Well, I’ve been here "in country" for just over five weeks now and I’ve seen several different parts of the country.
Kabul, where I came in, is the biggest city here. Very crowded, smelly and dirty. If I didn’t mention it, they burn everything there. I mean EVERYTHING...and that’s what the city smells like. Sometimes its worse than others, but it always smells. We have a lot of troops there so that’s what you see. Big military vehicles and little cars.
Then I left Kabul and came out to Logar in the country, actually the mountains. The air is clean and the scenery is truly amazing. I’ve been to the Alps and some of these ranges rival those. Forget where you are and it’s breathtaking.
The people here are different too. Well, some of them. I work in two different areas. Two VERY different areas. One, where I do most of my work, is very much influenced by the Taliban. When we drive through the village, most of the people just stare. Our guys will wave and they seldom get waves back. It’s like when the new Sheriff rode into Rock Ridge in Blazing Saddles…
The Police in that District don’t leave their compound because they’re afraid. They’re supposed to do mounted (in vehicles),and dismounted ( on foot) patrols. They don’t.
At the other village, in Koshi Valley, everyone waves, EVERYONE. Adults and kids.The area is beautiful, you can see in the earlier photo and description from a previous post. Like I said, I look forward to seeing it in spring.
The Police are in charge and doing they’re job. I don’t know about the level of Taliban influence there, but if it’s there, it’s not visible.
That's an M203 Grenade Launcher on the range.
It’s been a quick adjustment to life here. Maybe because of my military background or what the Inspector drilled into my head the last twenty some odd years, improvise, adapt and well...you know.
When we go outside the wire, the briefings are in depth. All the possible dangers are laid out so everyone’s geared for it, if it happens. When we don’t go out, it’s easy to get complacent. You try not to... keep your weapons and armor near your bed. You have to keep in mind where you are.
One of the last things my Mom said to me before I left was "don’t trust any of these people". If you know my Mom, that’s a powerful statement. But it’s a good rule to live by here.
This country is a mess, a lot of problems. Fourth world country, not third world.
The picture above is of kids by the HumV. It is from the day we went to the range. Let me put it this way, there is no policing of the brass. They wait till we’re done then swarm the ground cleaning up. They sell them in town for whatever they can get.
Well, that’s it for now, more to come.