- U.S. Special Forces fighting in Afghanistan have joined
with Northern Alliance cavalry units, riding on horseback and brandishing
swords, revealed Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz on Sunday.
- Wolfowitz confirmed the unusual arrangement on CBS's
"Face the Nation."
- "One of the reasons why it took a few weeks before
we could make our air power fully effective was we had to get people in
on the ground to direct air strikes," he noted, before reading what
he said was a dispatch from the front lines as a stunned Bob Schieffer
- WOLFOWITZ: I have with me
a dispatch that came from one of our Special Forces guys who was literally
riding horseback with a sword with one of the Northern Alliance ...
- SCHIEFFER: With a
- WOLFOWITZ: With a sword.
With a Northern Alliance group of several hundred people who had nothing
but horses and rifles. And he said:
- "I am advising a man on how best to deploy light
infantry and horse cavalry in the attack against Taliban tanks, mortars,
artillery and machine guns - a tactic I think became outdated with the
invention of the Gatling gun. The Mujahideen are doing very well with
what they have but they couldn't do it without the close air
- And he then goes on to describe how two of his enlisted
people, one Air Force and one Army, had called in air strikes possibly
while Taliban artillery was hitting 15 meters away.
- (End of Excerpt)
- Wolfowitz called the effort "a return of the horse
cavalry," but added, "no horse cavalry in history before this
could call in air strikes from long-range bombers."
- "Do the people in Special Forces know how to ride
horses?" an incredulous Schieffer asked. "I mean, there's a
between jumping on a horse and hanging on and being able to ride it. Are
they trained to ride horses?"
- Wolfowitz said he wasn't sure but explained,
these guys were. They're trained in an extraordinary range of survival
skills and local customs and languages. They're quite an amazing
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