Long ago — before the War on Terror devolved into a game of whack-a-mole; before MRAPs, and IEDs, and ROEs, and PTSD, all that other mundane stuff — a small group of Green Berets rode into battle against America’s enemies in the most glorious way possible: on horseback. The year was 2001. The commandos, a 12-man team codenamed Operational Detachment Alpha 595, were the first U.S. troops on the ground in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. For weeks, they galloped alongside a faction of the Northern Alliance and beat the britches off a much larger Taliban force. It was an extraordinary display of unconventional warfare. By mid-November, the Taliban had abandoned Kabul, and Osama Bin Laden was hightailing it to Tora Bora. Were the War on Terror a blockbuster Hollywood movie, the credits would probably start rolling right about there.
“We’re fighting with horsemen against tanks,” a confounded ThorChris Hemsworth is heard saying, his voice trembling, over a vivid montage of Green Berets unloading on Taliban and al Qaeda fighters with M4s from charging steeds in the new trailer for Warner Bros’ 12 Strong.