US forces have been working hand in hand with Afghan security forces to advise, assist, and fight off the Taliban for the past 17 years. Additionally, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province (ISIS-K), expanded their terrorist operations to Afghanistan in 2015. To help in this fight against ISIS-K and the Taliban, a small, elite unit of women fight alongside their male counterparts. Operating in a way that is respectful of Islam and the Afghan culture, these soldiers specialize in the search, questioning and medical assistance of women and children. They operate in tandem with their male counterparts and assume the same risks and dangers.
Engaging with the female civilian population is a consistent challenge that US and coalition special operations forces face in Afghanistan. Their mission often required them to function in some of Afghanistan’s most culturally conservative, rural areas; these are areas where the Afghan women become a valuable asset in the fight against terrorism. A US Army team working in the area is training and advising these women; however, most of the gear the Afghan females have is oversized, or lacking entirely. They also lack basic supplies that will increase the effectiveness of their training. This includes simple items like notebooks, pens, and headlamps. While out on missions, they search and question other Afghan women who may have valuable information, and need security wands to enhance these operations and keep everyone on the mission safe. For these reasons, the US team identified this need to Spirit of America.
Integrating women into these crucial roles is a noteworthy change. In essence, it signifies the Government of Afghanistan’s institutional support and a long-term investment in the growth of a unique component of the Afghan security forces. With your help, SoA can provide the basic gear needed to help these brave women effectively fight terror in their home country, reducing the threat of violence against our troops.