The little-known story of a secret training program in the Nevada desert that resulted in some of the toughest people still fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan
MYSTERY WIRE – Nearly all of Afghanistan is now under the control of the Taliban, with the exception of one northern province where warlords are vowing to repel any invasion.
Decades ago, warriors from that province received training in guerilla warfare tactics at an unlikely location — the Nevada desert.
In the 1980s, the U.S. government quietly poured tens of millions of dollars into arming and training Afghan rebels in their fight against Soviet invaders. Some of those who received the aid later joined up with the Taliban, except for some fiercely independent Mujahideen fighters in the north.
A highly decorated, and highly controversial former Green Beret commander named James Bo Gritz, believed by many to be the real-life inspiration for Hollywood’s Rambo, says he was tasked by the State Department with training the Mujahideen fighters, and has hours of film to back up his claims, recorded in Sandy Valley, Nevada, where Gritz taught the Afghans how to kill Russians.
“When we trained the Mujahideen to use this it was with the idea that they could use armor piercing incendiary against any of the soviet VIP armored vehicles,” Gritz said. “There isn’t an armored car for example, like the embassy or VIPs, or even armored personnel carriers that the armor piercing incendiary won’t go through, even tanks.”
The same Afghan tribes coached by Gritz in the mid 80’s now represent the lone holdouts against the Taliban.