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Two members of the Afghan army's first-ever special operations team in southern Afghanistan. The team was deployed in the field just weeks ago and has been joined by teams of U.S. Army Special Forces in a collaborative security effort outside of Kandahar city. (NPR)

On Assignment: "Shooting" Special Forces

by Claire O'Neill
Jun 17, 2010

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NPR photographer David Gilkey is back in Afghanistan and just completed what seems like a pretty tough photo assignment — not because of violence or physical exertion, but because of who he was photographing.

Green Berets, the U.S. Army's Special Forces, have recently teamed up with the Afghan army's first-ever special forces team in a grass-roots effort to secure the Kandahar region. Village by village, the soldiers are encouraging Afghan civilians to resist Taliban intimidation with armed community watch groups. But the biggest challenge is still communication.

The Afghan-American military cooperation is a fascinating turn of events, but a tough one to photograph; special forces soldiers can't give their names or show their faces.

This is what Gilkey sent back.

Related stories:
In Kandahar, A Battle For Hearts, Minds
U.S. Hopes To Win Afghan Trust, Village By Village

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