If you were watching yesterday's Broncos-Colts game on CBS yesterday, you probably saw and heard umpteen promos for the season premiere of "60 Minutes," especially the Drew Brees interview. That one ended up being a dud, just a retread of everything you've ever known about the Saints QB. But the opening story about the current state of things in Afghanistan was off-the-hook crazy and a must watch. Reporter Lara Logan and her producer and cameraman went to the border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the captain there and his soldiers control just 20 or so square kilometers out of the 300 that they technically oversee. The rest of the area are comprised of enemy strongholds where villages, mountains, and valleys are watched over by the Taliban and the foreign fighters from Pakistan who constantly refill their ranks.
Within an hour of the "60 Minutes" crew's arrival at Combat Outpost Zerok, and within three minutes of Captain John Hintz's explanation of "how to stay alive on his base," a rocket hits just yards away. Hintz's troops return fire and a 10-minute gunfight breaks out, with two soldiers injured in the action. (Some 80 of his men have Purple Hearts for getting wounded in action, including one who has eight of them.) The footage is incredible, and only intensifies later in the story when on multiple occasions the troops and the "60 Minutes" crew come under enemy fire, including an ambush out in the middle of the desert after one of the American vehicles got stuck in rocky terrain.
It's really must-watch stuff and should give you a good sense of just what American's bravest continue to face everyday in Afghanistan and why simply walking away from the war, nine years on, is simply impossible.
UPDATE: The video image is shifted to the left in some browsers. You can watch it on CBS's website here.
By the way, news is now breaking out of Afghanistan that, according to the New York Times, Gen. David Petraeus told reporters today that "high-level Taliban leaders had reached out to senior Afghan government officials in the context of starting reconciliation discussions that could pave the way to end the fighting in Afghanistan." Read more about that here.