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Inside Jordan's anti-terrorist battle royale

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Calfornia Nation Guard Army
Calfornia Nation Guard Army

Every year for the past half decade, some of the world's best soldiers have descended on King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center (KASOTC) in Jordan to compete in the Warrior Competition. Branded "the Olympics of counterterrorism" by its organizers, 32 teams from 18 countries — including the US, China, Canada, France, Iraq, and Switzerland — spend four days raiding buildings, shooting targets, liberating hostages, and storming hijacked jets, fighting to win a competition hosted on land donated by the King of Jordan and paid for by a US Defense program. While the event is free for anyone that can get there, The New York Times reports that the Warrior Competition also serves as a marketing event, as sponsors show off their latest products to their target audience and the hosts tout their specialized combat training — costing up to $250,000 for one week.