Basic Training

A month ago, members of the U.S.'s First Battalion of the 3rd Special Forces Group were delivered by bus to a bomb-scarred compound outside Kabul. Once Afghanistan's national military academy, the complex was in ruins, strewn with the refuse of war and neglect. Rebuilding the barracks and office blocks would have been challenging enough, but the Americans have taken on a far more arduous task. From the rubble, they are trying to train the nucleus of a new Afghan National Army (ANA)ómultiethnic, apolitical, ready and able to protect the nation and its nascent government. And despite a regiment of glaringly apparent...

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