacked on 12 October 2000 during a port call in Yemen.
They vaulted to the top of the terrorism last weeks or so violent the randomness of the bin Laden type violence is violence for violence -- He is -- mass murder.
Within days of launching operation enduring freedom the Taliban and al-Qaeda were on the -- There were no match for the northern alliance backed by CIA operative special forces US Marines and American -- It for a couple weeks there's a hell of essentially that couldn't maintain Frontline position it was just over -- Look at the other cities and a -- -- -- And on 12 November the Taliban fled Kabul the capital with a great many of them you just go back to their villages and let the -- that the population.
It was a true tremendously successful effort for the -- going to bring the outlook.
Jack DeVine spend 32 years in the CIA worked on Covert operations as part of the Afghan task force.
Most of those stories for an old servers.
Are still in combat zones and that's.
Working travelers looking dressing -- Went -- five of them Taliban prisoners including -- America.
John Walker -- revolted in the city of -- you should -- In the crossfire.
CIA officer Mike Spann was struck.
He was the first American killed in action and operation enduring freedom and it is plus numbers very fine office.
Support our efforts to combat terrorism -- certainly.
As the Taliban's disintegrated US forces pressed the whole Osama bin Laden felonious we'll -- little region of the Pakistani border.
-- -- places like world war.
I'm looking forward.
The locate them.
Despite all of this been laden remains -- and now we're facing sustained presence in Afghanistan.
All the problems.
-- the Taliban on the run US -- faced a different challenge.
Understanding the tribal loyalties and ancient customs that -- the Afghan people it's so complex tribal structures such complex history.
That's next on war stories.
Since launching operation enduring freedom and October 2001.
US forces and our NATO allies and search for Osama bin Laden and tried to bring peace and security to Afghanistan.
It's a difficult mission in this rugged country of ancient tribal customs.
We have a lot of commonalities.
Are warrior culture they have a proud history.
Lieutenant colonel Rick -- come in second battalion seventh -- part of NATO's task force Phoenix.
We spent a lot of time before we came over here to try to immerse ourselves and that history.
As a history made especially warming focused on military history Afghans think you know because I was -- -- -- -- Cold War.
That was one of the places we had an active participation.
Naval Academy graduate captain Matt O'Donnell is on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan in which you can't find Afghanistan just -- surfaces such a complex tribal structure.
Such complex history.
Alexander the Great -- army almost 3000 miles from Greece into the Hindu -- The mountain range that forms the spine of Afghanistan.
Is it was before the system 35000 macedonians.
Plus we -- zawahiri was -- anything to plunder.
In Afghanistan 2000 music as it turned out there was very little effective -- that at the charge they're a little bit surprised by -- there.
Under popular that was.
Alexander was only the beginning in the centuries that followed army after army marched across this forbidding terrain.
The Turks came down the -- and -- solutions -- invaded and then of course the Arab the Arab invasion itself.
It is the consequence -- -- there's the Arabs were motivated in part to -- and lands and people but also -- their religion.
-- Islam was introduced in the seventh century.
For years after Afghanistan was a fractured -- ruled by religious strong men and tribal -- By the eighteen -- the remote country was once again targeted foreigners.
This epic struggle between European empires became known as the great game.
In the great game was just contest for Central Asia and for India and was basically -- between Russia and Great Britain.
-- the crown jewel of the British empire was crucial to -- global power.
But Russia was making a grab for land in Central Asia and the cities on the legendary silk road.
So at this point of the British empire and the Russian empire separated only by this.
Rugged -- -- by territory.
Neither side knew much about it can stand but the -- dispatched undercover explorers and -- bearing gifts from bringing new push.
Hundreds -- beautiful it was full of as much -- me.
This warfare there were spies and agents diplomatic intrigue that either side perceived that they could actually control Afghanistan.
Well of both of them thought that -- -- in control of both.
They have seen people come and go we're gonna help you and then he.
Colonel Pete but drones you -- -- fourth marine expeditionary unit from his headquarters in Kandahar.
We want to change on them turn their rounds and cultural aspect.
-- -- For the twentieth century the great game was over Russia was in turmoil after the 1917.
And after two world wars the -- finally set on the British empire.
Giving him the 1930s.
Underpinnings are here it is had a period of peace relative prosperity for them.
And a couple of Iraq and elsewhere that universities.
And during the sixties like all over the world that they -- some winds of change socialism communism left -- them.
Afghanistan's isolation was over.
In -- -- Communists seized power in Kabul.
The nature of the news you cause people to -- and everywhere -- to the ones that go Communist.
With the US focused on the Iran hostage crisis the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and Christmas Eve 1979.
Russian leader Leonid Brezhnev claim to be helping his beleaguered comrades.
-- Russians invaded Afghan is an issue of national pride if you will but was further compound.
But being viewed as a holy -- Ministry and became the hot -- the -- war.
Holy warriors against the Soviets became known as the Mujahedeen.
At that time there about a 120000.
The resistance really it was very -- at first they kept her strong growth with them because other nations came to.
Before improvised explosive it became a catch for -- -- of -- and the Russians -- -- Before he deployed to Afghanistan with a first battalion sixth Marines who did -- click here is studying the Soviet experience.
The one time they had a hundred battalions solely pass -- right route security throughout.
Was converted and through religious and ideological war that has -- level -- Eventually the United States -- We cannot.
And will not turn our backs on this front so the existence -- strong.
But threefold increase he didn't imagine tripling your support for that type of military element.
That give you some idea scope of the program.
Seeing portable surface to air missiles broke the back the Soviet air power but getting -- there -- to be a major challenge.
-- finding votes.
And and you need to think about loading one train getting up the border with Afghanistan.
Even go to meals.
There are special -- about -- -- pants and a tendency.
What is September 6 missile systems were deployed -- being shot three -- I believe on that day personal war.
So is finally -- -- problem.
Not because the weapons system used to treat them someone -- -- aircraft but rather than begin reply.
-- that range missile and basically what they're hired helicopters up action no longer rules this -- -- Soviets couldn't -- the ground.
And 15 February 1989.
The last Soviet come back left Afghanistan the chief in the field.
Set worldwide cable to those who what was the other touched for.
That it had nothing on it very old.
Friend we will.
We had seen.
Positions that have been occupied.
By the British the Russians so we try to take all that into consideration as compared to come here.
We interact with the woke up.
After the Soviets left the broad cohesion of the Afghan fighters didn't ask him.
The country descended from the city.
We have a failing state inevitably have people turning their religion.
And some of these these people who call themselves the -- -- seekers.
Rice from the south and start -- over the entire country.
And no one knew who they were or where that came from.
-- the Afghan people would know soon enough.
I 1996 the Taliban controlled most of the country and imposed their brutal form of radical Islamic law formal Donald.
My friendly both my sisters.
There were working with human rights.
And wouldn't tell it took over.
Anderson it wasn't our place we got comics -- -- made in the god -- is well aware of Taliban -- His family -- Eventually put Landon and he became a US citizen offense that community of Afghanistan and he'll.
Now he's an interpreter -- -- first battalion sixth Marines.
Local knowledge and expertise like it is is crucial to US forces.
I felt an obligation as an American I have it's still had a chance at all -- other element.
Says it was the perfect time.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Next on war stories US Marines returned to Afghanistan.
And go head to head with a vicious enemy.
Some of the most inhospitable terrain on earth.
Don't go away.
In April 2008.
Fourth marine expeditionary unit or -- deployed to southwest Afghanistan.
Under the command of colonel who took two rounds ago.
-- -- -- -- marine air ground task.
Probably -- -- -- most powerful.
Forms of organization or fighting organization that has ever created -- -- -- -- colonel -- Henderson commands the first battalion sixth Marines of 24 -- It takes.
Ground combat element ground infantry battalion commands to it in aviation combat element.
So in other words everything the Marine Corps and I think it means pilots like that Colin -- The millions of -- -- you were given the mission of bringing security to places like cars and Afghanistan's Helmand Province.
The Taliban realize that I'm sure it was a great play it for them to live -- -- do whatever they wanted to do.
And no one really bothered him.
And that was the first place we look at this thing that's got.
-- arms or Afghanistan very well it's farming community.
Wide open spaces there's desert cities and completely open not a whole lot of other fields canals.
We go to beach we pills and capsules they got -- and built their house.
Let's say you.
There -- totally different lifestyle little kids at 5 o'clock in the morning from the fields open records for injured for the word.
We're looking -- every field.
The people don't grow -- because they make more money grow poppy and the Taliban forces are bigger -- hotels or other drugs.
Basically -- people freedom in the beginning if he offered help don't like you know.
Does there were a bit of their lives.
-- -- -- Marines or Americans.
Then when they -- -- Come back in -- in his.
They don't like -- and tell -- particularly take altitude pretty much whatever they want.
What are covered quite useful -- will -- some people just thought the power to fight back.
It was just a -- trucks -- -- -- bond.
Over it and obviously foreign -- trucks or.
Arm's distance so we'll get a -- back you know.
It's hotter than anybody ever thought it was going to be.
I think I think it was -- 120.
-- -- alone could drive any individual grade exams and I used to it.
Some of the compound networking and Paul -- and -- that's great panel compound that and yes access to water things.
Or water ourselves.
And evidence of -- Who's to say six police established a series a strong points along the Helmand river right in the heart of Taliban territory.
We came down and scarcer and got into a real fight.
And it lasted there for almost a month daily almost conventional forces.
Went -- -- world -- earlier we got here.
Not opportunities are small arms fire Greg -- and it would stop all the firepower that we brought to place.
They were willing to stay.
-- their ground in attendance policy could the rock fights don't mention it that -- you know it took many hours -- -- couldn't -- Fall like that that is.
We have heavy contact proved costly for the Taliban fighters.
Did note that when -- not something.
-- -- we came here for a reason and we're gonna get it done.
Nothing was gonna get -- our way of accomplishing that.
This -- willing -- -- -- -- and doesn't quite Vietnamese resorted to a different tactic Taliban completely.
Saturated -- with iTunes and -- 16 patrol gets hit that was I jumped out.
-- That's next on war stories.
-- August 2008.
Second -- of weapons company was -- six Marines commanded by lieutenant Andre and his on patrol near garden here Afghanistan.
Two years ago war stories to better with the senior.
Many of the Marines recovered there are now here fighting the Taliban among them.
Pennsylvania native sergeant -- -- I drove -- -- military family.
Brought up for the navy -- on the base Marines being there I side that's -- -- wanna do.
In the lead on these charges broke the vehicle commander of course it's done right and -- Chris Jackson our cameraman was in the right here behind sergeant -- -- detonated right there.
All the guys let's -- Vehicle destructive device.
But the vehicle has it was designed to absorb most of the impact.
The wounded by the blast Chris Jackson struggled back to the fiery -- Yeah that was -- fire.
Hopefuls right battled right Figueroa to safety is Jacksonville Sargent -- out of the planes and away from the exploding ordinance.
-- like it but they've been carried away.
I prefer but probably yeah.
But several -- it was kind of -- well election.
The problem thank you -- happen.
As millions in the -- woman rushed to administer first aid to the wounded comrades.
Or help -- play within minutes of -- yeah.
46 casualty evacuation.
Worked -- -- back yeah.
Captain David -- was particularly for 65 as a -- aircraft commander that day.
All right up there very there.
This variously race trying to get out there yeah.
It was motivated -- to -- this bill.
Write it down coming and going.
A lot of emotion and I.
Going through body.
And it ended that point.
Lead and that's -- others.
Now now -- -- around that.
-- what we're looking forward for repairs.
While consumer casualties -- -- -- -- -- their run into the fields out there they get bounced around a lot.
Maybe more than Chad Jones shock trauma specialist tended the wounded Marines on the bird.
We make sure that all the bands that I check -- -- are vital signs and thumbs up from him hopefully another perspective.
The global Olympic camp bastion and immediately into the care of the corner of fourth and more Irish field hospital volunteers.
At The British Army.
Rapid response people speak to -- which are critical care.
There was -- treated fairly significant obviously they -- him they were very quickly assessed.
Resuscitation -- the team that participation answers Thursday.
-- -- as a continuation of camp pretty much -- tweeting all the way -- Let us German states.
One -- after the attack.
Lieutenant -- led the Marines of weapons to.
Back to the scene.
Despite the idea attacked the Marines return right here at the same -- The purpose of these -- -- to collect intelligence.
And convince the local population that their best hope for security and reconstruction.
This with the coalition.
-- -- excessive.
They've of the front of the -- -- -- -- -- McCain or not.
-- the local people once they see that you know we're not there apartment all broke everything.
It's like -- Go round type local sales.
What is it -- that's usually the lives.
And what they -- -- to help us this initiative -- builders and people lined up.
And they're calling it part of what it means interpret what you thought there was a doubt that -- we get out.
Whatever we can't.
You know I'm bias.
But Marines in general.
Are well trained well equipped.
And we came here for a reason.
016 isn't the only million units battling the Taliban.
Task force 27 has been in the -- since arriving here -- big.
This is the heartland of -- businesses that are their their traditional neighborhood told me about the enemy that.
The enemy has had freedom of movement in here for a very long time.
And that's why.
Ministry of interior and -- -- so -- -- -- specific district.
Lieutenant colonel Rick called command second battalion seventh Williams we were scheduled to go to Iraq.
At a certain writers here change and ended up coming to Afghanistan we have eight district centers spread across about 20000.
And it hailed -- a -- building any forward operating bases it was a huge logistical challenge.
Captain Michael Vincent -- seven logistics -- Size of our area of operations make you aware.
-- Marines are on the road all the time delivering supplies.
In this whole area.
How many paper so there's 18 -- -- ring road.
The rest of our.
Area of operation this very rugged terrain this is -- that's the one paper that's correct pretty much all of Afghanistan.
War stories -- fox company 27 at forward operating base knows that.
On the edge of what was once a model city prospering with UN and NATO support.
Then the Taliban returns and created a horrifying ghost town.
The Taliban drove away all of its thousands of residents today it's a battle.
So -- Naval Academy classmates from news -- company.
And -- actually has me in line for line of troops anytime we go they've never disappointed us go under.
150 meters from that -- the week.
It's happened every single time.
Yeah the fight for knows that is next.
Don't go away.
In the foothills of the Hindu -- Taliban fighters have turned the city of -- added was -- real ghost town.
The Marines and fox company -- British counterparts from the -- Scots guards are tasked with driving them out.
Sunrise -- my hands -- war when tiger.
The Marines have to set battle hardened in Iraq the -- the brotherhood under fire.
Actually get ready get out -- Doesn't in the last Taylor.
Instead I donated Jason Dahl is in combat once again.
-- -- as that -- certainly that it went to Afghanistan come back with them.
I would say in me -- and half -- we've been here.
Five and 67.
The Marines and -- -- that face the enemy every day.
We've had indirect fire.
-- make him look good.
You know take a look at.
-- -- the small.
-- -- -- They'll -- advisor practice for your time.
Passwords through seven is divided along side the -- -- comes.
Yeah she is from this -- Come -- help and advice I could spend.
We took a fair amount of casualties and short period of time.
-- and David Blaine Washington State as a marine combat engineer would -- said the and it really kind of surprised that there -- a huge threat here thanks for me one day it's coaches that land for his -- this lovely.
An -- on the Internet calling from back.
-- -- instant fame and that was.
-- -- Casualty evacuation from those that it's fun dependable.
So fox company has its own shock trauma detachment headed by commander James -- the US navy searched.
He and his -- -- with the troops called -- in a box.
What you have here is.
Like we talked seven -- and you have everything that I haven't Commerce Department.
We shouldn't we have -- its -- all the things you -- normally trauma we can take to the plate and with them.
Five to ten minutes.
Marine shot he's you know -- there.
Now that we're in there were making life tough form.
And so what the enemy like to do now is they've gone from the frontal attacks and direct attack mode to symmetric because they can't win based space with -- Do you in town.
There is that we haven't swept yet -- -- and I graduated.
Explosive ordnance disposal school and -- -- -- -- air force base Florida her.
Your team unit in the house that is led by staff sergeant Mark Smith.
They have the dangerous mission of finding and eliminating -- ITT's.
Walking pretty much on their -- out there.
And we rely on a number of factors that we have tried it and then you have to fight that they have apparently every patrol here goes with the much for.
That metal detector and all single file line -- line in my detectives -- -- -- footprints when he hit from a metal.
Being -- -- market with paint that picture it tended to group called -- to you this year -- What is similar devices that we -- recovered from -- -- collapsed.
From ideas that we respondents here mrs.
some certificates -- -- -- pressure device.
In a -- -- this -- -- -- -- is that is just won't stop our troops recovered out here.
They'll -- the main charge which -- their personal letters this is a Soviet bloc in two millimeter mortar.
My engineers need to take their time in Sweden just look at the ground and think before we take another step.
On this patrol they find several thankfully before anyone was hurt.
That -- start internal procedures which consists of the point -- range.
And the Marines take the deadly weapons out.
We were four for four today in the -- to exit.
Particular kind person to think.
Work -- no way.
That could do that it does it actually takes.
That are special kind of person yeah.
Neighbors take on some of the most perilous missions in any problem now is that is no exception we know we're -- -- -- that's extremely dangerous force.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- West Virginia -- Sargent Jeffrey Christian is a scout sniper -- to seven.
But we're having close contact with the enemy ground contacts as closes 1520 feet away with the Taliban here.
The way they fight where they live we have to give -- so therefore just producing closer.
Last night was probably more typical was my permission and most -- there.
Cyprus now identified fighters in a position where they can fire for.
With weapons and we were approximately.
-- here's what.
When we took a shot.
Snipers and engaged the enemy -- -- -- take the shot dropped enemy and let him call area.
-- -- -- We'll.
It's extremely important to us an -- compromise your source close proximity.
On the move into their -- their backyard.
And they don't know where there.
Those in the foothills of the Hindu bush when war stories returns.
Don't go away.
Afghanistan is rough country it was brutal terrain and only one -- I would.
-- -- of dust and instant sandstorms that reduced visibility to zero in the news.
The climate is extremely.
-- -- yeah.
Oppressive heat it in the field meals are prepackaged.
For me a lot of -- What we're not confronting the enemy the Marines still find ways to unlock.
Keep in top physical condition.
And training for martial arts.
Even those have been severely wounded like -- native corporal Derek -- I ended quantifiable he'll throw you under coaches.
But just Kara.
-- July 2007.
We'll serving -- Fallujah Iraq but at the company 274.
-- Jones was that plane -- There's at age ninety.
It's been a couple.
-- -- That it just watched him.
He was transferred to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda Maryland his left leg was amputated.
But the young marine didn't give up.
My big thing was going to -- -- ball.
Whether it was with a kid care.
I don't wanna go to silence ball.
Walking but we'll Jones Natalie attended the marine birthday ball just nine months after being grievously wounded -- garlic -- his unit to Afghanistan.
I remember colonel halt.
You -- to go.
And they have other things.
And he's also a contender for the 2010.
-- Snowboard next.
And I hope this -- The other entities.
Are -- -- and he still wants deserves.
And -- currently besides I stand behind or pickups are.
Sergeant -- round at -- wounded while we were women in Afghanistan it's true.
Apple -- -- is also recovering from the loss of his left leg.
We caught up with certain route to his wife Vanessa at Camp Lejeune on -- -- when they actually amputated like completely.
When he called me I think he said there was something wrong with his left -- Without.
-- -- -- At first it was it was really rough she.
Between -- everything to take care.
But I she's been the greatest I mean that we could ask for better -- -- that are just friends and you know it would do for.
You remember anything that I don't know I don't -- class prior to two hours after.
It's like the Cleveland slate lesson and was in the -- to report.
And then telling Chris that and you that -- trucks respectively you're going to be -- about.
-- Chris Jackson the cameraman who saved his life.
-- It traveled to Camp Lejeune.
Improvements over the life has been I didn't cost and hassle again -- really.
For about a reduction.
Good -- for the last time we recognize.
By the recognizing that -- at Camp Lejeune sergeant Brooks showed Chris there's new truck.
Our goals and 25 years building my family back here.
Beautiful country beautiful people -- told that's all Afghan national officers lawmakers live with for years and we bought out.
-- them privacy.
Trying to keep them out.
And it certainly.
There's more war stories from Afghanistan just ahead.
The campaign in Afghanistan will be a priority for the commander in chief don't mind.
-- -- Terribly important court.
Finish the job I think they'll have a tremendous psychological impact.
With a situation in Iraq stabilizing.
Afghanistan becomes the key battleground.
In the war against radical Islam.
And just like in Iraq.
Women will play a vital role in a better Afghanistan.
Women like for him -- -- Women in Afghanistan more than half the population.
It is -- rolled through Afghanistan to be three in Afghan until.
Bring it -- but I'm I'm.
-- -- all there for the same common goal.
Some share from Michigan sheriff says he's just like -- from his home.
Success here and -- -- in the -- -- extraordinary courage perseverance on the battlefield.
It also requires an understanding of the law review the history of the Afghan people.
It's a complex question the soldiers sailors airmen Marines and our allies.
You've seen in this episode.
And like those who served before them.
Theirs is a war story that deserves to be told.
I'm Oliver North.
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