Monday, October 29, 2012

Month 2 Day 29

Notebook Entry
Shek Laqor needs better sandbags and defense, fuel from Dwyer, generators but no fuel, USMC says you can’t buy it from town, Meeting with Afghan S2, recon platoon, 12 people, spread out, not debriefing recon unit, has PIR list

Journal Entry
Today and yesterday were interesting. We flew from [Forward Operating Base] Dwyer to [Forward Operating Base] Geronimo on a VIP flight because that is what the ANA [Afghan National Army] general rates, supposedly. The stupid helicopter only had 5 people on it, really, the most inefficient and heaviest helicopter in the USMC [US Marine Corps] used to carry 5 people. I can only imagine how much that stupid little trip cost. So we get here. I meet with the ANA S2 [Intelligence Officer] and I have to tell him that my counterpart isn’t here because he decided that 3 weeks worth of work after 3 months of leave was just about enough and darn it, he was going back on leave. That bastard. So the S2 complains that he has no cash to pay his sources. He could well be lying to me, and probably was, but here is the thing, MoD [Ministry of Defense] gives the Corps money to give to the Brigade then to the kandaks, somehow the kandaks say they get nothing. In reality the money was probably disbursed, but everybody down the line took a cut and then gave a pittance to the kandak, he wasn’t going to go without his cut just [because] he was the last in line, so he said he got nothing. I ask the kandak [Afghan Battalion theoretically 1000 men] commander what we should do about the problem and first he wants Marines to supervise, when I bring up that we won’t be there to supervise forever he says well maybe MoD should just give the kandaks the cash. Maybe he is right, but that is beside the point. How can everyone be so stinking corrupt in this country? It is just beyond me. Don’t they see that they are shooting themselves in the feet. It is just stupid. The rest of the trip went fine.

Edited to Add:
Most of what I was discovering at this stage would be perennial throughout my deployment. The fraud waste and abuse in the Afghan National Army was truly amazing. It was difficult to convince them that there is another way to do things. They believed that we were doing exactly the same thing but that we were just particularly proficient at hiding it.

Everyone's a comedian

This is the shower variant of the MRAP
The brand new police compound America paid for.

Our fat little General (with the helmet and bulging flak vest) motivating his troops, note the inspiration.

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