You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Filmmaker Greg Barker on How CNN’s ‘Legion of Brothers’ Tells Human Side of Special Forces

WASHINGTON — Greg Barker’s documentary “Legion of Brothers,” which debuts on CNN on Sunday night, tells the story of the special forces units that were instrumental in rooting the Taliban out of Afghanistan in the initial months following 9/11.

But the project is unique in that it captures the thoughts and emotions of the special forces units more than 15 years later, including their candid observations about their discomfort as they waged what has been called a “secret war.”

“There’s the Hollywood version of ‘gung ho’ SEALs. It is really not that way,” Barker told Variety‘s Ted Johnson on SiriusXM. “The people who are recruited to these elite units are incredibly intelligent, thoughtful, sophisticated people. Elite soldiers. But they really do think and reflect on what they are doing. And the killing, and what it means for themselves and our country. They would like us all to reflect on what we ask them to do when they do these jobs.”

He adds, “The horror of war stays with them for the rest of their lives. They just never really get that out of their head.”

President Donald Trump has announced more troop deployments to Afghanistan, where the U.S. involvement is nearing 16 years, the longest in history.

Barker said that in his conversations with the veterans of the initial mission in the country, they would like to see a strategy where soldiers on the ground are given “more flexibility [to do] what they see fit in that the moment.”

“Just having more troops there is not always the answer,” he said. “If we have troops not trained in local culture, and not trained to work through our allies on the ground … then you are in a position where you have a large footprint trying to impose the will, and that invariably leads sort to some kind of reaction, which is not always a good one.”

Listen below:

The documentary airs at 9 p.m. ET on CNN.

More Politics

  • Robert Mueller Report

    Mueller Report Finds Trump Campaign Did Not Conspire With Russia

    WASHINGTON — Special Counsel Robert Mueller did not find that members of the Trump campaign “conspired or coordinated” with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 election, Attorney General William Barr wrote in a letter to Congress that was made public on Sunday. In the letter, Barr released the summary of the “principle conclusions” [...]

  • Robert Mueller Report

    Robert Mueller Delivers Russia Investigation Report to Attorney General

    WASHINGTON — Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered a report on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election to Attorney General William Barr, after a weeks-long waiting game for word that Mueller’s probe was reaching its conclusion. The details of the report are still confidential after a nearly two-year investigation that had led to [...]

  • HRC, UCLA to Host Presidential Candidates

    Human Rights Campaign, UCLA to Host Presidential Candidates Forum on LGBTQ Issues

    The Human Rights Campaign Foundation and UCLA are teaming up to host a forum in October for Democratic presidential candidates focused on LGBTQ issues. The event will take place on Oct. 10 in UCLA’s Royce Hall, and will be part of UCLA’s Luskin Lecture Series from the university’s Luskin School of Public Affairs. National Coming [...]

  • Devin Nunes

    Devin Nunes Files $250 Million Defamation Lawsuit Against Twitter

    U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes filed a $250 million defamation lawsuit against Twitter on Monday, alleging that he has been the victim of hundreds of hate-filled tweets. The suit also takes aim at Liz Mair, a Republican communications consultant who has attacked Nunes on Twitter, and the anonymous accounts “Devin Nunes’ Mom” and “Devin Nunes’ Cow.” [...]

  • Members of the public mourn at

    Peter Jackson: New Zealanders Stand 'United in Our Love' in Wake of Mosque Attacks

    “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson said Saturday that he and his fellow New Zealanders “stand united in our love and support for our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters” in the wake of the devastating terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch that left at least 49 people dead. “New Zealanders are devastated,” Jackson [...]

  • Steven Mnuchin

    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Grilled Over Interest in Wife's Production Company

    WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was asked in a Senate hearing about a continued potential interest in Stormchaser Films, the production company founded by his wife, Louise Linton. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, said at a hearing on Thursday that the concern is that “there has been [...]

  • Police keep watch at a park

    At Least 49 Killed in Terrorist Attack on Two New Zealand Mosques

    Armed attacks Friday on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killed at least 49 people and injured dozens of others in what authorities called an act of terrorism. Four people – three men and one woman – were in custody Friday evening, New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said. One of them, reported to be [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content