Infantry: December 1, 2002


The use of Special Forces troops as body guards for Afghan president Karzai is nothing new. When Delta Force was being formed in the late 1970s, "VIP Protection" was part of their training program. Actually, while Special Forces can provide VIP Protection, it's the more elite Delta Force and SEAL Team Six that do most of this stuff. Delta has long been called in when an American ambassador felt that the danger level for his embassy and staff was going up. Delta Force operators would come in and review the situation and make needed changes. This would include additional training for existing security personnel as well as reorganizing local security practices and installing additional security equipment. While Delta is often thought of as an outfit that was always out their attacking some impregnable objective, their most valuable work has often been defensive. Preventing terrorists or assassins from getting to American diplomats, government officials or any U.S. citizen has saved a lot of lives. But rather than tip off potential bad guys on how Delta does this, they maintain a low profile. Protecting foreign military or political leaders is also not unusual, if there is no other alternative. And in Afghanistan there wasn't, although Delta has been screening and training Afghans to take over this security role. 


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