Kandahar-Airfield

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The American Green Berets were seated around a long, plywood table at their base when they spotted the Taliban counterattack on their screens.

The burly Americans were working on computers, drinking coffee and munching on chips and peanut butter cookies. Their team leader answered an ever-ringing phone, giving his superiors updates on an Afghan commando mission in the mountains just north of Afghanistan’s Kandahar Airfield.

The Green Berets could see the progress of the mission on a massive screen on the wall — live video sent by an American drone. The Afghan commandos had opened fire on the Taliban, and they had fired back. An American AH-64 Apache attack helicopter sliced down to shred the defenders. Many scattered.

Then, the American troops here spotted about two dozen men — black-and-white figures on their monitors — carrying rifles and machine guns, moving along a dry riverbed, parallel to the Afghan commandos.

Under U.S. Air Cover, Afghan Commandos Chase The Elusive Taliban

Photos: David Gilkey/NPR