The Forbidden Valley

DMITRI BELYAKOV for TIME

Georgia's special troops will get U.S. expertise to tackle its enemy within

Just beyond the last checkpoint, where Georgian Interior Forces yet again register visitors, a black BMW waited on the beat-up road. It belonged to Aslanbek, a self-described Chechen refugee and representative of the inhabitants of Duisi, the largest village in the Pankisi Gorge, a remote Georgian valley that hit the headlines in February after the U.S. announced it was an al-Qaeda base area.

"Welcome to Duisi," he said, asking two journalists the purpose of their visit. To discover why Washington was so worried about the Gorge, we answered delicately. "No one here will answer that question," he...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!