Twenty years ago, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan to get rid of the Taliban. Today, American forces, battered by one of the bloodiest attacks of the war, are relying for their own security on that same group, whose members they were trying to kill just weeks earlier.
Fighters of the Taliban’s elite Badri 313 unit, dressed in the latest tactical gear, patrol the same Kabul airport parking lot as U.S. Marines, separated by a few coils of razor wire. Farther away, Taliban foot soldiers pat down Afghans seeking to enter the facility and disperse crowds with whips and occasional gunfire in the air.
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