But the physical wear on the nation was only a symbol of the complex divisions that cut through Afghanistan. After the Soviet invasion was repelled by Mujahedin fighters equipped with American weaponry and advised by CIA contacts the communist government stood only for a few years, faltering and eventually crumbling. The interim government put into place in the early nineties to aid the stabilization of the country was headed by the Mujahedin fighters who had fought so fiercely to drive out the Soviets: most notably, a charismatic figure named Ahmad Shah Masood. Masood was one of the more liberal of the many Afghan warlords with political aspirations, and his strong following centered upon the Tajik ethnic group of the north lent him considerable respect (1, 2).
[...] The CIA's return in force to Afghanistan was met with enthusiastic responses from the Afghan warlords that formed the main council of the Northern Alliance, but also with a wry skepticism that would not be smoothed over until the US proved itself in the long-term. As the first representative of his agency and country back in dealings with Afghans since the US's premature withdrawal of support (aside from scattered missions to the Panjshir in the late 90's), Schroen was entirely responsible for gaining the trust of the different members of the NA. [...]
[...] There also threatened to be problems when the ODA-555 squadron was shipped into Afghanistan to do laser designation missions that would highly improve the effectiveness of the bombing sorties being run by the USAF on Taliban targets. The problem seems a minute one, but happened to be of grave importance to both sides of the fight. The Triple Nickel team, being a US military element, was naturally suited in standard uniform, and their colonel would have it no other way: it was an important issue only to the individual soldiers but for the impact this issue had with Washington policy makers” 188). [...]
[...] Though bin Laden was lost in the process of freeing Afghanistan (which Schroen blames partly on the relocation of the finest cut of SpecOps to strategic positions for the coming war with Iraq), the victory was still impressive, and the unprecedented unit worked very well for all the uncertainty that surrounded it and its task. JAWBREAKER had to manage a number of tasks from its shanty hut in the Panjshir, including analysis work, administrative jobs, negotiation with an organization with no clear leader, and the dangerous task of venturing onto the Afghan lines to collect surveillance information and reports from regional commanders. [...]
[...] After the Soviets had been driven out, the US saw its main obligation as over and withdrew support, leaving the Mujahedin the same fighters who would become the leaders of the war against the Taliban with scattered resources and limited means to quell the rising, Pakistani-backed fundamentalist tide. There were CIA visits to discuss with Masood the best methods of combating the worrisome Taliban in the late 90's, but Clinton's administration was opposed to a risky and costly war that would be essentially a pre-emptive one. [...]
[...] The problem was that the US support was uneven at best during JAWBREAKER'S first few weeks in the Panjshir, and this proved to be often a larger hindrance to Schroen's ability to accomplish his task than anything that the Northern Alliance leaders were to do. Schroen and his team were generating an enormous amount of intelligence the team was “receiving perhaps a hundred cables a day and sending out thirty to forty cables and intelligence reports a 110). They had succeeded in performing a GPS survey of the NA front lines to better coordinate an air assault. [...]
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