Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Month 6 Day 19

Notebook entry
No reports Met with Gul Rahim (Sergeant in Morning) regarding source money, Shura, noon. Met with guy from Legacy. Afternoon, class.

Journal Entry
Took Salim and Neckpai [linguist] to chow in the morning. Though this is just a battalion position, it has the best chow hall in all of Helmand, really great. I met with Gul Rahim, the S2 [Intelligence] Sgt at this kandak in the morning. It was a bit hard to talk to him because they were keeping a couple of birds in cages in the tent and it was pretty powerfully smelly. Neckpai had a headache after we left and called it a ‘morqancha’ a birdcage, not a tent. I met with a frenetic British Legacy-Human Intel dude over lunch by the name of Guy. Went back in the afternoon and taught some classes to the S2 Sgt and then dropped Salim off for the night. I told him that Intel is not like other jobs, you need to have good relationships with people if you expect them to work for you and that his mission was to drink chai, make friends and see how they do business here. He was none too happy about spending the night in the bird-cage, but he went. Went to the gym, mwr, and evening chow. I worked out the transportation plan that I am going to execute today. I am catching a resupply convoy leaving for the north part of the city. I am riding with one of the guys from my platoon at TBS [the Basic School, training required by all Marine officers]. It looks like I am going to one of the positions commanded by one of the guys I went to IOC [Infantry Officer's Course] with. Small world.

One interesting thing to note from yesterday is how hopeless all of us advisors are, the guys at this level are just throwing up their hands and putting in their time. The Brits are basically saying it is impossible to train these guys. We are the exit strategy, it doesn’t bode well.

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