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After NATO drawdown, US forces guide Afghans from the shadows

A US soldier at Forward Operating Base Connelly in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar looks through his binoculars on August 12, 2015From his watchtower in insurgency-wracked eastern Afghanistan, US army Specialist Josh Whitten doesn’t have much to say about his Afghan colleagues. Welcome to Forward Operating Base Connelly, where US troops are providing training and tactical advice to the 201st Afghan army corps as they take on the Taliban on the battlefield. For seven months after the formal end of the NATO combat operation in Afghanistan, US forces have guided their counterparts from the sidelines with a mixture of pride, bewilderment — and suspicion.

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