The secret base-within-the-base was the first sign that I was about to see something special.
It was early February at a snow-encrusted NATO compound on the outskirts of Kabul. I’d come at the invitation of a U.S. Army sergeant assigned to Special Forces Task Force 10. After reading one of my recent dispatches from the front lines of the more than decade-old Afghanistan War, the sergeant had extended me a rare invitation to visit and report on one of Task Force 10′s “A Teams” working to train up Afghan security forces out in the provinces.
I’d eagerly accepted. I could count on one hand the number of times, that I knew of, that reporters had been welcomed inside the secretive Special Forces during wartime. Moreover, commandos including the Army’s Special Forces, Delta Force and Rangers and the Navy’s SEALs were expected to maintain a significant advisory and strike force in Afghanistan for years after the 2014 deadline for the withdrawal of NATO’s conventional troops. More and more, Special Forces are the story.