The Counterterrorism Olympics

Village-Urban Area


How long before this becomes a reality TV event? Josh Eels tags along with Team America for the New York Times:

The men of Team America were missing an assault rifle. “Everybody pulled a rifle, right, guys?” Eric asked. A 38-year-old ex-Navy lieutenant, he had blond hair to his shoulders and a few days’ worth of deployment stubble.

“We’re supposed to have eight,” Brian said. He and Eric worked SWAT together in Virginia and sometimes hunted together, too.

Brandon, 33, had six 9-millimeter Glock pistols stuffed in his pockets. He surveyed the room: “Two . . . four . . . six. . . . “

Carey, a sniper, tried to stifle a laugh. “Good thing they don’t have a counting event.”

It was a spring Saturday at the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center (Kasotc) in Jordan.

The members of Team America were in their barracks after a morning at the range, cleaning their guns so the desert sand wouldn’t jam the actions. Kasotc — it rhymes with aquatic — sits in the blasted-out canyon of a rock quarry on Yajouz Road about 15 miles north of Amman. It’s a state-of-the-art counterterrorism-training base, with 6,000 acres ringed by sentry towers and razor wire. The sound of gunfire echoed off the limestone cliffs, spooking the sheep on nearby bluffs.

Team America were at Kasotc for the fifth-annual Warrior Competition in which 32 teams from 17 countries and the Palestinian territories would compete against one another on mock missions. Organizers have referred to it as “the Olympics of counterterrorism”: over the next four days, the teams would raid buildings, storm hijacked jets, rescue hostages and shoot targets with live ammunition, all while being scored for speed and accuracy. It was a stage-managed showcase for the 21st-century soldier — not the humble G.I., but the post-9/11 warrior, the superman in the shadows, keeping the world safe from murky threats…

[continues at the New York Times, plus video]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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9 Comments on "The Counterterrorism Olympics"

  1. Hadrian999 | Jul 19, 2013 at 9:16 pm |

    we already have Ultimate soldier challenge on TV

    • Jin The Ninja | Jul 19, 2013 at 9:49 pm |

      whenever i visit my preferred streaming video website, i am aghast, literally every single time, at the bullshit television that is actually produced and viewed in the us.

      • Hadrian999 | Jul 19, 2013 at 9:53 pm |

        come on you cant tell me you dont want to see guys stabbing the hell out of each other with tazer knives, If you want a real treat look up mountain monsters…’s mesmerizing

        • InfvoCuernos | Jul 19, 2013 at 11:44 pm |

          No kidding! I just discovered that gem myself. I’ve noticed that if a “reality” show features “rednecks”, then there is more than likely a chance that they are faking the whole thing, like duck dynasty or mountain monsters. The swamp people one I think is pretty straight tho-not much to fake about a half hour of shooting gators, like watching a fishing show, boring.

          • Hadrian999 | Jul 19, 2013 at 11:49 pm |

            from what i’ve read they fake the “coming down to the last minute to tag out” part of the show, i read an interview with troy landry that said he usually tags out half way into the season, and some of the new hunters are way too gimmicky to be “real”

          • InfvoCuernos | Jul 19, 2013 at 11:52 pm |

            aw, now I feel cheated that my reality is all fake.

          • Hadrian999 | Jul 20, 2013 at 12:02 am |

            it just bugs me, they are all staged but why do they need to add so many meaningless gimmicks most of the shows would be just as interesting to their target without silly stuff like “the hunter who never wears shoes” or “the with the taliban beard” , and dont even get me started on “mountain men” Hillbilly blood is totally staged but hilarious, never know how one of them hasn’t been killed yet

          • Calypso_1 | Jul 20, 2013 at 12:25 am |

            If your insurance won’t cover them, I have several new reality plans available through very reasonable installment options.

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