US-ANA-PAKMIL

 

My favorite picture from Afghanistan, thankfully just rediscovered:  US, Afghan, and Pakistan soldiers meeting on a hilltop near Spera Combat Outpost, on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.  The meeting’s purpose was to coordinate anti-Taliban operations.  The picture represents a rare moment of cooperation, for the Afghan and Pakistan soldiers were wary of one another.  Officially, the Pakistan military–or “PakMil”–was as committed to eliminating the Taliban threat as we were; in practice, the Afghans believed Pakistan tolerated or even supported insurgent attacks into Afghanistan.

The Afghan soldier wearing the green beret in the back row is Captain Azziz, whom I have written about before.  Just before I left Afghanistan, he was killed in an IED attack in the KG Pass.  The Pakistani to Captain Azziz’s left is a PakMil officer whose English was perfect and military bearing impeccable.  The two American soldiers are 1/203rd Roughrider ETTs  from the California National Guard.  Between the PakMil officer and the Americans is an interpreter we called “Cherokee.”

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