Saturday, November 10, 2012

Month 3 Day 10

Notebook entry
Date for Intel Shura, throwing away camouflage, messing with the Gunny.

Journal Entry
Met with Samir [Assistant Afghan Intelligence Officer], talked about him not being belligerent to our GySgt [Casanova, our senior enlisted Marine]. I told him the GySgt is about to get out of the Marine Corps and probably wouldn’t care if he was read the riot act for beating the hell out of an Afghan. Especially if the Afghan Deserved it, as Samir so often does. I gave Samir an overview of targeting. I went to pick up the S2 [Intelligence] guys the Major [Kraus], Lt Fortenbras (Targeting) and LCpl Schneider came along. Schneider served as their [in]terp[reter]. His Dari was not very good, but I think it was effective. He understood exactly what we wanted translated as an intel marine, then it was just a matter of presenting it. Often when working with linguists their Dari is good but their English sucks, and they really don’t have any idea what you are talking about, particularly when you get into intelligence tradecraft. This makes be wonder if half of what I am saying actually gets through to the guys on the other end. I really need to learn Dari better, but that would require some intellectual effort on Samir’s part to understand what I am saying. We had [some special food-redaction for identifying information] in the afternoon, and everyone was in pretty good spirits.

Edited to Add:
Samir was a tough case. His story will be developed later, but he basically did not want his job, and was told to wait at the unit until the Intelligence Officer returned. Thereafter he would be allowed to transfer, he wanted to be a commander. Months passed and the intelligence officer did not return, his juvenile acting out grated on everyone.

Marines near the end of their careers are an interesting bunch. Basically no one can make them do anything. Their pension is secure after they reach a certain number of years, and from then on they have nothing to love. Some of them have been habituated into a certain kind of action and they continue on that trajectory, others realize that they have merely been habituated and start to act as they please. The latter was the case with our senior enlisted man. He tried to advise his Afghan for a while, but he eventually gave up and no force on heaven or earth could pull him out of his tent.

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