2,961. 10/16/2001

On October 16, 2001, “the first U.S. Special Forces team arrived near the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif and linked up with one of the leaders of the Northern Alliance, the Uzbek general Abdul Rashid Dostum. …Within twenty-four hours of their arrival the Americans started calling in airstrikes on the Taliban front lines, using their laser designators. Those strikes were so precise that Northern Alliance commanders came to believe that the U.S. forces possessed some kind of ‘death ray.’ The Americans did not disabuse them of this notion; once the Taliban got wind of the U.S. death ray, units would often surrender.”

 – Peter Bergen, The Longest War, Page 60

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