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Coming Attractions Under Fire in Helmand
September 18, 2009
In Obama's War, coming Oct. 13th, veteran correspondent and producer Martin Smith (Beyond Baghdad, Return of the Taliban) travels across Afghanistan and Pakistan to see firsthand how President Obama's counterinsurgency strategy is taking shape.
Smith's notes on this clip:
But before the trap was set -- a plan to have a second squad move into place before we came under attack -- the Taliban opened fire. We got pinned down and had to scramble a bit to find a safe berm from which to counterattack. In these pictures you see we're trying to move forward to a more defensible position. We could hear the bullets whizzing just over our heads.
Cameraman Tim Grucza is shooting with a Sony Z7, having lots of heat and dust issues. I have a second small video camera and a still camera.
In the end, no Marines were hurt. It was unclear if any Taliban were killed. One man was brought back for questioning.
For all its appearances, being embedded with the military is actually one of the safest kind of assignments we undertake. If anything happens you have medics on hand or a medevac chopper, if necessary. You also have a huge amount of firepower to chase off any attackers ... a base with perimeter protection on which to sleep ... and trained, skilled soldiers or Marines to take care of you. It's far more dangerous to be unembedded. This is especially true in states like Afghanistan and Pakistan where government control is often tenuous, police are often corrupt and rival gangs vie for power. Basically, you have no one to trust. Give me a military embed any day.
The unit we were with is from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. They are based in the village of Mian Poshteh, Helmand. -- Martin Smith
Read more about our upcoming Obama's War and view the trailer here.