In 2009, Norwegian journalist Peter Refsdal embedded with the Taliban in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom, the United States’ attempt to uproot al-Qaeda and remove the Taliban from power. One of his most interesting observations: The Taliban do not fear fighter jets.
“All the time there’s jets, the sound of jets flying around, and the Taliban, they don’t care about it,” Refsdal told Anderson Cooper in a 2010 interview for CNN. “But there’s one plane that scares them. … It was the sound of this transport plane that scared them. And this is a plane equipped with a lot of heavy machine guns, even a cannon. And the thing is, the Taliban, they know that this gunship is used when there are some Special Forces operations. It’s used as a support, air support during these kind of operations.”