I regret to report that, now that I’m home, thinking about war makes me a bit physically and a bit more mentally ill. I may come back when I feel I have something interesting to show you. Thanks for listening.
Reblogged from Jerome Starkey.
Three years into my military career, I switched from the US Air Force to the US Army. One of the inprocessing actions was to meet with the unit Chaplain.
So, I did. We had a perfectly congenial conversation.
On my way out the door, his assistant asked me if I was religious. I replied that I was not.
He told me “You will be, the first time you get IED’d”
He was wrong. I never sought deliverance from a higher power, even in the most dire of circumstances, IED-born or otherwise.
Getting mortared is a strange experience. Modern technology being what it is, we usually have advance warning that a mortar is incoming.
This leaves you with 30 seconds to basically run for a bunker or shelter in-place in your trailer. It seems cliche, but 30 seconds can seem like an incredibly long time.
Hunkered down in my trailer under my bunk and body armor, it never even occurred to me to pray.
Atheists DO exist in foxholes. And usually we’re just angry about the religious idiocy that leads to wars in the first place.
Reblogged from Drink The Kool-Aid!.
From: •••••••••••• [mailto:•••••••••••••••••••••••••••]Mantoo is a traditional but somewhat hard-to-come-by Afghan dish, sort of like sheep ravioli.
Sent: Wednesday, July 01, 2009 10:45 PM
I hope this email finds in a good health, since I heard from you that
your team will leave soon and I request that if you can come to my
office and have Mantoo your favorite food with us and since we have a
very good freindship so I want to have a good time before you leave
Afghanistan. If you don’t come I don’t eat Mantoo anymore because
whenever I eate Mantoo I remember you. Thanks looking forward to see
Gen. McChrystal’s new Tactical Directive for Afghanistan.
Six NATO soldiers killed today and four of them in Kunduz, where I was last month on patrol (obligatory sunset shot before we were shot at with AKs above).
Kunduz, as a Pastun area, has seen increased Taliban activity over the last year as Taliban are ‘squeezed’ up from the South. And I reckon we’ll see a lot more attacks in the West and North of Afghanistan.
Why? Well, if I were a Taliban commander, faced with the might of the ‘uplift’ (it’s not a ‘surge’, people) down in Helmand, I wouldn’t waste valuable resources on fighting a battle I couldn’t win. Rather, I’d beat a tactical retreat, lay as many IEDs and booby traps as I went as possible and leave my less experienced, younger, and probably newly recruited foot soldiers to snipe away at the NATO forces.
Meanwhile, I’d take the important chaps, the brains and the experience, to focus on the ‘softer’ targets of the North and West. ‘Softer’ because there’s fewer of them and because they have they’re own caveats.
For example, the German soldiers who control the Northern region aren’t allowed to use lethal forces unless they’re under attack or an attack is imminent. This pretty much rules out ‘capture or kill’ missions. Additionally, Germany is facing an election pretty soon, and the Germans are famously uncomfortable, not just with fighting this war, but fighting wars abroad at all. They’ve got this rather strong history, you see.
The Italians in the West have their own rules about how and where they’re allowed to fight, although I’m not so qualified to comment on those. With increasing pressure from insurgent attacks in these areas, aimed well, aimed quickly before other NATO troops can get there (I, as Taliban commander, also have the advantage of being able to move through the country much more quickly and easily than NATO troops), countries like Italy and Germany are going to find it very hard to remain as they are in Afghanistan. They either evolve, or they could simply leave.
What we have on our hands here is an ultimate test of NATO solidarity. Do we do a frog chorus and all stand together? Or are we bound to put our national interests first? This question will come rushing to the forefront if we see, as I believe we will, more attacks in hitherto relatively peaceful areas.
Reblogged from Dry Mouth - Kabul Life.
Reblogged from Mike Hudack.
Missing (via Laughing Squid)
Reblogged from Emptyage.