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NY Times correspondent Jim Dao
NY Times correspondent Jim Dao

Fort Drum's 1-87th: bellwether on progress in Afghanistan

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The front page of yesterday's New York Times featured a photograph of Fort Drum Sergeant Brian Keith. He's crying and clutching his wife and six month-old son, moments before leaving them for Afghanistan. The Times is profiling the 1-87th Infantry Battalion of Fort Drum's 1st brigade as a window into the war there. Senior military correspondent Jim Dao was embedded with the unit for its first month of a year-long deployment in Kunduz, a relatively quiet city where violence appears to be escalating. Dao wrote the 1-87th will be "waging a different kind of war" - training Afghan police and helping to strengthen the local government. I spoke to Dao in April, just as the unit was leaving Fort Drum. He checks in again today. Dao says the Fort Drum soldiers arrived in Kunduz and immediately began building relationships with the local police.

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